In Southern Ecuador, lies a small village about 30 kilometers east of Cuenca where guitar-making is a way of life. San Bartolome is a picturesque town located on a hill with several guitar shops along the main road. No one really knows when the guitar-making tradition began, but it dates back at least 200 years, and many families can trace their own family guitar-making traditions to a 100 years back or more.
There are about 10 guitar-makers in this town, most of the from the safe family.. When in San Bartolome, one can visit the studios and homes of the guitar makers and see the guitars are made. This offers travellers an opportunity to support these artisans, interact with them directly, learn first hand about their trade, and perhaps purchase a fine handmade guitar to take back home.0