blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cultura ecuatoriana

Ecuador may be on the equator, but in its mountainous regions it doesn't have a particularly hot climate.

One morning last month a small group of us met at Maria-Rosa's apartment to learn a little (in Spanish) about her country, to see some pictures of its landscape and have a taste of its food. We read about Ecuador's cultural heritage as we sat around her table sampling quinoa fritters with blueberries and whipped cream. Quinoa, said Maria-Rosa, is an ancient staple food from the Andes, better for you than gluten rich wheat.

We found out about the very mixed races of Maria-Rosa's homeland:
Sigún el censo poblacional del 2010, el Ecuador tiene una población con la siguiente mezcla étnica: 71,9% mestizos (indígenas / caucásicos), 7% indígenas, 6,1% caucásicos, 7,2% afroecuatorianos y 7,4% montubios.
In the old days, many Spaniards intermarried with the Quechua people, who still have an identity of their own:

El mayor grupo étnico de Ecuador, estimados en aproximadament 2 milliones, es el de los Quechuas andinos ... La peculiar música de la flauta andina, actualmente conocida en todo el mundo; alimentos como la quinua [= quinoa] y el cuy [=guinea pig]; los coloridos ponchos de lana y las elaboradas blusas bordadas son todos elementos inconfundibles de la cultura Quechua.

In the province of Esmeraldas, by the coast, live a people of African descent (originally African slaves brought to this part of the world by the conquistadors): población afroecuatoriana ejerce una fuerte influencia cultural sobre gran parte de la sociedad ecuatoriana, especialmente con su ritmo de marimba, su música salsa, sus festivales de danza ...

Maria-Rosa confessed to us that she likes to dance the salsa. "Would you like me to teach you?" So she put rhythmic music on, and we danced back and forth beside the Ecuadorian flag, swaying our hips. I was wearing flat and clumpy walking shoes, not the right style for this at all. Maria-Rosa looked more the part in her sandals with the high heels.

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