Cotacachi Leather: Quality Government, Quality Leather

  Who would have thought that a little city, in a small province of a developing nation, would have international recognition? This is the case of Cotacachi, in the province of Imbabura, Ecuador. Cotacachi is the proud winner of the Participative Democracy, Dubai 2000 prize, which is given to a city that has: “One of […]

Shigra Bags: A Colorful craft which carries tradition.

  Text: Carolina Matheus Photos: Martina Orska A lonesome indigenous woman with wind-weathered cheeks glides silently across the cold Andean fields.   She is planting.  The fog rolls in, and she becomes a dark ghostly figure, against the jet -black earth.   In the midst of this bleak scenario, stands out, a colorful hand bag hanging from […]

The Panama Hat History: An Icon of Style and Elegance throughout history

“I cannot conceive of a hat- made of straw- woven by the hand of a man, more beautiful than this one. I hold it in my hands still in awe of its maker.  Before the ribbon and leather sweatband were added, it weighed less than a letter on my stationary.  I feel the brim between […]

Spondylus Shell Jewelry: A Symbol of Fertility and Power

Several Pre-Hispanic societies would sail rough waters to the Gulf of Guayaquil in search of the Spondylus shell.   Though some species exist in the Californian Coast, because of Ecuador ´s warm waters, two species of this beautiful red spiny shell thrive under the seas of the Gulf of Guayaquil, Esmeraldas and Isla de la Plata and […]

San Antonio de Ibarra: Transforming wood into beautiful works of art.

  Text: Carolina Matheus Planted in the midst of green hills, quaint houses, and a panoramic view of the city of Ibarra, stands the San Antonio de Ibarra Village.  San Antonio catches one’s eye on the road towards Ibarra, not only for its peaceful vistas, but because it holds  a predominantly white and mestizos population […]