The valleys around Quito, Ecuador

When the city is not enough, flee to the valleys

Wait, take out your headphones for this week’s’ soundtrack: click here.

When you get married, you become one person, (that’s what the priest told us on our wedding day so it must be true), so when we go to Ecuador we have one huuuuuge family to visit. My husband’s family lives in “Los Chillos”, which is about 45 minutes from Quito, a valley close to the Cotopaxi volcano, the papá of all Ecuadorian volcanos. I am not a let’s-go-to-the-campo/countryside-type of girl and my husband is not a let’s-go-to-the-mall-type of man so when we have to decide what to do when in Ecuador this happens:

😀 no, no, really it’s all about finding a balance. So after having satisfied all my city needs, we go to the valley. Now that I am addicted to photography I have started to really see the beauty of our country, when photographing you tend to pay much more attention to details, hence you start to find beauty in everything around you. So, welcome to my suegros house!

Because of the weather in Ecuador, which is yeah, PERFECT, you can basically live out of the trees you plant in your garden. Just look at this:

After having some black-as-the-night coffee (my mother-in-law is German, that’s the explanation for the coffee) we head on, full of energy and with some heart palpitations, to the market in Sangolquí. Two words: Frutas paradise!

These are some of the most special fruits in Latin America: left the “mortiños” which are a type of berry that we use for smoothies and desserts and to the right you can see the “tomates de árbol” also known as “tamarillo”. Sí, it’s a tomato, but we use it to make juice with lots & lots of sugar, probably another reason why I always have palpitations in Ecuador.

One of the best things about Ecuador? Mi gente! People in Ecuador are just amazing, always happy, always with a smile. This picture shows you what I mean 🙂


This abuelita for example had a herbs stand. She had herbs for the cold, for tees, for happiness, for good luck, for the broken heart and for prosperity. I don’t want to accept it but I have to, we Ecuadorians are really superstitious, so sí, I ended up buying some prosperity and cleansing herbal baths to start the new year free of espíritus malos 😀 As my esposo always says, the mind is muy muy powerful!

Here are some other moments I captured in this beautiful market.


Last but not least my two favourite things: Aguacates (to find good aguacates in Europe it’s as hard as finding Nemo) and a typical kiosko, these small latin stores where you find food, books, CDs, herbs, advice, gossips, abuelitas, children and more.

I hope this post made you wanna go explore more markets. It’s so much fun!

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María del Carmen Villafuerte de Almeida: Sí, that's my whole name. I'm a married Ecuadorian living in Germany's coolest city, München that is. I'll be helping you refresh your Spanglish through my aventuras with my familia around the world.

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