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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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). 


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).

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.

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). 


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:

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:

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.

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:

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”

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

martes, 14 de febrero de 2017

Get to know our Spanish School in Ecuador

In keeping with our name, we strive to keep our Spanish school green. Rosa, Vida Verde's founder and director, loves to grow plants indoor and outdoor around the school. :)
Behind the school there is a large patio where teachers and students have coffee and lunch breaks and can enjoy Quito's marvellous sunny days. Many of our school activities also take place there. In the kitchen, coffee and tea is available all day. Wifi is available for all students. The classrooms are private and cozy with plenty of daylight.


Our Spanish school is located in a very pleasant neighborhood close to the tourist district, in the heart of modern Quito. The historic colonial center ("Old Town"), local markets, several parks and many other attractions worth a visit are close by. At our office you can pick up a handy street map of Quito on which we have marked our Spanish school, several parks, neighborhoods and other points of interest.

Vida Verde means Green Life!

Not only do we adorn our school with plants and flowers, but Vida Verde is a part of the growing green movement in Ecuador. We have built partnerships with selected environmental and conservation-based projects. Furthermore we support the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm with 10% of the school's profits.
Vida Verde offers a number of exciting options for students to both study Spanish and participate in responsible ecotourism at the same time. Through our Study in the Jungle and Study on the Coast programs, teachers accompany students and give classes "on location" as part of an integrated study/tourism adventure. We can also assist you in organizing internships within our green partnerships.

viernes, 18 de diciembre de 2015



In ecuador, christmas has a very familiar atmosphere. Traditionally, the whole family reunites to a big dinner early at night. In order to give "Papá Noel", Santa Claus, the chance to bring the presents at midnight, everybody goes to bed early. Then, at 4am in the morning, the family gets up again to open the presents that have been placed beneath the christmas tree.

Other than in the US or in many parts of europe, most of the christmas trees in ecuador are actually fake trees, as it is forbidden to sell of by pine trees because of their rarity in south america.
But one tradition that is similar to the US is the food: Turkey is the typical dish, but as the bird is very expensive, many families compromise by serving chicken.
A definetly typical food from ecuador are the "Pristiños", a sweet dessert made out of fried dough with honey.