Friday, November 21, 2014

Group Trip to Salasaka

This past weekend, I went on a trip organized by my program to the indigenous community of Salasaka. We left from Quito on Saturday morning and headed toward Salasaka. We first stopped in Ambato at the botanical garden and too see some of the original homes of settlers in the area. After we ate lunch in Ambato then headed for Salasaka. Salasaka is known for it handicrafts, so that night, we went to a small farm that belonged to the family of the conversation buddy of one of the girls in our group where they made tapestries, jewelry and blankets. We then returned back to the hostel to listen to some traditional music and dancing. We also spent the night a small farm known for its handicrafts, or called un taller artesano in Spanish. The next morning we woke up to the sounds of roosters and cows, it almost felt like I was back home. After breakfast, we headed out for a mile hike straight up hill, unaware of our destination. We ended up at a sacred sight for the Kichwa community in the area. We were then cleansed by one of the owners of our hostel. He made it very clear that he wasn't a shaman, but he spoke about the fact that anyone could come to the location to pay tribute to Pacha mama, or Mother Earth, and as long as they truly believed, they wishes could be answered. It was a really cool experience! We headed back to the hostel, learned about his handicrafts and then went and looked at what they had for sale, a customary Ecuadorian tradition for tourists. However, while we were looking, the woman who owned they hostel began to dress us up in tradition Kichwa outfits. We spoke with the woman for a while and took some pictures. The woman had a lot of fun posing us in different places. After, we ate cuy for lund

The sacred location where we were cleansed. The yellow flowers
are native flowers that he used during the cleanse. He blessed the flowers,
then brushed with them, then we spit in them three times to donate
what we have to Pacha mama. After he gave them to her as tribute and
left them in a small hole in the rock with many other flowers. 
Overlooking Ambato
Our Guide.
The Sacred location

All dressed up.

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