Old Quito


calle-la-rondaLatin America has some amazing colonial era cities. A few that come to mind are Merida, Mexico, Antigua, Guatemala, Granada, Nicaragua are notable cities where we offer volunteer and internship programs. Quito, Ecuador is another, and it has recently undergone some big and very positive changes. The current president of Ecuador has initiated programs to clean up the old town, and to improve security. This is most evident on the Calle La Ronda, one of Quito’s oldest streets. Early in the 20th century it was a bohemian enclave, but by the 1970s it had become one of the most dangerous areas in town, with prostitutes, drunks and thieves. It is now a place where you can go confidently any time of day. There are galleries, clubs, restaurants, and music everywhere. It’s a good place to get a canelazo, a spiced rum and fruit juice drink served hot that is traditional in the Andean Highlands. Want a recipe?

In the center of old town is one of the most amazing churches I’ve ever seen, Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus, but it is also a shocking reminder of the wealth and power of the Catholic Church in colonial times. I don’t normally like gaudy interiors, but this is quite the sight, and well worth a visit. Check this photo

For information about Volunteer and Internship Programs in Quito

By Kevin O'Neill


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