04.07.2010 24 °C
My name is Annia Larkins and my hometown is Manta, a beautiful city on the pacific ocean.
Manta is a touristic town and also has an important fishing industry.
As a port it became home to many italians,germans,croatians and spanish, all who were escaping the terrible disasters in World War II. There is quite a mix in its locals people, along with the Mantenses heritage.
The Mantenses were the ethnical community of this area and they were great navigaters and did commerce even with Mexico.
They were quite similar to the Valdivia Culture with the ceramic pots and sculptures, they were also independant from the Incas in the highlands and used the spondylus shell as there symbol of wealth as we would use gold and money.
The Mantenses adored La Diosa Umina, she was a sacred sculpture in esmerald and it is believed she was empowered by men. So there is a belief that she is burried in a house in the Umina neighbourhood where every men who live there die for mysterious reasons.
The locals here still are superstitious and know the medicinal properties of plants and still have some roots of their ancestors.
Here the people from the coast love to party, social life never stops any escuse is good in between a chrisning, first comunion a marriage and a football game. The Virgin Mary and there favorite football team are ussualy equaly important and sacred.
The local drinks here is cana manabita, ronpope and pilsener beer and our special dishes are ''ceviche de pescado(camaron,pulpo,concha)'' with ''patacon'' and ''cazuela de pescado'' made with ''mani''.
People here are also very talented musicians and singers, great ''guitarreadas'' always take place kareoke's too...
If you are in Manta its worth exploring the small town of Montecristi where they make panama hats 10min away and seeing San Lorenzo's beaches and Pacoche's cloud forest with howler monkeys only 20 mins away.
Manta is also has great surfing spots in Murcielago, San Mateo, Las pinas and the best time of the year are around December untill April. Other wise during June untill September its the good time to go Kite Surfing near by in Santa Marianita.
There is a great variety of hotels from 5 star ones like Howard Jonhson and Oro Verde, to hostals like Hostal Maria Jose,Barbaquillo and also my aunt Lula Santibanez rents out a fully furnished apartement with sea view and central in Manta for a reasonable price if its at least a week long (her telf number is 052-613-917).
If you like nature and want to stay in Pacoche there is Pacoche Lodge and camping in Pinahua and also hostals in Santa Marianita next to the kite surfing schools of Robert and Vladimir.
Recently there is a small growing american community living here ever since International Living put Manta on the map.
The real estate here is interesting and affordable for apartements with sea views.
Now the most cool place to go out is in Plaza del Sol next to Howard Jonhson, where there is nice bars like Cafe del Mar, Voodoo, Ka, Tres Platos and the disco called Praia.
Manta also has a cultural center in the Banco Central called MAAC Cine where international movies are displayed and theater and dances are shown along with Teatro Chusic that hosts an international theater festival in October.
The Teatro Chusic is nearby our biggest shopping mall Paseo Shopping where you will find any thing you might need.
Manta is a city that is both appealing for tourism and living here, at least I really enjoy and love my hometown and I hope others will too...