Día del Escudo Nacional del Ecuador

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Today is Halloween. But it’s also Día del Escudo Nacional del Ecuador.

The escudo is the coat of arms on Ecuador’s flag. Ecuador’s congress officially adopted the current version on October 31, 1900. It shows Chimborazo Volcano, the Guayas River and a steamboat also named Guayas.

But what about all the other symbols?

Andean condor = Bravery and power

Sun = Productivity and progress

Laurel = Glory

Palm = Peace

Fasces consulares (ax with wood wrapped around it) = Authority and dignity. The fasces is an ancient Roman symbol of power.

Astrological signs next to the sun = Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer. They symbolize the months of the 1845 Revolution that forced Juan José Flores from power.

Thank you David Sasaki for this valuable perspective.

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Bonzai Hospitals? In Ecuador?

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A number of Ecuadorians grow bonsai trees as a hobby, or a passion in some cases. There are even bonsai clubs.

But what happens when your bonsai is not doing too well?

In the Quito area, there are clinics that can diagnose the ailment.

If the problem is minor, the tree can be discharged immediately.

But if the tree is in danger, it will have to remain “hospitalized.”

Okimono-Bonsái is one of the places where this service is provided.

Favio Delgado, the designer of the bonsai area at Quito’s Botanical Garden, runs the service. He has more than 40 years experience with these miniature trees. Some people leave their bonsai trees with him when they go on vacation, knowing they will receive the proper care.

There are other clinics including Taller Bonsái Ecuador and Clínica Bonsái Quito.

All of these places also offer advice for those who want to start with this ancient practice.

http://lahora.com.ec/inde…/noticias/fotoReportaje/1101985196

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about many other fascinating aspects of living in Ecuador.

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Reviving Andean Purple Corn

 

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-6-10-31-pmAndean purple corn has a sweet taste and a large amount of antioxidants. It also has a high amount of anthocyanins especially in the husk. Several studies say consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods could be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease.

But this variety of corn was close to disappearing in places like Chimborazo Province. It was not very popular and often sold in low quantities. So farmers stopped growing it.

Instead they planted the commercially popular white maíz which is used for mote. The purple corn is used to make the traditional Ecuadorian drink colada morada. But supermarkets began offering pre-cooked coladas or flour dyes.

Now there are efforts to revive production. The purple corn is said to be ideal for making chicha.

A community association produces two types of chicha without chemical additives, preservatives or coloring. They are sold at crafts markets in Riobamba and Quito.

Supporters are hoping farmers will revalue their native crops. They were alarmed to see the traditional chicha replaced by soda and other sugary drinks.

The association believes its most important achievement will be the recovery of the native culture.

To read the full article, please go here: http://www.elcomercio.com/tendencias/agricultores-chimborazo-maizmorado-alimentos-siembra.html

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. 

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Graffiti In Ecuador

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This is a work in Otavalo, Ecuador by the street artist Álvaro Córdova who goes by the name Tenaz or T-naz.

His street art is amazing.

He has no formal art training, just a special gift.

All of this is done with spray paints.

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. 

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Tigua Art: El Cóndor Enamorado

 

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In Tigua art (Cotopaxi Province), you will often see a woman riding on a condor. This is based on the legend “El cóndor enamorado.”

On the moorlands of Cotopaxi, there lived a girl who tended sheep. She was treated badly by her family, so she preferred to be in the field with the herd.

The god Pachacamac saw the suffering of the girl and decided to send his son, a condor, down to the moorlands.

The condor had the power to turn into a young man and he soon won the girl’s heart.

The condor took the girl to his nest on the rocks. The family, noticing the girl was missing, went looking for her. They rescued her and locked her in the house.

The girl, already in love, made an opening in the thatched roof. She held a splinter of smoking wood to signal her lover.

The condor immediately swooped down and grabbed her.

With the girl on his back, the two flew over the Quilotoa lake and to the top of the moor. The girl changed into a female condor.

In the moorlands, the couple consummated their union and gave birth to new generations of condors that populate the Andean region.

*Thanks to David Sasaki for telling this story on Ecuador Expats

 

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats.

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

Saying “I DO!” In Ecuador

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Of the 107 couples who took part in a mass wedding at the Cathedral of Quito yesterday, 77-year-old José Muquinche and 86-year-old María Sánchez were the most photographed.

They were accompanied by two daughters who could not contain their tears when they saw their parents say “I do” after being together for 52 years.

The groom spent much of his life as a bricklayer. He says their civil marriage was registered in 1977. But they finally decided to take the step they felt they lacked: the church ceremony.

During the exchanging of vows, María said “I give myself to you, as a wife, and receive you as my husband, and I promise to love you in joy and in sorrow, in poverty and in prosperity, health and disease, and be faithful all the days of my life.”

After rings were placed on each other’s fingers, they sealed their marriage with a kiss.

Above Photo courtesy: La Hora

Photo below courtesy of El Comercio

Marriage Sealed With A Kiss....After 52 Years

Marriage Sealed With A Kiss….After 52 Years

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

The Rebirth Of The Sun

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This is a legend from the Tsáchila people in the Santo Domingo area about the rebirth of the sun.

Many years ago in the heavens, there was huge jaguar that lived in the dark. It had enormous jaws, eyes like lightning, extremely powerful claws and a gleaming coat.

One day, the animal walked angry and hungry and ate the sun in one bite.

Darkness fell on Earth.

The Tsáchilas lived in an endless night.

They constantly bumped into each other, so they preferred to shut themselves in their homes and not leave.

There was no way to plant or hunt and food was scarce.

More than once the desperate cries could be heard of those who were attacked by jungle beasts that hid in the shadows.

Confused by the absence of the sun, the moon did not come out.

The birds died and the rivers began to dry up because the rain stopped, having no guidance from celestial stars.

The Tsáchilas tried to make their own light by setting branches on fire, but to no avail. The sticks would only light in the hands of the elders. But they, the weakest, soon died.

Meanwhile, the jaguar of darkness with its jaws wide open, moved ever closer to homes, frightening the Tsáchilas.

The shamans suggested they could make their own light by turning a young man into the sun.

The son of a single mother was chosen for this important mission. He was dressed in beautiful garments and wore a golden crown. The young man was invited to partake of the ceremonial chicha. Bright tears came from his eyes.

Through their spells and magic, the shamans were able to elevate him into the sky, until people lost sight of him.

The next day, everyone expected to see the long-awaited light. But it was cloudy and stayed like that for three gloomy days.

On the fourth day, there was an incandescent light so bright that people could barely open their eyes.

The light was coming from the two eyes of young man who became the sun.

The people threw a stone skyward, hitting its target.

The sun now shone with just one eye, enough for everyone to enjoy the benefits of the light once again.

Source: Libro El recuerdo de los abuelos: literatura oral aborige
Illustrations by Octavio Córdova

 

In  my  book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador