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The Ecuador Chronicles - 2010-15
 
Semana Santa - Holy Week in Ecuador;
                                        A Unique Perspective;
                                                               Easter Weekend in Guayaquil
                                                
Holy Week is a special time in Ecuador.  The Faithful participate in processions around the country as part of the celebration.  Live Well Ecuador principal, Mathieu Charles Guillory, is an American Catholic who has lived in Ecuador for more than eight years.  Mathieu has put together a series of three Chronicles covering Holy Week.  He provides a unique perspective on Ecuadorian Catholicism and its relation to Ecuador culture and life.  For his final chronicle in the Semana Santa series, Mathieu covers his family trip to Guayaquil for Easter Weekend.
 
By Mathieu Charles Guillory
 
Now we end Semana Santa with a trip to Guayaquil.  Guayaquil is located on the Guayas river in the Coastal region of Ecuador.  It is known more as a city of business than for tourism - we were pleasantly surprised by how much there is to do in the city, especially for a family.  We were there for two nights and three full days - we would have enjoyed another day.
 
We started our trip with a flight from Quito to Guayaquil.  As a young family of five, an airplane ride is always a treat for the kids on any vacation.
 

Mom - Getting Everyone Situated on the Plane
 

There Now - Francois all Situated.  Make an Airplane Noise, Son
 

Dad - Taking the Lead through the Airport (Well, Actually Following Here)
 
Moving on with our theme of Ecuador's ancient traditions, upon arrival we headed straight for the Pirate Ship ride that departs from Guayaquil's Malecon 2000 (main boardwalk) on the Guayas River.  The ship was great fun for the children, but Dad had his sights on the main deck "adult beverages area" - Amparo and I recommend the Pina Coladas and the fried shrimp.  Our boys became full fledged Captains and Sea Mates - they dueled it out with the Pirate during the skit on the ship....ayeeee matie!
 
 

Boarding the Pirate Ship
 
Adult Beverages - Served by a Pleasant Pirate
 
Dad - Participating in an Ecuador Ancient Tradition
 

Pirates Galore
 
  
This Pirate Work is Serious Business......
 
.....Sure Builds Up an appetite - Where's Our Lunch???
 
 
Here at Live Well Ecuador we promote "off the beaten path" lodging establishments, whether an upscale boutique hotel or an eco-lodge right on the beach.  In Guayaquil we found a really neat boutique hotel - The Orillo del Rio.  It is an older home turned into a charming hotel with eight rooms, a spa and a lovely patio area for afternoon Mojitos.  And of course - what vacation would not be complete without a dip in the pool.
 
Bernadette and Juan Carlos - Cool in the Pool
 
Continuing with our "Old World" Theme of Holy Week, our Easter Religious services consisted of the Ancient Roman Rite in Latin, at the Catholic Church Santa Tersita in Guayaquil.  Latin, one of the many dialects spoken by Christ (certainly not Spanish or English!) seems to be making a comeback in our modern world.
 
 
After Mass we visited the Guayaquil Cathedral which has an Iguana Garden.  We also visited the Guayaquil Historical Park.  The park consists of three zones.  The Urban Architectural Zone shows how life was in early 20th century Guayaquil; the Traditions Zone shows a more modest coastal village lifestyle in raised bamboo homes - a lifestyle that still exists today in many places; the Wildlife Zone was a favorite with the kids, with swamps, botanical gardens - including living creatures.
 
This Iguana Appears Longer than Francois is Tall
 

Historical Park - Wildlife Zone
 

 
And More Wildlife
 
We finished our last day in the rice fields of the Provincia de Guayas in the town of Nobol for the Incorrupt Body of Ecuador's most recent Saint - Narcisa de Jesus.
 

Overall, I would definitely put Guayaquill on your list of places to visit in Ecuador, especially if you are with children. And with many people headed to the beach and Galapagos it is a good place for a stop over with its international airport.  Please contact us if you are interested in these areas - we can help you with arrangements for good guides, drivers, transportation, and hotels. For those of us from the Gulf South (Louisiana)…you will feel right at home with the weather and seafood of Guayaquil!

 
All in all, it was quite a weekend - here are a few more images of our Guayaquil Trip
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Thank you again Mathieu - what a Grand Finale to your Semana Santa series!  I, for one, would love to see you do more Chronicles.  You really do offer that unique perspective of someone who has lived in Ecuador for more than eight years - the reader response has been tremendous.
 

Would you like to visit Ecuador for Semana Santa -  

Find out how atLive Well Ecuador: