Sunset, San Vicente, Ecuador

By Sheri Oneal

Eight Days of Ecuador…Photography Travel Abroad Class

Day 5 – Tuesday, April 24

The average monthly income for a person living in Ecuador is $355.00. Most people in the city prefer the public transit system to get to and from work and mail is still a primary way of communication even though we did see people using cell phones. There are still tribal people in remote areas and often kids come into the city from the islands selling candy and cigarettes to make money. As a photographer all of these things make Ecuador super appealing because of the unique culture, climate and love of life that shows on the faces of everyone there.

On the fifth day our trip changed…we made changes due to not having the opportunity to shoot as much as we had hoped. In the morning I was awake early and shooting out my window the view on the water of the local fishing boats in the bay and the fishermen along the shore with their nets.

Fisherman working from their boats in the bay area of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

 

Fisherman working from their boats in the bay area of Bahia de Caraquez, EcuadorI had a beautiful room, the windows looked out over the water with side deck and hammock near the dock. In the room there was a glass area on the floor where I could see the tide rise and watch the small crabs when the tide was low.

Saiananda Hotel, Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador

 

Saiananda Hotel, Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador

Once everyone was up we all were served a wonderful breakfast of fresh squeezed juices, fruit with fresh baked bread with jam.

Breakfast at Saiananda hotel, Ecuador.

After we ate I watched Alfredo’s team feed their 135 year old turtle by hand and water him down. He seemed to love the water and almost appeared to be smiling. He was rescued from the rubble of the recent earthquake 2 years ago.

 

Saiananda hotel, Ecuador 135 year old turtle.

This is a day we will visit areas that suffered a large amount of damage from the 2016 Earthquake that registered at 7.8, killed 668 people, with 8 missing and more than 6000 hurt. We saw some evidence of it in Guayaquil but the Canoa, Bahía de Caráquez, San Vicente and surrounding areas damage was much more apparent from vacant buildings to streets and sidewalk destruction. We all went down to the dock after breakfast and broke off into two groups to board boats on the water. They took us up the channel to see the damage from the waterside as well as experience fisherman working from their boats in the bay area.

 

Fisherman working from their boats in the bay area of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador.

 

People along the shore of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador.

 

Fisherman working from their boats in the bay area of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador.

 

Fisherman working from their boats in the bay area of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador.

 

After several hours of shooting we arrived back at the hotel where we packed up to visit Sendero los Caimanes for lunch where the locals caught the fish and cooked our meal while we watched.

Lunch preperation in Sendero los Caimanes, Ecuador

 

Lunch preperation in Sendero los Caimanes, Ecuador of plantains.

Lunch was a combo of fried fish, fish roe, rice and plantains served with fresh juice and coconut water.

Lunch preperation in Sendero los Caimanes, Ecuador

After lunch we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up for our last adventure of the day. The people at the hotel were making fresh bread in the kitchen for our breakfast the next morning.

The staff at Saiananda hotel in Ecuador make fresh bread.

Later we rode into the small town of San Vicente by bus to shoot street photos of the locals. We broke off into two groups and were escorted around with local police to be sure we were safe with our gear. It was nice to see the local children coming up to the police and hugging them, they seemed to really admire them and what they do. We walked for several blocks capturing the local people smiling and enjoying their late afternoon daily activities.

Locals in the streets in the small town of Canoa, Ecuador.

 

Locals in the streets in the small town of Canoa, Ecuador.

 

Canoa, Ecuador

 

Deserts, Canoa, Ecuador

 

Local in the streets in the small town of Canoa, Ecuador.

 

Local vendor in the streets in the small town of Canoa, Ecuador.

 

Local couple in their store in the small town of Canoa, Ecuador.

 

Young girl and her grandmother study school assignment in the small town of Canoa, Ecuador.

Before we left we caught a beautiful sunset along the shore of Gad Municipal de San Vicente.

Sunset, Canoa, Ecuador.

As we were headed back to the hotel we stopped at a local sports pub for dinner to complete another long day of travel.

Before I headed off to bed I went into the kitchen for some water and had the pleasure of a rare sighting of the local sloth visiting the kitchen. Alfredo said he has been making himself at home there for 45 years.

Pet sloth in Eduador.

A few of us took the invite to again experience the Tibetan Singing Bowls at Saiananda this time performed by Alfredo’s son. As I laid in bed that night I was happy we finally had the chance to really see the local culture and shoot some great photos. The students seemed to be happier and more relaxed with our day activities and of course that made me feel good about the trip. Hold tight, day 6 is on the way and even better!!!!

 

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