Drying the raw material of the Ecuadorean sombrero called Panama hat
Don Benito learned the art of baking at a 5 star hotel, and returned to his village with great success
As the future of Valdivia not only depends on the health of the population, Futuro Valdivia also tries to create jobs through tourism and by stimulating the export of hand-work products. Thanks to Jan Smedmyr we were able to see with our own eyes how essential this aspect of development aid is in combatting poverty in the long run.
Jan also showed us another part of Ecuador that is impossible to discover when only using tourism brochures. He showed us for example how the ‘El Niño’ destroyed 2 streets that since there construction were doomed to be engulfed by the ocean. He showed us how European aid groups invest loads of money into the construction of very modern buildings, just to let them stand empty.
But, he also showed us some good things, like the ‘paja toquilla’ dryery (to dry plants for the production of sombreros), the best bakery in the whole of Ecuador who’s pies tasted like heaven and a unique church situated on the edge a cliff with a beautiful view of stunning beaches. He guided us through Ecuador with passion and showed us things that the normal tourist could never dream of.
Thanks to Futuro Valdivia we experienced a month that will not easily be forgotten. If we had had more time, we are sure that Futuro Valdivia would have given us an even richer experience and we recommend everyone who really wants to experience Ecuadorian life as it is to give them a call.
With many thanks to Monika, Jan and everyone who helped us on our journey.