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Fiction Map of the World – Ecuador

by Travelbag on 26 February 2015, 10:02AM

From picturesque colonial towns to ancient villages, lush Amazonian rainforests, and the soaring peaks of the Andes, Ecuador really does have it all. This little island may be small in stature, but it more than makes up for its diminutive size in character, personality, and culture.You might be a thrill seeker, who cannot wait to trek as close as possible to the Ecuadorian volcano chain. You might have always dreamed of taking a trek through the jungle, and meeting a whole host of critters and creatures on the way. Or, a white sandy beach might be more to your tastes - Ecuador has them all.   


Essential Holiday Reading

For intrepid explorers on the lookout for an exciting read this year, there is the darkly thrilling A True Tale of Love, Murder and Survival in the Amazon, by Robert Whitaker. The narrative of this book criss-crosses South American, and the Amazon jungle, so it is both exotic and mysterious. Plus, it is a great way to get acquainted with the history of this fascinating part of the world, as it is set in 1735. If follows the fortunes of a ten year expedition to South America, led by a team of French scientists, who are determined to measure the circumference of the earth, and become famous for discovering the continent. Yet, at the heart of this novel, lies a tender romance – enjoy it on the beach with a cocktail. 


Notable Ecuadorian Books

If you are a poetry fan, you will love Tapestry of the Sun: An Anthology of Ecuadorian Poetry. It was the first major anthology devoted to poetry from this region to be published internationally, and it features a wealth of writers from one of the most disregarded cultures of Ecuador – the Guayaquil culture. Whilst the poets are not household names, their skill and talent cannot be denied, and they weave a rich and majestic literary tapestry between issues as diverse as love, religion, and politics. For something a little pacier, try Wolve’s Dream, by Abdon Ubidia – a fast and furious novel depicting the exploits of a gang of Ecuadorian bank robbers, during the oil boom of the eighties.


Notable Ecuadorian Authors

The aforementioned Abdon Ubidia is considered to be one of the greatest living Ecuadorian writers, but his novels are rarely translated into English. For that, you need to look to the young talent, the generation of up and coming writers who are currently making waves in this part of the world. The deeply moving The Queen of Water, by Laure Resau, tells the tale of Virginia – a seven year old girl, taken from her village to work as a servant for a rich family. This story is based on a real life experience, and was created in collaboration with the real life inspiration for Virginia, so you are guaranteed a moving encounter with this book. It speaks to anybody and everybody who has wondered about their place within the world.   


Notable Ecuadorian Films

The South American film industry has never been livelier, and the same can be said for Ecuador right now. It seems like filmmakers from this part of the world are getting braver and bolder all the time, and this can be seen in the political nature of their work. The wonderful ‘How Much Further?’ took silver prize at the Montreal Film Festival, so it is fair to say that Ecuador is highly regarded for its cinematic output. This film follows the story of an Ecuadorian student and a Spanish backpacker, who unexpectedly end up on the road together. Whilst the both have wildly different agendas, they find something in one another which they didn’t even know they were looking for. For something that pulls on the heartstrings, try Behind Your Back or Maria Full of Grace.  


Essential Holiday Listening

The music of Ecuador has a long and fruitful history, with pasillo being one of the most popular forms of indigenous Latin music. Whilst it is prevalent throughout South America, in Ecuador it is actually the national sound, and is considered to be a representation of this part of the world. It is a mish-mash of different sounds, featuring everything from classic dance to waltz music, western rock, and eastern mandolin music. For fans of rock and roll, there is the curiously named Le Gente Narnja (or The Orange People), a three person rock band from Ecuador, but based in Florida. If you prefer your tunes a little softer, Kiruba are a female pop outfit, and the highest selling artists in the whole of Ecuador. 


Notable Ecuadorian Musicians

The aforementioned Kiruba are extremely famous in Ecuador, and their studio albums have sold more than 10,000 copies each – quite a feat for such a small country. Whilst they did go their separate ways in 2004, due to musical differences, they are still loved by music fans – first album I Wish stayed in the Ecuadorian charts for five weeks upon release. If you are a fan of classical jazz, you will be glad to hear that Luis Silva Parra is another one of the most famous musical figures in Ecuador. This star saxophonist was awarded the highest creative accolade by the president, in 2012. He also plays the clarinet and the flute, and was part of the musical groups Los Gatos and Los Cuatro.

Click here to read more about Ecuador.

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