He's one person behind the wave of alternative thinking and living in La Floresta in the last 5 years, and he's doing it right.
La Floresta is a garden-y neighborhood in Quito that informally carries the title of "Hippiest Neighborhood" in Ecuador's capital city. It is where street artists prefer to paint larger than life forest frogs and psychedelic flowers than overt political commentary.
But it hasn't always been that way, and it didn't just happen on its own.
Upon entering the friendly, fresh Botánica cafe, you get a sense for the paradise world envisioned by the people who have banned together to put La Floresta on the map as an alternative, artist-and-gardener driven place - and a wonderful one to visit at that.
Botánica has been serving adorable coffee drinks and thoughtful sandwiches for nearly 3 years, and shares a house with Fui Reciclado - Quito's only premier recycled goods store (8 years). Both are wonderfully designed places with beautiful products to match, and both happen to be part-inspired by Antonio Portilla - family man and designer from the neighborhood.
Along with his business partner in the cafe - his wife - and his team with Fui, he has brought a slew of new, great things to Quito that embody the world vision that La Floresta holds for Quito's future.
In one of the best coffee-bean producing countries in the world, Botánica has figured out a way to roast the beans to the same standard of excellence of how they're grown, which changes the coffee experience 100%. At Fui, they're recycling tons (literal tons) of old tires and billboards to create funcional beauty by way of messenger bags, wallets, coin-purses, and tablet cases.
Check it out on your next Quito Street Tour!