Showing posts from September, 2018

The "Fun Stuff"

Jona Poma here:

A few months after we started the Free Walks Loja tour project in town, there was a huge festival happening in the city. This is the "Festival de Artes Vivas" (Live Arts Festival) that is celebrated in Loja every November for about 10 days. At first, as is usual in every entrepreneurship, we didn't have many customers so we decided to look for them while delivering leaflets in the streets. That's how I ran into Susy and Ron, two retired people visiting our town who were struggling with their Spanish. I told them about our free walking tour in Loja, and Ron asked for more information. I said we visit the Concepcionist Nuns Museum, the Music Museum, Loja's main squares, churches and, at that time, we used to offer a wine tasting experience at the end of the tour instead of the coffee tasting that we offer now.

When I finished explaining everything to Ron he said: "Hey Susy, come here! These are the guys who do the FUN STUFF in Loja." The…

Four day custom tour with one day notice

Jona Poma here:

On Friday July 27, 2018, I got a call from Hotel Villonaco in Loja to help some visitors from Perú with a private guided tour. The people from Perú called me at 8 or 9 pm after getting the Free Walks Loja leaflet at the hotel, and I went immediately to talk with them and help plan their tour. At the hotel I met the father of the family. He was a very kind businessman who came to Loja to have a vacation with his wife and two daughters, but also to make some connections with people from Ecuador to expand his business. This man works with an enterprise which produces natural food products in Trujillo, Perú. It's not the first time we have toured visitors from Perú who are looking look for possible business partners in Ecuador. As soon as I understood all of his expectations for his stay in Souther Ecuador, I prepared a 4 day tour for him to Loja, Vilcabamba and Zamora.

The next day I was waiting for him at the lobby of the hotel to take a walking tour in the center of…

Loja y sus Orígenes

Conocido es ya por propios y extraños que la Provincia de Loja fue habitada por la civilización Palta, los cuales fueron unos guerreros muy fuertes, bravos e inteligentes, del mismo modo conocemos que se los consideraba una cultura aborigen que descendían entre personas de la amazonia y de la sierra, por ende tenían características muy especiales. La Loja actual, la que conocemos desde la colonia, se asienta sobre el mismo escenario físico de los antiguos Paltas. Los límites históricos de la nación Palta son casi sin variaciones los mismos de la actual provincia, esto como es natural, acrecienta en el lojano el sentido de pertenencia, sin embargo los escasos estudios relacionados con el pasado preincaico de los territorios mencionados no nos permiten llegar a conclusiones exactas y que sean aceptadas con carácter definitivo. Por este motivo no sería justo aseverar una sola teoría sobre nuestros antecesores y los territorios que habitaron, teniendo en cuenta esto, escribimos acerca d…

We WIN in Las Vegas!

Jona Poma here:

A few months ago two women, one from from Las Vegas, and one from México, took the Free Walks Loja tour with me. I had a really good tour with them because we were all willing to share our experiences about trips we'd taken to different parts of the world. Instead of having a typical tour with me explaining different aspects of Loja, we became good friends while talking about our lives. Sometimes the best tours are the private ones with very few people.

We finished our walk in Loja with a coffee tasting stop, which both visitors loved. When we finished our coffee, the ladies gave me a tip for taking them on tour,  and they invited me to hang out that night. We went out to one of the city's free Jueves Cultural concerts, and then we went for a beer where there's a nice view of the city. It was a wonderful night and I knew the next day they had to start their return to Las Vegas and to Perú, respectively.

I thought I would never hear from them again, but a mo…