Tandapi, Ecuador

Dogs and Diablo

A Night in Tandapi

In September 2022, we spent a night on Juan Carlos Acevedo's farm in one of his worker's houses—our last night in Ecuador. The next day, we'd be facing the clock: Doc has to get to the airport in Guayaquil, and we have to get to the airport in Quito. And we still have to visit Juan Carlos' restaurant and see his coffee.

Juan Carlos, while an excellent and extremely knowledgeable coffee farmer, is also widely known in Ecuador for his cattle, and even though we saw no cows on our visit, the cattle dogs were many. And they bark. A lot. Now we're facing the clock and running on approximately four hours of sleep. Our flight out of Quito isn't until 11:30PM.

Dogs and Diablo

A Peaceful Morning

We get up in the morning at approximately 6:00 and wonder around for a while on the outskirts of the house. We're waiting for Juan Carlos to show up with his driver, Luis Jarrin, so that we can go get breakfast and then visit the farm. Breakfast at Mister Rower's (Juan Carlos' restaurant) is fantastic. On the way to see the coffee, riding in the back of a farm truck, we pass the famous mountainside sculpture, La Cara del Diablo.

At the farm, Juan Carlos and one of his workers, Celio, teach us the importance of crossing different strains of coffee to build up resistance to common coffee plant diseases. Jostin, Luis' young son, carves out small roads in the dirt and tells us stories. The birds around us are singing. It's a quiet, peaceful morning—a great start to a very long day.