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Easter in Cotacachi, Ecuador, is remembered in different distinct ways by the indigenous.

On Good Friday and several other sacred days during the year, the Indigenous believe that their friends and families who have passed away want to come back to this world and visit them. As a result they visit in huge numbers to Cotacachi cemetery.

Indigenous family at Cotacachi cemetery
Indigenous family at Cotacachi cemetery

Well tended graves
Simple but well-tended crosses

Easter in Cotacachi has it’s own distinct flavor; for example it is totally natural for the Indigenous to consider taking food and drink to offer to their deceased and while I was there I noticed a very light energy about the cemetary.

Indigenous girls at the cemetery
Indigenous girls at the cemetery

Serious prayers were taking place, but there is a contrast between the sorrow and grief of the elders and the vigour and light-heartedness of the younger generations.

Indigenous man sits silently
Indigenous man reflects silently

Amongst the community there are certain elders who are recognized as being especially devout. They attend and pray for the recently deceased on behalf of family members. The elders, often lacking materially, do this in return for alms.

Indigenous elder prays
Indigenous elder prays

Ice creams also seem to be a traditional food on this day. The ice-cream vendor in the cemetery was doing a roaring trade at 25 cents for an ice-lolly. Ice lollies consumed, food offered and prayers recited .. it’s time to head for Cotacachi’s main square to see the impressive processions.

Ice cream seller in cemetery
Ice cream seller in cemetery

Indigenous ladies leave cemetery
Indigenous ladies leave cemetery

Indigenous Culture - young vitality
Indigenous Culture – young vitality

Come see indigenous culture in Ecuador and Cotacachi. In June during the summer solstice we will be travelling, visiting and learning from the shamans and yatchaks of Imbabura province. Learn how to rapidly communicate in Spanish.

Ecuador shaman
Ecuador shaman during ceremony at last years Shaman mingle tour – June ’07

June 19- 21 Ecuador Shaman Tour
www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-shaman-mingo-tour

June 11-15, Super Thinking + Spanish
www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-spanish-course

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate