01.28.2013 - 01.28.2013
We are in Manta, so near the equator! This major port along Ecuador's central coast calls itself the Tuna Capital of the World.
We visited a Tagua factory. It is a hard white nut that is carved into figurines, buttons, and other souvenirs.
Tagua is, in a sense, saving elephants, as it can be used instead of ivory.
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!")
I love the little slices of life we see as we travel.
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.
There are still about 50 weavers in and around Montecristi, but much of the production of the hats has shifted to a nearby town.
Montecristi's marketplace and Roman Catholic church.
When in Montecristi, one must buy a Panama hat!
Back in Manta, across the pier from the Serenity fisherman transfer bait fish - none of these fish will be on the menu tonight!