Spit Brewed Beer (and Other Ecuadorian Trivia)

I’ve been living in remote parts of Ecuador for just under a year now and there are things I have learnt which are useful, surprising or bizarre to know. Here are the quickfire factoids:

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Machaca, Man-Killing Moth

In the rainforests of Ecuador you hear about all sorts of amazing animals and fantastic legends. There are bullet ants so-called for their sting feels like you have been shot, and the indigenous Shuar tell a story of an incestuous pregnancy giving birth to a horde of caterpillars. Some of these charismatic animals become central [...]

The Good Intent of Deforestation

"To teach about sustainable farming practices such as permaculture, or the environment, biodiversity, so-on-and-so-forth. My problem with this is - although it may do some good - it's addressing the effect rather than the cause. Cutting rainforest is the effect of an impoverished community."

How I met the Shuar

Below is Juis Chuim. He is a 73 year old Shuar elder. Because of me he slept a night like this. Let me explain. I was making a third attempt at summiting a mountain I had coveted, the previous times the problem being unable to access on the approach. On this last attempt I noted [...]

The Last Western War

Ecuador and Peru have had a territorial dispute that lasted 178 years. The final 1995 conflict, still as of 2017, remains the most recent territorial war in the Western Hemisphere, explaining the military presence I observed during my previous slink between boarders. The contested land lies between the Cordellera del Cóndor (“Mountain range of the [...]