Sani Lodge Pt.1 – The People

Posted on January 2, 2011 by Tim 3 Comments

One of the afternoons, I was at the ‘dock’ and a couple little kids came down but shyly stayed back; likely a brother and sister, maybe 3 and 5 years old. In the late afternoon light they sat on a step that would have produced a stunning shot. Light, subject, composition, it was all there such that anyone could have taken the shot of a lifetime. I didn’t have my camera. I could have run back and grabbed it. But then I would have had to ask these shy little kids, who wouldn’t have understood me, if I could take their photo. That would have ruined it for me. So the image is burned in my mind. I’m a little regretful I didn’t capture that scene. But really, I’m more grateful to have seen and experienced it. This is why I travel.

Fredy (left) and another staff member outside of the kitchen. Fredy is a lead guide for Sani. His father is one of the founding members of the lodge project.

Javier is another lead guide and is one of the few guides I’ve met with a penchant for reptiles and amphibians. The more ‘tourists’ want to know about these animals, the more the guides will pick up.

Husband and Wife, Patricio and Mari, just got elected by the community to be the new administrators of the operation. Mari fell in love, with the place and Patricio, on a visit a few years ago. Her past life as a lonely mountaintop goatherd gives her a unique business perspective (that’s an inside joke).

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  • Rob Wilkinson says:

    Dear Tim,

    It was a great pleasure to meet you at Sani Lodge just before Christmas. And I have enjoyed browsing the images and words on your site, especially the sensitive comments about the team there.

    I wish you all good luck with your wildlife recording and conservation efforts. I mentioned my “London bestiary” and some of the reptiles that happen to make up some of that old city’s iconography. You can see the whole thing at this site:

    … along with my snaps from Sani and other places in Ecuador.

    All best wishes,


  • Cassandra says:

    Interesting perspective on the people of your destinations. I loved Jamaica and the dive experiences one could have, but my fondest memory was going to our bellman’s home deep in the high rainforest. Spending the day with Earl’s family and the local villagers meant more to me than any other trip taken. Thank you for bringing back that memory!

  • Stefan Fourier says:

    Hi Snakeman,
    we met in Sani Lodge together with Karin, Mikey and Marcie. I’m very impressed about your reports and the pictures in your website. Good luck!

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