Several times throughout our tour of Ecuador, we heard about their production of roses. They are everywhere, decorating every hotel and restaurant. Although roses are not native to Ecuador, the country has a perfect environment for rose cultivation, and is presently one of the world’s major producers. Ecuador actually exports 400 million roses a day.
We went to a rose plantation near Latacunga. We ventured under the giant canopy which housed hundreds of rose bushes. These were long stem roses. We could see yellow tags marking the ones that were ready to be picked.
We walked through the fields outside and then into the final building where the cut roses were taken and checked for quality, de-thorned, sorted, and then put into boxes to be shipped out. We learned about the workers and met several. We were given a rose as a souvenier.
We finished the tour in the giant refrigerator (that felt a little like heaven) where the ready-to-be-shipped roses waited for pick up.
One fun fact we learned was that if you were to give a rose to your sweetheart in Ecuador, it probably wouldn’t be met with gratitude because they are so cheap.