Agua Blanca Museum, Museums, Culture
The small community of Agua Blanca is a real treasure. Situated near the fishing town of Puerto Lopez in the Manabí province, the settlement is small and the people here truly treasure each other. They live simple lives yet they are immensely happy and the beauty of the area is only amplified by the tall trees of the surrounding Machalilla National Park. Many people come to Agua Blanca to help those living here to develop basic facilities. Others come to learn Spanish whilst interacting with a truly unique culture. Still others come here to enjoy the many archeological remains that have been discovered in the area. Whatever your reason for visiting is, you can be sure that this small little Ecuadorian treasure is well worth seeing.
What strikes most tourists upon first entering the village is just how small it is. Yet despite its diminutive size it is well organized and fully functional. Neat homes provide shelter for the people in the community while a small, brightly colored church sees to the community’s religious needs and a general store provides villagers with the supplies they need. A small school, recently furnished with donated computers, provides the children with a basic education. The local restaurant is always seeking ways to expand their menu while a small number of souvenir stalls give you the perfect opportunity to pick up a few mementos and support the local community for very little money.
However, the true treasure in the area has to be the small Agua Blanca Museum, which houses a variety of local finds. Many of these finds have been simply picked up and contributed to the museum while others come from a few of the partially excavated dig sites near the village. Many of the ancient treasures have been found to belong to the Manteña people who lived in the area between 800 and 1532 AD. One can only imagine what living in this beautiful part of Ecuador must have been like for these early people and the remains give great insight into their daily activities.
Once you’ve explored the historical aspect of Agua Blanca, you can take a swim in the Laguna, which is fed by volcanic springs, or try make a sulphuric mud-pack from the nearby mud. There are plenty of paths and tracks that need to be explored and maintained and there is always some aspect of the community that you can contribute to. Because the village is situated in the Machalilla National Park, a small entrance fee is usually required for tourists entering the region.