Ecuador is an emotion inspiring paradise that welcomes all to be dazzled by it. 18 artists from the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S., divided into 4 teams, traveled the country capturing its amazing features in their work; including photography, design and visual arts. All the participants traveled the four Ecuadorian Worlds and came together in Quito, where they felt the energy of the middle of the world expressed in its architecture, its traditional streets, and its iconic sites.
Early in the morning, I accompanied the German team, who will soon pass through some impressive Andean geography, named by their countryman Alexander Von Humboldt, as the Avenue of Volcanoes. In the Historical District, close to the Plaza Grande (Great Square), we walked towards a Quiteño adventure. We passed by the Plaza Grande, which amidst the warm colors of summer plants, the rushed faces of a usual day, and retirees sharing anecdotes about the city, welcomes us in the light of the Equatorial sun. Hundreds of centuries of history are captured in an everyday space that makes us feel the magic of the Andes.
After a short visit to the Plaza Grande, we head towards San Francisco Market. This place causes quite a stir with foreigners due to the variety of fruits and vegetables on sale at its many stands. We head to the end of the market where herb salesmen await with different kinds of combinations for curing fear, bringing fortune, attracting love, and much more. Awe-struck and somewhat skeptical travelers take part in these herb, aroma and gesture-filled rituals, which are a part of the Ecuadorian tradition “la limpia” (the cleansing).
After the rituals at San Francisco, our next stop are the delicious dishes from Cruz Verde, a place that makes traditional sweets in a bronze pan from 1915. The flavors and way in which they are prepared in this large bronze container will amaze visitors. We the head back through San Francisco in order to take in every detail of its architectural majesty. The German tourists took advantage of the stop to take several pictures.
We then move on to the City Museum, a place where the Feel Again In Ecuador project is officially presented, where we hope that foreigners will be amazed by the magic, freedom, mystery, curiosity, joy, and other emotions associated with travelling Ecuador’s different corners. These visitors were divided into 4 groups, each of which will visit a particular region of Ecuador in order to get a feel for the country’s charm, with Quito as the best place to launch this adventure.
Written by: Gabriela Aguirre / Picture: Gabriela Aguirre - Ministerio de Turismo