Thursday, December 31, New Years Eve. I left Saquisili around 10:30 am and caught a bus from Latacunga to Quito. My host family were going to begin celebrating Año Nuevo early in Quito. Mariana invited me to join her, Maria Jose (her daughter) and Ben (Another student from North Dakota). We all took the bus to Quito to join the parade of people celebrating Año Nuevo early on Avenida de Amazonas in the Mariscal district. The entire event is a mixtute of Halloween and Marde Gras in the U. S.

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Saquisili is is a small Andean mountain town located 1 1/2 hours south of Quito and a short 15 min taxi ride from Latacunga. Every Thursday the entire town is converted into one of the largest markets in Ecuador. It fills seven plazas with vendors offering an amazing variety of goods. It is one of the most imoortant markets, financially for the group of people who make their way here weekly to buy and sell. This is definitely the place to be if you want to get a true feel for the Ecuadorian indigenous culture. Continue reading Saquisili Market

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One of Ecuador’s hidden gems. I spent 4 days hiking the Quilota Loop between Christmas and New Years. I couldn’t have found a better way to bring in the new year. Located 3 hours south of Quito, the region is made up of small Andean villages, surrounded by indigenous farms with some of the most spectacular views of patchwork landscapes to be found in Ecuador. The Loop starts and ends in Latacunga. It winds 125 miles through the Andes connecting the villages including Quilotoa and it’s crown jewel, Laguna Quilotoa. Continue reading Quilotoa Loop

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Ecuador Market

On Sunday 12/06/2015 Mariana, Frank, Cattherine (Another student from West Virginia) and I hired a taxi to take us to Otavalo. Read more  Otavalo is  a 2 hour drive from Valle de los Chillos, or A fiasco bus ride with much less flexibility. You can also sign up for a day trip by bus with one of the travel agencies in Quito. Marianna arranged for one of her regular taxi drivers and Catherine and I split the cost, which was $70 for the day plus lunch. We left the house in Valle de Los Chillos at 7am and returned at 5pm. Having our personal chauffeur allowed us to stop at several places for sight seeing and have lunch (Cuy) in Cotacachi. Continue reading Otavalo

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