The Quilotoa Loop is famous for its colorful festivals and celebrations where ancient indigenous beliefs dating from well before the arrival of the Spanish have been incorporated into Catholic traditions. Old beliefs about the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and celebrations of harvests are mixed with Catholic religious beliefs.
Local music, colorful dancers in the streets, religious processions, bull fights and fireworks – if you get the chance, experience one of our fiestas for one or two days. It will be the most memorable and colorful expression of Andean culture you’ve ever seen & not to mention, just plain good fun!
Below we list most important festivals, but keep an eye on our social media for an update on important events in the area!
december & january
on 31st December and 1st January in Isinlivi and surrounding villages. Banda de Pueblo, card games, local food & drinks, traditional dances with locals dressed up representing various traditional characters, such as the Vaca Loca, Sacha Runa and El Ruco.
In Isinlivi people celebrate the passion, death and resurrection of Christ in April. Religious procession on Holy Friday where locals represent the life and suffering of Jesus Chris. On Saturday people go to church with grains, religious images, clothes and relics to receive their blessings and protection. On Sunday the resurrection of Christ is celebrated with a mass at the church.
In month of June there is an exotic and colorful celebration for Corpus Christi (Body of God) held in Pujili – with richly symbolic costumes, folkloric dances, and the typical “Danzantes del Sol”, sun dancers! Their choreography expresses gratitude towards the Sun and the Moon for another good harvest.
San Miguel de Sigchos
Every September there is a whole week of fiestas held in Sigchos in honor of Saint Miguel. Religious processions, folkloric dances, soccer games, Banda de Pueblo, tournament of Chagras (cowboys of the Andes), fireworks, dancing in the streets.
All Saints Day
On the 2nd November, the “Dia de los Difuntos”, families and friends gather together on graves of deceased family members or friends to help support their spiritual journey. Favorite food and drinks of the deceased are shared between everyone at the cemetery and also left behind as an offering to the deceased. The typical Colada Morada and Guagua de Pan is also enjoyed.
2nd Saturday in November
Mama Negra in Latacunga
One of the biggest festivals held in Latacunga on the second Saturday in November. A festival integrating Spanish, Incan, Aymaran, Mayan and African cultures. A fascinating event with the Mama Negra on a horseback passing through the streets. Local dishes and lots of alcohol drinks are served.
Hike in Honor of “Niño Manuelito”
Around 15th December the people of Isinlivi organize a religious procession in honor to Niño Manuelito, the saint who protects the people of Isinlivi. Everyone can participate in this 14km hike which starts at the Guingopana Pass and goes all the way down to Isinlivi – a great way to connect with the locals!
Fiesta in Honor of “Niño Manuelito”
Around 18th December in the community of Malingua Pamba. Celebrations in honor of the “Niño Manuelito of Isinlivi” – a Saint and image of God. Religious processions, Banda de Pueblo, folkloric dances, food and drinks & bull fights.
Nine consecutive days of Novenas held in Isinlivi in December before Christmas. Each evening the locals gather together in front of a different house to pray and sing. The owner of the house makes a nativity scene inside their house with local materials where Niño Manuelito will spend a night. The head of the household will thank everyone and invite for some biscuits and a sweet cup of cinnamon tea. Foreigners are very welcome to participate!
A full week of fiesta in Isinlivi in December with religious processions, folkloric dances, bull fights, drinks and food, a tournament of Chagras (Andean cowboys), and lots of music! It’s one of the most interesting times to visit Isinlivi!
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