Ecuador - Quito & Andes

[May 2006 - October 2006]


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Teleferico Quito

Above Quito, the thin air in the high Andean grasslands allows for a brilliantly clear view of Rucu Pinchincha (~15,510 feet).

What a View

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, sits at approx. 9400 feet and is squeezed into a narrow Andean valley.

Presidential Guards

In the Plaza de Independencia in Quito's old town stands the "Palacio de Gobierno" where the president carries out business.

Shoe Shine Boys

Quito has an abundance of under privileged children. These boys were intriqued by descriptions of the sea and were eager for an invitation to visit!

Plaza de Independencia

Quito was built by the Spanish after their conquest of the Inca Empire. The Plaza de Independencia celebrates Ecuador's autonomy.

The Middle of the World

Ecuador celebrates its unique location at the Mitud del Mundo ("Middle of the World"). Bruce Raymaker and Ecuadoriana Olenka Garcia at the monument.

Estrella del Sol

The "Estrella del Sol", ubiquitous in ancient designs, represents the sun's path at the solstices and equinoxes.

Handwoven Textiles

Textiles are an important source of income for Quechua speaking indigenous people of the Andes. Marta shows off her work at the market in Otavalo.

Blusas for Otavaleño Women

A tiny niña admires the dazzling selection of traditional "blusas" during market day at Otavalo.

Haunting Music

Carlos Burga of Supay performs on the haunting zampoña whose mystical sounds are said to mimic the wind on the páramo grasslands of the Andes.

Chancho in the Hoof

Chancho, or pork, is commonly served from the whole roasted beast...the apple is optional.

Otavalo Market

Otavalo, Ecuador sits beneath Vulcan Imbibura and sports an extensive mercado that engulfs the town on Saturdays.

Beautiful Women

Traditionally, women of the northern Andes of Ecuador acquire, accumulate and display strands of gold or coral. More is better.

El Condor Vive

A pair of endangered and magnificent Andean Condor enjoy refuge at the Parque Condor outside of Otavalo, Ecuador.

Fiesta de Peguche

Peguche, a small village outside of Otavalo in the Andes, celebrates San Pedro and Paolo with a 3 day festival and dance contest.

El Coraza

The deity called "El Coraza" (the armor) is iconic at feistas in the Andes and whose identity is concealed by his resplendent golden helmut.

Slippers Worn with Wool

Traditional dress for Quechua speaking Andean peoples is elegant and sensible - but for their slippers which seem flimsy and a wee bit cold!

Families Enjoying Fiesta

A campesino mother and her children enjoying ice cream at the Fiesta de San Pedro y Paolo in Peguche, Ecuador.

Incongruous Sights

Traditional dress is not an indication of access to technology in Andean Ecuador; digital videos and internet cafes are a part of life here.

Iconic El Coraza

"El Coraza" image is also found adorning the lightposts of Calle Sucre in Otavalo.

Niño Divino

Catholism is the dominant religion of rural Ecuador but the rituals are often intermingled with native traditions.

Into the Amazon Basin

The pass and "highway" leading to the eastern Cordilleras degenerates to dirt and snow often falls at the elevation of over 15,000 feet.

Thermas de Papallacta

In Papallacta, east of the Cordilleras in the Amazon basin of Ecuador, hot springs warm the chilly cloud forest air.

Hallucinogenic Flowers

The moonflower is reputed to be a source for hallucinogenic preparations by ancient shamans of the Andes.

Thermal Springs Even in Puddles

Even puddles along the "highway" in Papallacta Ecuador sport hot springs, however miniature.