Sunday, December 6, 2009

Final Fiesta Day

Partying Quiteños

Quito was quieter today. After the all night party, the streets were swept, the garbage picked up, the evidence of last nights' celebration erased. Quiteños were out playing sports in La Carolina. Eric and Maya tried out the basketball in the park, and later visited the Christmas market to buy a tree and silver and red balls. Most of the trees for sale are artificial, and the live trees (or only half dead) are quite different from what I am accustomed to, but evergreen nevertheless.

I wandered through the Centro Historico again. The streets are closed off to car traffic on Sundays, which makes it even more of a pleasant experience. There were masses of people. Street theatre draws crowds at the Teatro Sucre and the Plaza Grande, and all the shops were open, hawkers were on the street were in full force. It felt like a usual Sunday except for the larger crowds.

Street Theatre

I wanted to visit an exhibit in La Ronda on Afroecuadorian sculpture and photographs, and another show at the Museo de la Ciudad about the history of modernization in Ecuador during the last couple of hundred years. It was about the emancipation of women and indigenous people, and the political movement to the left. I liked the old photos of Quito and Eucadorians from a hundred years ago.

Afroecuadorian Sculpture

There was a huge rock concert at Plaza 24 de Mayo, near La Ronda, called Rockmiñahui. I did not realize until I got there that it was a heavy metal event. Everyone was dressed in black with piercings and tattoos and Tshirts emblazoned with 'Iron Maiden' and 'Metallica'. It was enough to hear one or two songs, and then I moved down to a plaza nearby where there was a book fair and Andean music, which was easier to listen to.

The closing event for the Fiestas de Quito was an endless parade down Amazonas. We arrived in good time and waited as the crowds gathered. We saw a local television personality called 'Mosquito Mosquera', whom we had seen on our visit to Cuenca. He shows up on channel 4 and interviews people on the street, has great wit and somehow makes everyone's answer sound silly. He worked the crowd while we waited for the parade. Vendors were selling candy, toys, drinks. The parade finally started (everything is late in Ecuador), with men on stilts, indigenous dancers, drum corps, bands, cheerleaders, women twirling batons, clowns, devils, men dressed as women (seems to be a theme at every fiesta!). It was quite a show, but never ended, or at least we left before it did. The weeklong party is over and Quiteños go back to their usual lives tomorrow.


Marching Band

Traditional Dancers


  1. As always, your comments and insights are great and the photos are nothing less than excellent! Take care!