Posted on December 6, 2011 – 22:14

Most everyday since I’ve been in Cuenca,I’ve gone to an Austrian cafe that’s called Cafe Austria (heh),which is just a few blocks from my hostel. It’s a little expensive,but they have great espresso,newspapers,and they let me stay for as long as I like. As a solo traveler with a lax itinerary,I have the time to read The Miami Herald International Edition (AP and NYT mostly) front-to-back just about everyday. Historically I’ve been more of a,how do you say,headline-connoisseur (maybe I’m just not a very fast reader,but I can’t figure out how people with jobs and stomachs and beds have the time to stay on top of the news),so this has been a really fantastic development. It’s a slim paper,but it covers a variety of world news,there aren’t many advertisements,and best of all,there’s no ‘Life & Style’ section for me to love/hate.

The other day while I was sitting in this Austrian cafe in Cuenca Ecuador,reading about Hillary Clinton(!)‘s (still opposing gay marriage,Hill? Bummer) visit with Aung San Suu Ky(!) in Myanmar,and wearing my “Free Burma” t-shirt,I started thinking about how inextricably political it is to travel,even when it’s just for pleasure.


Not-so-fun fact: Homosexuality was illegal in Ecuador until 1997. Picture Ellen DeGeneres on the cover of Time en Español (“Sí, soy gay”) in a prison jumpsuit.But in the context of a world in which 10 or so nations still punish homosexuality by death,it’s probably not worth complaining about 1997.

Let’s see,1997,*fingers dancing above keyboard* that was like what,15 years ago? So,I was like,10-years-old! I was in the fifth grade at a private,Protestant school. I was an aspiring gymnast. Oh,and I think that was the year I starred as the lead in the school Christmas play as a supernova! Annnddd game over!

People change! Countries change.

Still it feels strange as a gay foreigner in Ecuador traveling alone. I haven’t heard anyone say anything disparaging or offensive towards me or anyone else,but I feel like I’m looking for a dialogue that is either incredibly elusive or just doesn’t yet exist. Whatever gay culture does exist in Ecuador remains totally hidden from me,aside from the non-event in my previous post. I want to know what life is like for a gay Ecuadorian,but the rainbow flags around here aren’t the stamp of gay neighborhoods,gay unity,or even Pace; they’re the official flag of the Inca empire.

15 people-years is probably only a few months in country-years.


One of the first stops I made in Ecuador was in Vilcabama,a small,farming town in the southern part of the country,outside the city of Loja. It has a certain reputation both because its residents have a history of longevity,and because it’s a favorite,final destination for a certain breed of expat retiree. Basically,it’s a beautiful place filled with sun,fruit,and good vibes. On any given day in the town center,there are a dozen Americans in their yoga clothes and folk jewelry,hanging out ♪ sippin’ on green juice / laid back ♪.

People move to Vilcabamba for all different kinds of reasons (overheard: the fountain of youth,escaping radiation from the nuclear reactor in Japan,dislike of American politics,dislike of American culture,corruption in America),but one thing is for sure,people who move to Vilcabamba move sloooowww. And it feels soooo gooood. I got a one-hour,full-body massage with a dash of Reiki for $15–my new alternative to a movie ticket and a Take 5 from Duane Reade. Although I actually overhead talk while I was in town about potential projects to revitalize the downtown area that included,wait for it,an independent movie theater! Did I mention this town has the most amazing juice bar?

Source: travelersdiaryugh.wordpress.com


2011-01-30 09:19:05 by MacroTek

Jumping off roofs is not an option.
You are mister pollution aren't you.
Don't care if you did have a permit, if you can avoid the pollution, it should be avoided.
I find it amazing that so many wells have a stack going full tilt ablaze instead of capturing the gas.
You will never convince me that the oil & gas industry is only ever interested in maximizing profits and ...ansocean and Halliburton for their pitiful and reckless behaviors in the Gulf last year.
Again, this is an industry whereby EVERY attempt to require additional safety regulations has been fought 100%. The new standard should be they have 5 days to comply or lose all claims, and permits for all of their operations until they comply. If they simply decide to shut down, then nationalize them.

It's National Rainforest Week

2007-10-21 09:45:00 by storeez

This is a Wednesday to Wednesday celebration, so we are right in the middle of it. Please consider yourselves invited to celebrate it virtually, right here on boomers.
To start it off, here are some significant facts about rainforests.
Considered in the context of global warming, rainforests are our best hope to red...d the habitats of vanishing species, including indigenous tribes who are not in contact with civilization.
It is not too late to make a change. End deforestation. If deforestation were to be stopped, the escalation of carbon emissions would be reversed. To do this is the single easiest and most cost effective means to address the issues of carbon emissions.
Is that not amazing?

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  • Avatar Dominican Republic Trip Advisor How to elope in Quito? Steps?
    Jun 22, 2007 by Dominican Republic Trip Advisor | Posted in Ecuador

    We are planning to take a vacation in Quito, Ecuador and just wonder about the possibility of Elope there.
    Only needed the services of a good photographer, a bouquet, the person who would marry us, the witnesses and …agne. Am very interested to know how much time in advance we have to make the appointment to marry? How much time would it take the marriage certificate to be processed? How much money is needed?
    Thanks in advance!!

    • This is a hard one. Ecuador has a lot of red tape for their things. As to an apt to marry, you probably could but I got married just one day we went to the Registro Civil in the Center of Quito. It is not that expensive, …ut if you want elaborate things.. a mall would do you good, like Quicentro that is not that far from there.
      What I can say, is be prepared for delays and last minute surprises. Really! Good luck and happy eloping.