We arrived in the Port of Manta, Ecuador Saturday, January 11, and decided to go to Montecristi, the home of the Panama hat. On our way we stopped at a Tagua nut button factory, where we saw a demonstration of how buttons were made from the nuts. At the factory there were also nut carvers selling different carvings. After leaving the factory we stopped in the town of El Chorillo where Agave fiber bags were made. These bags were originally used to hold coffee beans. From there we traveled to a hill above Montecristi to a new cultural center that was built since the last time we were here in 2008. At the center there were Panama Hat makers demonstrating their craft and of course hats for sale. On the way back, into Manta, we passed the Sardine ship yard. These boats were made from mahogany and then covered with fiberglass. After we returned to the ship we watched the tuna boats unloading their catch.
The thumbnail pictures below represent this stop on our trip. Click on any of them to see actual picture.