Category Archives: Typical Ecuador
If you have seen us out and about lately, you’ve probably heard that we have teamed up with The Virabrations Project and Off the Mat Into the World in efforts to support indigenous and environmental rights in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Whew. That was a mouthful.
What it really means to us is a chance to support the country that so warmly hosts us and our groups each year in a struggle that is both pressing and international in scope. There are hundreds of articles describing the challenges and there’s just no way to summarize it all in one neat little package but I wanted to share some of the main points:
- Ecuador was the first country IN THE WORLD to grant constitutional rights to the environment. Wow.
- Indigenous populations in the Ecuadorian rainforest have been incredibly powerful over the past two decades, specifically in their efforts to encourage unprecedented unity amongst not only their own communities, but have inspired sweeping unity throughout the Andes and Coastal regions of Ecuador as well. This unity and passion is what led to the inclusion of nature’s constitutional rights and many other progressive, positive movements in the Ecuadorian government.
- “While drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1990, Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – deliberately dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled roughly 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor. To save money, Texaco chose to use environmental practices that were obsolete, did not meet industry standards, and were illegal in Ecuador and the United States.” -Chevron Toxico Campaign
- Chevron continues to fight against being held accountable. Their strategy seems to be to keep their competition in court long enough to exhaust the financial resources of those who support the rainforests & communities who call it their home.
- The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, made an unsuccessful plea to the international community to share responsibility in protecting the pristine areas of Ecuador’s rainforest from oil drilling. He promised that if we all could raise only HALF of what the oil is worth, he could & would prevent the drilling. Unfortunately, this plea came in the midst of economic collapses and hardships all over the world. The international community did not even come close to meeting the goal.
TO SUM IT ALL UP:
While communities in Ecuador have taken unprecedented strides to enact change, the government has included rights in the constitution for the environment, and there has been much hope, unfortunately Ecuador is still a developing nation and their greatest asset happens to be billions of gallons of oil tucked peacefully away beneath one of the most bio-diverse places on our planet.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Simply by being aware of these challenges, you are supporting positive change.
- Take a moment each day to take five deep breaths and know that one of every five breaths we take is thanks to the Amazon Rainforest.
- Know about the devastating effects of oil drilling and exploration…and be mindful of your oil consumption
- Share your knowledge with others. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know EVERYTHING about a situation to feel passionate about the cause. Just choose a couple of points that really pull your heartstrings and get to spreading the word.
- Grow your knowledge by visiting sites such as Amazon Watch
- Donate with us or to other organizations supporting the areas you’re most passionate about (for a list of who specifically we’re donating to, you can visit the Partners & Projects page on the Virabrations Project website)
THANKS for reading, for your caring spirit, your curiosity, and for the 5 minutes you just spent reading my ramblings! If you want more info, feel free to ask…we could talk about this all day.
Wondering what to pack for your yoga retreat in the Andes? When you’re ready to buckle down and get it done, check out this video and you’ll be finished in no time. If you take nothing else away from this video, the most important piece of advice I can give for anyone packing for South America is BRING LAYERS. The weather can change hourly here so be a comfy traveler and pack smart.
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Happy Travels!
A lot of people ask us, “why Ecuador” when we talk about places to travel. Most Americans have barely heard of it and and often can’t locate it on a map until we say that Ecuador includes the Galapagos Islands…ah, yes, the light bulb comes on! People have generally heard of these famous islands, know what they’re famous for and usually know their approximate location. Ecuador has so much more to offer than that!
If you read my bio you will see that I initially arrived in Guayaquil looking to get an A+ grade in Spanish 2. Before that, I had little desire to travel to South America and had never heard of Ecuador, let alone the city of Guayaquil. I stayed that first time with a host family and in one short month, I fell in love with this country. Nothing has been the same since. Ecuador is so easy to reach and is such a fantastic experience, words just simply cannot describe it. Despite that fact, I would like to give it a try by sharing just a few reasons why you should come visit this tiny, amazing country.Read more ›
A quick summary to satisfy your curiosity and your palate! From great views in Quito to the depths of the Amazon, we’ve eaten our way through Ecuador and LOVED IT! Yum!Read more ›
Life on the EcoVia follows a relatively regular schedule…although, I have yet to figure out what the schedule is! The giant red bus-train screams along its designated lane…except when it crawls along it…or when a line of cars with black-out windows carries a dignitary along the same path or when a passenger screams out to have the driver brake because his arm has been shut in the doors, or when a motorcyclist decides he’s had enough of the city traffic and chooses the “private” route of the EcoVia instead of common city roads…you get the picture. The “eco-friendly” transportation line continues on at its own pace, spewing diesel fumes along its route that dye the walls black.
Sometimes four of them will pass by, so crammed full of commuters that I think not one of them can breathe yet, without fail, more hopeful passengers cram themselves into seemingly impossible spaces. I usually choose to wait as I have not yet become comfortable with the thought of cramming my face into someone else’s armpit.
Oh, but when you finally get on the Eco Via! Oh what a world awaits.Read more ›
(Enjoy this guest post written by a Peace Corps volunteer assigned to a small town tucked away in the Ecuadorian Andes: Thanks Ali!)
I recently moved on from the small community of Chugchilan, Ecuador where I spent two years living amongst the native people of the Andes. I learned from and benefited from a lifestyle of simplicity, and lived in accordance with the subtle changes of seasons and earth. I learned so much about suffering, survival, and happiness from the people that live there. I learned what it means to rise with the sun every morning, and to descend from each day with a greater appreciation for those who depend on subsistence agriculture. I had to sit with many things I witnessed such as malnutrition, sickness, poverty, and was humbled by it all.Read more ›
Canelazo is by far my favorite thing to drink in Quito. Canelazo is a hot drink made with naranjilla and aguardiente an anise flavored liquer. In Ecuador you really have no choice but to get the brand name aguardiente Caña Manabita a 5th comes in at about $3 so your not gonna break the bank getting the good stuff.
Anyway, the best thing to do is goto the Supermaxi or grocery store and by the frozen concentrated naranjilla juice mix. The procedure for producing the mix yourself is just way to time consuming to be vale la pena. Once you’ve made up your naranjilla mix add in about 2-4 cloves, 2-3 sticks of cinnamon and 2-3 heaping tablespoons full of sugar .
Now heat up the mix but be careful. The naranjilla has a tendency to foam up so you have to watch it. Unfortunately you also need to keep the heat going so the cinnamon and clove flavors permeate the mix.
After about an hour on low heat pour the mix into a coffee mug with a shot of your Caña Manabita and take the whole apparatus out to your chilly balcony and enjoy.
Wedding in Cocotog, a set on Flickr.
Here is the photo journal of the weekend of festivities in Cocotog, Ecuador. Many thanks to the newlyweds, Jimmy and Lorena for including us in their special weekend and to the community for the warm welcome, great company, good times and amazing food! We hope to see you again soon!
Within our first week here, Greg and I met up with an old friend of his, Victor, who G hadn’t seen in 6 years. After about 2 minutes of catching up, Victor extended an invitation to a weekend-long wedding extravaganza in his small community of Cocotog, just north of Quito in the country or “El Campo” as folks around here call the more remote areas. Victor not only invited us into his community but also offered to host us overnight in his home to hang out with his family. Amazing. Of course we accepted and I looked forward to getting out of the city for the first time and meeting a different group of locals.Read more ›