Cotacachi / Ecuador Culture / Ecuador Lifestyle / Ecuador Real Estate / Living in Ecuador

Cotacachi Walk About

The day after Thanksgiving was a great day.  The weather in Cotacachi has been fantastic the last few days.  If it were like this all the time, we’d be swarming with expats and tourists.  As it is, many more people are finding their way to our small town.

We just opened a new office in Cotacachi, and as a result, are seeing more action around our real estate program.  A couple of days ago, our graphic designer called and said he had heard of a hacienda that may be for sale, and would we like to look at it.

Of course, we jumped at the chance.  For some reason, the word, “hacienda” fires my mind.  I have always loved to explore old buildings and properties that have a long history.

So we met him on Friday and began our venture.  How interesting it was when we pulled up in the yard to discover that the owner, Antonio, was someone we had met about 8 or 9 months ago.

He is a good friend of  Carlos, the owner of the hacienda from whom we purchased our land a short while back.  Carlos had brought him around  to meet us on one of his visits.

As it turned out, Antonio did have about 7 1/2 acres for sale along the road. It was pretty nice land, but not of the incredible variety that we are always looking for.  The bulk of the Cotacachi hacienda property, some 80 acres, was not for sale–unfortunately.  This was some of the most magnificent land we have seen since we have been here.

Antonio is a pretty big-time farmer and nearly all of the 80 acres is under cultivation, with tree tomatoes being the dominant crop, but also beans and corn.  He gave us a walking tour around the property.  It was obvious by the condition of the crops that Antonio knows what he is doing.   I don’t think I have seen a prettier farm.

Some of the property is maintained organic.  He uses chicken and cuye (guinea pig) fertilizer, but says he has to add some chemical phosphorus to make up for the nutrient shortages in the soil.

Antono told us that a few years ago, he was the biggest farmer of quinoa in South American, raising about 350 tons per year.  Quinoa is a small white round grain, one of the world’s most nutritious.  Unfortunately, his buyer in the U.S. cut his pay by about half, citing increased competition and lower prices.

He later found out that there was about a 10 times mark-up between what he was getting paid and the price his buyer was charging their customers.  But the low price forced him out of the market.

It was a great morning, but the best part was making a new friend.  One of the joys of Ecuador, especially Cotacachi, is the friendliness of the people.  Antonio was no exception.  “This is your house,” he said as he showed us around the old hacienda.

We went out into the garden and saw some monster cabbages.  “Do you want one?” he asked. Of course, we couldn’t say no, and didn’t want to.   He picked the cabbage, and later that evening brought it to our house, where he joined us for a tea.

It was the end of a perfect Cotacachi day.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Jane,

    Our office, Eagle and Condor Internacional Cia.Ltd., is located on Bolivar street and 9 de Octubre, about a half block from the main square. It is on the ground floor below the office of the Registro de Propiedad.

    Our phone number is 062915647, my cell is 082644469. Office hours are sporadic at this point, as we are often out with clients, but we would be happy to make an appointment with you to show property, or just discuss life in Cotacachi.

    Our property showing fees are $15 per hour plus transportation costs, with the first hour free. If you need help with transportation from Quito, let us know, and we can arrange a taxi to pick you up. We can also make hotel reservations here.

    We look forward to meeting you.
    Gary

  2. Hello: My name is Jane and my husband and I who currently live in Sarasota, Florida are planning on visiting Cotacachi sometime around Dec 17 or 18 and would like to stop into your office for information. Would you kindly email me and let me know your location and hours of operation? We will be visiting Cuenca after and are comparing both locations for a place to retire. Our entire stay in Ecuador will be approx 26 days. Thanks much. Jane