Why Ecuador?

Photograph downloaded from Pinterest
Duncan and I leave for Ecuador on June 13th.  While we have a lot of sightseeing planned, the main goal is for me to source textiles, leather goods and who knows what else, for KMM Collective.

Recently I was asked what it is about countries like Guatemala and Mexico, that inspire me so much that I continue to return.  

The first thing that comes to mind is history: the history of these cities, towns, and countries, how long these buildings have been standing despite earthquakes, hurricanes or volcanoes.  I love to walk the streets and see all of the walls and buildings with patina and character due to age.  I am amazed to see roots that are the diameter of a large PVC pipe and Maidenhair Fern that is the size of a large shrub.
The doors and door hardware have always amazed me; I have an extensive collection of photographs of doors, door knockers, and old hinges.
When we travel, we try to stay in a home or an apartment so we can experience day to day life, things that we might miss if we were staying in a hotel. We are early risers, so we like to hit the streets walking, find a local coffee shop, and that is sometimes the best time of day to watch the routines of the natives. People heading off to work and parents walking their children to school, business owners are cleaning their sidewalks and preparing their shops for the day.
I love the amount of color that is abundant in the clothing, on the buildings, and in the plant life; bougainvillea everywhere you look.
I love the religious iconography that adorns the doors and walls, of businesses and homes.
I also love the accessibility to the artisans whether they are set up in a courtyard selling their goods or off the beaten path in a studio.  We have watched women take a cotton boll, spin it into yarn and dye it with vegetable dyes then weave it into fabric on a loom.  I love to see this process so I can appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into the production of a garment or accessory.
This was our barista who made the most wonderful cafe con leche every morning we were in Antigua.  Just a short walk around the corner.

Hopefully, this will make you want to visit these countries if you haven't already.  I can give you a lot of recommendations!

All photos were taken by me with the exception of the first image of Ecuador.