“We would suggest you dress up a little bit more ‘formal’ when you have to interact with clients”. By “formal” he means, you have to renounce your cultural heritage because you belong to an indigenous group in Ecuador and your look is too ‘ethnic’ for business.This is a reality in many countries in Latin America, even in those that, like Ecuador, have a constitution that recognizes the nation as pluricultural and multiethnic. These are countries that have the potential to obtain economic growth through scientific discoveries that utilize the traditional knowledge of indigenous groups, and yet struggle to respect and accept their rich indigenous heritage.
In Latin American Science, Karina Vega-Villa writes about the importance of preserving the region's cultural heritage. She asks:
In a global society that highly values scientific advancement, what is the role that scientists play in developing a technology-based economic model in multicultural nations like those in Latin America?
And then concludes, among other things:
An emphasis on science programs directed by scientists and not business managers is required. […] The role of scientists from a broad range of fields is essential and evident. Collaborative and cooperative efforts are fundamental to undertake this epic task.