Meet the Locals
Respect our culture!
The Quilotoa Loop locals are mainly catholic, but they still have many traditions, customs and beliefs with origins in ancient Andean cultures, some from even before the Inca invasion! People belief in the Pachamama, “Mother Earth”, and many festivals and special dates are still dedicated to their ancient deities blended with Catholic religious practice.
People in the Ecuadorian Andes are often shy, polite, and curious at the same time. Greet people in a friendly fashion, dress conservatively (i.e. men keep their shirts on) and speak some words in Spanish or Quechua – you’ll likely have some simple conversations and happy smiles along the way. Some villagers may make no contact at all – leave them to come to you, if they wish, and do not approach their houses.
As for pictures, always ask for permission – you would also not like strangers in your country to take pictures of you or your kids without asking. Some people will ask money in return.
Children often greet tourists and they will likely ask for candy’s – try to not give them sweets, as this will only cause health issues, a healthy snack is a better option. It’s also a great idea to bring crayons, school supplies, soap & shampoo, or used clothes to give away along the trail. If parents are around, always ask for their permission to give a gift to their children.
There are many public holiday celebrations and important religious festivals held in the region of the Quilotoa Loop – you may get caught up in the crazy colorful traditions, especially during Christmas time. The locals are proud of their traditions and love it when foreigners participate – so, don’t hesitate to share a drink, a dance & a laugh with them! Find a list with important dates and festivals on the Quilotoa Loop over here to plan you trip to coincide with a festival date.