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The Ecuador Chronicles - 2010-37
 
The Ecuador Marketplace;
                  All Types - From Modern to Traditional;
                                        A Place to buy - A Place to Socialize
 
Note on events from last week:  It appears that there was perhaps more political theatre - drama and manipulation - than substance.  Ecuador went back to normal the next day.
 
And now.........
 
We have another Chronicle by Shelley Winchester this week - The Marketplace.  In Ecuador it is a place to buy, but also a place to meet and talk to your neighbors.
 
 
by Shelley Winchester
 
The Marketplace: A unique cultural experience in Ecuador

 

Now that Quito is a major metropolitan city and modernization is widespread, large supermarkets carry nearly everything as those in the United States. But if you are genuinely interested in Ecuadorian people and their culture, visit traditional local markets in the cities and towns of the country. 

 

There are markets for everything: nuts and bolts, flowers, fruits and vegetables, animals, textiles, cheap imported goods, and furniture, just to name a few!  Markets are located in both the open air and enclosed buildings.

 

Traditional markets are not just places to shop; they are also social centers.  Bargaining is not only a method of shopping for a good price, but a way of socializing for the shopper as well as the vendor.  Paying without bargaining is just not playing the game correctly.

 

Another typical place to socialize with Ecuadorians is at the local “viveres,” which are like convenience stores in the U. S. The owners most often live above the store.  As you shop for small items and discuss families, soccer or politics, you can practice your Spanish.

 

Above all, markets in Ecuador preserve the country’s traditions and give the traveler a glimpse into the lives of the locals. Take a look.

 

 

A popular arts and crafts market in Quito

 

 

A beautiful woman in the textile market in Otavalo, two hours north of Quito

 

 

A woman selling traditional blouses in the Otavalo market

 

 

The colors are endless

 

 

 A vendor in the Otavalo market draped my husband in this alpaca throw to demonstrate how soft it was!

 

Thread for the local folks
 
 
Buying flowers in the market in colonial Quito.  Roses are $2 a dozen.  I live in the New Mexico desert.  This is a luxury for me.
 
Cutting the exotic fruit "chirimoya" bought in a local fruit market -
One of my favorites
 
Fresh vegetables can be found in any outdoor market in the country
 
 
I have seen papayas the size of watermelons!
 
Potatoes have been a staple of the Ecuadorian diet since Inca times
 
More Potatoes
 
Organic grains
 
These chicken parts are used to make soup.  No part of an animal gets thrown away.
 
A small town meat market
 
The popular "Chancho" or roast pig is delicious
 
Here's one dressed up for a fiesta in Machachi, Ecuador
 
Trading in the Otavalo market
 
Otavalan women inspecting the grain.  Their culture and customs are centuries old.
 
 
 
Llapingachos,  a traditional potato and cheese patty -
found in a market during a fiesta
 
A local "viveres" in colonial Quito
 
Shelley - Thank you again.  This is a great Chronicle.  Your pictures are so colorful and really do tell the story of the Ecuador Marketplace.  Shopping in such places is one of the pleasures of spending time in Ecuador. 
 
Would You Like to Come to Ecuador and Go to Market - Find Out How at: