After some rescheduled flights, a night in Miami International Airport, and baggage lost and then found, my parents and I finally made it to Quito, Ecuador. We made a bumpy descent into Quito International, as it lays deep in the valleys of the Andes Mountains. Overlooking Quito, is a massive ~135 foot aluminum statue of the Virgin Mary, as she is depicted in the book of the Apocolypse with wings (pictured below). It is a replica of the Virgin Mary statue located in the San Franciscan Church and monastery (also pictured below). Our guide Andrea informed us that this was the oldest church in Quito, built in the 16th century.
The monastery next to it was abundant in different kinds of birds, the best I thought were the two talking parrots. We also visited the “White House” equivalent for Ecuador, which is located in the center of Quito. Though the president chose not to live there, he works there and is said to be very open with the people. Across from him is the mayor’s office, and there were protests run by the indigenous people, asking to have a five minute conversation with the president, their cause I am not quite sure because I can’t read Spanish.
It has been absolutely gorgeous in Quito, 75-80 degrees and sunny since we have been here which is very unusual for the rainy season. We have been staying in “Old Town” of Quito because it provides a richer sense of the history behind the culture of Ecuador. The streets are lined with beautiful old buildings dating back to the 1500s. What sticks out to me the most is the amount of yarn and fabric stores that we have passed, one per block I would say. It would make sense because the streets are just lined with merchants selling their beautiful handmade products. Sweaters, shawls, scarves, backpacks, you name it they have made it. Anywho, it has been a fantastic time in Quito. Between my dad and me we must have taken easily over a hundred photos, so I will post the highlights below. Tomorrow, we take off and then set sail for the Galapagos Islands!
The flag of Quito in front of a view of Old Town.
The original Virgin Mary statue, Ecuador is the only place in the world that portrays the Virgin Mary with wings. Photo credit to my father on this one.
The Replica standing over a group of children on a field trip.
There is a really good chocolate store and honey shop on this street. 🙂
As we stopped for a corn and beef aand cheese and plantain emanadas, we were sung “Guantanamera” by these two local gentlemen. My dad also took this photo (I was too busy scarfing my empandas).
This is one of two Presidential Palace Guards. They take 90 minute shifts standing outside to guard the palace. They are dressed in a traditional soldier’s uniform, however most soldiers did not wear these uniforms because they were expensive.
These are my two parrot friends located in the monastery of the Church of San Francisco. They are bilingual!!