viernes, 11 de mayo de 2018

9 things you didn't know about Ecuador

9 things you didn't know about Ecuador

Geography

Located in South America, on either side of the Andes Cordillera that crosses the country from north to south, Ecuador is bordered by Peru (in the south and east, along a border of 1,420 km), Colombia (in the north, with a border 590 km long), and the Pacific Ocean (in the west). Ecuador also includes the Galapagos Islands.
From a geographical, climatic and human point of view, Ecuador can be divided into four natural regions:
- The Costa (coast) is a coastal region with a humid tropical climate to the north, semi-arid to the south. It forms a plain 800 km long, stretching from the slopes of the Andes Cordillera to the Pacific Ocean. Costa is also an area where bananas are grown, mainly for export, as well as other tropical products (mango, sugar cane etc.). The main city in this region is Guayaquil, an important port on the Pacific and the most populated city in the country.
- La Sierra is the high part of the country, in the Andes mountain range. In Ecuador, the Cordillera is divided into two parallel ranges, each comprising several volcanoes near or exceeding 5,000 m. The highest point of the country is Chimborazo (6,310 m), in the Western Cordillera but Cotopaxi (5,897 m), the highest active volcano in the world, located in the Eastern Cordillera is also very emblematic. The Sierra stretches 600 km from Tulcán, on the Colombian border, to the Loja region in the south. The main cities are Quito, capital of the country, in the north, and Cuenca, in the south.
- L’Oriente (Amazonia) is a region difficult to access, sparsely populated, criss-crossed by different tributaries of the Amazon River (including the Napo). This region with a humid tropical climate, which is part of the Amazonian forest, concentrates almost all of Ecuador's oil resources.
- The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago considered as heritage of humanity for the diversity of its species. The origin of the islands is volcanic.

Language of Ecuador 

In Ecuador, three forms of Spanish are spoken: Andean, Amazonian variations and Ecuadorian coastal Spanish. Ecuadorian Andean Spanish is similar to that spoken in Peru and Bolivia because of the influence of Quechua. The Amazonian variation also shows similarities with the indigenous languages of the region. Spanish spoken near the coast varies slightly from north to south.
Spanish, still called Castilian in Ecuador, is the mother tongue of 78% of Ecuadorians. The rest of the population are mostly indigenous people speaking their own languages. Here is a table showing the different majority languages by region.

Spanish Dialects and Variations

There is a big difference between the dialect spoken in Quito in the mountains and the dialect spoken in the coastal region of Guayaquil.
The Spanish spoken in Quito is considered to be one of the most accurately pronounced.
Andean Spanish is characterized by the use of many words from Quichua.
The coastal region of Esmeralda has some African language influences as a large part of the population of African origin.
In Guayaquil, Spanish is spoken much faster. Frequently, the "s" is vacuumed into an "h" and the extensive use of local slang makes it more difficult for foreigners to understand.

In 2008, the Ecuadorian constitution made Quechua and Shuar official languages of the country. This is a big step forward for all indigenous communities, as their culture has been recognized by the government.

Quechua 

1.5 million people speak Quechua fluently in Ecuador. Quechua was the vehicular language of the Inca civilization (but not its official language, which was Aymara). The current territorial extension of quechua is due to the fact that it was promoted to the rank of lengua general by the Spanish colonizer.
During the first millennium A.D., the language first spread via trade between the Chinchas and neighbouring peoples, notably in Cajamarca and as far as Ecuador.




Shuar
The Shuars are one of an ethnolinguistic group of Native American peoples living in the forests of the upper Amazon that were designated by the first Spanish invaders as Jivaros meaning wild.
Since the Second World War, the Shuar territory has been divided into two by the border separating Ecuador and Peru.
About 40,000 of them speak this language throughout the territory mentioned above.
The Amazonian populations do not have writing, their culture is based on the oral transmission of their History (myths, legends and shamanic rites).
Despite the strong penetration of Christian religions, shamanic animism is still very present and it is common to integrate an "Our Father" into a healing rite.
These two Amerindian languages are now an integral part of Ecuadorian culture. It is a great step forward for these peoples long persecuted by the colonizers.

Arms of the equator 

The current coat of arms of Ecuador was adopted by the Ecuadorian Congress in 1900, during the presidency of General Eloy Alfaro.
In the upper part, you can see a sun in the center of a zodiac; you can see the signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer. These signs refer to the historical months of March, April, May and June, which correspond to the struggle between the Ecuadorians and General Flores, who came to power by force. Since the snows of Chimborazo, the Guayas River has symbolized brotherhood among Ecuadorians.
A steamboat floats on the upper part of the river. He refers to the first steamboat built on the Pacific coast, on the Guayaquil shipyards, in 1831. Its mast is a caduceus, symbol of navigation and trade.
The coat of arms rests on the axe and beams of the lictors of the Roman Republic, emblems of republican authority. It is surrounded by four national flags housing two branches, one palm, which symbolizes glory, and the other laurel, which represents triumph.
Above the coat of arms stands an Andean condor, with its open wings, ready to throw itself at the enemy; it symbolizes the power, greatness and value of the Ecuadorians.

Flag of the equator 

The flag of Ecuador was adopted on 26 September 1860.
Symbolic :
Yellow symbolizes gold, the abundance of agriculture and the natural wealth of the country.
Blue represents the ocean and the clear, clear sky (vision for the future) of Ecuador.
Finally the red symbolizes the blood shed by the heroes who bequeathed the Fatherland and Freedom (Patria y Libertad).
The flag of Ecuador resembles those of Colombia and Venezuela, all three deriving from the flag of Great Colombia. The Great Colombia is the name given to the Republic of Colombia from 1821 to 1831 to differentiate it from the present Colombia. The country was born from the independence of part of South America from Spain.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of Ecuador located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, at the latitude of the equator. Isabela Island, the largest island, is some 1,102 km off the coast of Ecuador. A distance of 929 km separates the mainland from the most eastern of the islands, San Cristóbal. The archipelago is composed of about forty volcanic islands, it forms a province of Ecuador since 1832 with Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for capital. It is home to the Galapagos National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Galápagos Islands, in Spanish Islas Galápagos, are also called "Archipelago of Columbus", in Spanish Archipiélago de Colón. Unofficially, they are also called "the Enchanted", in Spanish Las Encantadas.
"Islas de los Galápagos" means "islands of sea turtles", in classic French Isles Tortoises.

The Galapagos Islands were uninhabited when they were explored by the Spanish in 1535. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the archipelago became a meeting place for pirates and buccaneers.
In 1835, Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, studied the diversity of species.
Ecuador officially annexed the Galapagos Archipelago in 1832. About a century later, the islands were inhabited by only a few settlers and were used as prison colonies, which were closed in 1959.
The archipelago officially became a national park in 1959. Organized tourism began in the late 1960s; several tens of thousands of people now visit the islands each year.

Among the 48 eminences that make up the Galapagos archipelago, it should be noted that only 19 of them are islands. The other 29 are uninhabited one, with the entire local population concentrated on the islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela and Floreana.
The Galapagos Islands are islands of volcanic origin that emerged from a basaltic plateau.

The fauna is unique in the national park, each island contains its specific fauna. The archipelago is home to 58 species of birds of which 28 are endemic, unique varieties of reptiles and much more.
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador, or CONAIE), is a general organization created in 1986, with the aim of bringing together a large number of communities and local or regional associations of indigenous peoples, to act on the Ecuadorian national political scene by relaying with its representatives their legitimate historical, economic and socio-cultural aspirations.
From the end of the 19th century, the acceleration in population growth became formidable: from about 150,000 inhabitants at the end of the 16th century, 500,000 at the end of the 18th, 1,000,000 in 1886, the population multiplied by 10 and was estimated at 10,500,000 inhabitants in 1989.

Chimborazo

Chimborazo is a volcano in Ecuador that rises to an altitude of 6,263 m and is located near Riobamba, about 180 km south of Quito. It is the highest peak in the Ecuadorian Andes, dominating an area of 50,000 km2, its base being 20 km in diameter.
He is nicknamed Taita Chimborazo, that is Papa Chimborazo, the mother being Mama Tungurahua. It appears on the coat of arms of Ecuador.
Chimborazo can be defined as the highest peak in the world, considering it the farthest from the centre of the Earth2. Indeed, the earth has an ellipsoid shape, whose radius is about 21 km greater at the equator than at the poles, and the Chimborazo is closer to this equator, more than the peaks of the Himalayas. The summit of Chimborazo is therefore also the point on the Earth's surface at which the minimum distance to the Sun during a year is the smallest.

Mito y leyendas 

EL HUACAY - SIQUI
The reference of this zoomorphic being comes from the north of the province of Pichincha.

According to the story, the huacay sinqui is a young man who had a very sick mother. He took care of her every night, however, one of those nights when he left his mother's company to buy medicine, but when he came across a girl he was in love with, who invited him to a dance, he accepted by mistake and completely forgot about her dying mother, so during the party, they approached her to tell her that her mother had died, to which he replied almost unimportantly "there will be time to cry". So, when Tupa, the supreme god, became angry with him, after seeing his little sentimental value towards his mother, he punished him by turning him into a bird that cries at night.

The half-breed and the indigenous peasants describe him as a bird that leaves the gorges at six o'clock in the afternoon and emits a lugubrious song similar to human tears. He attacks people on his roads, causing accidents, and when he finds clothes and diapers of children drying outside the house, he looks at them and the children become tears, they say.

For this reason, precautions are taken to ensure that these clothes are not left outside the house after this period. Moreover, it is said that the Chiflon is so small that, especially when it is cold, it becomes present, to possess the body of this man or woman who feels an extreme cold to make him or her a joke or two. That's why in Pichincha it's very common to hear grandmothers say, "Wrap yourself warmly, son, so you don't get caught by the Chiflon ».

CARBUNCO
It is a fabulous animal, typical of the Sierra of our country. In the central and northern areas of this region, it is described as the devil's dog, which has a star in the middle of its forehead and eyes of fire that paralyze anyone who sees it.

It sometimes appears in dark nights and solitary places.
The one who crosses this being can be favoured, since those who know this legend say that anthrax gives and vomits a golden ball encrusted with precious stones... but the one who receives these jewels must not be ambitious, because if he does - immediately - anthrax discovers it, removes the treasure and swallows it, disappearing immediately in darkness, while the one who has shown himself ambitious can be blind or paralysed.

There are a great number of Ecuadorian legends and myths, it would take too long to make you know all this folk culture. If you want a blog article dedicated to these creatures of legends do not hesitate to share it with me in the comments.

Equator pyramid 

A fact that is little known in the world, but that we are here to show it, to reveal a little of our hidden history, of what does not appear in any school book. I have always thought that the fact that pyramids exist all over the world is due to the simple fact of their logic and their relatively simple construction for ancient cultures, as the saying goes: "It is much easier to stack pyramid-shaped stones than parthenon-shaped stones. However, there are details that we cannot ignore are repeated tirelessly and share identical characteristics.

We will begin by talking about something popular in my country, but perhaps unknown in the rest of the countries: The Pyramids of Cochasqui.

The Pyramids of Cochasqui (located 52 km north of Quito) is a supposed pre-Inca astronomical complex, a legacy of the Quitu-Cara culture, supposedly built again in the 5th century AD. These pyramids, 15 in total, have the particularity of being "cut" at the top and having a "seal" instead of a tip. Cochas literally means'landing in the middle of the water' or'half the world', a concept that gives us many ideas to fly, could we speak of an Ecuadorian Atlantis, or a complex Egyptian Giza? Let us remember that the complex of the Giza plateau in Egypt was also called by the ancient Egyptians as the very center of the planet earth.

In Bulk 

No time change 
You may not know it but Ecuador does not have a time zone like the others. It may sound silly, but here the debate of moving forward or back an hour for summer or winter time does not take place. Indeed, Ecuador as some other countries around do not change time. This means it won't be darker in winter (or summer depending on where you are). Isn't that beautiful?

Ecuador has many things to offer you thanks to its rich ancient culture and its many traditions. I've only done an overview of the previous themes, it would be far too long to detail everything in a single article.
If you want to know more about a specific topic, write it in the comments, I would be happy to create a more detailed blog post.

viernes, 6 de abril de 2018

how to prepare for the best vacation possible

In order to best prepare your vacation what are you planning? Are you the type to plan everything by the millimeter or rather the adventurer type?
In this blog article we offer you the essential steps to any good journey that respects itself. It is up to you to select information that concerns you for the perfect planning of your holidays.

1) When and how to leave? 


Choice of destination
First of all it goes without saying, you must choose a destination (certainly you already have it in mind). The idea is to select a starting city instead of a country in general. It is easier to plan your trip from Zagreb than from Croatia. Obviously, the more you do it in advance, the lower the rates will be, but not only. In order to fix you on a destination, informed you on Internet or to exchange with other people in order to select some useful advices.

Country information
One of the most important criteria when choosing a destination is the political and health conditions of the country chosen. Vida Verde recommends this website (available in French and German) to learn more about your destination. http://www.safetravel.ch.

Seasonality is also important in predicting the number of visitors you are likely to find. During the high season mass tourism is generally quite dense. If you decide to go out of season, you will get very advantageous prices, but you may encounter closed activities and monuments.
Furthermore, there is nothing more unpleasant than making a 15-hours trip and then having a week of rain. If it is obviously possible for you to place a holiday whenever you wish.

Transport on site / Flexible itinerary 
Holidays often have their share of unexpected things. Preparing your itinerary too carefully could be dangerous if there is any delay. Plan routes and activities in case of changes. Park your schedule in mind, but the purpose of the holiday is to enjoy and rest and not to go back home stressed out. Create a short list with the monuments you want to visit, restaurants, places of interest, etc. This will give you an overview on the spot and help you avoid getting lost.
Think about your means of transportation. Will you have to take a taxi? The subway? Take long walks? If you take public transport, make sure you know how it works in the country you are travelling to.

Thing to take away
Having taken into account all the weather and seasonality factors mentioned above, you are able to write a checklist with all the necessary equipment (clothes according to the temperature, toiletries, special medicines, bath linen, etc). Doing a checklist in advance prevents you from forgetting essential things that you may forget in the stress of the last day.

2) Organize logistics 

Evaluate expenses 
The cost of your trip will depend largely on what you choose to spend. Spend an hour or two determining what your trip will cost you and your fellow adventurers. Consider including airfare and transportation costs.
Always leave yourself a margin and prefer overpricing rather than underpricing. During a trip, unexpected expenses are inevitable.
- If the result of your calculations is higher than what you are willing to pay, save where you can. If this means shortening your stay, make this sacrifice.
- Once the expenses have been evaluated, you have a more or less defined vision of the amount you will have to pay to go on vacation. So you need to think about saving money for the trip.

do some research
By planning your trip in advance, you can save money on offers and other things you can find online, for your flights or accommodation on site. Find out what activities you can do and look for travel tips for your destination. Look for bargains and buy your hotel nights, museum tickets and flights at reduced prices.
For some destinations like Rome, you can book tickets to the Colosseum and the Vatican. These tickets will allow you to get ahead of anyone who does not have a ticket (queues are often very long). You should go to check if such ticket exists for the places you covet.

It is generally advisable to book your plane tickets about 2 months in advance: this is when airlines start to sell their flights, before going up the price for last-minute travellers.
If you are travelling abroad, take the time to learn the basics of the country's language. You will be very happy to have made the effort and your interlocutors too. Prepare a short list of important words by theme (Restaurant, transport, greetings, etc.)

Travel credit card
If you can, get a travel credit card. Today, many credit cards are associated with major airlines. You can earn miles every time you make an expense. You can use this card for all your daily expenses and see your mileage balance skyrocket. Just make sure you don't get into the red!
Many airlines also have partnerships with department stores such as Amazon or Apple. You can then earn miles by shopping in these stores. What more could you ask for? You shop there anyway, so why not take advantage of it to get a free flight.

3) Taking action 

Book hotel and flight 
Once all your research are done, it's time to get down to business. This is the big moment for reservations. For the flights, if you are flexible on the duration of the journey and that you do not wish to pay too expensive we propose you these 2 sites: kayak.com; skyscanner.com 
Be sure to either download the application to have all bookings in one place or print all documents to prove your booking. 

Travel insurance 
Think about your travel insurance. If you may not want to pay full pot for a minor risk, still make sure you're protected in case you can't travel on the dates you booked your tickets. A travel insurance for one week will usually cost you about 30 dollars. It's not very expensive if you think about the security you'll gain.
Also remember when renting a car to take out additional insurance (certain a little more expensive, but it avoids you having to pay astronomical amounts in case of problem). 

Valid passport 
If you are going abroad, make sure your passport is still valid. In many countries, it must now still be valid three months after your departure date. To travel to certain countries, you will also need a visa. Is it the case of your destination? If so, apply for your visa as soon as possible. If you can't get your visa in time, you can say goodbye to your trip. Unless you find yourself facing a corrupt officer who will settle for a few bills, you will have to turn around and go home.
Keep your passport, travel documents, visa and other such items in a pocket. It would be best to make copies of these documents and keep them in a safe place. It will then be much easier for you to replace a document that you have lost.

Inform family of departure
Inform your loved ones of your departure. Always inform at least one friend of your departure. If possible, leave a number or address where you can be contacted. You can thus be warned in the event of an accident or other event. And if something goes wrong on your end, your loved ones will know where to find you. 
Don't do like Aron Ralston who left without warning anyone and found himself stuck for 127 hours alone in the gorges of Utah (reference to the film 127 hours).

4) Organize details 

Vaccine 
What could be more dangerous than going to a destination and realizing on the spot that you do not have the necessary vaccines. In some parts of the world certain types of vaccines are mandatory if you wish to enter. Take the time to inform yourself on various sites including: safetravel.ch mentioned above.

Travel light
On vacation, no one ever said to themselves, "I'm so glad I brought my entire wardrobe. Save space in your suitcase for the souvenirs you buy. Also, travelling with a lot of luggage is impractical and restricts your freedom of movement. Only bring what you need.
Just bring basic clothes and two pairs of shoes. No matter how long your trip, you won't need more clothes. A few simple t-shirts and a few pants, shorts or skirts will suffice. You can then assemble them into different outfits.
Roll up your clothes before placing them in your suitcase. This will save you space and allow you to bring back this authentic Tiki torch if you feel like it.

Let's GO 
Get out of here! Itinerary? Check. Passport and visa? Check. Various reservations? Check. All you have to do now is leave and enjoy your vacation. That'll be the easy part. Now it's time to relax!
Leave your personal and professional troubles behind. Otherwise you will have prepared this trip for nothing and will still feel at home. Forget your computer and your phone, it's time for adventure!

viernes, 9 de marzo de 2018


10 Ecuadorian foods you need to try during your stay

The Ecuadorian kitchen is not very well known if you are not familiar with a little bit of the Andes culture. However it very important for family here, because they really like to share a good meal with family or friends. What’s better than a good little dish to learn more about this rich culture?
Today we are going to present you some of the most famous meals from all around the Ecuador. Sometimes you will find one of them only in a certain area of the country. It is mainly due to the different regions (The Amazon, the Sierra and the Pacific Coast).
Across the country you’ll find a broad spectrum of national and regional dishes, including shrimp, toasted corn and pastries stuffed with spiced meats.

Appetizer

Soups are without doubt Ecuador’s specialty. Most lunches and dinners are accompanied by a savory soup as the first course. Locro, made with cheese, avocado and potato, sounds a bit odd, but is actually quite tasty.

Caldo de bolas de verde // green plantain dumpling soup
Caldo de bolas or sopa de bolas de verde is a typical soup from the Coastal region in Ecuador. It is a soup made with dumplings or balls made from Green plantains and mixed with meat and vegetables. It is served in a beef broth with corn and yuca. You can serve it with lemon and Aji hot sauce (an Ecuadorian hot sauce made with hot peppers, cilantro, garlic, onion and lime).

Fried cheese empanadas // Empanadas de viento
Empanadas de viento or fried cheese empanadas are the most traditional and the most delicious meal from Ecuador. They are filled with cheese and fried until crispy. This empanada de viento is served with sugar, but you have other kind of empanadas salted. these empanadas de viento are the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack but you can also eat them as an appetizer.

Diches

The signature dish of the country, however, is ceviche, a seafood dish marinated in lemon and onions.

Thin beef skewers // Ecuadorian carne en palito
These grilled thin beef skewers, or Ecuadorian carne en palito, are made with thinly sliced meat seasoned with orange juice, garlic, achiote and cumin. It is eaten generally during carnival or in honor of the virgen del Cisne every September.




Vegetarian ceviche de chochos or Ceviche
One of the most popular street foods in the Ecuadorian Sierra or Andean Highlands is a vegetarian ceviche made with chochos in a sauce of lime, orange and tomato with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. But there are a lot of different kinds of Ceviche, mainly mad with seafood of fish.

Braised goat stew // Ecuadorian seco de chivo
Ecuadorian seco de chivo is a goat stew dish braised in a sauce of garlic, cumin, achiote, oregano, peppers, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, chicha or fermented corn drink, naranjilla or lulo juice, panela and spices. Seco de chivo is goat stew and is special occasion food in Ecuador. Traditionally, seco de chivo was made with chicha, a fermented corn beverage favored by the Incas. Nowadays beer is more common. Tart fruit juices are often added as well for added flavor and to offset any gaminess.

Ecuadorian churrasco // Steak with fried egg
Chrrasco is a plat well known in Brazil or Argentina but a little less in Ecuador. It is like the little cousin of the Brazilian one. It is made with a thin cut of steak, and it actually refers to an entire plate of food: a grilled, or sometimes fried with onions and peppers, steak topped with a fried egg served with rice, French fries, ripe plantains, a small salad, avocado slices and hot sauce.

Cuy
Travel in the highlands of Inca country, and you're likely to be offered cuy, a traditional Andean entree, on the menu.
Cuy, alternately called Cobayo or conejillo de indias is a guinea pig or cavy. The taste is compared to rabbit, thought delicious, and though difficult to accept for people in other countries who regard guinea pigs as pets, the cuy is a staple of Andean cuisine. They are called "cuy" for the sound they make cuy, cuy.
The taste of guinea pig is difficult to describe and depends on how it is cooked. In Ecuador it is often cooked over an open spit; it reminds me of chicken wings or some other kind of dark meat.

Desert

Dulce de higos or fig preserves in syrup
This is a very traditional desert here in Ecuador. It is made with figs preserved in spiced syrup of panela / piloncillo or simply brown sugar and spices. This desert could be served in a humble family as well as a famous restaurant. These caramelized figs are usually served with a slice of fresh cheese, queso fresco or quesillo, to help balance the sweetness.

Pineapple flan // Flan de piña
In Ecuador, especially on the coast, it is very common to find flans made with pineapple, coconut, mango, or other fruit. Pineapple flan, also known as flan de piña or queso de piña, is custard like dessert made with fresh pineapple juice, sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla and rum.
There is a variant of the flan, the dessert known as pineapple cheese in Ecuador is a cheesecake to which pineapple is added and is very popular in the country. It doesn't need to be baked, which makes it an even easier dessert to make. As it is cold, it is a dessert especially consumed in summer.

Beverages

Canelazo and naranjillazo spiced drinks
Canelazo is a traditional spiced hot drink from the highlands in Ecuador. The original canelazo recipe is made by boiling water with cinnamon and sugar or panela, and then it is mixed with a local sugar cane alcohol called punta or aguardiente. It is mainly appreciate in Quito because it is generally cold during nights. This is where hot canelazo comes in; if you are feeling the cold a drink of canelazo will definitely warm you up.

Colada Morada // Ecuadorian spiced berry and purple corn drink
Colada morada or spiced berry and purple corn drink is a traditional Ecuadorian drink made with fruits, spices, and purple corn flour. It is prepared for the day of the Deceased or el Dia de los Difuntos celebrations in Ecuador. It is a day to honor and remember all the loved ones who have passed away. As with most Latin holidays and events, there is always a food aspect to any special day, in this case one of those food components is a thick purple drink called colada morada. This drink is made with fruits, spices, and purple/black corn flour. It is typically served with sweet breads shaped in the form of dolls called guaguas de pan.

Colada de avena con naranjilla or Ecuadorian oatmeal drink
Colada de avena con naranjilla, also known as refresco de avena or sometimes just quaker ,  is a refreshing drink made from oats and fruit.
Colada is generally served with breakfast or lunch but it is more appreciate by kids after the school. The most common way to prepare it, is with oats, water, cinnamon, panela or hard brown sugar and a very tart fruit called naranjilla.
You can make it also with milk or other kind of fruits (pineapple, maracuya or passion fruit, babaco or mountain papaya).

It is only a little view of the culture and the enormous variety of the Ecuadorian cuisine. A large number of these dishes are very simple to find at the market or restaurants. The stomach is the most effective way to perceive the way of life of a country's population. We wish you a good lunch.

jueves, 22 de febrero de 2018

things to do before coming to Ecuador

Things to do before arriving in Ecuador 

Located between Colombia and Peru, Ecuador is a country in Latin America that is often little-known. 
It has one of the highest capitals in the world, based at 2'800 meters above sea level Quito overlooks its compatriots. 
The country itself has a very varied fields due to its high concentration of volcanoes. Speaking of volcanoes, Ecuador has the highest one in the world, the Chimborazo reaching an altitude of 6,263 meters.
It is a country divided into three distinct regions: the Pacific Coast, the Andean Cordillera and the Ecuadorian Amazon. Added to this are the Galapagos, a unique wildlife reservoir in the world.

Seasons 

Ecuador has a pleasant tropical climate that varies from region to region. The climate is very changeable, you can quickly pass from the marvellous sun to a torrential rain in a few hours.
There are 2 less and less differentiated seasons in Ecuador: 
  • The rainy season: from December to May, the climate is hot and humid.
  • The dry season: from June to November, the climate is dry with cooler temperatures.

Jetlag

Ecuador is in the GMT -5 zone (-6 for Galapagos), which corresponds to minus 7 hours in summer, and minus 6 hours in winter compared to Switzerland.

Visas 

Entry Visa: You must have a valid passport with an expiry date of 6 months after your return date. Usually you do not need a Visa if you want to make a tourist stay of less than 3 months and according to the country you come from. These conditions may change. Please check with the Ecuadorian Consulate in your country before departure to confirm this.

Money

In Ecuador, the official currency is the US dollar USD. Most credit cards are accepted in department stores and restaurants, and you can withdraw cash from domestic banks such as Pichincha Bank. 
It is advisable not to carry too much money when you walk in the street. 

Tips 

It is customary in Ecuador to reward the guide and driver who accompanied you throughout your trip.
At the end of your stay, do not forget to reward the work of those who will have "pampered" you throughout your journey by taking to heart to make you discover their country with passion.
We remind you that tips from guides and drivers are not included as they are not billed.

vaccinations

No vaccinations are mandatory in Ecuador, but we do advise you to be up-to-date on the "typical" vaccines of the traveller such as DT Polio, Hepatitis A and B. The yellow fever vaccine and malaria treatment are highly recommended for any stay in the Amazon.


Electricity

Standard American plug (2 flat plugs, 110 V, 60 Hz). Provide a universal or US-specific adapter.


Cars rent

The minimum age required according to the rental companies is often 25 years. You will be required to present an identity document and your country's driver's licence at the time of booking and at each police checkpoint. Road conditions in Ecuador are generally good, but the indications are not always present. We recommend that you exercise extreme caution and consult the insurance coverage limits. Driving in Quito during rush hour can be difficult, so we advise you to avoid working hours and rainy days (yes Ecuadorians generally don't like the rain). 


Security 

Ecuador is a fairly safe country. It does not present any particular danger to travellers who take a minimum of precautions and use common sense.

We recommend in particular:
  • Prohibit external signs of wealth,
  • to travel "compact",
  • Do not leave your bags and cameras unattended,
  • to use the safes in hotels when they are available,
  • take with you a photocopy of your documents (passport, driving licence,...)



miércoles, 7 de febrero de 2018

9 alternatives activities to do during the carnaval 2018 in Quito.

This weekend celebrates the end of winter all over the world. Ecuador is not to be outdone with its famous carnival which will take place from 10 to 14 February. The Ecuadorian carnival is very cultural and is celebrated with water, carnival foam, talcum powder, eggs and flour to paint your face or any kind of vegetable paint. There are differents activities involving children, youth and adults, have made this festival become a tourist and cultural event of great importance in the city. Artistic shows, parades with allegorical cars, among many other activities, have made the image of the carnival with water games, ink, flour and oil, fade away, to turn it into an event colorful and full of tradition, which for 4 days floods the streets of the city with a lot of rhythm and fun.

We prefer calm and tranquility during this period. It is why we are going to purpose you 9 alternatives activities that you can perform with your family and your friends during this weekend.

Outdoor activities:
Parque Arqueológico y Ecológico Rumipamba: This park is an outdoor museum site in the ancient human settlement on the slopes of the Pichincha.
Rumipamba means Valley of Stone. The Archaeological and Ecological Park Rumipamba shows us a small fraction of what was the occupation of Quito before the arrival of the Incas. The park is open from 09h00 to 16h00, Wednesday to Sunday. The park is free for everyone and it is a good place to relax in nature.
If you are interested this is the exact address of the park: Av. Mariana de Jesús y Av. Mariscal Sucre. (Av. Occidental).

Quilotoa
Discover one of Ecuador's most beautiful places, the Quilotoa volcano.
You have the possibility to pass by a travel agency to organize your day. Usually, the tour includes bus, lunch, dinner and guided tour.
It is highly recommended to wear warm clothes, walking shoes, sun cream and water.
This tour is amazing and takes you out of the capital for a little amount of time.

Museums
Visita Teatralizada
Have you heard the stories told inside the recollect church of San Diego, one of the best magical places of the city? Time seems to have forgotten to pass through there... Walk alongside with characters to discover this treasure of Quito on a special night.
It is a guided tour with professional disguised like in ancient era. You are going to visit San Diego in some another way.
Date: Saturday 10 February 2018
Departures: 19h00 and 20h00
General value: $10.00 - Differential: $8.00
Meeting point: Handicrafts Shop El Quinde (Mirror and Venezuela, corner)

Un mirador hacia las estrellas
Quito Astronomical Observatory was founded in 1873, this Ecuadorian scientific and cultural institution is located in Quito's La Alameda Park. This Observatory is in charge of three different activities sectors, Astronomy, education and training with the aim of investigating the peculiar and little studied equatorial skies.

Quito's Astronomical Observatory is one of the oldest in South America and the only observatory in Ecuador. The National Polytechnic School manages the Quito Astronomical Observatory.
In addition, the Observatory has relied almost from its beginnings on a meteorological station, the same one that studies and reports the different climatic variations of the city.
There is also a Museum that you can get, to know in a personal and vivid way the history of the instruments used by the first astronomers and scientists of the country.

It is an activity very rewarding if you like local history and space. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday (10:00 to 17:00). 

Theater

If you like theater you are welcome to assist to one of those plays.

LA MUJER, EL MUERTO Y SU AMANTE is a musical comedy about the sweet taste of revenge written by Mario Bert. The story tell the life of a woman who wakes up in what appears to be her home's kitchen as she prepares the most important dinner of her life. In the process the woman takes us through a journey full of laughter, spite, love and sensuality. But something's wrong with this kitchen. Things disappear and the wife keeps remembering her late husband and lover, her mother and a rabbit her best friend.
For more information we encourage you to go to this website: http://www.quitocultura.info/event/la-mujer-el-muerto-y-su-amante/

NO QUIERO MORIR VIRGEN is a musical Comic Poetic Evening with Juana Guarderas. The play "No quiero morir virgen" is a comic monologue by Juana Guarderas with an interactive proposal that raises different games with the public from various gags and comic numbers that arise from the occurrences of this funny "damsel morlaca". During all the stage you are going to interact with Mr Guarderas and it is very funny. For more information about time schedules and prices please go to that link: http://www.quitocultura.info/event/no-quiero-morir-virgen-6/.

Carnavals
Carnaval de la Interculturalidad
The Eugenio Espejo Zonal Administration will hold the "District Carnival of Interculturality" at the United Nations Boulevard, on Saturday 10 February from 10h00 to 13h00.
This event will feature a cultural carnival with ten characters, icons of the festival, which will be led by the manager Lorena Nieto. There will be six dance groups, two musical groups and the participation of a village band.

Around 200 local managers representing the interculturality and diversity of carnival in the country will be present.

Festival de Carnaval Ciudad Mitad del Mundo 2018
In Ciudad Mitad del Mundo there is a special carnival with a lot of differents artists. This Carnaval lasts 4 days and entry costs are the same as usual ($5 for a normal ticket and $2.50 for a differentiated ticket). Great artists and surprises for everyone. There is a list with all artists for 4 days: Paulina Tamayo, Bathaola Orchestra, Jaime Enrique Aymara, Sweet Poison, Skala Group, The Rodriguezes, Los Garles Trio, Trio Valentino, Dance Group Revelations of my Land, Dance Group Ñucanchi Allpa, Pumallacta Dance Group.

Other:
If your thing is to dress up, but you don't like the carnival atmosphere, you still have the option of going to Inayusha Bloody Fest 2018. The Greatest Comic, Anime, Cosplay, Dubbing and Video Games Convention is back!

Anime Bloody Valentine fest (Inuyasha) Anime Convention is from the Friday 9th Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 February at the Quito Chamber of Commerce) with great national and international guests!
If you are interested you can find more information about guests and activities there: http://www.quitocultura.info/event/inuyasha-bloody-fest-2018/

Finally we would like to recommend you to enjoy your festive weekend either at the carnival or in the activities that we have proposed to you.

Buen fin de semana a todos.

jueves, 13 de abril de 2017

Holy Week



In Ecuador the celebration of the holy week has some particular characteristics. The Processions around the city and the preparation of “Fanesca” a Typical ecuadorian dish are the main activities that people use to do a long of this this week.


We celebrate de holy week in Viva Verde Spanish School preparing “Fanesca”. It´s important to say that each region of Ecuador have a different way to prepare though is essential the use of the grains.


In the following link you could find the full recipe we use to prepare “Fanesca”

http://especiales.eluniverso.com/recetas-ecuatorianas/fanesca/

by: Joselito 

martes, 7 de marzo de 2017

Ecuadorian Culture




Lear about the culture of Ecuador

The culture in Ecuador have the influence of indigenous and the Spanish people from colonial`s time, so that why we can find a mixture in their buildings, crafts, food and music.




In Vida Verde Spanish School, we usually have break where students learn about our culture. They enjoy these activities because is something different for them and also they feel curious about the musical, about the food, is common seeing our students fascinated about the fruits and ingredients that we show in the classes lesson we bring every week.





 Cultural resources make different this country. 

You could also be part of this amazing family “Vida Verde Spanish School”
Check out our website 
https://www.vidaverde.com/en/spanish-school-quito-ecuador.html