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Market day in Cañar
March 7, 2012

Sunday is the biggest market day in Cañar and people fill the streets of this small town.  It’s astonishing to see the transformation from Saturday to Sunday. Saturday is preparation day when people wash clothes, shower, and get their materials ready for the Sunday market.

tags: Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions, Culture, Indigenous Groups, Food, Canari

location: Cañar, Canar, Ecuador

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The indigenous rainbow
March 6, 2012

Throughout Ecuador the rainbow is used to represent the unification of Indigenous groups. It represents people of diverse backgrounds bound together in a movement to advance Indigenous rights. This rainbow painted on the side of a building was used by a female mayoral candidate running in a local election a few years ago in Cañar.

tags: Holidays, Rituals, & Traditions, Culture, Indigenous Groups, Canari

location: Cañar, Canar, Ecuador

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The face in the mountains
March 6, 2012

Can you see the face? We saw this face in the rocks when we visited the Cañari and Incan ruins in Ingapirca, outside of Cañar. Though you can see where Incan architecture was used to mask over the Cañar ruins, it is unknown whether or not the face on the side of the mountain was carved by one of these groups or is a natural formation. Nonetheless, the Ingapirca ruins are considered the largest and most noteworthy ruins of Ecuador.

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups, Environment, Architecture, Flora & Fauna, Canari

location: Cañar, Canar, Ecuador

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Homes in Cañar
March 6, 2012

Historically the houses in Cañar were made of adobe and the roofs of tile in order to retain heat and accommodate the varying climates in Ecuador. However, with increased migration from Cañar to places like Spain and the United States over the last ten years, remittances have been used to build newer, larger houses out of cement. Some houses go unfinished inside without bathrooms, electricity or even families living in them. (more...)

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups, Homestays/Family Life, Canari

location: Cañar, Canar, Ecuador

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Where is Home?
March 5, 2012

Emigration From Ecuador

“How migration will change in the future is unclear, but we can be sure that events beyond the control of migrants - such as the international and domestic policies of the United States and the European Union as well as the rise of China in the global economy - will affect where and under what conditions.”

- Brad D. Jokisch and David Kyle, "Ecuadorian International Migration" in The Ecuador Reader, p. 358. (more...)

tags: Cultural Encounters: Student Blog

location: Sangay, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

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The cemetery of Cañar
March 5, 2012

This is a traditional cemetery, located in the mountains outside of Cañar, an indigenous and mestizo town two hours from Cuenca. Loved ones are buried in niches on top of each other and side-by-side in marble and cement blocks. Families can keep the bodies in the niches as long as they can pay their annual fees for their space in the cemetery.

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups, Canari

location: Cañar, Canar, Ecuador

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Graffiti on the Tomebamba River
February 10, 2012

Artistic graffiti can found on nearly every building along the largest river in Cuenca, the Tomebamba. Graffiti is such a common sight, veiling almost every building and house in Cuenca that you could believe it was painted with the original building. Some graffiti is so intricate that it could be hanging in a modern art gallery here. Some is planned and painted carefully with vibrant colors, juxtaposed with others that appear to be a jumble of letters. (more...)

tags: Culture, Art, Streetlife/Graffiti

location: Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador

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Lakes of Cajas National Park
March 10, 2011

On a day trip to Cajas National Park, I was delighted to finally see the ecosystem that I have been tirelessly researching for my biology project. About 270 lakes and lagoons can be found in Cajas, as its main function is to store and release fresh water into the lowlands of Ecuador.

tags: Environment, Ecosystems: Paramo, Flora & Fauna

location: Victoria del Portete, Azuay, Ecuador

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The three crosses of Cajas
March 9, 2011

These three crosses are posted at the entrance of Cajas National Park located about 20 miles west of Cuenca. At an elevation of 13,123 feet, the vegetation is primarily páramo (high altitude grasslands) and the trees and ground are covered with mosses, lichens, and fungi. Historically, Cajas was used as a travel road crossing from the Sierra region to the Amazon. Many would die on this arduous trip through the harsh climates in the páramo of Cajas. (more...)

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups, Environment, Art, Architecture, Ecosystems: Paramo

location: Victoria del Portete, Azuay, Ecuador

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Children playing around the river
February 6, 2011

I snapped this photo as our group was getting ready to board a ferry to cross a rushing river called Nangaritza in southern Ecuador. This little girl was playing with about 8 or 9 other children near the river. I noticed her since she was one of only a few girls. The young boys giggled and whacked each other with their balloons and in their best American accents recited popular American phrases to us. (more...)

tags: Culture, Indigenous Groups

location: Zamora, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador

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The Church on the Hill
February 2, 2011

After a long hike in the Andean Forest with the group trekking higher and higher in attitude, we finally reached our destination. This historical chapel on a hill overlooks the small town below, while there are no other buildings in sight. Villagers on an annual pilgrimage complete the arduous trek each May to unite at the top for a celebration in the chapel.

tags: Environment

location: Zamora, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador

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