Santa Isabel, Ecuador - Polarsteps
Santa Isabel, Ecuador: a small town south of Cuenca and built on the side of the Yunguilla Valley, and I mean literally going up the side of the valley. The population is around 21,000. The average elevation is 970 meters (3182 feet). The original name was Chaguarurco, which according to the original language means "sheltered, hot". It was originally peopled by the Cañris indigenous people until the Spanish conquistadors came in and exploited the gold mines. They did such a bad job of mining that the mountain collapsed onto the mines killing numerous indigenous and Spanish people. The mines were buried under so much earth they had to be abandoned. Later, in the 17th century, there was an epidemic that just about wiped out the town. The town finally was recognized officially as Santa Isabel in 1945.
The valley is known for its crops of onion, tomato, pepper, potatoes, cassava, chili pepper, sweet potato, corn, green beans, vegetables, sugar cane, and fruits.
So, my impressions: I like this tiny town but there are no supermarkets here. There are many tiendas (neighborhood convenience stores, usually the front room of a house that's been converted into a small store) and a few newer small grocery stores/minimarkets. There are a couple of banks and ATMs. As for other stuff, you can get just about anything you need here in the many hardware stores and lumberyards. It's a pleasant town and a nice place to visit.
My South America Journey