It is interesting to observe how life unfolds in a small town.
In the case of Vilcabamba, Ecuador it the main focal point was Dennis and Maria’s juice bar. They also serve a great bowl of soup for a buck and a delicious salad for three dollars.
Every morning I would show up at opening time and have one of their juices with an extra order of kale which grew on a Dennis and Maria’s farm which was situated a 3 hour ride into the mountains.
On Monday Dennis, Maria, family and friends would go to the garden to weed it and pick up produce.
It was encouraging to see so many young people passionate about healthy foods. They came from many countries- Henrik, from Sweden who I got to know on my six hour trip through the mountains, Tristan, from the USA, several young men from the Eastern Europe, several more men from Holland, a number of older women who have retired from the USA, men and women from Germany, and a number of Canadian men and women.
Lucas, the builder would stop by every morning to fill up on a healthy take out juice.
All of these people had one thing in common-they all had characters and personalities who thought “outside the box”.
It was fascinating to listen to their stories of how they came to Vilcabamba and they hopes and dreams for the future.
A common theme was self – sufficiency. Another common theme was community. Everyone commented on how much healthier they were now they lived in Vilcabamba. One women told me that she had lost ten lbs and came off all her medications since she began living in a healthy life style in Vilcabamba.
Charlie’s , the Pizza joint attracted a number of unhealthy characters with their beers and smokes during the day. In the evening a number of local folks would show up.
One of the corner joints served cheap beers and attracted of lost souls who lost themselves in an alcoholic stupor every day.
Their is also a former astronut who lives in the area by the name of Dr. ;Brian O’ Leary. He had an intellectual awakening while he as a tenured professor at Yale. This led him to question the system to the point of leaving it. He is highly regarded as the guru on alternative energy in the Vilcabamba milieu. He offers workshops in his mountain retreat.
I shall continue this theme further soon.