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Rio Muchacho Organic Farm

 

 

The Río Muchacho Organic Farm is nestled between semi-arid hills and beside the river from which it takes its name. A 15-minute bus ride from the nearby village of Canoa affords fantastic scenery of the bosque seco or “dry forest” region of the Manabí province.

 

In a blink of an eye, one is transported to a place where life slows down. Also called Río Muchacho, the small community’s major source of income is agriculture and cattle grazing. Large herds of cattle can be seen grazing or being milked in the early mornings. Located in one of the driest regions of Ecuador this river offers lovely warm weather for most months of the year, which can be a welcome change from the cool “winters” of the high Andes.

 

But what makes this place special is not the beauty of the nightly sunsets, the tranquility of the lifestyle, the rolling hills and the stark landscape or even the cool breeze from the banana leaves on a hot day. What makes the Río Muchacho Farm really special is the people who own and run it. After only a three day visit, when the time came to take leave of the owner, Dario, I felt like I was saying farewell to an old friend. Dario has worked for many years in and around the Bahía de Caráquez area of the Manabí coast, promoting the environmental cause. He was instrumental in saving the last mangroves in the area, which can be seen on Isla Corazón.

 

There is plenty to do and see on the farm, like making chocolate and roasting your own coffee; seeing a troupe of wild monkeys; horseback ridding; shrimp fishing and much more. The quaint little thatched chalets fit right into the surrounding landscape. The trickling river and singing frogs lull one to sleep at night. Meals are eaten together with the staff, the owners and the group of international volunteers who help out on the farm. Everything is home-grown, organic and delicious.

 

Keep your eyes open for the ever-present hummingbirds which often have their meals (nectar from flowers) right next to you. The RĂ­o Muchacho Organic Farm and all of the environmental projects it is involved with stands out in my mind as one of the most interesting and beautiful experiences on my travels around Ecuador. The beauty of this place originates from within the hearts of the people involved.



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