Social, Spanish and Sports
On Saturday and Sunday evenings, often the entire community gathers in the church courtyard to watch and participate in football or volleyball tournaments...and these guys are good! Community fiestas such as Carnival, Saint San Jose Day (the namesake of Las Tolas) and Yumbo cultural festivals are frequent in Las Tolas. Past volunteers have also had the opportunity to participate in weddings and other social events, where the dancing goes typically starts at sundown, and goes until sunrise.
Local fiestas are one of the highlights of many of our volunteers stays in Las Tolas. Many of the local towns and villages hold a fiesta ('party'), where volunteers are often taught to dance, share a beer with the locals and enjoy the sounds of reggaeton, merengue y la musica nacional!
Would you like to improve your Spanish and learn more of the language? Mariana, who lives in the heart of Las Tolas, is a trained Spanish teacher and will give you private lessons for just $5/hour. Mariana can cater for all abilities and topics that you would like from a beginner to advanced level. Spanish is a brilliant language to learn and there is no place better than Las Tolas to practise...it will be one of the best things that you take back from travelling and volunteering with you!
Learn Spanish with Mariana
The Yumbo history is very important in Las Tolas and the local area - you can explore this history further and see the remnants of their ancestors at the beautiful museum in Tulipe (just at the bottom of the track from Las Tolas). With interesting features retained both outside and inside, you could take in this visit to the museum one morning or afternoon during your stay. The entry fee is $3/person and there is more information available here: http://www.ecuador.com/blog/explore-the-tulipe-archaeological-site-museum.
Coffee is grown in the fields and areas around Las Tolas. Take this opportunity to see the plants that give you that amazing cup of goodness...and at the right time of year, see the process to pick the beans and get them to the way we recognise them!
Sugar cane is used to make panela, a local sugar, in this fascinating traditional process. The sugar canes are crushed and the resultant liquid then heated in vats before being cooled using the paddle, as shown.
Museum Visit in Tulipe