I went to Quito, Ecuador for a week in February for a furniture design business trip to South American funiture company, ATU International.
We arrived at our living compound around 2:00 am. My view from my room was a lit but deserted, rugged road leading to El Panecillo at the top, adorned with the Virgin Madonna of Quito.
I woke up at 6:00 am to a noisy and bustling Quito. I was in Miami less than a month before so my jetlag in LA was never really cured. It made waking up in Quito a lot easier.
The Winged Virgin of Quito faces northern Quito while her back is facing southern Quito. People of Ecuador believe the southern part of the city is in poverty because the statue faces the north, where it is more developed and wealthy.
Quito is an interesting place that is definitely not for everyone. Most of it is undeveloped, rural, and in some cases run down. To me, it's a bit of rugged beauty. For people who come from cities, it's not the most comfortable or easiest place to survive but it was inspiring to see how real it is. People there make the most out of what they have. Everyone works hard to feed their families but they're not driven or dictated by the advancement of technology which results in a more slow-paced lifestyle.
Ecuador's scenery is absolutely beautiful. Quito sits on a plateau, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. Throughout the trip we were constantly at 8,000 ft + altitudes. My body isn't sensitive to these kinds of changes but people from ArtCenter were definitely nauseous throughout the entire trip.
ATU took us to UNASUR, Union of South American Nations's headquarters where the interior was completely furnished by them. The exterior of the building was interesting with its extreme cantilever. The interior was more standard.
Quito is actually right on the equator. Next to the UNASUR building, there is a park with a statue that marks exactly where the equator is. The parked closed by the time we got there and my proposal to tresspass was rejected by the instructors.