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Ecuador News
May 03, 2015

Making a Difference as an Expat in Ecuador

by Lorell Stewart

Are you a potential expat, thinking about making a living or retiring in Ecuador, where you will finally be able to realize your dreams of a worry-free life and have the time to give back to your community?

In this series of articles entitled Making a Difference, Lorell Stewart, a long-time Cuenca resident and host of the successful Spanish Immersion Homestay Program will introduce you to many like-minded North Americans, Europeans and Ecuadorians who will amaze and inspire you!

Some folks are highly visible, contributing ideas and opportunities on a broad scale, while others are quietly engaged in helping in more singular ways. If you can imagine it, you too can make it happen!

In this first in a series of our Making A Difference articles, we meet Clay Bodine and Laura Inks Bodine, who have brought their successful Santa Barbara Fishbon project to life in South America with Fishbon del Sur, and have additionally created the inspiring, nascent community group, LOVE Cuenca!

Sitting in an outdoor café on a sunny Saturday morning in late November, I have the chance to interview Clay and Laura about their vision to expand their Santa Barbara initiative “to develop a collaborative environment for artists, technologists, writers, designers, performers and other participants, to create unique, real-time aesthetic experiences that speak to contemporary audiences”. I know that’s a lot to assimilate, so let’s break it down;

LS: I have heard so many wonderful things about Fishbon del Sur, and in fact have enjoyed a few of your newly legendary artistic events! How does the “del Sur” experience in South America differ from what you originally created in Santa Barbara, and how have you cross-pollinated across the equator?

LIB: When Clay and I met in Santa Barbara, we were both doing similar things for a different audience. My business, ‘Arts Alive’, was housed in a 4,000 sq. ft space which included an art gallery, and classrooms for ceramics, painting, music, costume design and much more for children of all ages. Fishbon was Clays’ initiative, and he was basically doing the same thing for adults.

CB: Fishbon was created as an incubator for creative expression. The past 15 to 20 years has given rise to a paradigm shift, moving toward collaboration at all levels. These days, innovation is the only way that companies are getting ahead. Fishbon originated as a ‘container’ for collaborative expression for adults, and grew out of the many similar artistic endeavors which created ‘Burning Man’, in the Nevada desert.

To read the continuation of this interview please go to Making a Difference


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