I am very fascinated with houses; I draw them; I like to look inside them; once I had a sari with houses embroidered on the border; which is odd considering I have moved so much and rarely had one of my own.  Or maybe that’s why.  My family moved at least twice a year when I was growing up. (no not military; just odd.) And we didn’t ever live in the same house twice.  So searching for a place to live was a way of life for us. I have lived in many different kinds of houses, maybe about 45, and to this day there is nothing I enjoy more than touring houses.   Here is what I’ve seen of Cotacachi houses:

The colonial style (Spanish colonial) is evident in Cotacachi in the larger buildings, and many of the smaller are probably more influenced by the indigenous population.  006Terraces and gardens are what they have in common.

From the street you cannot tell what kind of house might be back behind the gates, walls or false fronts.  Many have only a small shop on the street.  Then if you go out the back door of the shop there is a garden enclosed by walls, and after the garden the living quarters.  But even after entering the small house in the back you are likely to find it is built around another small terrace, open to the sky.

Some walls that look like houses are just false fronts and what is behind the wall is a vacant lot!  The large colonials most often have gardens and terraces inside what looks like a big solid building.  And then there are terraces on the roof as well.  The roofs of the ex-patriots are used for relaxing and looking at the mountains.  But the locals use their roofs for hanging laundry, and play areas for dogs and children.    colonial house

I saw one house yesterday which I was told was a very traditional style.  Since I was looking from a neighboring roof, I could see it meandered all over its lot, with terraces and gardens on each floor, a pool on one side and rose garden on the other.

Each room had a skylight, and under each skylight was a small terrace!

Except for the ex-patriot communities which are new construction and in their own walled area on the edges of town, and whose houses and condos are what you would see in wealthy U.S southwestern areas, the style of the houses are very mixed along the streets.

The street as a whole has a definite look because of the false fronts and ornate doors and narrow sidewalks, but inside the gates there are hovels next to well kept colonial beauties, unrefrigerated fruit stands next to cell phone stores.


My building appears very modern, and it is recently built, but it does have the colonial layout.

On the bottom floor is an internet cafe and behind that vast unoccupied rooms that are rented out for parties and two apartments kept by the landlord for family.

On the second floor the two apartments are on either side of the terrace which is open through the third floor and has a skylight to the roof. A locked gate leads to the third floor with two more apartments on either side of the terrace, which has become an indoor garden.

The roof is also a terrace with gardens around the edges and a big sink for washing clothes and clothes line.


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