Thursday, November 20, 2014

Museo Guayasamin, Cotopaxi y La Mama Negra


Oswaldo Guayasamin was a world renowned painter originally from Ecuador. He started painting at a very young age and then went to the United States for a few months as a young adult and sold paintings. After that, he went to Mexico to study with Jose Clemente Orozco as his assistant. Towards the end of his life he built a huge house in Quito and started building the Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man). When he died, both his house and the Capilla del Hombre were converted to museums.
One of the two prints I bought. 
The other print that I bought. 


The lightning was really close!
That is not the wind blowing
my hair around...
On our way up. 
On Saturday, November 8th, 2014, I went on a day trip Volcan Cotopaxi about 2 hours from Quito. We headed on a bus toward Ambato and got off at the Cotopaxi turn-off. It is just basically a freeway exit, but parked along the side are taxis that are ready to take you up the volcano. We hopped in one and started our tour. We first went up onto Cotopaxi trying to catch the good weather, but as we began the climb it started to hail. As we got higher, the hail fell harder and it was basically snowing. After the hail, came the lighting and thunder. We were at such a high altitude that the lightning strikes were so close they made our hair stand up. We got to the Refugio so excited, but found out that it was closed. We stood around the edges of the building to be guarded from the falling hail/snow. Unfortunately we could not climb any higher up the volcano to the glacier due to the terrible conditions and the temperature, so we walked, or basically skied, down the mountain. When we got to the bottom, we were freezing cold and it was raining, so we went to the lake for a short amount of time. Also, we were supposed to go to the museum, but it ended up being closed, so we weren't able to go inside. We headed back down to where we caught the taxi and caught a bus to Latacunga to try and catch the end of the Mama Negra festival. 
At the Refugio
Trying to escape the snow at the Refugio
Heading Down.

Trying to get to Latacunga...
in the rain. 
Lago Limpiopungo


Enjoying La Mama Negra
Everyone has told me that Latacunga is a pretty calm town, but during the Mama Negra it completely changes! This is supposed be a Christian festival with La Mama Negra being the Virgin Mary, but my host mom calls it a pagan festival. When we arrived around 4 p.m. there were already people passed out in the streets. We made it to Latacunga too late to see many of the cultural events, but one of our friends went earlier and said that they were handing out alcohol during the parades, which makes the passed out party-goers a little more understandable. We walked around town for a couple of hours. The town was crowed with people selling clothing, food, alcohol, toys, candy, and basically everything you can imagine. Since the festival is only on day long, we headed back to Quito that night. I was still thawing out when we made it to Quito from hiking on Cotopaxi earlier that day. 

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