Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday, Feb 17th, Banos, Ecuador


Our tour guide, Diego, is a very nice man.  He’s shared with us stories about his childhood, his parents and brothers, and his wife and daughters.  We’ve been very impressed by not only his abilities as a tour guide, but about how who he is comes across in the choices he makes in what to share about Ecuadorian life, and about his culture.

When he describes the upcoming day’s itinerary each night before dinner, he goes to great length to explain the historical, geographical, and sociological significances of each place we are to see.  He has a detailed understanding of the contributions of the area we are visiting, as well as the part played by the residents of each town and community.

Over the past two days, he’s taken us through several provinces, staying at historic haciendas and attempting to get a glimpse of two very impressive volcanoes.  Unfortunately, the weather is causing clouds to obscure the peaks, and Diego and the group are a bit disappointed.  We are traveling to interesting places, however, and are currently (Sunday) in Banos.

Nestled on the slope of a snow-capped volcano, Banos is famous for its hot springs and a Virgin whose healing waters attracts a pilgrimage.  We spent part of the day visiting the town plaza, where we stopped by the local elections precinct.  Today is the national elections, and we’ve been talking for a week about the candidates and the current state of democracy in Ecuador.  Diego is quite fond of the current President, and it appears that he will win the election.  His tenure is one of the longest stable periods in recent history, and the Ecuadorians are experiencing significant economic growth.

To see all of the photos taken on Saturday, click on Saturday, Feb 16th, Hacienda la Cienaga, Ecuador
To see all of the photos taken on Sunday, click on Sunday, Feb 17th, Banos, Ecuador


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