Pichincha / Imbabura  
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Dispatch 6 - Cotacachi
  Saturday morning Otavalo animal market; Otavalo animal market; guinea pig (cui)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. Saturday morning Otavalo animal market;
  Otavalo animal market; boy riding horse Saturday morning Otavalo animal market; Otavalo animal market; sheep Saturday morning Otavalo animal market;
  Veterinarian, Saturday morning animal market Left: Veterinary station at the animal market.

Right: Rope seller -- you need a way to tie up the animals.

Saturday morning animal market
 

Meat market, Otavalo

Otavalo; pig being prepared in the doorway of a restaurantAfter the animal market, some of the product makes it to the meat section of the city market Otavalo; roasted pigor direct to a local restaurants.  Meat market, Otavalo
Vegetable market, Otavalo Vegetable market, Otavalo Vegetable market, OtavaloVegetable market, OtavaloAfter the animal market it is nice to visit the colorful fruits and vegetables section of the Otavalo food market. Vegetable market, Otavalo
  Potato market, Otavalo Grain market, OtavaloPotatoes, grains and the egg man at the Otavalo food market. Egg market, Otavalo
  Otavalo craft market Otavalo craft 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. Otavalo craft market Otavalo craft market
Otavalo craft market 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. Otavalo market, sales person reading between customers
street in the center of Cotacachi Main square in Cotoacachi.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.

Santa Ana de Cotacachi, patrona of Cotacachi
  Cathedral Matriz interior, in Cotacachi. Cathedral Matriz on main square in Cotacachi.Matriz Cathedral 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.

Cathedral Matriz on main square in Cotacachi. Statues of Pena Herrera and Simon Bolivar in front of city hall
   

Cotachachi, Monument of the Arts and Music

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)

Cotacachi, monuments to Santa Cecilia, patrona of music
  street, Cotacachi Left: Typical street just outside of the commercial center of Cotacachi.

Right: Wall mural on ecology and environmental protection. 

Wall mural on ecology and environmental protection
  bike shop 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.

Bicyclists, Cotacachi Bicyclists, Cotacachi
  Bicyclists, Cotacachi Bicyclists, Cotacachi Bicyclists, Cotacachi
  Group of men 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. Older woman
Inty Raymi Cotacachi 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. Inty Raymi Cotacachi
Inty Raymi Cotacachi Inty Raymi Cotacachi Inty Raymi Cotacachi
  Inty Raymi 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 Inty Raymi Cotacachi Inty Raymi Cotacachi
  Inty Raymi Cotacachi Traditionally dressed womanWomen's day at the festival of  Inty Raymi (San Pedro and San Juan) Inty Raymi Cotacachi
  Preparing festival food  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 Selling parfaitother booths, culture overwhelmingly dominated. And the food that was available tended to be more nutritional than found at most North American fairs. roasted pig Preparing festival food
  Inty Raymi Cotacachi Inty Raymi Cotacachi Inty Raymi Cotacachi Inty Raymi Cotacachi
   

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