Chile-born Osvaldo Donoso Barrrios’ talks to me about his life, from Chile to Peru (his mother was Peruvian) to Ecuador to California’s Marin. He has lived on Santa Cruz Island in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands for over twenty years and now runs the Aquelarre Restaurant, which translates to witch’s coven. “It is where the witches meet,” he says. He talks about his love of all places he has lived and why, this life and his past one.
Osvaldo Donoso is the architect, designer and co-owner of this charming restaurant that is only open–by-appointment-only. It is set in the midst of the Santa Cruz Highlands. He once had a Swiss wife named Renee and he shows me her artwork, which is prodded up against the wall on the floor. It is one of many beautiful pieces scattered around the restaurant, from painted furniture, pottery, relics and whimsical artwork while the plants and trees blow in the wind outside as we catch the glorious blue sky and view of the Highlands. There are tequila palms in his garden, the same palms that the Palm hats are made from. I also learn that blackberries are a big problem on the island because he says, “they’re a very invasive plant.”