Category Archives: Ecuador

Bullfights: Ethics, Culture and Politics

The bullfight displays much more appreciation for the bull itself than most people offer to the steak on their plate before they eat it. Continue reading

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Ode to Bruno’s year in Ecuador

Bruno is about to leave Ecuador, taking the first step in our move to Indonesia.  In honor of the year he has spent living here and all his many visits before, I have compiled some of his most Ecuadorian experiences … Continue reading

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Training for tourism

In 1908, under President Eloy Alfaro, Ecuador’s railroad from Guayaquil to Quito was finished. It was widely known as the most difficult railroad in the world. Some 2,500 workers died building it, including one of its chief engineers (John Harman, an American … Continue reading

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The closest point to the sun

Chimborazo, a volcano in central Ecuador, happens to be the closest point to the sun on Earth. Because the Earth bulges at its center, the volcano’s proximity to the Equator makes it the farthest point from the center of the … Continue reading

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Climate change comes to the Andes

Today we saw firsthand some of the effects that climate change is already having in the Ecuadorian Andes. We are staying in a tiny town called Chugchilan, in a remote area of the western Andes. We love the hostel we … Continue reading

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Roadtrip part 1

We are making use of a long weekend to take a road trip. We’ll post more about it in a few days, but just getting to our first destination is worth describing. As Ecuador’s capital, Quito can feel quite modern, … Continue reading

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Where the Amazon meets the Andes: Papallacta

In 1541, Francisco de Orellana became the first of the Spanish colonists to record a journey down the Amazon River. To do so, he first had to cross the eastern cordillera of the Andes. This weekend we crossed of the … Continue reading

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Quito’s Housing Boom

From our apartment window we get to watch the impact of three trends that define Ecuador today — population growth, urbanization, and a growing middle class. The result is a real-estate boom. If you walk around our neighborhood, say within a five-block … Continue reading

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The long road to a new airport

As I first sat down to write this, I heard the roar of a jumbo jet flying about 400 feet over the roof of our high-rise apartment building. It was (as usual) loud enough to set off a few car … Continue reading

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Today in Ecuador, I voted!

Elections in Ecuador are very different from those in the U.S. To begin with, Ecuador does not have a long history of democracy; we only restarted democratic elections in 1979, after a series of dictators.  Since then, democracy has not … Continue reading

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