Why Ecuador?

You’d think the Travel Mooch would have covered all of our many and varied reasons for choosing Quito yesterday.  Not true I have a bit more to say.  Ever since I saw Quito mentioned a couple of years ago as an “emerging destination” I’ve been curious about it.  About 4 years ago the Travel Mooch took me on vacation in Antigua, Guatemala.  It’s colonial center fascinated me.  We stayed only 5 days, but I was hooked.  I wanted more of the same.  More old buildings, more UNESCO reconstructions, more warm weather and more flowers.  When the Mooch suggested Quito as a jumping off destination for our “year of travel”, I immediately accepted.  It has that wistfulness that all colonial cities share.  Like it once was a great place, almost fell to complete ruin and is healing itself slowly like a deep scar.  I find the indigenous peoples from colonial towns to be fiercely independent and proud of their history.  They work hard to keep their stories alive.  This is so true of Quito.  The fight for independence was a hard one and they don’t sugar coat it in the telling.  In Quito unlike in other colonial cities I’ve visited the locals still live and work in the Centro Historico.  You don’t get the impression that they remade it to please the tourists, but did it instead to please themselves.  For that I deeply admire them, and I can see why they’d be happy to call Quito home.

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