Passion and Prose-Brian Iverson

“I like my grass blue and my whiskey straight”

quote from brian!


Thinking about how to introduce Brian my head is filled with thoughts about meeting him in Quito at Finn´s and then finding him in the least likely places.  When I went to the coast with a group of volunteers all of the sudden on a weekend break to Montanita, there he was..

Even though he´s off to school it still happens.  I work in an office with mutual friends who run a volunteer company and the first week there out of the blue comes the question.. Don´t you know Brian? That´s how he is.  Just laid back enough for everyone to have met or talked to him and motivated enough to get something done.

He taught, he guided, he rented a hostel, and he helped get a community driven tour agency through the infant stages.. He also had a really good time doing it!  So instead of a detailed introduction I am giving him the space to fill you in about his time here and what he´s been doing since then..

My two cents would be.. Dude, word! Bring back the bus and let´s get it moving!

1. How long were you in Ecuador and what did you do with your time here?

I was in Ecuador for roughly 2.5 years. I initially came down as volunteer for a hosteria/travel agency. I thought I was just going to be doing a bunch of farm hand/lodge type work but quickly ended up being a mountain bike tour guide and translator for the horseback riding tours.

2.You rented a hostel in Montanita for a year, right? What was the learning curve like for running a business in Ecuador? Any favorite people or memories? Would you run a hostel again and if so what would you advise people who are thinking about doing it to make sure of?

Yep sure did. I had never taken a business course in my life so my learning curve was through the roof. I really had more desire than knowledge of business, which I think was more important to me anyways. I was back in the states after doing my guiding work and wanted desperately to get back to Ecuador. Montanita to me is a paradise and I found a hostel for lease that was the same price as my cheap apartment in the states…no brainer to make the switch.

I have many favorite memories but one particular was the first night of Carnavale. I had closed the restaurant for the night and the streets were packed to the gills. There was literally no where to walk and I had a front patio on the main intersection and invited all my friends over to the patio and we partied freely with our music blaring while everyone was fighting for standing room only spots on the street.

I would definitely run a hostel and am hoping to do so in later in life. As far as advice to give, you need two things, an intense desire to make a dream a reality and a proper lawyer to help with the paperwork. I can’t stress enough how important getting a lawyer is.

3.You also were involved with a travel agency that specialized in Indigenous peoples and showing people travelling here the other side of the country off the beaten track. Can you tell me a little about how that started and what your impressions of the people here in villages are?

I started volunteering for an indigenous women’s group of artisans in the Otavalo area. From that spawned an idea of community based tourism and helped set the foundations for a company based in Peguche. Things are actually still in the works and I’m no longer helping with the project. Poco a Poco I think it will get started however.

I absolutely love the people from the villages. The smiles on the old women and young children are priceless. Simple things, such as a hand shake or shared greeting are some of the things I cherish the most about my time in Ecuador, it’s as though that single moment was frozen in time.

4.You also spent time teaching here. What were your impressions of the school where you taught and do you still keep in touch with any students?

The school I taught at has potential to be great. The school was funded by the Yachana Foundation and has won many prestigious awards including the best “geotourism” project in the world from National Geographic. I think with the right administration and focus the school could really take off.

5.Any favorite places that you would recommend to people who really want to find a great spot?
I love the hosteria at Papagayo just south of Machachi ( 1 hr south of Quito ). Papagayo is the hosteria where I volunteered at and it belongs to Gulliver’s Travels. There are some great hikes in the area and a few magical spots can be discovered if you hop the right fences ☺

6.What’s left on your bucket list? What have you crossed off in the last year?

Man, it seems like the bucket list keeps growing but at the same time I’m able to check things off with greater frequency. The past year has brought me to Austin, TX where I just started as a 1st grade bilingual teacher. I added a VW Westphalia to my list and am hoping to drive that bad boy back down to South America in two years and start teaching again. I’m scheming how to make my triumphant and permanent return back to South America

One Response to “Passion and Prose-Brian Iverson”
  1. Montanita says:

    Great articule and interview.. We think that montanita is great… In montanita there is a lot of people like Brian .. its a place to know , really

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