The Otavalo visitors usually come to experience the famous and economically most important Indian market of South America. On Saturdays, and on a smaller scale also on Wednesdays, the otherwise extinct city center is transformed into a huge, yet relatively clear market zone. The central point of the colorful sales process is the Plaza de los Ponchos.
The Otavalo Indians, who are traditional in their traditional costumes, are industrious members of a cultural society based on a total of 75 independent municipalities. They are considered prosperous and respected. Traditional weaving combined with appropriate commercialization has allowed Otavalo’s inhabitants to occupy a special position within Ecuador. The modest prosperity, however, by no means led to a neglect of the Indian identity. Again and again we find food stalls, as they are typical of the highlands of Ecuador. Large pots are placed on two or three stones. Underneath a cheerful fire is kindled. Then the ingredients are cooked in the cooking pots and then immediately sold from the street to the hungry guests.
The harvested fruits and vegetables are decorated on a tarp directly onto the street. Some good pictures can only be shot out of hand by “passing by” …..
South America – Ecuador – Women sitting on the floor and offering their goods in the market
The impressions are already breathtaking, as are the various odors of the products offered. The clothing of the inhabitants corresponds to very own customs. The women of Otavalo wear long black skirts and white, colorfully embroidered blouses. Many have several gold-shimmering glass pearl necklaces around their necks and red coral ribbons around their wrists. Others do not wear shoes to stay in touch with Pacha Mama – “Mother Earth”. Almost all women have long wide scarfs thrown over their shoulders.
Some particularly beautiful souvenirs for those who stayed at home can also be bought by tourists. Even passionate photographers get their money’s worth in the crowd of people and materials. Here you will find people in indigo costumes, fruit stands, bundles of wool, barkers, sacks of potatoes and vegetables, ready-to-transport pigs, swift load carriers. Particular attention should be paid to the nimble pickpockets.
In the main, low-priced woven articles of all kinds, but also other textile articles are offered for sale. Trading is common and fun. However, the quality of the goods on display is often not high quality. Today, mass production is announced in Otavalo, with almost always the same being offered everywhere.