Take Otavalo Ecuador as an example. They have one of the biggest markets in Ecuador and its main market day is Saturday.
Here is one of the Saturday Otavalo vendors.
Cotacachi however has its main market day on Sunday. Since Cotacachi and Otavalo are near by one can enjoy both markets…pick the best of what Ecuador offers for the entire weekend.
Here is the Sunday Cotacachi food market.
Merri and I have enjoyed this dual system over a decade. One winter we spent the entire winter at our Ecuadorian hacienda living in a 10’x 10′ hut, no electricity, no phone and no hot water…for all those months. We went out to the market only on a Saturday or Sunday choosing the village that suited us best.
But when we at the hacienda…what a view. Here is what we saw when we rose in the morn.
We lived with a Taita Yatchak (wise one) and his apprentices and lived exactly as they did. We wanted to really know and understand them, but what we did not expect was to learn how much we truly are blessed in life.
So this Sunday may I share an Ecuador blessing with you.
Though the apprentices had nothing and earned about $30 a month, their joy and happiness was full and infectious. Laughter was always waiting for any event.
We worked hard…physically….every day at the top of the land, cutting bamboo.
El Nino was at its worst and rain continually poured. We were always wet, muddy and cold. Once, an apprentice Manuel was tugging at an unforgiving stick. When it ripped out unexpectedly he slipped and slid all the way down the hill! He pulled himself from the slime his face wet, darkened with mud and all I saw was his white teeth as he grinned and grinned. A short belly laugh later we were all rolling in the mud…hilarious. Then we went back up the hill to work. How warming a laugh can be!
I can’t add what a sense of peace and harmony rolled over us as we worked, stopped and looked down at the lushness of the valley below, the mists rising, the waterfalls folding in lacy cascades, bird songs trilling through the clear air. The river although far below us was a great bubbling sound along with the strangeness of some of the bird calls. This was a joy we had not felt since we were kids. Not a worry in the world except getting the next piece of bamboo.
One weekend Merri and I went to Quito…for civilization. In the cities the markets are on every day
The hotels there always gave us a sumptuous suite. We dined from the gourmet table in modern lush surroundings. We had our hot baths, exotic shopping and afternoon tea in the hotel lobby classically serenaded by the string quartet.
We should have been ecstatic over a long hot bath, beautiful service and a king sized bed. Though that was all pleasurable…we saw how these pleasures were not nearly as important as we thought.
We eagerly looked forward to getting back to our farm, hard work, simple, fresh food, an evening around the fire and learning ancient ways.
We learned that joy is in the doing and giving and sharing. The gratitude of the locals for our help was the greatest gift we may have ever felt.
Our purpose there, we thought, was to help these people learn modern ways and to increase their efficiency. We decided to join them and live exactly as they did first, so as to better understand them and how we can help them improve.
But this decision helped us learn more than we’ll ever be able to share with them. A precious gift. I thought about this as Merri and I rode out of the valley the final morning of that trip. Finlandia was playing ion the car radio and its moving strains surrounded me as I looked back into the beauty of our valley and was touch again by the sweetness of the people. Tears came to my eyes I thought, “How precious this gift.”
Every mile closer to civilization, we wondered more where real civilization begins and knew that soon we wanted to get back. As Merri and I sit here this Sunday, now in lush comfort, enjoying this day of rest, we feel incredible joy knowing that in this world of problems we can have the gift of helping. So we thank you for letting us share Ecuador and hope that this sharing will in some way make your life better.
We look forward to sharing more ideas of simplicity and freshness throughout the year. If we can in some way make your life more joyous and help you laugh and be as happy as the smple people of Ecuador, we will truly be blessed.
There is such beauty on this earth, in this world at this time and we are so grateful to share it with you.
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Cotacachi Ecuador charm is explained here. We invite you to enjoy it.
We are conducting regular tours and courses in Cotacachi and Ecuador. The balance of our 2008 schedule below.
See lots like this for $12,500.
June 11-15 Ecuador Spanish Course
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
See houses like this for $59,000.
June 19-21 Shamanic Mingo Tour
Enjoy shamanic ceremonies.
See discounts for attending more than one June course.
September 17-20 Ecuador Coast & Quito Real Estate Tour
Sept 23-27 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Oct 14-18 Ecuador Import Export Course
Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coast & Quito Real Estate Tour