|Pichincha / Imbabura|
|Dispatch 6 - Cotacachi|
|The Saturday morning Otavalo animal market is the biggest in the area. On the block are sheep, pigs, cows, horses, chickens, llamas and guinea pigs.|
|Left: Veterinary station at the animal market.
Right: Rope seller -- you need a way to tie up the animals.
|After the animal market, some of the product makes it to the meat section of the city market or direct to a local restaurants.|
|After the animal market it is nice to visit the colorful fruits and vegetables section of the Otavalo food market.|
|Potatoes, grains and the egg man at the Otavalo food market.|
|Keeping with the market theme of the morning, you can move on to Otavalo's famous craft market. In addition to the daily craft market, which fills a plaza, on Saturdays the market fills an additional twenty blocks of streets. Among the selection are embroidered clothes, knit sweaters, woven blankets, jewelry, paintings, musical instruments, T-shirts, and tourists trinkets.|
|I particularly liked the girl (right) who read while she waited for customers. The tabloid was heavily illustrated and seemed to have a female heroine. Perhaps it is the local equivalent of the graphic novel.|
Left: Typical street in the center of
Cotacachi. It has mixed commercial and residential use.
Right: Main square in Cotoacachi. The statue in the square is of Santa Ana de Cotacachi, patrona of Cotacachi. It is noteworthy for her "atypical" saint attire - the rings of beads around her neck are typical local style.
fills a large city block and is at one end of the main
square -- topped by a towering Jesus.
Right: Statues of Modesto Peñaherrera (educator) and Simon Bolivar (liberator) stand in front of city hall at the other end of the main square.
|Cotacachi fancies itself as a city of
artisans and crafts people. On the main commercial section of town over a
third of the business are high quality leather goods dealers.
Near by, on San Francisco Plaza, there are monuments to Santa Cecilia, patrona of music (right), and the Monument of the Arts and Music (left)
|Left: Typical street just outside of
the commercial center of Cotacachi.
Right: Wall mural on ecology and environmental protection.
|Cotacachi has a pleasant health level
of bicycle traffic, especially in the morning when parents take there children
to school and friend porter friends around town by two-wheel transport.
Below: A man with limited mobility with his hand-powered tri-cycle.
|Cotacachi was the winner of the Participative Democracy, Dubai 2000 prize, which is given to a city that has: “One of the most sound environmental, social and economic practices in its local government.” And, the winner of 2002 UNESCO "City of Peace" award. City Budget: 37% goes towards environmental cleanup; 22%, towards education; and, 28%, towards social development.|
|This group of Inty Raymi merrymakers was marching and dancing up the street about a half mile from the central square as we came into Cotacachi.|
|On this evening the men were dancing in the square (alcohol is involved.) Rumor has that occasionally things get out of hand as rival contingents go after one another by trying to beat each other over the head. The hats they were are actually very hard to protect the head. Not accidentally, there was also a significant police presence at each corner of the square. We heard that the night before they had used tear gas to breakup a disturbance. Everything was peaceful|
|Women's day at the festival of Inty Raymi (San Pedro and San Juan)|
|It is not a festival without food (fried bread, roasted pig, meat & potatoes, roasted corn, salad, parfait, etc.). Fortunately, in the ratio of culture to food and other booths, culture overwhelmingly dominated. And the food that was available tended to be more nutritional than found at most North American fairs.|
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