MARYANNE! My dear friend, creative partner, and mentor… thank you so much for all the warmth,sharing, and conversations. I reccomend collaborating with Mary Anne at Playa Africa, her and Joseph are extremely hard working individuals with pure hearts. Wishing you all the best on your journeys.
Marryanne is an Incredibly warm and friendly person who makes you feel at home straight away and it is a beautiful place to be. The serounding area is not exactly a metroplolis so you may have to make your own entertainment however ther ocean is heavenly so after a long days work you may not feel like doing to much after youve had a swimm.
I spend 4 weeks here and had a great time. Maryanne and her boyfriend Jo made me feel at home right away. Both are incredibly hard working towards building their little paradise. The work was very diverse and I could choose my own work schedule and work days.
I helped extending their organic garden, watering the existing garden, making organic insecticides from tabaco and organic compost out of grass. I also helped clearing a grassy hill and planting, corn, beans, papaya, Quinoa, yucca, cucumber, pumpkin, and melon. We also did some digging for new bathrooms.
Maryanne is a fantastic cook and treats you to Pizza and chocolate cake after a hard days work.
The beach is beautiful, uncrowded even on the weekends and there are perfect waves for body boarder and beginner surfer. I left my bodyboard so do have some fun.
The local museum displays interesting pottery found on the beach and the surrounding and the local people are very friendly. This region is very different from the rest of Ecuador. Over 90% of the population is negro/ black. They are the descendants of runaway slaves and have persevered their African roots. I celebrated carnival in the nearby town Esmeraldas which was a very interesting cultural experience.
We stayed with Maryanne and Joseph for a week. Playa Africa is about 7km from the small town of Montalvo. The beach is great for an off the beaten track experience. Maryanna and Joseph are a hard working couple, making their dreams come true. We helped them to clear up some areas with the machete, collect rocks from the beach, we built a shelter for firewood and dug out a path behind one of the cabins. Maryanne cooks 3 delicious meals a day and with that some tasty treats (we miss the lemon cookies!). We slept in a private cabin with ocean view. The weather is humid and with the occasional rain it can get a bit muddy. Make sure to bring sunblock and mosquito repellent. Because of the condition of the road from Montalvo to Playa Africa, it’s best you arrive before 4pm. If you do arrive later you can get a ride from Montalvo to the beach ($7-$10) and walk the last little bit because of the tide. At night we enjoyed playing cards with them are watched one of Maryanne’s movies. Thanks Maryanne and Joseph for taking such good care of us! We wish you all the best luck and are excited to hear more about how everything is going!
I spent only 3 days in Maryanne and Joseph’s house because our respective plans of journeys were different. But it was very pleasant, with my own cabin and a view on the beautiful ocean. The beach is very quiet because isolated. The tasks are sometimes a little bit physical with the heat and the humidity but easy. During my stay, we helped on the garden: staking of tomatoes, sowing of aromatic, weeding… I hope that will grow up. We also were to collect waste on the beach.
Both are really hard working.
I felt really welcomed at their home. Maryanne is attentive and cooks well: pizzas, lemonade, brownie, french toast and it even made mojitos for the first time. And I enjoyed to playing cards at night, UNO!!
A small haven of peace with many mosquitos however ha ha but I recommand it. Thanks
We stayed here for one week and loved it. The location is spectacular, evening beach swims after working was a must. We worked raking leaves and undertook a project to build a concrete wall. Food is delicious. Experience is what you make it. We enjoyed spending time with Maryanne, chatting and playing cards, watching movies. Accomodation is very basic and there was a water shortage but I embraced the ‘living in nature’ vibe of the place. Difficult to find the farm so abit of an adventure from the beginning.