Ecuador fulfilled my expectations, it has been everything I wanted it it to be. The Andes are truly spectacular. The culture is so familiar, similar to Mexico, yet a unique culture all its own. In my opinion, it is quickly becoming a second world country. There has been great investment in the country’s infrastructure. The roads are nice, the education has improved dramatically, there’s free healthcare, and worker’s benefits. The people are hospitable, friendly, and optimistic. Because of its small size, the country is very easy to travel and get around in. This would be a fantastic place for someone to come that is new to international travel. In Mexico, there is always that worry in the back of your mind about safety, a general unease with the state of narcopolitics and blatant corruption. Here in Ecuador, I never felt concerned. I kept my guard up and was aware of my surroundings, especially in the cities, but I never felt unsafe. I know this place is no utopia, it is experiencing a lot of growing pains and has issues with corruption, ecological issues, especially in the oriente, and there is still quite a bit of discrimination against indigenous people. Hopefully the country will find the way to enjoy and truly profit from their riches without so many of the problems that befall Latin American countries with vast resources. I learned so much here, so much about the country, the culture, myself, and my family. It wasn’t always easy or fun, but that’s life. When things become challenging we have no choice but to learn and grow.
Today we head to Chile. But first we must survive the itinerary from hell. It will be a true test of all our patience and travel skills. So far, its not off to a good start since I haven’t slept a wink. But we’ve made it to Guayaquil where we will spend the day before heading to Bogotá and later to Santiago.
I have no idea what’s in store for us in Chile. Once again we have no plan, we’re winging it. We do best that way, whenever I plan god laughs. The boys should have fun getting to know their cousins, hopefully we’ll get to spend some quality time with Israel’s sister and her family while exploring Santiago.We may stay in Santiago for a week or so, and then head south. I’m dying to explore Patagonia, but Chile is extremely expensive, so our time there may be short.