About Mariuxi Prieto

Mariuxi Prieto

Mariuxi Prieto has been a Naturalist Guide for the Galapagos Islands since 1991 and is based in Guayaquil Ecuador. She is also a Biologist and has received the official Wine Ambassador Certification by the the Ecuadorian Wine Guild.

Mariuxi studies Gastronomy at the very prestigious School of Chefs in Guayaquil and is also a member of the Ecuadorian Wine Guild. Additionally, she runs her own network marketing business with Agel Enterprise.

Latest Posts by Mariuxi Prieto

Guayaquil City & “Las Peñas” Neighborhood

October 15, 2010 by  


Historically it is the most important neighborhood in Guayaquil. Located at the foot of Cerro Santa Ana, “Las Peñas” is one of Guayaquil’s first neighborhoods and home of presidents, historians, painters, writers and various other noteworthy figures in Ecuadorian history, such as the musician Antonio Neumane, the composer of the Ecuadorian National Anthem, and General Eloy Alfaro, one of Ecuador’s greatest presidents.

Originally settled in the 16th century, the city suffered several devastating fires, so the existing buildings in the neighborhood are less than 100 years old. But their characteristics and structures are very similar to those built during the XVIII and XIX century, and that is precisely the beauty and patrimonial value that they share.

The worst fire in 1896 destroyed nearly every dwelling. When the structures were rebuilt during the 20th century, great care was taken to preserve the original architecture. Over time, the neighborhood has been restored. Its houses near the riverside make it very nostalgic and it has become an important tourist destination.

The narrow cobblestone lane Numa Pompilio Llona, named after the important Ecuadorian poet and philosopher, is the location of several popular sites and next to this neighborhood, Santa Ana Hill is located. The Hill, called years ago “Cerrito Verde,” is the place where the city was originally founded in 1547.

At this present day we may find several restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, souvenir shops and what is most important: the beautiful sight of Guayaquil City.

Ecuador Wines On Their Way Up

September 25, 2010 by  


Ecuador, with a population bordering the fourteen million inhabitants, is becoming one of the markets most promising and important wine consumption in South America. According to information provided by the Journal on Wine Guild Corporation, a non-profit entity, in Ecuador drank one cup per person per year in 2000 and now is coming to two bottles per capita, which implies one of the strongest growth in the continent.

Local production is still low and there are only two producers who are making wines of great  scale quality:

“Estancia Winery Chaupi”, located at 2,400 meters in the Ecuadorian Highlands. However,  the great surprise came from “BODEGA TWO HEMISPHERES OF ECUADOR” representing the Ecuadorian Coast and my city of Guayaquil, with two award-winning wines with a silver medal in the Second International Competition of Wines(“Wine Gala 2009”). This winery makes an excellent white wine(“ENIGMA”) and two red wines: “BRUMA” (my favourite), and “PARADOJA”. They are an assemblage of Carbernet Sauvignon and Malbec with varietals Pinot Noir and Merlot.

The International Wine Gala 2009 was judged by a panel of professionals from different countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Ecuador.

“ENIGMA”, “BRUMA”, and “PARADOJA”…..Proudly made in my city of Guayaquil!!

Ecuadorian Ceviche

September 15, 2010 by  


Ceviche is a seafood dish very popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially in Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chili peppers. Additional seasonings such as onion, salt and pepper may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn or avocado. As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to avoid potentially detrimental effects on the health of the consumer.

Ceviche’s birthplace is disputed between Peru and Ecuador, and as both countries have an amazing variety of fish and shellfish, it could easily have come from the ancient Inca civilizations of Peru and Ecuador. Every Latin American country has given seviche/ceviche its own touch of individuality by adding its own particular garnishes.  In Ecuador, it is accompanied by popcorn, nuts, or corn nuts. It is also served in a large crystal bowl with the guests helping themselves, either by spearing it with toothpicks or filling the pastry shells.

The origin of the name of the dish is also disputed. One hypothesis suggests that the common Spanish word for the dish “cebiche” has its origin in the Latin word “cibus”, which translates to English as “food for men and animals”. Further hypothesis base the origin of the term on “escabeche”, Spanish word for pickle, or that it´s simply a variation of the word “siwichi”, the traditional Quechua name for the dish.

In modern times, the name of the dish is often spelled either as “cebiche”, “ceviche” or “seviche”, based on regional location. All three spelling variations are accepted by the Royal Spanish Academy, the official Institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language.

Those who argue for a Peruvian or Ecuadorian origin claim that the Andean natives used banana passionfruit before the arrival of the Spanish, to prepare ceviche. When the Spanish introduced citrus fruits, the natives apparently preferred the taste and began to use limes and lemon to prepare their fish. The fact that ceviche was unknown in former Eastern Spanish colonies such as Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, lends credence to this hypothesis.

In my country, Ecuador, ceviche tends to be made with tomato sauce for a tangy taste, specially the shrimp ceviche. In the province of Manabi, they prepare ceviche with lime juice, salt and the juice provided by the shrimp itself is very popular. In Ecuador, ceviche is also made with various types of local shellfish, such as black clam, oysters, spondilus, barnacles, among others. It is served in a bowl with toasted corn kernels as a side dish fried green plantains or thinly sliced plantains(plantain chips), called “chifles” and pop corn are also typical ceviche side dishes.