Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Carnaval, 2.0

Last year for the Carnaval holiday I went on a road trip with friends to Quilotoa.  While beautiful (and one of my favorite places in Ecuador), it is also very rural, meaning I missed out on the traditional Ecuadorian festivities associated with Carnaval.

Namely – throwing water on strangers and spraying them with foam.

This year my friend Maggie and I went to Tena in the Amazon for the Carnaval holiday.  While it wasn’t crazy touristed like the beach, it did have plenty of Ecuadorian tourists, and outdoor concerts, and a general street fair atmosphere.   And plenty of foam.

It’s kind of like the entire town is engaged in a water gun / snowball / pie-in-the-face fight.  But with foam.  Once Maggie and I got sprayed a couple times, it appeared that the Ecuadorians had declared us gringas fair game.

At one point I hid behind an elderly couple, figuring no one would spray them and I would therefore get a reprieve.  I’m not proud of this.  But I really needed a break from all that foam in my face.

Maggie and I finally had to buy some spray foam to defend ourselves.  And we had a blast doing it.

Oh, and we also did a little bit of jungle-y stuff, like going on a boat ride down the Napo river and hiking in the rainforest.

Capuchin monkey




Woolly monkeys (?)











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In Ecuador, November 2nd is Dia de los Difuntos (Day of the Ancestors), in which Ecuadorian families remember their deceased loved ones by sharing a meal with them in the cemetery.  Traditionally, this meal includes two special treats, which are available in nearly every bakery and restaurant from mid-October to early November.  The first, colada morada, is made with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, cinnamon, cloves, and oatmeal – all blended together into a thick warm drink.  It’s like a sweet fruit soup.  The second, guaguas de pan, are loaves of bread shaped and decorated like babies (guaguas means “babies” in Quechua).  They are often filled with jam (I had one with guava filling).  The Fulbright Commission, where I do some of my work, ordered colada morada and bread babies from a bakery so all the employees could enjoy these seasonal specialities.  Sweet!

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