It was a little over two years ago, Gary and I took our adventure to this beautiful city, Cuenca.  Through a series of referrals, we met some new friends who helped us when we arrived.  One of the referrals led us to stay at Hotel Inca Real located on General Torres, two blocks from Parque de Calderon.  During our 10 night stay, we not only enjoyed the hotel’s surroundings, but quickly became friends with the hotel’s staff and general manager, Tania Sarmiento.  Little did I know we’d become lifelong friends.
So, it’s my privilege to share the story of her family – especially the 3 sisters, who all have ended up in hotel and restaurant businesses.  They were featured in a magazine published by El Tiempo.  The article tells about their father, Segundo renovating the family home 20 years ago, making it the first colonial mansion to become a hotel.
Tania, the oldest daughter of three, had already studied clinical psychology at the university.  Upon   completion of the renovation, she left her career and began to work in tourism, a foreign and completely different area for her.  Little did she know at the time, but this was her niche!  And in these past 20 years, she has indeed, blossomed in this marvelous industry.
One year later, following the opening of Hotel Inca Real, Karina, the second eldest followed in the family theme and opened her restaurant located in the Caja National Park, called “Dos Chorreras.”  Now it is not only a restaurant, but a luxurious lodge nestled in the beautiful mountains.
Priscilla, the youngest of the daughters, decided to be the caboose of this business train and went to the university, specifically to study tourism.  After her graduation 15 years ago, she began a successful catering business called “Casa Real.” 
And five years from Priscilla’s opening of her business, the sisters’ parents decided to change the family farm to an event center for wedding or conventions.  The place is “Jardines de San Joaquin” with the ability to seat 500 persons.
The latest project of the family was in November of 2011 when Priscilla opened a new, full service restaurant, “La Pergola.”
That leaves an interesting question:  “What are the husbands of these beautiful sisters doing?”  Just so happens that they have been totally involved with every family project, and the couples all work in their businesses together. 
Is that all?
No, ALL the older children of the sisters, now work in the family businesses as well.
What a story!  What a family!
In conclusion, the greatest dream though, of the Sarmiento family, is to leave a legacy of excellence in business and family to the city of Cuenca, which they dearly love.
Hotel Inca Real’s Blog:  www.incareal.blogspot.com
Hotel Inca Real’s Website:  www.hotelincareal.com.ec

Sue Gaither

 



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