Straight from the heart

Jan 14, 2016 | 3 comments

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American-born photographer Thomas Ives has worked for international news and feature magazines for over 38 years. His photo essays and images have appeared in National Geographic, Time, Geo, Stern, Newsweek, Life, Smithsonian, and many others publications. He currently lives in Vilcabamba with his Ecuadorian partner. For more about Thomas, click here, or here (en español).


Whatever it takes!

Our beloved Ecuador is ground zero for innovative work-arounds. Scaffolding and ladder work seem to inspire the more ingenious solutions.

When encountering questionable safety practices (shenanigans) like this, never be an alarmist by shouting out:

— Oh my God! Do you know what your standing on? (he does).

— Those are thirteen common masonry building blocks … do you know anything about numerology and bad luck? (they most likely don’t)

— How in the hell did you get up on those? (good question actually).

— One false move Buster and you’re gonna be in a wheel chair and diapers for the rest of your life. (this might make him laugh which could spell disaster).

So just as he was finishing up the job by tying everything down with eight meters of electrical tape …..

I calmly, but firmly said: “I’m calling your mother right now!”

Big smiles from both of them.

Thomas H. Ives


Photo taken in Vilcabamba, 2014; Copyright; Thomas H. Ives, 2015; Contact:


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