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Here are three ways to beat the Ecuador sun.

We love the sun!  Ecuador is the land of the sun.   This equatorial nation receives direct sunlight 365 days a year.

All this sun is great… however.

Even January to March which is the rainy season in Cotacachi, there is plenty of sun.  When there, I watch it rise behind the Cathedral each day.  Here he comes!


In the wet season, Cotacachi can be cloudy, but rarely will it rain very long…not like the rainy seasons of Central America.  Merri and I walk early every morning  and even in the wettest times only once ended up wet on our walk.  The weather varies through the day…starting in the higb 40s or low 50s and working up into the 70s.

There is a chance to have plenty of Cotacachi sun almost every day. This is really good for health because the sun produces Vitamin D.

Dr. Mercola, a noted natural health writer, posted an article at his site which says:

A meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials has found that supplemental vitamin D significantly reduces mortality from all causes.

The analysis emphasizes the medical, ethical, and legal implications of promptly diagnosing and adequately treating vitamin D deficiency.

Not only are such deficiencies common, but vitamin D deficiency is implicated in most of the diseases of civilization. Vitamin D’s final metabolic product targets more than 200 human genes in a wide variety of tissues. One of the most important genes vitamin D up-regulates is for cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Since vitamin D deficiency is both endemic and is associated with numerous diseases, it is one of the most important medical problems in modern society. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in otherwise healthy patients must be individualized due to the numerous factors affecting vitamin D levels. Steps should be taken to keep patients with chronic diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency, especially internal cancers, in the higher normal range of vitamin D blood levels.

Many who come to Ecuador report feeling better and losing inches.

Balance is always important though.

Not enough sun is bad for your health. So is too much sun.   Ecuador definitely provides the potential for sun burn.  The direct sun…  high altitude… and cool weather is so pleasant… that it sneaks up on you and can burn you quickly.

What can one do to protect against too much sun?

Merri and I do not use sun tan lotion for two reasons.

First,  there are concerns that the lotion itself is more dangerous health wise than too much sun.


This excerpt from the Independent are entitled “If Your Suntan Lotion Can Change The Sex Of Fish, What Can It Do To You?” outlines the health concerns about sun tan lotion. Scientists have found that male hornyhead turbot and English sole, feeding near sewage outfalls on the Californian coast, are being feminised – and a chemical found in sunscreens is the likely culprit.

Meanwhile, Swiss researchers have found other suspected gender-bender chemicals from sun creams and oils building up in fish in their rivers.  

But the University of California scientists found that the only culprit they could “exclusively identify” is oxybenzone, used to protect the skin from the ultraviolet component of sunlight.

Oxybenzone, which mimics oestrogen’s chemical make-up, is washed off tanned bodies in the shower, passes through sewage works unchanged and settles on the seabed, where bottom-feeding fish eat it.

The new Swiss research, however, shows two other suspected gender-bender substances used in sunscreen and lip balm – octocrylene and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor – also building up alarmingly in fish.

They fear that people are being exposed to the chemicals several times over, first by putting them on their skin, and then injesting them in drinking water and the fish they eat. But the cosmetics industry denies the chemicals are dangerous, and says that”sunscreen phobia” could lead to more cancers.

However, there have been other concerns about potential health effects. Some clear sunscreens use nanoparticles so small that they can penetrate the skin and even get into the brain.”

The second reason we do not use sun tan lotion is that it does not work as explained in these excerpts from an article in the Mail entitled “Suntan lotion raises cancer risk” that says: Sun creams could raise the risk of getting skin cancer, experts will warn today.

Although they help prevent sunburn, lotions fail to block out the harmful ultraviolet rays which can cause the disease, a study has found. They therefore give sun worshippers a false sense of security.

The dangers will be spelt out when burns specialist Professor Roy Sanders declares that the only ways to truly protect the skin are by staying in the shade at the hottest times of the day or by covering up with hats and T-shirts.

The findings of the 13-year-study led by Professor Sanders, who is based at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, North-West London, will be revealed today.

Research involved taking discarded skin from patients undergoing surgery at the hospital – a leading NHS centre for plastic surgery – and exposing it to UVA light at intensities similar to those of direct sunlight.

Three widely available high-factor creams were applied to the skin in recommended doses.

Tests showed none of them offered sufficient protection against the release of the damaging free radicals thought to cause melanoma and premature aging of the skin.

Three steps we take to enjoy the Ecuador sun safely.

First. we do our walking evenings and early morn when the sun is not so full.

Second Merri and I wear…


hats. We have our Stetsons and…


Panama hats. All Panama hats are made in Ecuador…wonderful and very inexpensive!

The third solution I like best as a confirmed… practicing…. chocoholic. That solution is “eat chocolate“… good pure Ecuador chocolate.

Jean Marie Butterlin explains why in his article below.

Why black chocolat from Ecuador, rich in flavonoids, protects you against bad UV rays and is good for your heart!

By Jean Marie Butterlin

Today, I will review two more qualities of Ecuadorian cacao, that will remove any guilt you may still have, when eating dark chocolate :

Added protection against UV rays :

Eating dark chocolate, that is produced in a way that preserves its high anti-oxydant content, can significantly increase the amount of UV rays that will get you a sunburn.

In a recent study, 30 people have eaten either flavonoid rich dark chocolate or a chocolate with very low flavonoid content (using a patented method that keeps 80% of the flavonoids from the cacao) ; both were manufactured the same way with an old fashioned recipe.

Each participant in the study got to eat about 20g (0,65 Oz.) of chocolate per day.

After 12 weeks, the amount of UV necessary to get a sunburn was doubled in the group that ate the high flavonoid content chocolate, compared to the other group who ate the low content flavonoid chocolate.

This does not mean you should not protect yourself with natural sunscreens….I would recommend to the chocolate eater to consider dark chocolate as an added protection cushion against the bad UV rays ; as Ecuador is closer to the sun because of its position on the equator as well as in higher altitude, why not just indulge a bit in the delicious high flavonoid 70% min. cacoa chocolate from Ecuador?

They still do the chocolate the old fashioned way here in Ecuador that garantees the high anti-oxydant properties of the finished product ; also Ecuador cacao has one of the highest flavonoid content to begin with (only some Brazilian cacao measures slightly higher).

20g of this kind of chocolate contains more than 500mg of flavonoids, a cup of green tea contains around 50mg and a glass of red wine about 160 mg.

The most important factors to consider are :

–       manufacturing method that does not decrease too much the original flavonoid content (thus using lower temperature during processing of the cacao into chocolate)

–       very low sugar content as well as fat therefore I suggest at least 85% cacao content chocolate. Personnaly I eat 95%.

Why Ecuadorian Black Chocolate is also good for your heart

Ecuadorian dark chocolate has also anti-stress properties, (a topic covered in a recent post) and to these we can add other benefits, which this time targets the cardio-vascular system.

Researchers recently published a study in a European medical Journal showing that the daily consumption of a small quantity of dark chocolate induces a decrease of  blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Having followed during a period of at least ten years 19,357 people aged between 35 and 65 years having eaten daily approximately 7.5 grams of dark chocolate, a team of German researchers drew the conclusion that most of the people presented a tendency to low blood pressure. Furthermore, the risks of heart attack or cardiac fibrillation were clearly less for these chocolate lovers. The decrease of these risks was about 39 %.

The researchers explain this strong decrease of this risk by the high flavonoids and phytochemicals that are present in the cocoa. As we known, the cocoa is the main ingredient of the dark chocolate. These natural substances seem to improve the bioavailability of the nitric oxide inside the cells. A lack of nitric oxide in the blood, is harmful for the walls of vessels. Indeed, nitric oxide in the gas, that, once released, causes a relaxation of the cells forming the smooth muscle structure which form the internal lining of the blood vessels. It is this phenomenon, which facilitates the lowering of blood pressure. The nitric oxide also improves the function of blood platelets, the blood flow and makes the vascular endothelium less attractive for the white blood cells which tend to attached to it.

I advise you however to avoid the industrial chocolate, which contains more calories because it has generally a big quantity of refined sugars and often artificial aromas or other chemical additives. Instead indulge everyday with a small quantity of dark chocolate containing 75 or 80 % of cocoa, especially the Ecuadorian chocolate, that is made the old fashioned way, has higher flavonoid contents, has an exceptional taste and does not need any other additives.

The scientists also demonstrated that dark chocolate containing at least of 70 % of cocoa has an important antioxidant role i.e. anti-aging benefits. But do not forget nevertheless that certain dark chocolates contain approximately 170 calories per Oz.

Here is as an example, the KALLARI chocolate, organically produced in Ecuador like a French wine , from a single source , farm cooperative in the Amazon by the Quichua (Kichwa00) families.


Jean Marie

Ecuador Chocolate can enhance wealth as well as health! Delegates at our Ecuador Export Tours learn how to export Ecuador chocolate.


Here is some of the…


Ecuador chocolate that…


delegates see on the…


Ecuador Export Tours conducted by Bonnie Keough.

Finally Ecuador chocolate can be enjoyed in more ways than just eating because  Cotacahci has another attraction…the Chocolate massage… in my opinion this is much better than sun tan lotion!

I love having this massage at La Mirage.   Let’s begin with La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa. Merri and I ate lunch at La Mirage the first time we visited Cotacachi well over 15 years ago and met the owners, Michel Durer and Jorge Espinoza. Since that time we have sent hundreds of people to stay. All of them have raved at their delight.

The spa is unparalleled.  With 17 incredible treatments and the room designed just for THAT treatment!  Cleopatra’s bath, first a soak in herbalized milk and herbs and then a full massage room has an exquisite Egyptian motif.

Each room has a fireplace with eucalyptus logs and lovely music so I was not surprised to see the fire when I entered the new Chocolate Room. The treatment lasts 100 minutes and begins with several face and skin scrubs. The skin is our largest eliminative and most absorbing organ so this beginning clears away the old and prepares the skin to absorb the nutrients and anti-oxidants in the chocolate.

Then the face is coated in a chocolate soufflé foam. Chocoholics beware! The smell drove me to consume my Christmas given bag of chocolate when I got back to the hotel. As the foam sits, the body is then painted in chocolate and put in a hot body wrap. As you soak in the warm chocolate, the masseuse massages the head. scalp and face. Finally all this is removed and ends with a full body massage. I came out glowing…though as mentioned craving chocolate!

You can learn more about La Mirage treatments here.


We’ll look at the importance of Ecuador’s history… food…. taste… color… sound… smell…  and feel to health and wealth in our Quantum wealth sessions this June 24 to 27.

Learn about Ecuador, international investing, business and global health secrets at our  June 24-27 Quantum Wealth plus International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina

June 28-29    Ecuador Travel & Andes

June 30-Jul 1 Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 3-4 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 6-7   Quito Mindo Real Estate Tour

July 9-10-11     Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Aug. 31-Sept. 1 Ecuador Shamanic Minga

Sept.   2-6   Ecuador Export Tour

Sept.   8-9  Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 11-12  Coastal Real Estate Tour

Sept. 14-15-16 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Oct.    7 Quantum Wealth plus International Investing and Business North Carolina

Oct.   8-10   International Investing & Business North Carolina
Oct.   11-12  Travel to Quito and Andean Tour
Oct.  13-14   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Oct.  16-17   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Oct.  19-20   Quito Real Estate Tour
Oct. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Nov.    4-7   Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida
Nov.    8-9   Travel to Quito and Andean Tour
Nov. 10-11    Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 13-14    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Nov. 16-17    Quito Real Estate
Nov. 19-20    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Dec.   3-5    Ecuador Shamanic Mingo
Dec.   7-8    Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Dec.  10-11   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Dec. 13-14    Quito Real Estate Tour
Dec. 16-17    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Read the entire articles:

If Your Suntan Lotion Can Change The Sex Of Fish, What Can It Do To You?

Suntan lotion raises cancer risk