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Polleras for Sale
March 25, 2011

Polleras, brightly colored and often sequined or embroidered, are skirts worn by Cholas, women of mixed European and indigenous heritage. From both urban and rural areas of Ecaudor, many Cholas are fruit and vegetable sellers in Cuenca’s markets. Despite their mestizo roots, Cholas are often seen as symbols of indigenous life.

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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Two chicas near El Tomba
March 25, 2011

These two chicas waved “yes” and smiled when I asked to take their picture. Our group was walking along the railroad tracks between the Inca ruins at Ingapirca and the town of El Tomba in Cañar province.

tags: Culture

location: Zhud, Canar, Ecuador

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Road from Gualaquiza to Cuenca
February 17, 2011

After eight days of travel and biological study in southern Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, we headed back to Cuenca from Gualaquiza via this serpentine mountain road. This route helped us avoid a possible repeat of the three-hour delay caused by a derumbe (landslide) we’d encountered on our way to the Rio Nangaritza. (more...)

tags: Environment

location: Gima, Azuay, Ecuador

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A Shuar Kitchen
February 16, 2011

In the Shuar community of El Tink, German Petsain and his family, friends of biology professor Ernesto Arbeláez, hosted us. Herman’s son Arutam, named for the Shuar god of the rainforest and waterfalls, waited outside the family’s kitchen as our group arrived for lunch. This bamboo and wood structure stands separate from the family’s sleeping quarters. (more...)

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups

location: San Juan Bosco, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

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Papagayo Birds
February 14, 2011

These Papagayo birds watched over the Hostería El Arenal in southern Ecuador near Zamora, where we stayed during our week of academic travel.

tags: Environment, Ecosystems: Tropical Forest

location: Yangana, Loja, Ecuador

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Storm on the Nangaritza River
February 14, 2011

For a few dry moments, most of our happy group posed as we embarked on a two-hour tour of the Rio Nangaritza (Sam and Claire are missing). Just as the canoe pulled out from the dock at La Orquídeas, una tormenta – a gigantic storm – began and the rains descended for the entire trip. But we saw waterfalls and wildlife and scrambled up a muddy embankment to a Shuar community, returning wet but satisfied.

tags: Indigenous Groups, Environment, Shuar

location: Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador

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Basilica of the Virgin of Cisne
February 12, 2011

The Basilica of the Virgin of Cisne is one of Ecuador’s most visited religious sites. On August 17th every year, pilgrims gather in El Cisne to begin a three-day procession to Loja, 70 km away. The statue of the Virgin is carried to the cathedral in Loja where it remains until it is returned to El Cisne on November 3. (more...)

tags: Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions, Culture

location: Loja, Loja, Ecuador

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Saraguro Mural
February 10, 2011

This mural in the center of Saraguro, about 165 km south of Cuenca, captures the single braid hairstyle and clothing common for both men and women. The Saraguros’ productive landholdings and high levels of education make them among the most prosperous indigenous groups in Ecuador. (more...)

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups

location: Urdaneta, Loja, Ecuador

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Cuy
February 1, 2011

 

Cuy - guinea pig - is a key Ecuadorian dish. Roasted guinea pigs have been raised and eaten in the Andes since before the arrival of the Spanish. They are also used in healing ceremonies to diagnose and treat various illnesses. We sampled this one at a fabulous lunch - almuerzo - at Fundacion Amauta, the school where our program is based.

tags: Medicine & Traditional Healing, Culture

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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