With all the fresh fruit becoming available now that it’s spring, I’ve been thinking fondly of granadillas. Granadillas remind me of trekking around the Amazon in Ecuador, as that’s when I was frist introduced to them. I would bring one or two of them in my pack for the morning hike. They were so different from any fruit I had tasted in North America. Their sweet, slimy seeds and bright orange rind were always a highlight of my walks. It’s interesting to note that a pomegranate, or granada, also has many clustered seeds within. A granadilla is very similar…just sweeter, smaller, and probably won’t stain that white shirt like a pomegranate would….
Now is a great time to back an amazing project. My friend Ryan Killackey, owner of Renacuajo Productions, continues to work on his documentary about the Yasuni tribe, an indigenous group in Ecuador’s Amazon region. For more info follow the link above. For another video on YouTube click here. This is a very important film that needs to be made and shown around the world in order for our communities to understand the challenges that this group of people - and all the Amazon region - is facing.
I recently came across the work of Ecuadorean artist Roger Icaza. His colorful, whimsical illustrations are like a scene I want to jump into. I especially like his blog because he documents his artistic process in some of the posts. Icaza’s illustrations are found in numerous publications and collections; he has worked with countless publishers in the Spanish speaking world and in the US.
High in the mountains above Quito, Roque Sevilla (former mayor of Quito and member of the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund) is building a beautiful hotel on land purchased from logging companies. He wants his modern structure - and the accompanying tram to access it - to be a feat of modern architecture. He also strives to preserve the land he’s purchased and introduce visitors (who will pay $750/night) to the biodiversity of this rarely-explored area. The New York Times asks, “Is Sevilla crazy? Or is he a visionary?” Read on to decide for yourself.
My friend Ryan is currently working on “Yasuni Man,” a documentary film about one group’s struggles for land and freedom from oil companies in Ecuador’s Amazon region. While living in Ecuador I was able to watch Ryan at work. Follow the progress and support by following the link above! This is going to be an amazing film.