YFU Switzerland

Montecristi

So this weekend I finally saw a bit more of Manabí. Manabí is the name of the province I live in. Portoviejo is the capital.
Ecuador has 24 provinces all together. These are subdivided in cantons. The province of Manabí is one of the three most populated provinces in Ecuador. And of course everyone wants to know, where I know this from… Wikipedia my friends, Wikipedia 😉

So, about my weekend. On Saturday we went to Montecristi. That’s a canton (and a town) about 40 minutes away from Portoviejo.

View over Montecristi

View over Montecristi

After leaving 1 hour later than originally planned (totally normal here in Ecuador), we drove over the “highway” (The quotation mark is definitely needed here) to Montecristi. The town is known for it’s beautiful handmade accessories such as Panama hats (that actually originated from Ecuador), bags, wood art, jewelry and much more. We always travel by car here and I start liking it because in that way I can see so much of the country. The “highway” leads through villages, nature and cities and it’s very exciting to watch outside of the window.

In Montecristi we visited a “tourist place”. Maybe you should know that in Ecuador most of the tourists are native people that want to visit other places of their country. So I still was the only

“Gringa” (this is how they call white people here) up there. We visited a museum about “Alfaro”, a

The "tourist place"

The “tourist place”

very important ecuadorian president. I didn’t really understand what he had to do with Montecristi, but I think it was something very important. The guide talked a looooot, so I soon didn’t listen anymore. I actually was surprised about how many Ecuadorians were visiting the museum and how good it was equipped. During the guided tour a girl started talking to me. She asked me if I was an Ecuadorian and when I said no, she wanted to know where I came from. We actually had quite a good conversation about Ecuador, exchange years and school, even though she had to say every sentence about three times because I didn’t understand. This is something I just love about Ecuador. The people are so open and friendly. I don’t think you can say they are more curious than swiss people, but here they are not afraid to ask. In Switzerland everyone keeps their questions to themselves.
After that we went to look at all the shops that were standing next to the museum. They had a lot of beautiful things there 🙂 .

Camila and me in one of the shops. She's wearing a handmade Sombrero

Camila and me in one of the shops. She’s wearing a handmade Sombrero

Then we drove futher to Manta to eat lunch. Manta is known as the city with the best food in whole Ecuador. We ate at a restaurant right next to the street (there are a lot of those here), and it was delicious. Just like everything here actually 🙂 . Then we drove home but already one hour later we drove to Manta again to eat with the whole family. They told me that the restaurant was one of the best in whole Manta, but the prices were still lower than at a swiss lunch restaurant. There we ate delicious food again and we came home at about 11.30 at night.

On the next day we had to get out of the house at 7.30, so you can maybe imagine how hard it was to get up. Especially for me, because I don’t sleep well at night. Then we drove to Santa Ana, a little town next to Portoviejo. It has a very nice church, where my host great-grandmother wanted to join the mess. People here are very religious. Most of the citizens are catholic. I’m not very religious and I’ve never been in a catholic mess before, so it was all quite new for me. I didn’t understand anything and at some point I got really sad. I thought about our church in Switzerland, how my parents don’t like to go to the church and how much I miss home.

In Santa Ana (Luis, me, Maria and my abuelita)

In Santa Ana (Luis, me, Maria and my abuelita)

After that we drove through the town, and I must say I liked it a lot. It was exactly what I always had imagined Ecuador to be like.  I hope I can go there again soon and walk through the streets.

After that we drove to Portoviejo again and bought some typical sweets from Rocafuerte. Rocafuerte, a little town, is know for the “dulces” they produce. Just like everything here they are extremely sweet, so I don’t like all of them, but it is really great to taste so many different kinds of food here.

That’s it for now 🙂

PS: Sorry for the quality of some photos. I usually don’t bring my camera very often, because I don’t want to risk to lose it.