Ecuador’s diversity: learn about our Cultures and Traditions

Ecuador is a nation rich in history and tradition, we are the homeland of many indigenous peoples and nationalities. This means we have a mosaic of different cultures and traditions to offer.

Meeting different cultures can be an amazing experience, and getting to know people’s traditions can be a breath of fresh air. Seeing how other people relate with their world, and environment can change our own worldview. So, if that’s the kind of experience you’d like to have, you can always check our tours.

A Kaleidoscope of Cultures and communities

Cuenca, Ecuador – November 5, 2022: Folk dancers of Azuay province in traditional dress as “cuencanas” in the parade on the day of celebration of the Cuenca’s independence day

Ecuador has a wide range of communities scattered around all over the country. Most of them are of Kichwa descent and each one has its own unique identity and heritage. But not all the cultures are Kichwa. If you dig deeper, you’ll uncover communities with their own language, history and traditions, such as the Tsáchila and Shuar, among many others. You can even visit some Inca ruins and archeological complex.

A Market full of colors

If you are looking for an easy way to learn about the Kichwa cultures, look no further than the lively Otavalo Market, also known as the “Mercado del Poncho”.

This market is renowned for its colors and textures since both locals and foreigners meet on a daily basis. You can recognize the locals by their blue ponchos, but there are also other communities that come to this place to share their goods.

It is a wonderful place to exchange culture, you’ll be amazed by the handmade fabrics and handicrafts.

Have a meal at a Crater

Cuenca, Ecuador – February 22, 2020: Carnival parade in Cuenca city. Dancers from canton Cayambe, Pichincha province and character of Inti Raymi celebration called Devil Huma with the flag of Ecuador

If you like unusual experiences, you should try to visit a town within 30 minutes away from The Equator monument. The Pululahua is a volcano that’s both likely active and inhabited on its crater.

But if you think it is a bad location to live, there is a good reason for locals to live on the top of a crater: the land there is very fertile because of the volcanic ash deposits of the zone. You can visit the town so, if you want to, you could have lunch there.

So, give it a try and, in no time, you’ll be able to witness how the terrain has shaped the culinary traditions of the region as much as it has shaped the landscape.

Sacha Warmikuna: Cultural Tourism by women

Among the many experiences offered in Ecuador, Sacha Warmikuna is an exceptional experience. What set this initiative apart is that it was born from women of the local community in Pijal.  They came up with this idea looking to reclaim ancient practices while encouraging sustainable tourism.

These women receive and lead the travelers around Pijal, and after they give insight into their practices. They will walk you around and show you the traditional art of textile-making and the use of medicinal plants endemic to the region.

Sacha Warmikuna is more than just a tourism experience; it’s a platform for these women. This is a way for them to share their own culture, their own practices and do it on their own terms.

The Secrets of Amazon Communities

One place that can be fascinating to explore is the Amazon rainforest. Many communities have found their homes in the heart of the Rainforest. Because of this, Western influences haven’t influenced these cultures as much as others have. This means they keep most of their ancient practices alive.

This means they keep most of their ancient practices very alive. As an example, hunting for food is still a common practice among these people. But their relationship with nature is still close, they don’t hunt in excess or as a sport. They also keep some traditional rituals and celebrations to keep balance and harmony with nature. So, if you visit the Amazon rainforest, be sure to get a glimpse of the balance they keep with their surroundings and appreciate their wisdom.

Visiting Ecuador means meeting ancient communities, exploring vibrant markets and trying the local cuisine. And even with all these options, that’s just part of what you can do. Ecuador stands as an embodiment of beauty, diversity and tradition, and its cultural diversity is just one of the many amazing things we have to offer.

Written by Juan Fernando Acosta

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