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Those pics remind me of the images of Black people from the 1920's when racist black face minstrel shows were popular. It's sad that you can still find that shit in public, even if it IS S. America. You're right on the money!!!

Camille C

That needs no explanation. Hard to believe that is on the street. Thanx for opening cultural eyes.


Like Yah, these pics remind me of the infamous racist caricatures in the movie Ghost World -- the ones Buscemi's character keeps hidden away in his back room as memoribilia, the ones that eventually get him fired.

Jose Andrade

I believe this is a little chain from Quito only. I never saw another one of this restaurants anywhere else in the country.

The depiction of black people as savages is actually quite common in Ecuador, like the song of "Negro José", and some comic strips I remember from when I was little.

The best thing is that black ecuadorians are hard working people, and no doubt, the best soccer players the country has (even more important now with the World Cup so close). They are in no way savages.

Sadly though, some people in Ecuador don't realize that they are being racist. I remember my grandma would volunteer to help poor people (usually native ecuadorians), and will be very nice to them as long as they don't come to her house or try to run for public office.

dan falkoff

(just stumbled on this page looking up menestras del negro)

I was in Quito this month for a charitable surgical effort and actually ate at this place.
It was much healtier than USA fast food and [since they also had a fish version] within my ethically restricted diet. Otherwise I share your feelings about the logo.


Whomever posted this message obviously does not understand (like many Americans) the simple meaning of the word "negro". I suggest you look it up in the dictionary and you will find that it actually means black (not an insult, right?). Furthermore, if you must know, the name of the restaurant "menestras" means "beans meal". "Del negro" is a nickname that was amusingly given to my dark toned brother by friends and family. He also happens to be a friendly, upstanding and respected person in Ecuador! He came out with a recipe of his own and named the restaurant after the main dish and himself. Hence, if he sees this posted he would laugh at it...
Do you get it now???
I believe you said that you live in Ecuador, correct? Well, if you do, you must realize that we are a culture without complexes and hang ups, we have more important things to think about than to make a big deal about a nickname and a logo.
Who cares?????? I just can believe that there are people in this world that are so concerned about the most ridiculous things!
F.Y.I... this chain is nationwide and it has been since my brother was just 23 years old... (he is now 30) maybe you should consider this and perhaps concentrate more on accomplishing your goals. Forget about racist talk, and try to understand that giving this subject so much attention and commentary merely contributes to the problems. Instead, take my brothers example of a groundbreaking entrepreneur who generated and provides fair employment opportunity for hundreds of people, who happen to be in much need of it. He is the perfect example that success and ethics can coexist, and he is the most humble and lovable "negro" in Ecuador! If you ask anybody either black or white, green or blue, about him, they would all agree with me.

"la nena" (also my nickname) and proud little sister of "el negro".
Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador!!!!!


I totally agree with "la nena". I have to say I visited Ecuador twice, my parents are from there, sadly I have not been able to return. Some day I will take my children to visit. It's very sad that people who don't know the culture find it so necessary to label us and readily assume that we are so well, like you. Perhaps if you let yourself just focus on the important things in life like, family, love, respect, honor, then maybe life will become more clearer....maybe you can actually learn a little something from the simple folk.


le felicito sr. ¨negro ¨
y no importa lo q el logo exprese, en este caso a otras personas , tuve la oportunidad de saborear sus menestras en quito y aqui en mi guayaquil ya que es un restaurant muy reconocido con buena atencion y servico mas que todo la calidad de sus platos es excelente,......siga adelante ese mal comentario es solo una piedra.


I am Ecuadorian and I don't share your rational of "Las menestras del negro" as an racist expression. I don't know the place but for what I know about my country I can tell you that it is a restaurant owned by a black man or even a dark completion man that is not an insult. However, it is true that in Ecuador there is a huge class division still but in terms of race we are a mix of blacks, whites, indios nobody can claim to be better than the other. We are all a beautiful mixture.


Menestras del Negro may seem like a strange, even offensive name (“The Black Guy's Beans” just does not translate well into English), but in Ecuador “El Negro” is often considered an endearing nickname. What the restaurant’s name tries to inspire is that they know what they are doing when it comes to making beans.

I AM NOT RACIST, this name just needs to be explained. It is hard for foreigners to understand the real meaning of this name.


My family is from Ecuador, that logo is not the only 'Sambo' caricature of black people they have around. There is a soft drink called FRUIT that has one on their logo,also a shaved ice stand chain called Coco Express has one.


The problem is not with the name, it is more with the logo. A black savage child with a bone-fork in his hair! How can you not see how that is racist?! and the biggest foe of racism is condescending comments dismissing it as a nickname or a joke. It's not a joke if you are black.


I understand your point of view, but maybe if you will know more about equatorian culture you will understand what the restaurant's name try to say. To call somebody "negro" in Ecuador not necessarly have to do with been racist, it's a nice way to call someone that you like it or just you want to feel closer to someone too. My dad always called to my mom "negrita", my mom is not black, and obviously he is not trying to insult her. It's is the same and other latin countries. But like people says" we judge according our knowloge. For example if most of the people see the "swastika symbol", inmediatly this is related with nazis, racism, and holocaust, but that symbol has been use it for buddhists before of WWII.
It's nice what are you trying to do, but sometimes it's convenient to have more information about something. :)
Have a nice day

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