Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday Snapshot: Cuenca, Ecuador

Let’s start the New Year off by calling a spade a spade, or a panama hat a Montecristi. Since the 1800’s, Ecuador has had to endure the world mistaking its greatest export for that of another country. The panama hat is, and always has been, made in Ecuador. Recognized by Spanish entrepreneurs as a timeless accessory, it was exported to the States and Europe via Panama. Due to this passport stamp, its origin was mistaken, and thus it was named. The myth was further entrenched by the men digging the Panama Canal. They were seen in photos wearing these light and extremely durable hats to protect themselves from the brutal rays of the tropical sun. President Theodore Roosevelt famously wore this palm frond woven hat at the construction site of the Panama Canal, and solidified its fate as the panama hat. Montecristi is the name of the most famous hat making town, and how the hat is known to connoisseurs.

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