I love markets. Not to buy, no, but to gaze at the local products, smell the unknown, find the unusual, photograph the contrasts and ask questions to local sellers. Otavalo was my realm, for one day.

J’adore les marchés. Non pas pour acheter, non, mais pour contempler les produits locaux, humer l’inconnu, trouver l’original, photographier les contrastes and poser des questions aux marchands locaux. Otavalo fut mon royaume, le temps d’une journée.

Working at Otavalo mercado de artesania

Continue reading COLORFUL OTAVALO

Making the rounds at Plaza de los Ponchos: The Indigenous Market of Otavalo

Otavalo, is a city in the Imbabura province just 2 hours North from Quito by bus.  The city is known throughout the country for being very indigenous and faithful to its Incan heritage, the men sport long hair kept in pony tails topped off with a fedora hat and peacock feather, while the women wear white blouses with colorful skirts and long strings of beads around their necks. Continue reading Making the rounds at Plaza de los Ponchos: The Indigenous Market of Otavalo


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I can’t believe it’s already May. Five months in Vietnam, now Ecuador. I’ve barely experienced winter this year if not for a ten day-break in Chicago late March, where it snowed for a few hours. And yet it’s been two weeks I sleep with two pairs of socks, a sweat-shirt over my pyjamas and three blankets. What’s wrong with me? I’m the only one who needs that many blankets in the dorms at our hostel!

Homemade red poncho on my way to La Nariz del Diablo!

Continue reading IS WINTER OVER OR WHAT?!?


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After animals, the people!

Here is a brief recap of my last two weeks of volunteering before coming back to Quito.

After two weeks of taking care of animals in the rainforest, I decided to do what I like most: meet the locals! I spent one week in a community called ”El Paraiso” (Paradise!) near the rainforest where I lived with Marco and his family. Marco is occasionally a tourist guide, and most importantly a shaman who knows it all about tropical plants and natural medicine.