Blogs from Quito, North, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 6th 2021

Poet, novelist, and travel writer William Graham holds a BA and MA in English and a MS in Communication from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He lives in Stowe, Vermont. Many of his books are also available on His latest novel is url= Noir, the fourth and final installment in his Maine Murder Mysteries series. It was early: six-thirty in the morning, dawn on the equator in the country of Ecuador. The sun, however, had yet to make a dent in the thick cloud cover in the Ecuadorian cloud forest at the 2,000-acre preserve of the Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge, situated at 7,000 feet above sea level and about a two-and-a half-hour rugged drive north o... read more
Old Town of Quito
Ice and Snow Covered Summit of Cotopaxi Volcano
Dense Cloud Forest

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center March 7th 2020

I really enjoyed visiting Ecuador and Galapos Island! This was the best trip I took in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic! This was great because I got to explore different parts of Ecuador within the capital. I got to visit the Capital of Ecuador! However, I almost got stuck in Ecuador because the pandemic strike South American on March 14th,2020. That almost got me scared because I almost didn't have enough cash or money to come back. I was flying to Colombia on my way back home luckily. But I got to try out some authentic foods and explored the Culture of Ecuador. I got to explore Virgin of the Americas when I visited Quito, Ecuador! I remembered the place I stayed as well as I could see the Historic place of Ecuador! My dream ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 30th 2020

Looking back at my experience in Ecuador as a whole, one of the things that stands out to me the most is the hospitality we experienced. Obviously the first brush we had with hospitality here was with our host families in Quito. They treated us just like their own children. They took time to ask how we enjoyed our day and we spent a lot of time at meals just learning about each other and just being present together. It will be a long time before I forget how it felt to sit down to dinner with some bread and cheese, laughing and joking. They even offered their house for the future if either Matt or I come back to Ecuador. Their openness and acceptance made it so fun to be a part of Quito for ... read more
A Welcoming Environment

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 23rd 2020

Today was one of the most whirlwind days that I think I’ve ever had, full of such different experiences. I woke up early and went to a group salsa/fitness class and ended up being called to the front to help lead. Then Matt and I went to the botanical gardens nearby and saw a really cool bonsai garden. I had some Ecuadorian ceviche and fried squid for lunch. And finally, we went to a chocolate tasting session at Pacari chocolates. It was definitely one of my best days on the trip so far. I want to talk a little more about Pacari chocolate, somewhat because I like chocolate, but also because I really appreciate their business model and I think it fits a very Ecuadorian mindset. They are less than 20 years old, but have already ... read more
Us Messiah People and Our Dance Instructor

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 15th 2020

The culture is so different here in Ecuador, and although I'm not surprised that there are differences, it is still surprising to see certain differences. The past few days have been very interesting on a relational level, especially between Matt and I and our host family. The main difference here in Ecuador is what they call "Machismo," which is really just the existence of a very patriarchal society. At least in our household, Fernando is to be respected and can basically do what he wants. He spoils the grandchildren, he chooses food that he wants to eat, and has the choice to buy what he wants to. The women are forced to live their lives and account for what he is doing, rather than working together or reaching compromise. In the morning session today (survival Spanish), ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 12th 2020

Last night after a very late lunch (because the dogs ran away and they had a faucet leak! A bit crazy), Fernando took us to the more historical part of the city. During the drive, he talked pretty much the whole time about the city's history and about the different historical sites we drove by. We got to see El Panecillo, which has fantastic lighting at night and offers fantastic views of Quito. The base of the statue is a museum also, which shows the largest churches in the historical district and also the construction process of the statue. Matt and I had a great time taking photos and listening to Fernando, who always seems to have something to say. It was very interesting to relate with Fernando during this outing. While he was talking, I ... read more
Quito at Night

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 10th 2020

Although Matt and I have only been with our host family for about twelve hours, and about nine of those were spent in bed, I thought I’d share a few impressions I’ve had. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the interactions that I’ve had with the host thus far. Fernando and Ximena seemed a little awkward at 2:30 AM, but I think that was a poor first interaction because this morning has been much more interesting. At lunch, we had conversation with Fernando about a variety of things and got to try a few new things as well. Ximena was out this morning but came in towards the end of lunch and was very warm and welcoming to us both. I mentioned that we tried a few things at lunch. A few highlights of the morning so far: ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito December 20th 2019

Heute ging ich vormittags wieder zur Italienischen Botschaft. Diesmal hatte sie sogar offen! Ich ging zu der Tür, vor der ich gestern stand, klingelte und wurde vom Securitytypen an eine andere Tür auf der anderen Seite des Gebäudes weitergeleitet. Dort fragte ich einen Polizisten, der vor der Tür stand, der an der Tür klopfte. Ein Mann kam und fragte mich, was ich denn brauchte, ich erklärte wieder mein Problem (dass ich meinen Pass verloren hatte) und er holte den nächsten Mitarbeiter, diesmal einen Carabiniere. Ich durfte ihm nochmal erklären, dass ich meinen Pass verloren hatte, dann verschwand er wieder für ein paar Minuten, vermutlich um zu fragen oder zu googlen, was denn jetzt zu tun sei. Schließlich kam er wieder und erklärte mir, ich solle mit einer Verlustanzeige und einem Passfoto wiederkommen. Von beidem wusste er ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito December 19th 2019

Heute ging ich gegen mittag kurz zu meiner Mutter und dann zur italienischen Botschaft. Diese hatte aber leider bereits geschlossen. Es war 12:15, laut google Maps sollte sie bis 4 offen sein, auf einem Schild bei der Botschaft stand sie wäre bis 12:30 offen. Auf dem Heimweg sah ich das Rating der Botschaft auf google Maps - 2.2 Sterne! In den Reviews las man so schöne Dinge, wie dass am Telefon ein Mann arbeite, der angeblich nicht gut vorbereitet sei und kein Italienisch könne. Mit leichter Skepsis sah ich auf den morgigen Tag, an dem ich wieder dorthin gehen werden müsste.... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito December 18th 2019

Heute machten meine Mutter, Mathis und ich eine kleine Wanderung auf den Rucu Pichincha. Dafür nahmen wir einen Uber zur Seilbahn, die bereits auf ca. 4000m hinaufführte. Von dort aus wanderten wir dann zum Vulkan. Anfangs ging es nicht allzu steil aufwärts, wir blieben ab und zu stehen um Fotos von Blumen zu machen. Später wurde der Weg jedoch etwas anspruchsvoller, an einer Stelle musste man auf einen kleinen Felsen klettern. Meine Mutter kehrte dort um, ich und Mathis gingen weiter. Man spürte nach kurzer Zeit deutlich die dünne Luft, auf sandigem Untergrund gingen wir einen Schritt voraus und rutschten einen halben zurück. Irgendwann wurde aus dem Sand wieder Felsen, sodass man wieder vernünftiger laufen konnte. Leider fiel mir gerade dort die Kamera runter, der Berg spielte mit ihr Flipper. Sie überlebte jedoch glücklicherweise alles, bis ... read more

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