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Hogar Dulce Hogar

May 11, 2018

How do you define home? Some might say it is the place where you grew up, some might say it is the place where you have lived the longest, some might say it is where your family lives, some might say it is where you own a house, some might say all of the above and that they have many homes, and others might even say they have no home. Home seems to be a simple, but also very abstract concept that depending on the individual, can be defined in a multitude of different ways. For us, we are not Ecuadorian, we have not lived at Reserva Las Tangaras long, and our families live very far away. Yet, we feel at home here.

We came to Reserva Las Tangaras excited about the incredibly unique biodiversity in Ecuador and all of the new things we would learn about this Reserve and ourselves. And yes, since being here, we have definitely experienced that. We have seen new species of wildlife everywhere, we have heard bizarre animal calls throughout the Jungle, we have cooked with many different local foods, and we have met many amazing people both from Ecuador and abroad. We take great pleasure in, and cherish all of these new things we are experiencing, but there is something else about living here that we weren’t expecting to give us so much pleasure.

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It’s also the same things that we have begun to notice everyday. There are small patterns you start to pick up on at Las Tangaras like the afternoon rains, seeing the same individual hummingbirds zoom around the house, walking alongside a column of army ants on the entrada trail to town, or hearing the Andean Cock-of-the-rock call as they descend down the mountain from their daily morning lek. As the Stewards of Las Tangaras, we take immense pleasure in not only the new things, but also these smaller things that have become routine. Maybe that’s another definition for home.

Although we don’t have very many human neighbors, we do have a Common pootoo that regularly roosts near the cabin, we have a Broad-billed motmot that often comes by to say hi when we are doing our hummingbird counts, and we have a pair of Orange-bellied euphonias that hop around the trees in our backyard picking berries as they go. Albeit only temporarily, this is our home now, and through recognizing the habits of some of the other creatures living here at Las Tangaras we feel like we’re slowly becoming part of the ecosystem here too.

We have found that we enjoy both the ordinary and the extraordinary, and we value each type of experience equally. This Reserve is a beautiful place that offers hiking trails, diverse avifauna, breathtaking views, swimming holes, you name it. There are plenty of opportunities for excitement here, but you can never know beforehand what those will be. For us, one of our greatest pleasures is watching the hummingbirds during a thunderstorm bathe themselves, and seeing them come to the feeders with crazy hair styles!

Reserva Las Tangaras is a little different from most other nature destinations, and if you approach your stay here with an open-mind you can find endless entertainment, enjoyment, and adventure.

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