Holy See

Hey fellow adventurers! In an earlier post I promised to elaborate and (attempt to) explain the Holy See. It’s a bit complicated so I’ll give a brief explanation and link a must-read site and a must-watch video. They’re super quick and very interesting!

Very simply: The Holy See is the government of the Catholic church. The pope both rules over Vatican City and controls the Holy See. But don’t get them confused. The Holy See owns property all around the world (mostly churches), and Vatican City is just the most famous. The Holy See often involves itself with international issues, including, but not limited to issues regarding human rights, peace and conflict prevention, poverty eradication and development, environmental protection, and inter-religious understanding. Though we can’t forget its ties to Catholicism, since the Holy See is also in charge of making laws for the Catholic church.

You can read a little bit more about it here, and its relations to the United States (I apologize if anyone outside of the United States feels ostracized since that is never my intention):

Or you can watch the YouTube video down below. I love cute, little informational videos like this. I highly recommend you watch the whole thing, but if you really want to skip the history part since that was my last blog post, skip to 1:38.

By the way if you’ve been leaving me questions, I’m sorry that I don’t respond to them very often. To be honest, I have a hard time getting to them because I must filter out at least 1,000 spam comments every week. Spam containing links is most of what I see. And I actually don’t get that many questions about the content of the blog. The question that comes up most often is what program I use. I use Word Press through the site where my father-in-law bought the web address However, it’s very frustrating doing it that way because even though I do pay for Word Press through the website, Word Press acts like I’m just another blogger using the free version. The second most popular question is about my layout. It just came with Word Press. And the last most popular question is whether it’s difficult/time consuming to write a blog. For me, that depends on the topic. Music and food blogs are my favorite because most of the time is spent listening to music and eating food, so no, not difficult. But some topics require more research, and it honestly feels like I’m back in college again writing a short essay sometimes. Depending on what’s happening in my life, it can be difficult to write 3 blog posts a week. So far, I’ve only missed one blog though. I do have the snacks, uneaten, that I was planning on reviewing for that post so later on I might just double post one of these days. And while I’m talking about myself (which I never do), I might as well tell anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m pregnant. When the baby is due in July, I’m going to try really hard to keep up this blog but I can’t promise that I won’t miss some days. This is my first kid, and I really can’t say how blogging and being a mother will go. Plenty of mothers do it so maybe I’ll still be publishing 3 posts a week. If you’ve read this far, thank you, and that’s my little heads up that this blog might get even more sporadic later this year. Well that’s all for today’s post! Thank you so much for reading for my blog! And as always, until our next adventure!


Hey fellow adventurers! It’s time to go over the history of the Vatican City! Vatican City wasn’t a country until 1929, but since Vatican City is the country of the Catholic Church, it has a long history. For a long time, the Popes traditionally held power over regional territories known as the Papal States. This lasted until 1870 when the unified Italian government claimed virtually all of the land outside of the city walls. However, the Catholic Church refused to acknowledge the Italian government until 1929 when Benito Mussolini signed a pact on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III that established Vatican City as a sovereign entity distinct from the Holy See. It also granted the church $92 million as compensation for the loss of the Papal States. Today, Vatican City remains a very important place to Catholics around the world, as well as a popular tourist destination for art lovers and those curious about the pope.

You can read more about the history of Vatican City here:

or here:

You can also check out this documentary if you have the time. I highly recommend it. You get to see areas of Vatican City that are off limits to normal tourists.


Well that’s all for today’s post! Thank you so much for reading my blog! And as always, until our next adventure!

Basic Facts

Hey fellow adventurers! Bet you had no idea we were going to be talking about Vatican City this month! To be honest, I didn’t either until this morning! I was just fishing in my head for countries that I wanted to write about, and I decided I wanted to write about a small country which eventually led me to googling “smallest countries in the world.” So now I’m going to talk about Vatican City which is another country that I know very little about.

Vatican City

Flag of Vatican City

Name: Vatican City State

Nationality: N/A

Official Languages: Italian, French, Latin and German

Currency: Euro

National Anthem:

Largest Religion: Roman Catholic

Capital: Vatican City

President: Giuseppe Bertello

Government: Theocracy

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, with an area of 110 acres (~ 0.17 miles), and a population of around 1,000. Though formally it is not sovereign, the sovereignty is held by the Holy See (I’ll talk more about the Holy See in a later post). As I mentioned previously, their government is a theocracy which basically means that a priest rule in the name of God or a god. In Vatican City, it’s the Pope. It appears that most of Vatican City is owned by the Holy See. Within Vatican City, there are both religious and cultural sites to see, as well as some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. There aren’t that many restaurants in Vatican City, they’re mostly cafes or pizza restaurants.

This description too small? Don’t worry! We’ve got the entire month! Want to read some interesting facts? Click on one (or all) of the sites below:

Or you could go straight to the horse’s mouth, and check out the official site of Vatican State:

That’s it for this post! I hope you’re excited for this month! Let’s make 2018 amazing!!!!! Once again, thank you so much for reading my blog! And as always, until our next adventure!

New Year’s Eve

Hey fellow adventurers! Wow! It’s almost 2018 (assuming you’re using the Gregorian calendar)! Can you believe it? I hope 2017 has been a good year for you. It’s been an interesting and eventful year for me! Though on to Ecuador, you might have noticed that in my Christmas special, I didn’t cover the New Year’s Eve traditions for Ecuador. That’s because I wanted to write a special post about it! If you thought the New York ball drop was over-the-top, you haven’t heard anything yet!

First I’ll talk about a few very popular traditions:

Don’t try to rush anywhere around New Year’s Eve time in Ecuador. You’re going to be late. Although almost all of the businesses are closed, there are a lot of people traveling to spend New Year’s Eve with loved ones, and people take advantage of this. Little kids set up road blocks that they refuse to take down, until you pay them. So you better have some change set aside if you plan to drive anywhere because you’re going to be stopped every few blocks by a different group of kids.

And it’s not just kids. Another popular traditions is the appearance of the viudas (the widows). Men dress up like widows and beg for beer money. Viudas are very insistent and most of the time, will block the street just like the kids do. Not letting you pass, until you pay them. Typically, they’ll appear the morning of New Year’s Eve and be there for the whole day. Sometimes kids will dress up like viudas and ask for candy.

Another popular tradition is the los años viejos or monigotes. People make large scarecrow-like dolls, most of the time of people they don’t like, and at midnight on New Year’s Eve, light them on fire. A lot of times they’re made to look like politicians they don’t like. However recently there’s been an increase in people using figures of cartoon characters or super heroes. The dolls represent the bad or evil from the past year, and by burning it, you’re saying goodbye to the evil with the hope that next year will be better. To make their effigies, people fill old clothes with sawdust or newspaper and add a face with a mask. So a variety of masks are for sale in days leading up to New Years. The most popular dolls this year appear to be of Alberto Guerra and Donald Trump.

(Masks for viejos)


(Monigote- monigotes are bigger than viejos)

Now for the smaller, though still widely practiced traditions:

DRINKING!!!!! No New Year’s Eve celebration is complete without drinking! In Ecuador too! Tons of crates of Pilsner will be emptied by January 1st. Though if I were in Ecuador, I would probably drink be drinking Spirit of Ecuador.

PARTIES!!!!! Ecuadorians love parties but New Year’s Eve is special. Almost every neighborhood will be throwing a street party, and bars will be open super late on New Year’s Eve night/New Year’s Day morning.

Looking for a way to ward of bad spirits with a bang? A lot of times fireworks will be present at parties since they’re so easy to buy in Ecuador. Some say that fireworks ward off bad spirits.

Need some extra luck? Eating 12 grapes (or cherries) at midnight is said to bring good luck for the coming year.

Hoping for increased prosperity or love this coming year? There is a superstition that if you wear yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve, you will have increased prosperity in the coming year. Wear red underwear and you will find love.

Are you planning on traveling this coming year? At midnight, run around the block with your suitcase, and you’ll have successful travels all of next year.

And then typically the streets are completely clear on New Year’s Day (everyone’s recovering from their hangover).

Well that’s all for today’s post! I hope everyone enjoyed reading it as much I enjoyed writing it! And if you’re planning on celebrating New Year’s Eve, please be safe! And have fun! I will see you in 2018! And as always, until our next adventure!

More blogs

Hey fellow adventurers! I know I typically write this post as the last one of the month but I have something special planned for that one. If there’s any topic you would like to pursue from this month, I highly encourage it! And if you’d like, you can start with some of the blogs below.

This site does an amazing job of listing blogs you could potentially be interested in:

Best Blogs and Websites About Ecuador

Though I know I have a lot of foodies that read this blog, and if there weren’t enough food blogs in that list, you can always check out this one too:

9 Ecuadorian Food Bloggers You Need to Know

Well that’s it for this post! Thank you so much for reading my blog! If you have a favorite blog about Ecuador or written by an Ecuadorian, please feel free to share it below! And as always, until our next adventure!

Christmas Special

Hey fellow adventurers! Happy Belated Christmas! Wow! Guys, Christmas has passed already! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a great day! This post is a special post where I talk about the Christmas traditions celebrated in every country I have talked about this year.


Joyeux Noël! In France, the Christmas celebrations begin on December 6th, St. Nicholas Day. To prep for his arrival, grandparents tell stories about St. Nicholas. The most popular being about three children who wander away and get lost. Cold and hungry, the children get lured into store by a wicked butcher (named Père Fouettard) who attacks the children, traps them in a bathtub and then proceeds to salt them. But in the end, St. Nicholas comes to the rescues, saves the children are returns them to their family. That story is why St. Nicholas is known as the protector of children. This story is often portrayed in statues, paintings, songs, and even yummy baked treats. On December 5th, children put their shoes near the chimney and sing a song to St. Nicholas. When they wake up on December 6th, the shoes are overstuffed with treats- chocolates and cookies for the good kids and twigs for the naughty kids (though most kids get a combination of both).

A few days before Christmas, families set up nativity scenes (crèche) in the corner of the living room. And in France they don’t just have your typical figurines in their crèche, you might also find figures such as vegetable sellers, bakers, police officers, local dignitaries, pretty much anyone you can think of.

On Christmas Eve, you’ll find cathedrals across the country packed with people ready for midnight mass. After families get home from midnight mass, they indulge in le réveillon. Le réveillon, the main Christmas meal, is a giant feast that typically includes (depending on where in France you live): roast turkey with chestnuts or roast goose, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison, and cheeses. For dessert, they serve bûche de Noël (Yule log), a buttercream filled sponge cake. Typically, the filling is coffee flavored and the outside is chocolate. I’ve been making bûche de Noël every year since 2006 (This year’s pic below). Yule log cakes are meant to resemble Yule logs that are typically burned in French homes. It’s typically burned on Christmas Eve and sprinkled with a bit of red wine, so it smells nice when burning. It’s also customary to leave a candle burning in case Mary and Baby Jesus visit during the night. The kids who didn’t leave their shoes out on St. Nicholas day, set them out on Christmas Eve to be filled with sweets by Père Noël or Baby Jesus.

Another popular Christmas tradition is Christmas markets. The most popular and oldest Christmas market in France is the Strasbourg Christmas Market in Northeast France. The market has been around since 1570!

And then finally the celebrations end on January 6th with the New Year’s réveillon. Families gather to eat a feast on Epiphany, and eat a flat, round cake, called galette. Typically, a prize is hidden inside the cake (a little china doll or baked bean), and whoever finds it gets to be King or Queen for the day. As church bells ring, the celebration of the Christmas season comes to an end.


क्रिसमस की बधाई (krisamas kee badhaee)! Very few Indians celebrate Christmas. A census taken in 2001, found that only a little over 2% of the population identify as Christian, a little over 13% as Muslim, and a little over 80% as Hindu. For those Christians that attend Christian school, nativity plays will be performed in school. Christian churches hold midnight mass and afterwards families go home to have a feast and open presents. Often, you’ll see nativity scenes in Christian houses around Christmas.

Though India does have some customs that are unique to India. Since they are no pine trees in India, people decorate banana or mango trees instead. Mango leaves are another popular Christmas decoration. Churches are decorated with poinsettias (Mexican Christmas flowers) and candles. Sometimes you’ll see paper star lanterns strung between houses.

Saudi Arabia

No Islamic holidays are observed in December in Saudi Arabia.  In fact, the celebration of Christmas is extremely discouraged and it’s illegal for Christians to celebrate Christmas in public spaces or at work. Any Christmas decorations put up un public spaces will be forcibly taken down.


¡Feliz Navidad! Just like in France, Mexican celebrations start in the middle of December and end in February. They kick of celebrations with the Celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Fiestas are held in honor of Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe, on December 12. Catholics from across Mexico and other countries pay pilgrimage to see an image of Mary (Virgen Morena), believed to be authentic, in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Some boys dress up like Juan Diego to be blessed at church. Apparently, the story behind this holiday goes like this: “It is believed that a man named Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary twice in Mexico City, on December 9 and December 12 in 1531. According to legend, Mary told Juan to ask the bishop to build a church on Tepeyac Hill. However, the bishop needed proof of Juan’s encounter and asked for a miracle. Juan returned to the hill to see roses in a spot where there were previously cacti. When Juan Diego returned, he showed the roses to the archbishop and also revealed an image on his cloak of the Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop was convinced of the miracle and built a church in honor of the event.”

From December 16th-24th, people participate in Las Posadas, a celebration that originated in Spain but that has been celebrated in Mexico for over 400 years. The tradition commemorates Mary and Joseph’s difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a warm place to stay the night (Posadas translates to inn or lodgings). It was originally brought over from Spain to teach the indigenous people of Mexico about the Catholic religion. The celebration lasts nine nights because Mary’s pregnancy lasted nine months. Every night, one family agrees to host the pilgrims. The festivities begin with the group representing the Holy Family visiting a series of houses, singing songs and asking for lodging. They are refused at every house until they arrive at the chosen house. Finally, they are welcomed in. Once inside, the prayers and singing continues, festive foods are eaten, and a piñata is brought out for the children to play with. The piñata is typically a circle with seven points, each point represents one of the seven sins. For those of you not familiar with piñatas, they are typically filled with candy and covered with cardboard and paper. Children (typically blindfolded) hit the hosted piñata with a bat until it breaks open and the candy falls out, at which point it turns into a mad dash to collect as much candy as possible. This continues at different houses for the first eight nights. On the ninth night, they add baby Jesus to their nativity scene and then attend midnight mass.

Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, they have a giant feast with tamales, ponche (con piquete), buñuelos, and Revoltijo de Remerita. And at night they attend midnight mass. After church, they set off fireworks to celebrate the start of Christmas. In some parts of Mexico, Santa Claus delivers presents on Christmas Eve, and in other parts of Mexico the three kings bring presents on January 6th (I’ll talk more about the 6th later).

Dia de los Santos Inocentes, or Day of the Holy Innocents, remembers the biblical story of King Herod’s orders to execute male babies in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill baby Jesus. As grim as that sounds, this holiday is actually very similar to April Fool’s Day. Mexicans play jokes and pranks to trick friends and family members. The media also get involved by reporting news that is too ridiculous or funny to be true, all in good fun. Some Mexicans visit cemeteries with offerings to souls of departed children, in line with a pre-Hispanic tradition.

El Día de Reyes, or Three Kings Day (also known as Epiphany), commemorates the arrival of the “wise men” who arrived with gifts for baby Jesus. Any kids who didn’t get presents from Santa on Christmas, receive presents today. And some kids who did receives presents on Christmas, receive treats (candies and/or cookies) today. It’s customary for families to gather and drink hot chocolate or atole (a warm, thick, grain-based drink) and eat Rosca de Reyes (a sweet bread shaped like a wreath, with candied fruit on top).  A figure of baby Jesus is baked into the Rosca de Reyes and the person who finds the figurine is expected to host a party on Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas), celebrated on February 2nd.

Día de la Candelaria, or Candlemas, is the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus, and marks the end of the Christmas celebrations. Whoever got the figure of Jesus in their slice of Rosca de Reyes, brings tamales to the feast.

Flor de Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve flower, is indigenous to Mexico, and is a popular decoration around Christmas time.

Though what Mexico is probably most known for is their nacimientos, or nativity scenes. Nacimientos remain the most important Christmas decoration in Mexico, and boy do they get into it! Mexicans are known for having some of the most lavish nativity scenes. Like France, they sometimes have non-traditional figurines in their scenes (such as bread sellers and the like).

The Philippines

Maligayang Pasko! In the Philippines, Christmas can begin earlier than the other countries mentioned so far. Apparently stores begin playing Christmas carols as early as September, and carrolers start appearing in November.

Simang Gabi is a Filipino tradition that begins on the morning of December 16th lasts until the 23rd. For eight days, they have mass at dawn. Church bells used to ring at 3am to prepare church goers for mass at 4am. Some places still have mass that early. After mass, traditional delicacies are enjoyed. There are food stalls right outside the church, popular favourites are bibingka, puto (rice cakes), puto bungbong, suman sa pasko, suman sa ibos, and usually served with tea or coffee. Hot pandesal (breakfast rolls) are also very popular. On the 24th, Nochebuena, people attend a special mass called misa de gallo (midnight mass). Although in someplaces misa de gallo has recently started taking place at late evening to accommodate people’s work schedules.

Panunulúyan is a street pageant based on the Mexican tradition Las Posadas. For the pageant, actors dress up as Joseph and Mary, visit pre-determined houses, and request lodging. At every house they get cruelly turned away until finally, Joseph and Mary make their way to the parish church where a replica of the stable has been set up.

On Nochebuena, after midnight mass, they have a giant feast with queso de bola, tsokoláte, noodles and pasta, fruit salad, pandesal, relleno and hamón (Christmas ham). Some families would also open presents at this time. Christmas Day is a day for family, not religious customs. Typically, it’s the day people visit extended relatives. According to Wiki, the “custom of giving respect is enacted through the “Págmamáno”. A supplicant takes the back of an elder’s hand and presses it against the forehead, while giving the greeting, Máno, pô (lit. “[Thy] hand, please”). The elder often responds by reciting a blessing or simply acknowledging the gesture, and in return gives “Aguinaldo” or money in the form of crisp banknotes, often placed in a sealed envelope such as an ang pao. Godparents in particular are socially obligated to give presents or aguinaldo to their godchildren, to whom they often give larger amounts compared to other younger relatives.”

A parol is an ornamental, star-shaped lantern, traditionally made from bamboo and paper. It comes in various sizes and shapes, but generally the basic star pattern remains the most popular. The design of the parol evokes the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Kings to the manger. It also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos’ hope and goodwill during the Christmas season.

Another popular Christmas decoration is the belen, or nativity scenes. They can be seen at homes, churches, schools and office buildings.

On Bisperas ng Bagong Taón, or New Year’s Eve, Filipino families gather for the Media Noche a lavish midnight feast that supposedly symbolizes their hopes for prosperity in the coming year, and lasts until the following morning. Filipinos make noise both to greet the New Year and in the belief that the din exorcises their surroundings of malevolent spirits. In spite of the ban, people in most towns and cities customarily light firecrackers, or employ safer methods of merrymaking such as banging on pots and pans and blowing car horns.

For most, the Christmas festivities officially end with Three King’s Day, or the Feast of Epiphany. Like in France and Mexico, some kids leave shoes out the previous night in the hopes of receiving treats and money, however this is a dying tradition in the Philippines. Though for some the Feast of Santa Nino (on the third Sunday of January) or Candlemas (on February 2nd) is the end of the Christmas festivities.


¡Feliz Navidad! Just like with France, Mexico and the Philippines, Ecuador has a mix of religious and family celebrations. Novena, a Catholic tradition that helps devotees to prepare for the birth of Christ, begins on December 16th and ends on Christmas Eve. During Novena, families and friends get together for nine days to pray, read bible verses and sing villancicos around the pesebre.

Ecuador has several Christmas parades and processionals during December. One of the more popular parades is the Pase del Niño parade, or Passing of the Child. The parade illustrates scenes of the Nativity story with music, dance, animals and colorful displays. Often times several communities put on parades at the same time so they blend into what appears to be one large parade.

People put up pesebres, or nativity scenes, all over the place during December. They are often quite elaborate, with traditional scenes of the manger, and figures clothed in local or Ecuadorian costumes. And sometimes, the figures in the pesebre are real, men, women, and children performing the ancient story.

On Christmas Eve, families get together and enjoy the cena de nochebuena, the big family dinner, which typically includes either turkey or ham, many side dishes and panettone for dessert (Side note: we bought panettone for Christmas Eve dinner and it’s very yummy. Pics below.). Once the kids go to bed, El Nino Jesus or Papa Noel delivers presents at the foot of their beds. Adults then go to misa del gallo, or midnight mass (which is sometimes done earlier than midnight when safety concerns are an issue). Often people bring their ceramic figurines of the Christ child from their pesebre so the priest can bless them. And after misa de gallo, some spend the rest of the night dancing and drinking.

Unlike other heavily catholic countries, people in Ecuador don’t celebrate King’s Day on January 6th, however, it is typical to remove decorations on this day.

That’s it for today’s post! Sorry about the inconsistency of my posts recently. I’ve been busy with Christmas related events and I was working on this article. I hope you enjoyed it! Have any traditions that you’re fond of? Let me know in a comment below! And as always, until our next adventure!


Hey fellow adventurers! I ate at a Latin American restaurant yesterday since I couldn’t find an Ecuadorian restaurant. And it was a grocery store, so I was also able to buy some items for the snack portion this Friday! It’s called Tropical Star Restaurant & Specialty Market. It was delicious, and I highly recommend everyone check this place out.

To drink, my husband and I both got mango milkshakes. Yum!

This isn’t Latin American, but I got French fries. So good! I was expecting them to be the thick cut like you get at Mexican restaurants, but they were delicious, crispy thin cut (I obviously have a preference).

I also got spinach empanadas that came with a green sauce. Both very good! Would definitely order again!

And my husband ordered Pescado Frito-Mojarra. It came with a circular fried corn patty and fried plantains. The fried plantains had a similar crisp as the French fries. All very tasty!

Well that’s all for today! If you didn’t last post, tell me now what your favorite Ecuadorian food is! Thank you so much for reading my blog! And as always, until our next adventure!


Hey fellow adventures! I know food blogs are normally one of the last blogs that I do but because I already know the week leading up to Christmas is going to be crazy, I decided to post this now. And if you try any of these recipes, let me know! Tell me what you think!

But first, Ecuadorian Dining Etiquette:

  • When invited to someone’s house, never arrive on time. Always arrive at least one hour late.
  • Dress up a little bit, as this shows the host respect.
  • Always use utensils, even when eating fruit! The fork goes in your left hand and the knife in your right.
  • Guests get served first.
  • It is polite to leave a small amount of food on your plate, or drink in your glass when you’re finished eating.
  • Meals are social occasions and can last a long time. I read that it’s not unheard of for a meal that starts at 8 PM, to finish at 5 AM. Remind me to never go to a legit Ecuadorian dinner.
  • The host typically makes the first toast. Always hold your drink to the one being toasted to.
  • Lastly, this isn’t really etiquette, but Ecuadorians aren’t use to women drinking hard liquor. That doesn’t mean they can’t, but you might get a strange look. On a related note, if you’re in Ecuador, try Spirit of Ecuador. So sweet! So yummy!!!! Looks like this:

Ecuadorian dishes are heavily meat and seafood based but my husband and I don’t eat meat, so seafood it is! So for the main dish, I made Ecuadorian shrimp with coconut sauce. It’s so good! I could be biased cause I love almost anything with coconut milk but seriously, it’s one of the best shrimp dishes I’ve ever had! We made it less spicy by using pasta sauce instead of the tomato-based sauce it mentioned. If you’re not good with spicy food like me, you can do that too.

And since this was Ecuador, naturally I needed a plantain dish. The dish is called Maduro with cheese (see pic above). It’s baked plantain with cheese melted in the middle. It was good but a little plain. Everyone else who ate this really loved it though.

For a side dish I made menestra, which I read is Ecuadorian’s national side dish. Whether or not that’s true, it’s definitely a popular dish so I had to make it! That said, I personally haven’t eaten it yet because I’ve been having stomach issues. But everyone who did eat it, said it was super yummy but a little spicy. So if I don’t get around to eating this batch, I’m definitely going to make it again, though maybe with less spices.

And then we paired our dinner with beer. My husband researched Ecuadorian beer and we couldn’t get any of the brands that came up. But he said that according to his research they love pilsner, so we found this lime pilsner. Once again, stomach issues prevented me from partaking in this lovely beverage but those who drank it, really liked it. Very lime-y!

And then for dessert, we made espumillas, which I read is sometimes referred to as “Ecuadorian ice cream.” Ecuadorians need to eat other countries’ ice cream. Doesn’t have to be ice cream from the United States. Just eat real ice cream. I didn’t like the espumilla. None of us could even finish our portions. I mean looking back at the recipe, I should have expected what came. But eating this recipe reminded me of how much I hate meringues. If you like meringues, you’ll like this recipe. But if you’re like me, and you hate them, DON’T EAT THIS!

If you’re interested in making any of these, check out the recipes I followed:

Well that’s it for this post! Do you have a favorite Ecuadorian dish to make? Let me know in a comment below! Thank you so much for reading my blog! And as always, until our next adventure!

Endangered Species

Hey fellow adventurers! It’s time to look at some more cute but endangered animals! Ecuador (mainly the Galapagos) is another area that has endemic animals that are struggling to survive, and the least we can do is be aware of it. Let’s look at the eight most endangered species in Ecuador. Also, I’m very sorry about how late this was posted.

Spiny Rat

Level: Critically Endangered

I couldn’t find any information on this guy, apart from the fact that they’re endangered. So, if you find anything, or know anything, please comment down below. I would love to learn!

Galapagos Rice Rat

Level: Critically Endangered

Like many of the animals in the Galapagos, the Galapagos rice rat is not dangerous and unafraid of humans. Scientists on Santa Fe Island and Fernandina Island have learned to keep their tents open at night to minimize the risk of rice rats chewing through their tents.

Blue whale

Level: Endangered

Reaching up to 98 feet (29.9 meters), it is the largest animal ever known to exist. Blue whales were once abundant in almost all the oceans, until they were hunted to near extinction. Blue whale hunting was banned in 1966 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

Fin Whale

Level: Endangered

The fin whale is the second largest mammal on Earth, after the blue whale, with the longest recorded being 89.6 feet long (27.3 meters). Preferring temperate and cool waters, the fin whale can be found in all major oceans. The whale was heavily hunted in the 20th century, and recovery of the species has been slow going. The IWC has called for a temporary ban on hunting these whales due to their endangered status. The only countries who hunt these whales are Iceland, Greenland and Costa Rica.

Giant otter

Level: Endangered

At up to 5.6 feet long (1.7 meters), the giant otter is the longest and nosiest species of the weasel family. They are a social species, preferring groups of three-eight individuals. Although typically peaceful, giant otters are very territorial and can become aggressive when they feel their space is threatened. Decades of poaching has considerably diminished population numbers. However, the greatest threat of today for the otter is habitat degradation and loss. Although they have no serious natural predators (other than humans), otters must compete with other species for food resources (almost exclusively fish but sometimes crabs, turtles, snakes and small caiman).

Mountain Tapir

Level: Endangered

The mountain tapir is the second-smallest species of tapir, and is the only one to live outside of tropical rainforests in the wild. When around other members of their species, mountain tapirs communicate through high-pitched whistles, and the males occasionally fight over estrous females by trying to bite each other’s rear legs. But for the most part, mountain tapirs are shy and lead solitary lives, spending their waking hours foraging for food on their own along well-worn tapir paths. Despite their bulk, they travel easily through dense foliage, up the steep slopes of their hilly habitats, and in water, where they often wallow and swim. Mountain tapirs have been hunted for their meat and hides, and their toes, proboscises, and intestines are used in local folk medicines and as aphrodisiacs. Since they eat any crops when available, they are also sometimes killed by farmers protecting their produce. Today, deforestation for agriculture and mining, and poaching are the main threats to the species.

Galapagos Fur Seal

Level: Endangered

Galápagos fur seals, the smallest species of otariids (eared seals), spend more time out of the water than almost any other seal. On average, 70% of their time is spent on land. Most seal species spend 50% of their time on land and 50% in the water. Poaching and climate change has led to a sharp decline in their number. Since the Galapagos has made hunting them illegal in 1959, their numbers have been on the rise.

White-Bellied Spider Monkey







Level: Endangered

The white-bellied spider monkey, found in Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil, are social monkeys that can be found in groups of twenty-forty individuals. The diet of White-bellied spider monkeys is 83% mature fruits and they are important to the seed dispersal of many fruit-bearing species. Over the last forty-five years (three generations), the population has declined by approximately 50% due to habitat loss and hunting.

If at this point, you’re wondering “what can I do to help endangered species?”, thank you! I really appreciate your dedication to making this planet a better place. Things you can do:

That’s it for today’s post. Thank you so much for reading my blog! Until our next adventure!


Hey fellow adventurers! Since I’m doing Ecuador this month, I felt like I should cover the concept of ecotourism. I know that some of my readers might not be familiar with this concept. If you’re not, this is the perfect article for you!

Ecotourism is a low-impact form of tourism and an alternative to standard commercial mass tourism. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) defines ecotourism as “Environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples.” Basically, ecotourism should have the following components:

  • Builds environmental and cultural awareness: You’re in new territory! Literally! Pay attention to what is around you, and appreciate it!
  • Minimizes impact: Once you’ve had an opportunity to take in the atmosphere, turn that attention to yourself. Like Bill Nye said, when you do stuff, stuff happens. With that in mind, try to make as small of an impact as you can. We want tourism to be sustainable so that it doesn’t end with us.
  • Provides positive experiences for both travelers and hosts: The hosts are trying their hardest to give you an enjoyable experience. Yet at the same time, be mindful of them. Going back to sustainability, we don’t want hosts to turn away travelers because it’s more hassle than it’s worth. Plus, showing human decency should just be something you do wherever you go.
  • Provides financial benefits to conservation: Preferably, tourism should not only have a low impact on your surroundings, but should contribute to conservation efforts.
  • Generates financial profit for locals: Especially when traveling, you should support small businesses. In my post about Ecuadorian landmarks, I talked about a famous market where locals sell goods. Going to places like that are a lot of fun, and much cheaper than purchasing items from larger corporations. I bought a backpack from a market in Ecuador several years ago and still love to use it to this day.
  • Sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity: This sort of plays into the cultural awareness and positive experiences sections I mentioned before, but try to be sensitive towards other cultures. In some parts of India, it’s considered rude to wear shorts. In some Muslim countries, women aren’t supposed to show skin. I know that might not be your culture, but you’re traveling to immerse yourself in other cultures. So, research where you’re planning on going before you travel, and do as the natives do!

If you want to read more about ecotourism, these were my favorite sites:

And if reading about greener tourism has inspired you to want to be greener in your everyday life, do it! Here’s some great sources about that:

Well that’s all for today’s blog! Thank you very much for reading! I really hope you consider going green, if you haven’t already. And as always, until our next adventure!