Updated: Jun 3
By Juan Francisco Carrasco
Do you know where my adventurous spirit and my desire to know Ecuador come from? Well, those things come from my mom. Ever since I can remember, my mom has taken me all over Ecuador and if it wasn't for her I wouldn’t know the millions of wonderful places around this beautiful country. Her adventurous spirit has allowed my family to have unforgettable moments and adventures. Thanks to her, my brother climbed his first mountain when he was only a month old. We have been to lakes located in volcano craters, underground waterfalls, lava caves, near volcano eruptions, and even in coral reefs in the middle of the ocean surrounded by sharks, all thanks to her. The fearless attitude of my mom has given us the opportunity to do things that other families I know have never done. Thanks to her passion to know Ecuador my adventurous spirit was born.
In this article, I would like to talk about my mom’s favorite places in Ecuador and her love for this country. Something that I can’t remember is how many times we have gone to Volcan Cotopaxi, because it’s my mom’s favorite volcano. I personally think that my mom has a special connection with this place because she is always happy when we go there. When the sky is clear, she could watch Cotopaxi from Laguna de Limpiopungo for hours with a smile on her face. If we are lucky and the snow is within our reach, we go up to the first shelter to enjoy the snow and the incredible landscape that Cotopaxi offers us. Another thing that we never forget when we go there are the pictures. One of my mom’s favorite activities is photography. She loves to take pictures of the landscape, and she could wait hours just to take the perfect picture of Cotopaxi.
Another place that my mom loves to go to is the Province of Imbabura. My mother remembers all the times that her parents brought her to this province when she was only a child and her memories of the land is one of the main reasons we go there a lot. She always tells us that when she was a child she loved to go to the bizcochos, cheese, and candles factories and enjoyed visiting the rose farms and the farmlands. Now she takes us to visit these places and I personally enjoy going there. During the pandemic, Imbabura became our most visited province because it was very close to us and offered us many awesome places to visit like the volcanoes of Imbabura, Cotacachi and Fuya Fuya. Also, Imbabura is known because of its great number of lakes. Some of these include the lakes of Cuicocha, Yahuarcocha, San Pablo, Mojanda, and Piñan.
Something that we usually do in Imbabura is visit Plaza de los Ponchos (The Otavalo Market). My mom enjoys looking at the handicrafts and other products from the community. Otavalo Market is a traditional craft market located in Otavalo and is known for its products that display our culture in different ways. There you can find traditional clothing, jewelry, traditional embroideries, art pieces, musical instruments, handicrafts, wool products, and many other objects. When we go there my mom acts like a child and wants to buy everything she sees, from trinkets to blankets and even tableware, she would never pass up an opportunity to visit Otavalo Market.
Although my mom’s favorite places are in the mountains, that doesn't mean that she doesn’t love to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon and Coast. When we go to the beach she enjoys snorkeling because she gets to see all the things that are hidden below the water and finds all kinds of animals. My mom is a great swimmer and at the beach we always do swimming competitions and games to see who can find more fish. Also, my mom loves to sunbathe while hearing the waves crash on the shore. On the other hand, my mom’s favorite activity in the Ecuadorian Amazon is walking through the middle of the jungle. She prefers doing it while it rains, because when it rains we can hear the sounds of the frogs and toads while the little water drops hit the leaves of the jungle. My mom doesn’t fear the little animals of the jungle, she is always searching behind the leaves and between the roots of the jungle floor with hopes of finding insects.
Now that I have the opportunity, I would like to thank my mother, not only because she inspired me to discover Ecuador and its wonderful places, but also for being the best mother in the world and a fearless adventuress that doesn’t miss an opportunity to have a new adventure. She isn’t like other mothers, she would bear the cold of the mountains, the rain of the forest, and even the coldest water in the ocean to give us the adventure of a lifetime.