La Bella Crucita, Tuesday, 02/12/2019

“A cloudy start to the day.”

“Now it’s raining, more mud!”

“Maybe we shouldn’t go to Montecristi today and wait until Wednesday like we had planned Nilla.”

“We’ll let Aventurero know when we’re ready to leave, let’s see how long the rain lasts.”

“Just a brief shower as I expected, Nilla.”

“Off to the bus at the bottom of the loma.”

“Looks like the Trio has some communication problems, Aventurero isn’t there.”

“Back to Las Dunas, guess no Montecristi today.”

“Oh, there he is but it’s nearly 11:00 AM.  Too late to go?”

“Nope, just have to catch the Portoviejo bus.”

“That was a long bus ride, over one hour.  Let’s see if we can get a cab to take us from Portoviejo to Montecristi, it will be faster.”

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“Fifteen dollars, not bad – up the hill to Alfaro City and the museum Jackson.  This is where the current constitution was drafted.  Isn’t it exciting to see where it happened!?”

“It sure is.  Jose Eloy Alfaro Delgado was born in Montecristi and was president of Ecuador from 1895 to 1901 and from 1906 to 1911.  He was a fierce opponent of pro-Catholic conservatism and led the Liberal Revolution of 1895.

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At the age of sixty nine he was assassinated and his body burned by a group of pro-Catholic soldiers whose “maxim was “Viva la religion y mueran los masones” (long live religion and death to the Freemasons).”

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“Jackson, during his presidencies, he fostered national unity and strengthened public transport, completing the railway from Guayquil to Quito, the Ferrocarril Transandino.”

“That’s why the train is along side the museum, built in Philadelphia.”

“Yes, Alfaro also promoted secularization of the country, legalized civil marriage and divorce and through new ideas and education helped modernize Ecuador.  He promoted free and secular education, and built many public schools.”

 Mausoleum honoring Eloy Alfaro

“The Archbishop of Quito opposed his attempts to suppress the influence of the Catholic Church.  I wounder if he went to church, there are no religious relics displayed in the museum.  But Nilla, let’s get back to the reason why we came to Montecristi.”

“Ah, yes. Eloy Alfaro  was known to give Montecristi hats to associates and friends.”

“He’s not the same Alfaro who arrived in Montecristi to establish a Panama hat business?”

“No Jackson, that was Manuel Alfaro.  We mentioned him in our previous post about the Panama hats and Montecristi.  Manuel, an immigrant from Spain was Eloy’s father.”

“It all comes together now, doesn’t it.”

“Certainly does.  Let’s head down into the town.  The Trio wants to buy some hats.”

“Look at this master weaver outside Toquifina boutique.”

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“I wonder how many years she has been weaving?

“Probably since she was a child Nilla.”

“The Ts are buying hats here, Aventurero can’t seem to find one that fits him, we’ll keep looking, there’s lots of shops on this street.”

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“What’s that?”

“Jackson, that’s what tagua looks like directly off the tagua palm.  The nuts are clustered inside.”

“Hey, I think Aventurero has found his hat!  Looks great and good price too!”

“For lunch, no menu just a choice between pescado stew and carne con hueso soup.”

“Looks like we’ll need dinner once we’re back in Crucita.”

“Let’s check out the church, it’s beautiful.”

“Lots of stairs Nilla.”

“The ceiling is beautiful Jackson.”

“Aventurero is outside, I think it’s time to get a taxi back to Crucita.”

“It’s been a good day.”

“Let’s catch up with Diego, see if he got the work done inside his home.”

“Lupper at Ramblas sounds good to me Jackson.”

“Diego and Guardagatos will join us in a little bit.”

“The internet sure is slow this evening, will have to finish this post tomorrow.”

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