Last Names

People here find my name (especially my last name) a little hard to pronounce. I have been living in Quito for 8 years and I usually have to repeat it a few times and with a strong Spanish accent in order for it to come across correctly. Don’t misread me, I don’t mind, it’s one of the challenges of doing business and living overseas.

What I have found is that last names are extremely important in Ecuador. They tie you to a region, a group of families, a company, a legacy. I know it sounds obvious but I find my friends and colleagues here can tell a lot from a last name: “Oh, he comes from Ambato” or “she’s from such a such a family involved in ___ industry”.

So what does my last name say about me? I’m foreign, I’m Anglo Saxon, and funny enough, I am associated with Superman. That’s right, one of the most common responses after hearing my name is: “Oh, like Clark Kent of Superman”.

Yes, Clark Kent – Superman.

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