Otavalo is a city north of Quito which is inhabited by a lot more indigenous people (here Kichwas) than the average ecuadorian city. Which leads to several effects: For example their identitiy is shown proudly in wearing traditional costumes by nearly everyone. And in the center of Parque Simon Bolivar, the main place, a statue of – obviously – Simon Bolivar, donated by Venezuela, should stand. But the bust you see there is the one of Ruminahui, an Indian General. But maybe this statue, standing there since 1956, is even the reason for this vibrant pride.
Hen or egg? One never knows.
So I liked very much this attitude, but there are some strange things, too. The famous tourist market for example must be in the hands of a strange kind of mafia who forbids creativity and sells exactly the same small range of unaltered “indigenous” goods as everywhere. Metaphorically speaking: Panpipes everywhere. Again.
And secondly: Those houses! I have never seen such an agglomeration of strange and childishly-naïve architecture as I have seen there. If you think, this house is weird, the one next to it is still weirder. And all of them are obviously far out of reach of any worldwide contemporary architecture influence.
Ok. That makes it kind of fun after all 🙂
Imabura and on the road: