On our flight to Quito, I occupied myself by refreshing my memory with important Spanish phrases… Asking for directions, ordering food, making conversation… Things I knew I’d have to use every day.
With my limited vocabulary, explaining that I put my cell phone through the wash was quite challenging. It involved a lot of spewing random words like soap, water, mistake, and pockets. So if you ever find yourself in this situation, make sure to say it correctly, and avoid the Ecuadorian cell phone store owners laughing hilariously at your language struggles (can’t guarantee they won’t laugh at your situation).
“Me lavé mi móvil en mi lavoradora” should do it.
My phone was really cheap to begin with, so buying a new one wasn’t too painful. The cheapest one they sold was $30.
Make sure you go to the sketchiest hole in the wall store you can find if you’re looking to buy a cell phone in South America. We stopped by a larger brand name store and they tried to sell me their cheapest one at $50.
Even in the smallest villages we have passed through, there is always a little tienda with a sign that says “recarga aqui!” Where you can reload your SIM card.