Bonzai Hospitals? In Ecuador?

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A number of Ecuadorians grow bonsai trees as a hobby, or a passion in some cases. There are even bonsai clubs.

But what happens when your bonsai is not doing too well?

In the Quito area, there are clinics that can diagnose the ailment.

If the problem is minor, the tree can be discharged immediately.

But if the tree is in danger, it will have to remain “hospitalized.”

Okimono-Bonsái is one of the places where this service is provided.

Favio Delgado, the designer of the bonsai area at Quito’s Botanical Garden, runs the service. He has more than 40 years experience with these miniature trees. Some people leave their bonsai trees with him when they go on vacation, knowing they will receive the proper care.

There are other clinics including Taller Bonsái Ecuador and Clínica Bonsái Quito.

All of these places also offer advice for those who want to start with this ancient practice.

http://lahora.com.ec/inde…/noticias/fotoReportaje/1101985196

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about many other fascinating aspects of living in Ecuador.

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Reviving Andean Purple Corn

 

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-6-10-31-pmAndean purple corn has a sweet taste and a large amount of antioxidants. It also has a high amount of anthocyanins especially in the husk. Several studies say consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods could be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease.

But this variety of corn was close to disappearing in places like Chimborazo Province. It was not very popular and often sold in low quantities. So farmers stopped growing it.

Instead they planted the commercially popular white maíz which is used for mote. The purple corn is used to make the traditional Ecuadorian drink colada morada. But supermarkets began offering pre-cooked coladas or flour dyes.

Now there are efforts to revive production. The purple corn is said to be ideal for making chicha.

A community association produces two types of chicha without chemical additives, preservatives or coloring. They are sold at crafts markets in Riobamba and Quito.

Supporters are hoping farmers will revalue their native crops. They were alarmed to see the traditional chicha replaced by soda and other sugary drinks.

The association believes its most important achievement will be the recovery of the native culture.

To read the full article, please go here: http://www.elcomercio.com/tendencias/agricultores-chimborazo-maizmorado-alimentos-siembra.html

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. 

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Graffiti In Ecuador

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This is a work in Otavalo, Ecuador by the street artist Álvaro Córdova who goes by the name Tenaz or T-naz.

His street art is amazing.

He has no formal art training, just a special gift.

All of this is done with spray paints.

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. 

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Tigua Art: El Cóndor Enamorado

 

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In Tigua art (Cotopaxi Province), you will often see a woman riding on a condor. This is based on the legend “El cóndor enamorado.”

On the moorlands of Cotopaxi, there lived a girl who tended sheep. She was treated badly by her family, so she preferred to be in the field with the herd.

The god Pachacamac saw the suffering of the girl and decided to send his son, a condor, down to the moorlands.

The condor had the power to turn into a young man and he soon won the girl’s heart.

The condor took the girl to his nest on the rocks. The family, noticing the girl was missing, went looking for her. They rescued her and locked her in the house.

The girl, already in love, made an opening in the thatched roof. She held a splinter of smoking wood to signal her lover.

The condor immediately swooped down and grabbed her.

With the girl on his back, the two flew over the Quilotoa lake and to the top of the moor. The girl changed into a female condor.

In the moorlands, the couple consummated their union and gave birth to new generations of condors that populate the Andean region.

*Thanks to David Sasaki for telling this story on Ecuador Expats

 

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats.

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

The Rebirth Of The Sun

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This is a legend from the Tsáchila people in the Santo Domingo area about the rebirth of the sun.

Many years ago in the heavens, there was huge jaguar that lived in the dark. It had enormous jaws, eyes like lightning, extremely powerful claws and a gleaming coat.

One day, the animal walked angry and hungry and ate the sun in one bite.

Darkness fell on Earth.

The Tsáchilas lived in an endless night.

They constantly bumped into each other, so they preferred to shut themselves in their homes and not leave.

There was no way to plant or hunt and food was scarce.

More than once the desperate cries could be heard of those who were attacked by jungle beasts that hid in the shadows.

Confused by the absence of the sun, the moon did not come out.

The birds died and the rivers began to dry up because the rain stopped, having no guidance from celestial stars.

The Tsáchilas tried to make their own light by setting branches on fire, but to no avail. The sticks would only light in the hands of the elders. But they, the weakest, soon died.

Meanwhile, the jaguar of darkness with its jaws wide open, moved ever closer to homes, frightening the Tsáchilas.

The shamans suggested they could make their own light by turning a young man into the sun.

The son of a single mother was chosen for this important mission. He was dressed in beautiful garments and wore a golden crown. The young man was invited to partake of the ceremonial chicha. Bright tears came from his eyes.

Through their spells and magic, the shamans were able to elevate him into the sky, until people lost sight of him.

The next day, everyone expected to see the long-awaited light. But it was cloudy and stayed like that for three gloomy days.

On the fourth day, there was an incandescent light so bright that people could barely open their eyes.

The light was coming from the two eyes of young man who became the sun.

The people threw a stone skyward, hitting its target.

The sun now shone with just one eye, enough for everyone to enjoy the benefits of the light once again.

Source: Libro El recuerdo de los abuelos: literatura oral aborige
Illustrations by Octavio Córdova

 

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

The Ecuadorian Legend of El Panecillo

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 9.07.52 PMThis is a legend about El Panecillo, the famous hill in Quito. It apparently got its name because the shape reminded the Spaniards of the bread baked in Andalusia.

Before the conquistadors arrived, the hill was known as Yavirac. The Incas celebrated Inti Raymi, the Festival to the Sun there. During the solstice, people from various regions gathered to sing, dance and drink.

According to the legend, the last Inca emperor Atahualpa built a sun temple of pure gold there. After they executed Atahualpa, the gold-hungry Spaniards quickly marched to Quito. But they didn’t find a single nugget on Panecillo.

What they didn’t know is that the gold was inside the heart of the hill. There, hundreds of beautiful maidens who never grow old care for the sun temple. It’s said Atahualpa’s mother was also there.

If you ever manage to find the secret entrance, many dangers await you. Eventually you will come to the home of an old woman. She will get off her throne of solid gold and ask the visitor to take what’s on one of two tables: a table with a huge gold stone plus pearls, rubies and emeralds, or, a table with a corn tortilla, a cob of tender corn and mote.

If you choose the first table, you will likely end up with a piece of brick and common stones.

But if you choose the second table, the tortilla suddenly becomes a huge piece of solid gold. The tender corn turns into nuggets of silver, and the mote becomes bright beads.

The person who narrated this tale lived in a mansion on one side of Panecillo. He won’t tell you whether he visited the sun temple, but he loved to eat tortillas, tender corn and mote.

Thanks to: http://www.imaginaria.com.ar/03/5/leyendas2.htm

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

 

Ecuador Fables and Legends- Sany and The Dragons Blood Tree

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Ecuador has many fables and legends.

One involves the origin of dragon’s blood (Sangre de Drago) which is known for its wound-healing properties.

In the Amazon, there was a beautiful woman named Sány.

Despite her beauty, she never looked happy and felt no compassion for other people.

She became known as “the one who never cries.”

When winter came to the region, the rain was so intense that all streamsand rivers overflowed.

Houses and crops were destroyed. Animals died.

People suffered and cried watching the disaster.

But Sány remained indifferent, not shedding a tear.

People began saying “Look at her, she does not care.”

They blamed her for their misery, believing the gods were punishing them because she had no feelings.

The elders agreed that it was necessary for Sány to know pain.

One day while Sány was walking through the woods, an old woman asked if she could help collect dry branches to heat her hut where her grandson was sick and shivering with cold.

But Sány looked indifferently at her and walked on.

Then, a young woman with the sick child appeared, asking Sány to help her find herbs to cure her son.

Even though she knew where to find what was needed, Sány would not help the mother and walked away.

Then, the voice of the old woman could be heard. “Lord, make this woman who does not feel compassion for a grandmother or a suffering mother never be a grandmother or mother. Make this woman who has caused us so much damage by not crying, live doing good to others with her cries.”

Sány suddenly froze in terror.

She began to feel her body undergoing a transformation.

Her feet sank into the ground and began to grow roots.

Her body hardened and was covered with bark. And her hair grew and turned into tree branches.

She had become the dragon’s blood tree.

When people cut the bark, the tree cries and releases a red sap that’s used to heal wounds and cure other ailments.

And so, the soul of Sány, trapped in the tree, now helps ease the pain of others.

Source: Libro de Cuentos y Leyendas de la Amazonía

Photo courtesy: La Hora

David Sasaki's photo.

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador