Ecuador

Cows, chicken and pigs, oh my!

Otovalo is a town of about 90,000 inhabitants located about 100 km north of Quito.  Our primary reason for visiting this rural town was to see its Saturday livestock and textile markets.  On late Friday evenings and early Saturday mornings, indigenous families drive, walk and ride to Otovalo with their wares and livestock. The town literally explodes with new faces and new products.

We awoke early Saturday morning (6:00 a.m.) and headed about six blocks to the Pan American Highway which runs along the outskirts of town.  We were greeted with interesting smells, lots of people, and lots of animals.  We had the opportunity to purchase, pigs, piglets, cows, goats, cuy (guinea pig) rabbits, chickens, puppies (for pets) and llamas.  We decided it might be hard to bring an animal back so we took lots of photos and videos of this marvelous event.  Our favorite part of the market was watching people lead their pigs and cows around on a leash.

After the livestock market we headed to the textile market.  There were vivid colors everywhere; blankets, shawls, hats, tablecloths and purses.  Maren was excited to find a bright alpaca blanket, she had been searching for quite a while.  The vendors were friendly, willing to negotiate and happy to sell their wares.  We purchased several items from different vendors throughout the market.

If you ever visit Ecuador, the Otavalo markets are a must see.

Posted by Ingelise Guy

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