The presence of foreigners stands out among the locals as they walk through the urban parks and streets of Cotacachi, located 15 minutes from Otavalo (Imbabura). The stores increased their supply and look like small supermarkets that, in addition to fruits and vegetables, sell American products. Offers can be read in English, not in Spanish.
The ‘gringos‘ – as the inhabitants of the United States are called – decided to stay in the national territory and enjoy their last years here. “Nowhere else in the world can I enjoy a landscape as beautiful as this, or reside with an indigenous culture that allows us to value them more,” says American citizen Fred Hosea, a resident of El Batán rural community.
The almost 1,000 foreigners living in Cotacachi, and those who are seen walking the streets or sitting on the benches of the parks, decided to stay here for its peace. They discarded Cuenca (Azuay) and Vilcabamba (Loja) -other places where foreigners reside- because Cotacachi has more indigenous roots and populations that preserve ancestral traditions. “The clothing of the communities and their culture are unique,” emphasizes English citizen Karla Christensen, an artist, and writer. (I)