First we had that marvelous month with the Panama family in Boquete — a family that included the 40-year old daughter who lived with her father and mother. So after our fabulous week in a hotel in Bocas del Toro, we needed to plan our stay in Quito, Ecuador. I recalled how I used the Web site “airbnb” in August to book a week’s rental of a cottage in Cape Cod for a get-away with two childhood friends. So we checked the site for rentals in Quito and were so lucky to find a posting by “David” in Quito for the rental of a room in his family’s home for $23/night. We decided to book three nights and hoped for the best.
We hit the jackpot. David met us at the airport. There stood this good looking young man, about the age of Jonathan, who surprised us with his good English. He had been a foreign exchange student in Oregon a few years back! He drove us to his large three story townhouse where we met his mother, Nancy, father, Carlos, brother, Carlos Jr., and aunt, Guadalupe, all who lived in this large home together. He took us to our room on the third floor that looked out on the city lights of Quito with mountains behind. Our “suite” had a bathroom just for us.
David then drove us the ten miles south into Old Quito to a fabulous mediterranean restaurant that had a stunning view of the city. We ate outside on the patio and got to know David.
We ended up staying five nights with the Castillo family, all of whom were so loving and kind to us. It seems that in most stable, happy Latino families, the children live at home until they are married. While David’s oldest brother, Roberto now lives with his wife in another home, David and his other brother, both in their mid twenties, live at home. Mother, Nancy, often went to Roberto’s house after work to help care for Roberto’s two young children. Auntie Guadalupe’s role in the home is to prepare and serve the meals since all the other members of the family work outside the home. One evening, everyone was out except Guadalupe, so the three of us watched Ecuador play Argentina in soccer, cheering as Ecuador won 2 to 0. We were truly treated like members of the family. Who knows (listen-up Jodee, Jonathan, and Alice) maybe the Latino way of family togetherness makes good sense!