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Esmeraldas blossoms in Benjamín Vanegas. His voice blends an ancestral quivering and the youthful energy of the streets, undoubtedly one of Ecuador’s finest. His marimba is made of PVC pipes, instead of the usual bamboo canes. He began his musical adventure like most Esmeraldeños: with

It is time for lunch and a clutch men return to the village clasping their fishing rods and buckets with the river’s offerings: fleshy and silvery gualajos (a local fish). Others return with their machetes belted to their waists, with a bunch of overflowing plantains

Colorful bamboo inns, stalls selling coconut milk shakes and fruit smoothies where before you only saw a few ramshackle huts. There were empty beaches where today bronzed surfers idle by with their battered boards. And on the beach, motorboats have been relegated to the southern

It is four o'clock in the morning. The soft hues of twilight paint the skies and the waves caress the sand calmly, less intense than in the afternoon. On the shore, you can already hear the clutter and the first fishing boats pushing out bravely

Throughout these rolling hills and mountains tucked behind the Illinizas, communities are hard at work, tilling, sewing, harvesting, processing, selling. Their fertile lands might one day become as famous, for their beauty and for their products, as the Loire or Napa valleys of the developed

When I think of Latacunga’s signature dish, the chugchucara, I must confess that I fall prey to a syndrome that we’ve all experienced when we desire something intensely: my mind is transported. I travel to what “chugchucara street" (calle Quijano y Ordóñez), where a singular

Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ Road to Calvary, his scourging, his sentincing, his crucifixion and his passing: the so-called Way or Path of the Cross (Via Crucis), and its fourteen stations. While the entire week is an allegory of Life’s triumph over Death (Jesus is, eventually,

There is nothing like it in the world. The fanesca soup is one of those dishes that you just can’t invent twice, and one of the reasons why Easter week has become rooted in the identity of the Quiteño. We could say that eating fanesca