A Weekend of Exploration

I could not have asked for better weather this weekend in Quito. Friday, I got the chance to explore the old city and see the city’s largest park, Parque El Ejido. The old city was beautiful and there is still so much to see. Hopefully I will be able to get back there before I leave the city.

Saturday, I joined some fellow travelers who were staying at my hostel for a two hour bus ride to Otavalo for one of Latin America’s most famous markets. The countryside was nice but the driver’s road rage was a little frightening at times. The market was filled with hand woven shirts and pants, beautiful pieces of art and some amazing street food. After the ride back to Quito, I met some travelers with similar interests to my own. One woman had been working in a health clinic in Peru for a month and another had spent the last six weeks working on an organic farm in rural Ecuador. We had an interesting conversation about development and the importance of community level activism.

On Sunday, I joined these same travelers for a trip to TelefiriQo. TeleferiQo is a 2.5 km tram that takes passengers up the Volcano Pichincha to Cruz Loma, which provides some of the best views of the city. At the top of the tram, we began hiking to a second lookout; however, the 4,100 m (more than 13,000 ft) starting height gave me some trouble and I decided to stay lower. I took a lower hiking route and stopped for an “almuerzos” at a small hut along the way. After coming down the mountain, I headed back to my hostel for the night as heavy rain rolled over the city.

As I type this, I am sitting in Yanapuma headquarters getting ready for a week of observation and interiews. My first interview will begin shortly with an intern who has spent her time focused on the community of Estero del Platano. I will follow this up with an interview with Andy Kirby, Director and Founder of Yanapuma. Unfortunately, I have been having some trouble posting pictures but will hopefully figure it out soon. Adios mi amigos.