Here’s the next edition of “What to Buy in Ecuador.” (Part I is here.)
Basket making is huge there. You see women weaving baskets all over the place – in their homes, on the street, on the bus. There were so many varieties, but here’s one type that I loved (found in Cuenca at several artisan markets). These were little round boxes or bowls and they came in maybe a dozen different sizes. So perfect for housing gifts or sweets or for organizing small items.
Hand Carved Kitchen Utensils.
In Cuenca, they have an entire market of these hand-carved utensils at Plaza Rótary. So fun. I loved seeing the irregularities due to the carving.
Custom Men’s Suits.
Quito had several shops of menswear fabric with seamstresses in the shop or nearby. Danny would love to get a suit made someday. He’s picky about the fit, so it will be an experiment. But we’ll let you know if it works out and we find a great suit maker.
These seemed to pop up in many shops. They use masks for various festivals there, but a collection of them would also be so fun for Halloween decorations or parties in the states.
Wool Socks & Sweaters.
They have lots of knitted wool items, including these socks. I have a thing for cozy socks to wear around the house in the winter or during the holidays. These are perfect. 🙂 I found these in Quito at an outdoor market in Parque El Ejido.
We found a shop in the La Mariscal neighborhood of Quito that makes hand made boots and spectator shoes. In a week they can make you a custom pair for $80. (The shop name is Zapytal on Foch E4-298 near Avenue Amazonas.)
Out front they had these boots in the works.
There were lots of guitar stores in Ecuador. There is also an entire town that specializes in making musical instruments, but we weren’t able to visit it yet. Danny would like to get a classical guitar there someday.
And see the sweet little boy in the photo? Every shop, every market, every vendor has children nearby. In Ecuador, every day is “bring your child to work day.”
P.S. The NY Times just listed the top 52 places to visit this year. Do you have any travel plans (or even just dreams) in the works? I’d love to hear! And it’s worth noting that my 86 year old Grandma is on her way to China for a visit. 🙂 So inspiring.