fancy

Is this real life?
March 17, 2012

As we walked along the long and winding mountain road connecting the city of Tambo to the ruins of Ingapirca, I could hardly believe that these breathtaking views were part of a place that truly exists. I am happy to say that not only does Ecuador really exist, but I, along with ten other students, can now call her a friend. We have had the privilege of meeting Ecuadorians from many walks of life, and through these relationships our eyes have been opened to new ways of living. (more...)

tags: Culture, Environment

location: Ingapirca, Canar, Ecuador

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fancy

Gringos can
March 17, 2012

"Psssst. Psssst. Come play soccer with us. Just ten minutes?" How can you say no to this, especially when those asking are four preteens wearing grins the size of the fresh watermelon you had for breakfast? So five gringos broke a sweat and lost a game of fútbol. The victors were kind enough to take this photo with us, amidst a lot of teasing in Spanish and Quichua. By this point, we are all used to being identified as gringos in Ecuador, but this was different. (more...)

tags: Culture

location: Ingapirca, Canar, Ecuador

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fancy

Inca-ism
March 17, 2012

After the Spaniards conquered the native people of Ecuador, they clumped them all into the category of "Indio". The Cañari people allowed themselves to be referred to as Incas, for although the Inca lived in Ecuador for less than a century, they were thought of as a very powerful people. The ruins of Ingapirca are often referred to as Inca ruins, but many of these remains are Cañari constructions. This is an ancient aqueduct, and a part of the ruins that is truly Incan.

tags: Culture, Class, Politics, & Social Issues, Indigenous Groups

location: Ingapirca, Canar, Ecuador

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fancy

Cultural Views On Nature
March 16, 2012

Throughout my life, I have always argued that Latin American cultures have something figured out that we don’t in the United States. I was never able to articulate what this something was but I always felt it. For the past two months, I have been living in Ecuador and taking a class on contemporary Andean issues with a strong anthropological focus. (more...)

tags: Medicine & Traditional Healing, Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions, Culture, Environment, Cultural Encounters: Student Blog

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

Chicos Saraguro
February 4, 2012

The town and forest of Saraguro hold the name of their people, who arrived in Ecuador in the 1500’s. The Saraguro community enjoys its own traditional soical structure, laws, and  typical style of dress. Women wear black dresses, while men maintian long black braids. (more...)

tags: Indigenous Groups

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

El Palo Encebado
January 31, 2012

El Palo Encebado is a traditional Latin American game that utilizes a 3-4 meter high pole covered in grease and prizes (pots, pans, teddy bears) hanging from the top. Children attempt to scamper up the greasy pole to win prizes for their family. This monument of El Palo was recently erected in one of Cuenca's oldest neighborhoods, “El Vado”. (more...)

tags: Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions, Culture

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

GirĂ³n
January 29, 2012

Girón is a quiet little Ecuadorian town 45 kilometers away from Cuenca. It is known for its "cascadas" or waterfalls, which are the main tourist attraction in the village. The majority of people here make a living raising livestock and producing milk, cheese, and yogurt. There is a strong indigenous population, and it is rare that one sees a woman not wearing the traditional "pollera" and hat. (more...)

tags: Indigenous Groups

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

Hope for the Displaced
January 26, 2012

Illegal trading of exotic animals is a huge problem in Ecuador. It is all too profitable to capture wild animals and sell them to wealthy Ecuadorians or to foreigners willing to pay thousands of dollars for a baby monkey or Andean coati (shown here). After the first few months, the charm of having an exotic pet usually wears off and many animals are dropped on the doorstep of Amaru, Cuenca’s only zoological refuge. (more...)

tags: Environment

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

Globos
January 21, 2012

We were lucky enough to be walking through town just as a wedding was letting out. We witnessed fireworks and hot air balloons in an atmosphere enhanced by a military band. Hundreds of people filled the streets and watched in awe as the ¨globos¨ made their way through the night sky. The bride and groom hugged and kissed all of their loved ones, and we felt lucky to be part of the experience. (more...)

tags: Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions, Culture

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

Catholic Tortoises
January 9, 2012

In Quito, the capital of Ecuador, the most important of the historical churches is called "La Basilica del Voto Nacional." The inside is beautifully decorated with gold leaf and paintings of biblical scenes. The most interesting ornaments on this cathedral, however, (in my humble opinion) are the stone gargoyles outside. They are actually depictions of the charismatic species of the different regions of Ecuador. (more...)

tags: Culture, Environment

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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