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A Magical Trip to Ecuador

Portrait Paintings from Trip to Ecuador

In January of 2019, my wife, kids, mother-in-law, parents and I traveled to Ecuador for a week. I can’t believe a whole year has passed already! It was a special trip that included:

  • staying in a hotel that was a monastery for hundreds of years in Old Town Quito, an UNESCO world heritage site
  • visiting the highest elevation volcano in the world, Cotopaxi, and seeing wild horses nearby and picking eucalyptus leaves
  • seeing the beautiful Andes mountains
  • bargaining for handmade goods at a large indigenous market in Otavalo
  • touring a biologically diverse coffee farm in the rainforests of Mindo
  • visiting and remembering family in both Quito and Ambato

What really made the trip special, however, were the friends and family that served as our personal “tour guides” every day.

My mother-in-law’s cousin, whom we fondly call “Monjita” since she is a life-long nun, arranged our whole itinerary. This amazing woman is in her mid 80’s and is the director of a Catholic school by the northern coast city of Esmeraldas, yet still graciously did this for us!

She visited us here in the U.S. in October, and I gifted her this oil portrait that I did of her:

 

And also two brothers who drove all of us around every day – Marco and Luis. I learned so much about Ecuador from my conversations with Marco, who my wife, kids and I drove around with. I also did this portrait painting of them, which I gave to Monjita to hand deliver to them in Ecuador:

I hope to return there one day!