Published on September 8th, 2013 | by Flight Centre Staff0
Embracing South American Hospitality in Ecuador
Residents of Ecuador are known for their hospitality, and Sean Russo discovered this when he and a group of Flighties stayed with a local family on a trip with G Adventures. Sean shares his tales of embracing the culture and the people of Ecuador:
I had a chance to travel with G Adventures through the beautiful country of Ecuador visiting Quito, Tena, Banos and Cuenca. Ecuador is a harmonized blend of history, traditions, sights and true South American hospitality that seems to be shared by each individual we encountered. This hospitality was exemplified most while our group was living with Delfin Pauchi and his family in the heart of the Amazon Jungle.
Delfin is a humble individual; knowing what is necessary in life, the importance of maintaining generations of traditions and respect for their surroundings. When we first met him in the town of Tena, his smile was electrifying. Through assistance with our tour guide, Delfin speaks in his people’s native tongue of Quechua about the experiences that we were about to have over the next couple of days; experiences that altered my preconceived notions on the Amazon and its inhabitants.
When we arrived at Delfin’s family’s house, we were greeted by a group of children of various ages, sharing the same ear-to-ear smile that Delfin had exposed to us earlier. With the children’s assistance, we made our way up the property where we were greeted by his wife and a few other individuals who all shared the same living arrangements. We were formally greeted by our hosts and thanked by them for joining them at their house.
On our first day, Delfin and his son took us into the jungle to learn about what makes this space so special and important to both his culture and the world. It was an eye-opening experience where we were able to see how a culture lives completely off the grid. They have been able to use raw products (such as flower roots as a natural anaesthesia) to live quite comfortably and sustainably for centuries. It is a delicate balance of give and take while maintaining an appreciation for all of the blessings their area has given to them.
Our sense of the family’s true hospitality to foreigners looking to learn more about his culture and customs was made even more apparent on our second night. After dinner, we gathered on the main floor of Delfin’s house and learned about Quechua people’s history, wedding customs, celebrations, food, and the importance of maintaining balance in life. Although influences from the Western world have negatively affected his people, Delfin believes that partnerships such as with G Adventures continue to provide resources to his community to enjoy a well-rounded lifestyle while having the resources to educate their children and practice their customs.
My group and I left Delfin’s property with a new appreciation and understanding about his people and the Amazon Jungle. We discussed how inspiring it is that almost 20 years ago, Delfin decided to allow one individual from G Adventures into his life, and has now helped countless individuals since then to experience the importance and wonders that both Ecuador and the Amazon bring to this world.
If you would like to experience a different type of holiday where you are directly impacting and assisting in Delfin’s community life, or others like it, I strongly suggest the tours with G Adventures.