fancy

Charging alpaca
March 17, 2012

As we walked around the Inca ruins in Coyoctur, Cañar, ths alpaca charged toward us with incredible speed. We later found out that we were not supposed to get close to these animals. Before the Spanish conquest, alpacas used to be an important part of Incan life. They were used for transportation, food, clothing, and other necessities. The population of alpacas has decreased dramatically but recently, the indigenous people of Cañar are trying to bring them back.

tags: Indigenous Groups, Canari

location: Cañar, Canar, Ecuador

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fancy

Reading Eggs
March 16, 2012

A "limpieza" is a cleansing process very commonly performed by traditional healers in Ecuador. Many parents bring their children to the market on Tuesdays and Fridays to have a limpieza. Depending on the type one gets, the market healers use a bundle of herbs to rid the body of negative energy. Sometimes cuy (guinea pig) or eggs are used as a part of the process to diagnose the patient. How the healers are able to read the eggs, I am not sure. (more...)

tags: Medicine & Traditional Healing, Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions, Culture, Indigenous Groups, Canari

location: Cañar, Canar, Ecuador

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fancy

Bananas!
February 23, 2012

Ecuador, one of the largest exporters of bananas in the world, has hundreds of different types of bananas - plantains, maduros, maduro verdes, red bananas, triangular bananas, and many more. Driving to Guayaquil on the coast, one can see endless fields of banana plantations. It was not until a few weeks ago that I found out bananas are one of Ecuador's largest export. Recenlty, I got fourteen bananas at the market for just a dollar. This minimum cost does not mean low quality. (more...)

tags: Culture, Environment, Food

location: Ayampe, Manabi, Ecuador

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fancy

Virgin of Cisne
February 5, 2012

Some walk for ten days to the small mountain town of Cisne to see the largest image of the Virgin Mary in Ecuador. The different colors of the burning candles represent different types of prayers. We arrived just in time to be blessed by the priest with holy water. For us, it was an one-time excursion, but to the woman lighting the candle, it was more meaningful.

tags: Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions

location: El Cisne, Loja, Ecuador

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fancy

Organic produce
February 3, 2012

Within the last decade, buying organic produce is what many Americans strive to do. We should buy organic because it is supposed to be healthier and better for you, though also more expensive. But here in Ecuador, most fresh produce IS organic and pesticide-free. Farms here, unlike those in the U.S., are mostly small-scale and the production of food is natural. Ferbola, this organic farm south of Cuenca, emphasizes sustainable, organic, and natural products. (more...)

tags: Environment

location: San Felipe de Oña, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

Ernesto Frog
February 3, 2012

"Lets go over there and look!" shouted Ernesto with excitement. Never before in my life have I been as truly inspired and touched by a teacher or professor. My biology professor, Ernesto, is exceptional. The admiration I have for him increases every day. The boundless passion he has for animals is impressive yet he is so humble about what he is able to offer the world. (more...)

tags: Environment, Bioqarque (Zoologico Bioparque de Cuenca 'Amaru')

location: San Felipe de Oña, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

Ecuadorian Market
January 21, 2012

“Quieres probar?” asked the women at the food stand. “Umm… sí?” I replied hesitantly. As I walked around the 27 de febrero market, the vendors stared at me before asking whether or not I want to try their products. I really love going to all the different markets here. I love vegetables and fruits, and this is a  great way to experience Cuencan culture.

This past Saturday, I went into a small local market near my house. (more...)

tags: Culture, Food

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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fancy

La tienda
January 21, 2012

I have always wondered how the numerous panaderias (bread shops), papelerias (paper stores), heladerías (ice creameries), and other tiendas (shops) survive with so much competition. People eat bread and ice cream all the time and would probably need paper for various reasons. Some of these tiendas are not even walk-in shops; they have enclosed gates where one has to order what they desire. Yet in Cuenca, these vendors are able to survive and provide support for their families.

tags: Culture, Class, Politics, & Social Issues

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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