About Me

I am in South America from October 3rd until December 17th! I am spending the month of October volunteering in a child care center in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Then I have a month and a half to explore Ecuador and Peru!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dia De Los Difuntos in Otavalo

Hola hola! I just want to send out a thank you to whoever is reading my blog. If you read the Bittersweet Goodbyes you are great because that was a novel!

Anyways, this weekend I spent in the culture capital of Ecuador, a little indiginous village named Otavalo. The majority of people living in Otavalo are Quecha and speak their own language as well as Spanish. The women wear a beautiful outfit consisting of a blouse, long fabric skirt wrapped around themselves with a colorful belt. They also usually are wearing golden necklaces. It is beautiful and quite festive and I think they enjoy wearing it.

On Saturday I went with Nelly to Otavalo. Nelly is from Otavalo but is living in the same house as I am in Quito while she goes to school. Nelly has a beautiful family that reminds me of my own and had me thinking about my family all weekend. Her family has 6 kids, just like mine. Nelly has an older sister (who was in Columbia), 2 younger sisters Tania (16) and Yoleni (5) and two brothers Cirjio (14) and Oscar (12).

When we arrived at Nellys house her mom was making dough for us to make Pan de Wawas. We spent the evening forming the little baby figures and also trying to make horses. Then we went to sleep.

A few words about the house: There were 2 rooms. And 7 people. The living room also doubled as her parents bedroom.

There were no doors to the bedrooms. Actually, the only door in the house was the wooden one to the ouside. And the lock? An extra long nail that you could slide into a hole in the wall to keep the door from being opened.

All of the floors and walls were cement. No carpets. A few rooms were painted.

There was no hot water and definitely no indoor plumbing. haha! There was an outhouse outside that consisted of a concrete toilet over a large hole...

The family was so comfortable there! They are not used to hot water. They are used to cold quick showers. They dont miss the conveniences I am used to.

On Sunday we woke up and went to the Church for All Saints Day. I cant say I understood much of the mass...

That afternoon I went back to the church and helped Nelly to teach Catechism casses to 8 year olds. We learned about the sign of the cross and sang some songs. Then we went outside and played Pato, Pato, Ganzo! AKA Duck, Duck, Goose. PS North Americans do not know how to play this game. Whe a person is tagged as the Goose they run in the opposite direction as the person who tagged them. They race back to the empty spot.

That night we spent a couple hours in the church for a review of the scripture of that week. I did not understand the lecture...

Today we celebrated the Dia de los Difuntos! We went to church this morning. Everyone brought baskets of food and placed them in the front of the church. After mass, the priest blessed the food and everyone took their baskets to the cemetery.

The cemetery was packed! People were everywhere sitting, talking, eating. It was beautiful. Partly sad, but also very happy and festive.

This is a picture of Nellys family at the cemetery today. They are around and on top of her grandfathers grave.


  1. It's great to read about your experience with the culture.
    I think I like their version of Duck, duck, goose better. it would be more challenging.

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  4. Eu Fui o Equador em 2006 visitei Guyaquil e passei 15 Dias em Cuenca, essa bela Cidade fria, Cheia de Igrejas lindíssima adorei, enquanto o povos equatoriano Povos não posso nada Falar nada tive pouco Contato, Adorei o Mercado Estatal Cheio de frutas muito bom, as frutas muito gostosa e muito Doces deliciosa, sinto Não trazer hum chapéu que as Mulheres Equatoriana usa, tinha Medo de sai na Rua sozinha, hum dia Espero voltar.