This will be my last installment from Ecuador, what better way to recap the trip, than a pictorial expose of food, culture and history. Enjoy!
The territories of modern-day Ecuador were once home to a variety of Indigenous groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 17.8 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of Europeans, Native American, African, and Asian descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Native languages are also recognized, including Quechua and Shuar.
To date, I have spent almost 6 months during the years of 2022/23. This is my new favorite to go spot in South America. You may ask why? Well, similiar to Cuba being the crossroads to the Caribbean, Ecuador is the gateway to South America...from here you can go anywhere, and for very little money. Of course economy, will always be a factor for the frugal traveler, but it's certainly not a determining factor for me. I believe the first point of issue is always safety. Ecuador at it's worse is a very safe country. I like to say, "If you're looking for trouble, you will find it". Doesn't matter the location, even here in Canada. The cuisine is very good, a little plain in flavour, but delicious. Additionally, you can find cafe's and restaurants offering food from other countries. And of course most of the major franchise companies can be found here as well, but why would you?
As for the people, Ecuadorians are gentle, friendly and loving people. As with the foods, you will find quite a mixture of cultures here, everything from of course tourists to people from other South American countries. The architecture, history and ecological bio diversity is amazing. As I mentioned, I've been here 6 months, and am still discovering many new things.
I can't really say a lot in this short piece, except that I highly recommend a visit! Your biggest expense will be your flight of course, but for those of us that are "Off Grid" folks, once here it is very inexpensive on a day to day basis.
Cheers, and have a wonderful day!