When I decided to make a return visit (my third) to Ecuador last month, I was determined to see it with new eyes. My first visit in 1994 was for the purpose of meeting our exchange student daughter's family and to see a place that I knew would be much different than Northwest Ohio. I came home from that trip forever changed.
|Gabriela and me outside the front door of her home|
in Guayaquil in 1994.
The second trip to Ecuador was in 2003, when Karina married Marcelo, and I experienced an Ecuadorian wedding. I got to meet another fabulous family in Marcelo's parents and siblings, who are Brazilian.
But this third time, I would be returning as a gardener. In previous trips, I did notice the wonderful flora the Ecuador has, even making Karina turn the car around when I saw a poinsettia the size of a very mature lilac shrub. You just don't see that here in Ohio! But more about the plant life later.
My mom went with me on this trip - it was her first time in Ecuador - and in addition to all the wonderful flowers and plants, we were quite aware of the art. It's an important part of the culture in Ecuador. Our first day there, we had a laid-back day, allowing for the adjustment to the altitude. Coming from 735 feet above sea level to Quito, which is at an altitude of 9,350 feet, it took us a couple of days to rid ourselves of the nagging headache. Breathing wasn't a problem, unless we were climbing steep inclines and then we were ridiculously out of breath.
|The home of Guayasamin|
|I wish there had been small reproductions of the bird sculpture for sale. I would have bought one.|
|View of El Panecillo from Guayasamin's home|
Guayasamin's work depicts the cruelty of man towards his fellow humans, but it also shows his belief in the potential for greatness within humanity and the hope that he had for a better world. It is a very distinctive art style and many have tried to imitate it.
|Inside the chapel, which showcases his work|
|I love this dandelion sculpture, complete with grass.|
Photos were not allowed to be taken inside the home or the chapel (Oops! I took one!), but a Google search will result in many examples of his work.
NEXT: Puertolago, Condor Park, and Otavalo.