We stayed in a wonderful Hotel Char found in the old town called the Hotel Casa de Gardenia run by a friendly man named Andres. The hotel had only been open for a couple of months. Andres had purchased an old adobe house and fixed it up with lots of very modern glass, steel, and tile architecture. Char wrote a review saying “It’s like a home away from home”, and that really says it all. Andres creates an atmosphere where one feels safe and supported. He also brings in lots of interesting people.
One was an long-time friend of his, Rodrigo, who was visiting the hotel with his wife and 14 year old son. Rodrigo runs a rose growing business about 50 kilometers North of Quito. Rodrigo’s son, Jose, was one of the most helpful, smart, and engaging young men we’ve run across. The three of them offered many excellent suggestions for our upcoming tour of the western coast of Ecuador and insights on the Ecuadorian government and society.
Rodrigo explained to us that Ecuador is excellent for growing almost anything. The volcanic soil is full of nutrients, there is more sunshine on the equator than anywhere else, and there is plenty of water. No-one goes hungry because anyone can grow a little food by simply putting seeds in the ground.