The Ecuador Chronicles - 2010-33
Conocoto - A Village in the Valley Near Quito;
Close to Big City Culture & Entertainment;
A Peaceful, Quiet Place - Like Mayberry?
This week features another Chronicle by Mathieu Guillory. Matt recently purchased a second home in the village of Conocoto, about 30 minutes east Quito. Matt wanted his kids to experience some of the same small town life he knew growing up. So, he and Amparo purchased a home on a double sized lot full of fruit trees, giving three rambunctious kids plenty of room to run around. When the family is in Conocoto, Matt commutes to our Quito office. They now split their time between Quito and Conocoto.
Their decision to have a second home goes well with our decision as a company to begin covering all of Ecuador. Dalynda and I love our apartment in Colonial Quito, but we realize that this lifestyle is not for everyone. Some people want to be on the beach, some in rural areas and some in smaller cities and villages. And some people, like Matt, may want two homes - which can be easily affordable in Ecuador.
by Mathieu Charles Guillory
One of the charming aspects of Ecuador is in its small towns. I have always said that Ecuador is about 30 years behind the Western developed world. This still holds true despite the great increase in Internet and DirctTV usage amongst Ecuadorians.
One of the places that reminds me of how I grew up in small town USA is Conocoto. Located in the valley just outside of Quito, it offers all the small town charm - but it is close to Quito for the big city experience. The town is only a 30 minute bus ride into Colonial Quito or a taxi is only $8 and even quicker. Conocoto's valley location gives it a somewhat lower elevation than Quito, so the weather is perfect. And it is a tranquil place - completely safe to walk at night.
Many new arrivals to Ecuador have been flocking to places like Cotocachi and Villcabamba for purchasing real estate. But…..we get the same comment from many who visit there…..”what do we do in these places”! Many of the small charming towns in Ecuador are great to get a way from it all…but many of our expat friends are looking for the cultural experiences and big city entertainment that one cannot get from a small town.
Trust me…Conocoto IS like those smaller towns, but with its close proximity to Quito gives the opportunity to be where the action is at a moment's notice. And think about this - the town of San Rafeal is located nearby with the largest mall in Ecuador for those who may want to feel like back home every now and then. My favorite French restaurant La Provance is only a five minute drive - and Dominos delivers!
In my opinion in these uncertain times.....the best investment is in real estate....especially in developing countries where property taxes are practically non existant.
Ray and I have come up with the “Mayberry of Ecuador” label for Conocoto. It is safe…quiet….good police department……and to know what is going on in town….visit the barber shop! You may think this is a stretch - I do have a hard time thinking of Andy Taylor speaking Spanish, or Barney and Thelma Lou dancing Salsa - but come and see for yourself and you may agree.
Here are some photos to give you a flavor of Conocoto. Ray and I took the first set on a Saturday night walk around town:
Church on the Plaza
Young Couple Enjoying a Park Bench
Conocoto Fast Food
Convenience Store in my Neighborhood - Convinently Open at Night
This Train thinghy Takes Young and Old Alike for Rides Around the Village on Weekends.......
.....I Like Driving the Train; All Aboard - And Away We Go
Parade in Conocoto - Sometimes in Ecuador Parades Almost Seem to Break Out Suddenly Out of Nowhere
Conocoto Law Enfrocement - Wait, Wrong Picture.......
.....Here it is - These Guys Look Little More Serious, and That is a Good Thing
Here is My Barber in Conocoto....Wait, Why Does this Keep Happening......
....Here He Is
Mayberry Gone Rogue In Ecuador
Matt, you have done it again - another great Chronicle. I have been trying to think of other similarities between Ecuador and Mayberry - I let my imagination run a little wild with:
........Played by Juan Carlos Guillory
........Played by Mathieu Charles Guillory
And Barney Fife.....
.....Played by None Other Than "Don Juan" - Of Course!
And I Must Say -
Helen Crump Does not Hold a Candle to Amparo Guillory Preparing Yucca -
Notice Matt in the Background - Staying Well Clear of the Yucca Knife
More About The Andy Griffith Show
On a more serious note (if that is possible) about The Andy Griffith Show - It started out very different. In the first few episodes Andy Griffith played Andy Taylor as a loud, buffoonish type character, like the one he had developed in his early comedy routines. Take a look at the video clip below of "What It Was, Was Football". If you have never heard this you are in for a treat - from 1953.
Andy soon realized that for the show to work he would have to be the straight man, not only to Barny Fife, but to all the characters in Mayberry. Thank goodness he came to understand this and gave us years of entertainment - really funny, yes - but always with a life lesson. Mayberry gave us a lot to laugh about - and a lot to think about. And, the world did not need 1950's Southern version of Archie Bunker.
Link to "What it Was, Was Football" - Early Andy Griffith
Short Clips of Andy - Barny. Real Classics:
Pointers On Self-Defense
Scared Straight Lecture
Two Rules at the Rock
Nip It In the Bud Rap
And there is a lot more there if you are interested.
Would You Like to Come to Ecuador, Own Two Homes,
and Live in Mayberry -
Find Out How at -