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Showing posts from 2019

We connect coffee, politics, and tourism in Loja

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At Free Walks Loja we are committed to promoting tourism and Lojano culture. We want the best for our city because we love it very much and we are proud of our identity. That is why we offered our well-known #coffeetour in March to the 2019 candidates for mayor of Loja. We showed them our innovative work in the city and province. Read more about this special effort in our coffee tours blog.

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA: CONVENTO HISTÓRICO Y MUSEO EN LOJA RECIBE IMPORTANTE DONACIÓN DE OBRA DE ARTE

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA - PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA CONVENTO HISTÓRICO Y MUSEO EN LOJA RECIBE IMPORTANTE DONACIÓN DE OBRA DE ARTE El Museo de las Madres Concepcionistas de Loja, Ecuador, estrena una importante pintura del artista lojano de 21 años Augusto Arteaga. 4 de abril de 2019: El museo de Arte religioso de las Madres Conceptas de Loja, de casi 500 años de antigüedad de la ciudad, recibió una importante pintura al óleo del talentoso joven artista de Lojano, Augusto Eduardo Arteaga Galdeman. El museo no ha recibido una obra de esta talla desde hace más de 100 años cuando adquirió una pintura de otro talentoso artista lojano especializado en imágenes sagradas, Ángel Rubén Garrido. El trabajo se ha instalado en la galería del convento y ahora está disponible para que lo vea el público. Criado en Loja, Augusto Arteaga es hijo de un fabricante de instrumentos musicales llamado César Arteaga, y ha sido pintor desde la edad de 15 años. Actualmente Arteaga está completando su licenciatur…

Saraguro is the Tour You’ve Been Missing!

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If authenticity and going off the beaten path are two of the highest priorities of today’s traveler, then the little Andean town of Saraguro in Southern Ecuador is not to be missed. Due south on the highway from Cuenca, and just north of Ecuador’s cultural capital of Loja, is the highland home of a proud indigenous group of Kichwa craftspeople.

While most Ecuadorian visitors will be directed to other more well-known craft markets, such as in Otavalo near Quito, Saraguro is nothing like that overcrowded tourist magnet. Unlike Otavalo, in the majority of cases in Saraguro, you will be interacting directly with the indigenous craftspeople recognizable by their black handwoven shawls held together with large sunburst silver brooches and topped off with the community’s unique black and white spotted hats.

Free Walks Loja’s custom tour division offers a one-day excursion to Saraguro that includes a visit to the indigenous craft market with many talented beaded jewelry makers, as well as si…

Quinine, Loja, and the tree that saved millions

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Loja is one of Ecuador’s hidden treasures off the beaten path of most South American tourism promoters.  For travelers looking for unique and authentic travel experiences this is a definite plus.  The region remains unsullied by heavy-handed tourism and vacation developers.  Loja, one of the largest cities in Ecuador’s southern Andes, holds many surprises.  Probably one of the biggest surprises, and vastly under-reported like other issues covered in this blog (see our coffee and chocolate blogs), is that this is the birthplace of the first cure for malaria: quinine.

This staggering fact, so long buried, is almost hard to believe.  However, it is true and also foundational to the development of the area.  Loja’s quinine history is also a cautionary tale of how opportunity can slip away because of forward-thinking innovation elsewhere, along with more nefarious means, such as corporate crime.

All great discoveries accrue myths about their origins, given enough time, and quinine is no e…