We landed in Quito on New Years Day, tired, but ready to start our journey the following day. The first portion of our trip consisted of a 5-hour car ride through the Andes mountains to a small town on the coast. For the next 4 nights, we stayed in a shelter in the middle of a dry rainforest reserve and woke up to howler monkeys screaming outside our window.
The remainder of our time spent on the coast was with a group called El Bolso Magico, in Tabuga, that silk screens bags and t-shirts. Here we helped them with their inventory, visual store display, and they let us try silk screening as well (which is a lot harder than it looks).
When we weren’t working, we spent our free time lying in hammocks, learning new Ecuadorian card games, and hiking through the reserve. In addition to the monkeys, the reserve is full of exotic flora and wildlife, although, thankfully, we didn’t encounter anything too dangerous!
While in La Calera, we attended the grand artisan market in Ottovalo, the largest in South American, eat traditional Ecuadorian food (which included guinea pig for dinner one night!), and see amazing views.
There is still more work that needs to be done, but by visiting these talented, hospitable, and hardworking artisans in Ecuador, we were able to help keep our connections alive and hopefully make them even stronger!
This was blog was written by Sophia Goldschmidt.