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MANTA, ECUADOR


View GRAND SOUTH AMERICAN ADVENTURE 2013 on Swenigale's travel map.

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We are in Manta, so near the equator! This major port along Ecuador's central coast calls itself the Tuna Capital of the World.

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We visited a Tagua factory. It is a hard white nut that is carved into figurines, buttons, and other souvenirs.

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Tagua is, in a sense, saving elephants, as it can be used instead of ivory.

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According to our guide, plastic buttons would melt in Ecuador's tropical heat - but buttons made of Tagua will not! (Calumet friends - "Hello, my name is .Jose..and I work in a Button Factory!")

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I love the little slices of life we see as we travel.

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We made our way to nearby Montecristi, famous as the birthplace of the Panama hat. Skilled weavers work with the fibers of the Toquilla plant.

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There are still about 50 weavers in and around Montecristi, but much of the production of the hats has shifted to a nearby town.

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Montecristi's marketplace and Roman Catholic church.

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When in Montecristi, one must buy a Panama hat!

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Back in Manta, across the pier from the Serenity fisherman transfer bait fish - none of these fish will be on the menu tonight!

Posted by Swenigale 01.29.2013 14:16 Archived in Ecuador

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