Skip to main content

Live Well Ecuador

A Unique Experience

Live Well Ecuador Home
How it Works
Destinations snd Activiti
Staff Biography
Live Well Ecuador Tours
Contact Us
Ecuador Chronicles
Prayer Story
Alexander von Humboldt
Lee Blackwell - Bus to Gu
Casa Cultura III
Casa Cultura II: Eye of t
Casa Cultura I
S Winchester: Registrar
SWinchester: Little Piggy
Colonial Quito - Calle Fl
David Sass - Feed the Hun
David Sass - Graffiti
The Finca
I Love North Quito
Guayasamin Capllia del Ho
Guayasamin Archaeology &
Guayasamin Museum
Quito Cafe Grand Opening
Heroes II
La Dolorosa
Parque Itchimbia
Old Haciendas II
Old Haciendas
Quito - Studying Art
El Dorado II
El Dorado I
Galapagos II
Galapagos I
Laguna Cuicocha
Peguche Waterfall
S Winchester - Machaci
Amazing Grace
Condor Park
Dental - Implant
Dental - Root Canal and C
Cotopaxi: The Icy Ride Ba
David Sass: Quito Christm
Cotopaxi: Snowball Fight
David Sass: Staff of Lif
David Sass: Bye-Bye Chun
Shelley Winchester - Mari
Shelley Winchester - Mari
Ecuadorian Visits USA
David Sass: El Sur de Qu
Medical - Rotator Cuff
Medical - Going To The De
Shelley Winchester - Mark
Current Events 10/02/2010
Shelley Winchester - Dani
Shelley Winchester - Expa
Conocoto - Mayberry
Photos - Random Sierra
Photos - Random Quito
Photos - Montanita
Born To Be Wild
History Lesson - Garcia M
Water and Electricity
Renovation - 19th Century
Live Well Ecuador Quito O
Fourth of July Reflection
Quito Sunset Escape
Centro Cultural Mertopoli
Real Estate and the wild
Expat Life
Northern Sierra Trip II
Northern Sierra Trip I
Parque Ejido and Panecill
Guayaquil Easter Weeken
Quito - Good Friday
Riobamba Palm Sunday
Banos III Cool Hotel
Banos II Town & Springs
Banos I Taking The Bus
Quito Balconies
Bamboo Construction
Having Furniture Made
Two Haciendas
Quito Sunday Easy Riders
Religious Symbolism
Northern Sierra
The Widows - Men in Drag
New Year - Burning Dolls
Chronicles - 2009
San Marcos Church Story
Santa Clara Market
Culture and The Beatles
Tailor Made Suit
Quito Central Market
Quito - Two Resaurants
A Trip to the Beach
Quito - Old Shoes
Colonial Quito
Barber of Quito
Quito - La Ronda
Quito - Teleferico
Parque La Carolina
Art In The Park
Quito Apartment Renovatio
Quito Frame Shop
Road Trip I Quito - Pacto
Road Trip II To The Coast
Road TripIII Canoa Harley
Road Trip IV: Bahia
Road Trip V: Puerto Lopez
Road Trip VI: Cuenca
Road Trip Photo Encore I
Road Trip Photo Encore II
Road Trip Encore III
The Ecuador Chronicles - 2010-04
Religious Symbolism in Ecuador;
                     Christian Imagry in a Country Village;
                                   A Closer Look - And Something More
Recently Live Well Ecuador associate, Juan, and I made a driving trip from Quito to the Finca of my partner, Mathieu Guillory. The Finca is located about two hours west of Quito at an elevation of just under 5,000 feet.  I enjoy visiting the Finca; it has a mild climate, warmer than Quito during the day, but still comfortable at night.  And not too many bugs.  Matt is turning what began as a very rustic encampment into a place of comfort and beauty.
As you travel down the Andes toward the Finca you pass through areas of agriculture and protected forest, and rural villages.

Ecuador Countryside - Driving Down the Andes

Protected Forest

A village in the Distance
As we drove further into the campo toward the Finca we passed through the village of Gualea, which is very near Tulipe, the ancient ceremonial center of the Yumbo Sun Culture.  The Yumbo were an important pre-Inca culture that persisted even after the Inca conquest of Ecuador.
We were traveling just after Christmas; in a small park at the village center there was a fascinating manger scene on display.  The traditional manger scene was of life sized earthen statuary.  Any Christian would recognize this - touching in its simplicity.  But in the background there was something more - a sun symbol.  Then viewed from a distance you see a totem of additional symbolism.  There is a huge set of pan pipes - a pre-Columbian musical instrument - and then a large head under a roof at the top.

A Simple, Yet Touching Manger Scene - and More

A Large Totem - a Mix of Christian and  Pre-Columbian Symbolism

A View from the Other Side
The hidden Anthropologist within me was certainly awakened by all of this.  That afternoon at the Finca I asked Matt about what I had seen in Gualea.  Matt has lived in Ecuador for more than eight years - he has a unique insight into Ecuadorian life and culture.  Matt explained that when the Spanish conquered Latin America one of their important goals was to convert the indigenous people to Catholicism.  The Catholic church was very adept at taking symbolic aspects of indigenous religion and relating this to Christianity; this gave the new converts a sense of continuity from the old religion to the new - a feeling of comfort in their new religion.
Matt made some interesting points.  I can see that it all worked quite well - this process has brought millions of people to Christianity.  The amazing thing to me is that this cultural / religious mixture persists even in 2010 - five hundred years after the Spanish Conquest - in a small Ecuadorian village.  It is easy for a non-Catholic to think of Catholicism as tradtion bound and conservative - and this is true for certain dogmatic issues; the Church certainly views some things as unchanging - eternal to humanity.  But it is not that simple - Catholicism is also very tolerant in approaches to Faith, and thereby gains a deep and rich texture around the world.  This is true in North America where Mass is often infused with folk music or even popular music.
As we were discussing all of this the sun was just moving toward late afternoon and clouds began to move into the valley from the west - providing a beautiful view of Creation.

What a beautiful View of Creation
Would you like to visit Ecuador and become an Anthropologist -
Find out how atLive Well Ecuador: