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  • Writer's pictureCharlys Trevino

Three Strikes, you're out!

I was super excited to visit Ecuador and finally arrived the first week of June. My plan was to spend a month in Ecuador before moving on to Peru. I had several locations I wanted to visit in Ecuador and I decided to start North and work my way South. Cotacachi was the first city I visited. Cotacachi is in the providence of Imbabura, which is one of the largest indigenous populated areas in the country of Ecuador.

There is so much to see in this providence, the amazing volcanic lake of Cuicocha , Peguche falls and the infamous Otavalo Artesian market. I was eager to visit all these places and more! But the universe had other plans for me.

June is suppose to be the start of the dry season here in Ecuador but it rained practically non stop for the first 4 days of my arrival to Cotacachi which didn't allow me to see much except the town itself but hey I have time, I'm not in any rush I thought to myself. I will wait out the rain , no problem.

What I didn't anticipate was the beginning of a national strike by the indigenous people called a Paro on my 5th day in Ecuador. Some scoffed at the notion and said it wouldn't last more then 3 days. Others were a bit more skeptical as they had experienced the strike of 2019 which lasted 14 days. As I write this we are on our 17th day of the national strike and it doesn't look like there is a resolution in sight. Food is scarce as none of the food transports or vendors can get into the city. Stores remain closed as do most other business, transportation and schools.

My dilemma in hearing about this inevitable strike was where would I hunker down and wait it out. Should I stay in Cotacachi or venture to my next destination and waited it out there. I didn't have much time to decide as I knew that transportation would also be impacted and there would be no getting to the next destination once the Paro started. What's a girl to do?!

I found myself talking to one of the waitresses at a cafe early one morning and telling her about my dilemma. Since I had never experienced a Paro, I wasn't sure what to expect. She belonged to an indigenous community a few miles out of town and it just so happened that her family participated, along with a few other families in the community, in a rural tourism initiative and they rented out a guest casita.

You never know when a solution will find you. I've learned over the years , you just need to stay open to all kinds of possibilities. This possibility seemed like a perfect solution for me and I booked my guest casita to wait out the Paro.

My experience with this wonderful family and community will be for another blog post. As I write this, I am still in the guest casita waiting out the Paro but I've long since stopped being a guest and now I am extended family.

It seems I had found my silver lining.

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