A very popular cafe/restaurant chain in Ecuador



This picture may help illustrate the difference of opinion in cultures with the term “negro”.

Although i would never use the word myself, the Ecuadorians use it as a term of affection rather than an insult.

In this case (or as my students tell me) the menestras del negro or “The Black Guy’s Beans” is meant as a compliment as Afro-Ecuadorians are regarded as the best cooks.

The caricature maybe takes things a bit far.

I am not making any judgement with my picture as Ecuador is a very mixed, multi- ethnical, forward looking country.

One only has to look at the national football team where most of the players are of Afro-Ecuadorian origin to see how integrated the country is.

However i think this picture gives us food for thought.

May 7, 2012. Uncategorized.


  1. 1st replied:

    As an Afro-American Living here in Los Angeles, California, USA and being born in the American deep South, the “Image” “Picture” or “Logo” does takes things completely off the “Charts”……. In the USA during the 1920s their was a similar “Caricature” used for a Restaurant Chain called “Sambo”! The racial up roar behind the use of very similar figure was used..(black-face with a bone in the hair)
    I have the up most respect for the Ecuadorins people, and I’m sure they mean well, however, a bit of the “New Real World” should come in to play here? This is the Year 3/30/2014 and Someone at the Restaurant Chain should get the “PICTURE” (short for message in the USA) and Change the image.
    It’s flatering I’m sure, to recognize certain people as being the “Best Cooks” but do it with a 21st Century flair.
    We here in the US see what Chevron has done to your “Beautiful Rain Forest” with the “Negro Gold” that comes from the earth as Oil, the Question is why do you do the same to your own PEOPLE?
    To the owners of “Menestras del Negro” use your facebook page to solicit “New Logo Ideals” make a contest out of it and see how many new customers you will get!
    I can go on but I would like to “open” this up to conversation! I’m the 1stCaptain and you can reach me at “CaptainPacific@Roadrunner.com
    Los Angeles, California.
    Contact me………………………..

    • ali mclauchlan replied:

      Yeah, its a bit too much even for Latin America. I was taken a back a bit as there would be riots in the UK or US if this sign was displayed.

      Certainly in Latin countries they hispanic population doesn’t feel its racist to use the term Negro,or Gringo for that matter.

      But they are always the first to kick up shit with the slightest racial slur unintentional or otherwise.

      I would find it strange to call/name someone based on their race/colour. Guess its the way you are brought up.

      cheers for reading blog


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