Lily Ann Fouts

Podocarpus National Park, Loja, Ecuador

One of the best things about Loja, Ecuador is the great hiking opportunities nearby.  Here are some photos from Podocarpus National Park, in the section closest to Loja.  Enjoy! […]

Vegetarian Foods in Ecuador

I appreciate learning about local foods from the perspective of fellow vegetarians. While Ecuador and Loja have many unique meat-based dishes, since I cannot eat those I want to know the options for vegetarians such as myself.

Incidentally, I am not a vegan even though I feel better on a vegan diet. I try to limit my intake of animal-based products but do eat eggs and dairy products, especially while traveling. I have tried being vegan while abroad, and while it is possible, it’s much harder. […]

Becoming an Expat: Ecuador – Book Review

My book, Live Like a Local in Loja, shares many stories of our experience living in this beautiful southern Ecuadorian city. In it I did my best to provide an accurate description of what to expect. I also included helpful resources and advice for successful integration into the community, for anyone interested in living there for a month or longer.

While my book contains lots of information specific to Loja, I did not research and write about the more general issues of moving to Ecuador—things such as residency requirements, how to go about setting up a business, and details about Cuenca other parts of Ecuador. These topics are already covered in more detail by other books. […]

Market Day in Loja

People commonly ask about the cost of living in Loja, Ecuador. How much does food cost there? Going to the market each week was a treasure hunt for both of us—a constant discovery of new foods and affordable prices. Today I’ll share a few weeks of typical expenses at the local weekly open-air market, where Keith and I always loaded up on as much food as the two of us could carry.

Trip to Yacuri National Park and Amaluza in Espíndola

Not long before we were scheduled to leave Loja, I found a group on Facebook called “LojAventura”—a large group of adventurers who went on hiking trips around the province of Loja. They advertised an upcoming hiking trip to Amaluza and Yacuri National Park for the celebration of World Water Day—March 22nd, 2014. In order to register, we had to obtain bus tickets to Amaluza for 4:30 a.m. and then send a photo of the tickets along with our names and ages to the event organizers. The deadline was just a few hours away.   […]

Our Trip to Saraguro

On March 18th last year we decided to take the bus up to Saraguro, since we’d heard a lot about this town and its indigenous people by the same name. We left Loja early and settled into the front seat of the bus (cost: $1.75 each), where we enjoyed completely amazing views the whole way.

It is difficult to put into words the absolute hugeness of the Andes mountains with the little Pan-American highway threading along the sides of them. Look one way and the mountain rises up into the clouds beyond your view. Look the other way and it falls away to a valley far, far below. I can’t capture it with my camera. […]

Music of Loja

It didn’t matter so much to Keith since he’s not a big fan of live music performances, but one of the reasons I was so interested in Loja was because I love live music—especially symphony music—and Loja happens to be the music capital of Ecuador.

When I found out that Loja had its own symphony (Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja, or OSL) and that their performances were free, I was beyond excited! I dragged my poor husband to quite a few concerts while we lived in Loja. We attended, among other things: […]

With friends on the way to Yacuri National Park

Responsible Expatting: How to Be Welcomed

These days, Ecuador receives a lot of attention for being a paradise for expatriates—or expats. The cost of living, the climate, the wonderful people, the beautiful scenery and the slower pace of life tantalize us as we endure the hectic pace, commercialism, extreme temperatures and other shortcomings of life up here in the North. But do we stop to ask ourselves: do the Ecuadorians want us as much as we want their country? The answer to that question depends on a few things. […]

Mexican Spanish vs. Ecuadorian Spanish

I learned Spanish in Mexico as a kid. My command of the language is a little rusty but quite good. Nevertheless, in Loja I learned all kinds of new words—or new meanings for previously known words. Here are some examples: […]

Loja Ecuador

The Loja FAQ – Answers to Questions I’ve Received About Loja

My posts about Loja, Ecuador are the most popular on my multi-themed blog, and I’ve received many notes and questions from various readers about Loja (keep them coming, by the way—I love hearing from my readers!). I thought I’d share the answers to some of them in this post, and hopefully more people will find them helpful! By the way, I have written a whole book about Loja, so if you want to know lots of details about this great city, be sure to order your copy HERE!