Wednesday’s journey was long. It started with a private bus from our hostel in the Quito’s center to the city’s bus terminal an hour outside the capital. Once there, we transitioned quickly with everyone running to the bathroom while PLs counted heads and packs incessantly. We loaded ourselves in a coach bus that took us through the breathtaking sierras to the less-than-stunning city of Santa Domingo. Then everyone jumped into the back of a truck— packs and people piled high— to journey thirty minutes outside the city into a rural community of the Tsa’chila nation.
As we bounced along the dirt road leading out of the city and into the Tsa’chila territory, I surveyed the land, noticing a factory and several construction projects that were not underway just six months before when I visited last.
Rounding the final stretch of our trip, we entered my favorite part of the ride where the road weaves under a canopy of trees that line the path to the cultural center. It is the only aspect of the drive that hints at what this territory once was: a flourishing rain forest. Continue reading “Where have all the flowers gone?”