Photo of the week: week 4 Mompiche

This is Casa Kiwi were I stayed in Mompiche for a weekend away from Quito.


Mompiche is a little village on the coast, in Esmeraldas province, northern Ecuador. I’ll write a post about my time there soon, but in the mean time I want to share this with you. The building is typical of villages in Esmeraldas province.

I think what strikes me the most about Ecuador is the extent to which everything changes as you travel across the country. The climate, the wildlife, the terrain, the atmosphere, the lifestyle, the standard of living, the weath, the architecture all vary greatly from region to region.

On the coast it is hot and humid, trees are tropical and there are insects everywhere! In small towns, people walk barefoot along the dirt roads and you never see anyone in a suit. The bamboo frame of this building, the hammocks on the walkway and the tropical plants in the garden give a snapshot of the slower, quieter life of Ecuador´s coastal villages.

Quito, where I currently live, and many other large towns (for example Guayaquil, Santo Domingo, Baños, Cuenca, Esmeraldas) not only look and feel very different, with regard to building style if not climate; they also appear to offer more advanced public services and therefore perhaps a better quality of life. The bigger towns, as you might expect, are home to industry, more sources of employment, hospitals and other services. The visible weath of these cities does not appear to filter out to the forgotten villages on the coast and I am constantly amazed at the extreme discrepancies in apparent quality of life across this country.

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