Friday, March 5, 2010

From Baños Ecuador

Sorry folks! I didn´t deliver the stories of my travels I promised on leaving Canada my last blog post in November.

Seems I´ve been just too busy to write......but my camera has rarely been idle. It became my means of communication with these wonderful Ecuadorian people as I struggled to improve my Spanish. I have included a link to a collection of 19 photo galleries below. The images leave no doubt about the willingness of these incredible people to share their hearts and souls with a stranger, and the joy that they felt in someone taking an interest in their lives is evident......especially with the children. In all reality, what I did here in Ecuador as a photographer would not be possible in Canada or many other places in the world for that matter.

I came to Ecuador to experience its geographical diversity so to speak. To explore a small country about the size of Colorado that seemingly had everything South America had to offer in one compact little package.

That was over three and a half months ago. I´ve since travelled thousands of kilometers back and forth across this precious land. From a journey down a jungle river in the upper Amazon basin to the warm blue surf of the Pacific Ocean.

And I have traversed and lived in the mesmerizing central highlands of the Andes Mountains that separate the two.

I´ve shared ramshackle buses with indigenous people winding their way from pueblo to pueblo on roads clinging to the sides of 20,000 ft peaks along heart stopping ledges. This made all the more surreal by the crates of live chickens on the roof and the resounding joyous rhythm of Latin American music....ever present on the buses of Ecuador.

I have lived on three separate occasions in Baños, a vibrant yet mellow little town, nestled beneath steep green slopes in the shadow of the active Volcano Tungurahua. The population was evacuated in 2000 during the most recent major eruption. It is a place I´ve come to feel as a home away from home and returned here often during my travels to chill-out. Strangely, it has a certain Kootenays feel to it.

This land has fulfilled all my expectations. But it is not a memory of a place I´ll bring home, but that of a people.

Ecuadorians are extremely poor for the most part, especially in rural areas and small towns. Yet they have a natural sense of earthy dignity, joy and love for each other that is rarely seen in North America.

That joy is in their eyes to see and in the melodic voices of their children to hear. They have given me a new way to look at life and at myself. It is this gift from these very special people that I bring home with me in my heart.

And before I leave I will re-visit a small indigenous village high in the western Andes called Chugchilan. In some almost mystical way it completely defined Ecuador for me.

"Yo cambio atra ves la montaña senderos de Chugchilan"

"I walk again the mountain paths of Chugchilan"

Hasta Luego Mis Amigos en Ecuador!

I take a part of you home with me, and leave a huge part of myself here with you. I will return soon!


Click Here
For Gallery Collection: THE PEOPLE OF ECUADOR

Then click on each desired gallery to view. Galleries best viewed in Slideshow Mode!