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Tumbaco Bedroom View

View Out My Bedroom Window

It's one of those not too cold but slightly bone chilling days here in Quito. It's been raining heavily almost daily now. Here's the view out of my bedroom window. Makes me just want to crawl into bed and cover up.

You want to learn more about chocolate and be informed about just where your chocolate comes from. But you would like to have some fun too. We have a package for you.

Join us in early May 2013 for an exciting chocolate tour with some conventional sightseeing and activities as well. We will visit Ecuador’s famous Mitad Del Mundo Site on the equator and Quito’s colonial city, a UN World Heritage Site. We will also visit a cooperative of indigenous cacao growers and learn about making chocolate from farm to bar. See the collection center, fermentation process, and learn about how your chocolate gets all the way from some of the world’s most remote places to your store shelf. While in the Amazon, we´ll also spend a day river rafting, with plenty of time to also enjoy the jungle lodge.

Visit a chocolate factory where we will learn how beans are processed into some of the world’s best chocolate. Finally, enjoy a chocolate tasting at our workshop in Quito and discover the nuanced flavors resulting from fermentation, roasting, and conching of your chocolate.

Contact us at jeff at sternchocolates dot com or call us on 858 222 0332 for more info!

By lengthening the school year and changing the school calendar, policy makers seem to have ignored or overlooked several things:

  • Shorter vacation times will definitely affect seasonal tourism and decrease revenues.
  • Unifying the coastal school schedule and highlands schedule (previously they ran on different calendars) means that the entire country will go on vacation at the same time, resulting in massive crowding at tourism destinations. It's already bad enough as it is.
  • Families who are accustomed to reuniting during holidays will no longer have this option; there's bound to be some opposition sprouting up somewhere soon…I hope.
  • Many people will not be granted vacation during the 15 day February break, the only one of the entire school year-again, detrimental to the tourism industry.
  • For this year at least, there's certainly many, many people who have already made holiday reservations/plane ticket purchase that can't be refunded. That's our case…and our kids are going to miss school if they have to no matter what.
  • Current teachers already here will not be interested in renewing contracts under the new terms, and teachers potentially recruited from abroad will certainly find better options elsewhere. It will be hard to recruit new teachers based on the new school schedule, as vacation days are now greatly reduced as compared to many other parts of the world.

This is truly “in-house” baking. The ovens are located in front of the display where you can watch your bread and pastries being baked as you order and dine. Why bother with zoning and safety requirements? Stopped in here for two Yuca breads at $0.50 a piece, delish!

Just two weeks short of the new school year the government announced a major schedule change. No Christmas or Easter Holidays, with only a fifteen day break between 5-month semesters running from September through January and mid Fedbruary through early July. All this in an effort to increase the school year to 200 days, though even the Ministry of Education admits its an “experiment,” and they don't know how it will result.

The changes only appeared in the papers the 28th of August.

Some teachers at the British School are already talking about resigning if the changes are implemented, given that under their contracts they are already entitled to a certain number of vacation days and this arbitrarily and instantaneously changes all that.

We've heard in the rumor mill that other international schools, namely Academia Cotopaxi, Ecuador's largest school for the US community, are having trouble hiring teachers. Supposedly the government has told them they don't need to hire teachers from abroad as there are plenty of qualified Ecuadorian teachers, and are making it difficult to get visas.

Just the latest and greatest example of arbitrary decisions being made that can affect you, your business and your life, a daily part of life in Ecuador.

Stay tuned.

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Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>


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