What a moving experience.
I am always moved by a people’s commitment, values, and patriotic views.
Every Monday at 11am, the Ecuadorian President Correra attends the crowd on the balcony of the Presidential Palace for the changing of the guards. There is much excitement and activity associated with this event. The changing of the guards brought out many of the local Ecuadorians as well as a throng of tourists. The crowd was poised to witness this once weekly occurrence. The street vendors were pursuing the crowd in hopes to entice their wares. Children laughing and playing. The park was full of activity and life. A gentleman reading a newspaper here and there. The sights and sounds invaded my senses; the excitement palpable in the air.
When the official ceremony began and the President made his appearance; the crowds excitement was heard and felt. Arms waving, crowd cheering, and flags waved. It would appear that President Correra is well liked if you only saw this moment. However, I know that the political situation with the indigenous people is a bit tense at the moment. This was shown to us on our arrival when our first excursion was met with protesters filling the streets and police surrounding the crowds in full riot gear. Not knowing what was happening and fearful of encountering an angry mob; we headed back to the hostel and did a quick google search to see what was happening. It turns out that the indigenous people are angry and protesting due to the Governments allowance of some mining that will destroy their lands.
The band played, the crowd became even more excited. I had a good front position but soon was politely pushed back by some locals. I fell back graciously to allow those whose national pride is foremost to obtain a better view. I watched as an older woman smiling weaved in front of me to get a better view; her happiness at being there was exciting to me.
I don’t understand much of what was said but while the President was making his speech, I found chills on my arms and a feeling of pride myself. Why I was full of pride? I really don’t know other than it was moving to see the national pride in the faces of those around me, the love of country and countryman alike. It is difficult to put into words.
- Market Day: Otavalo Ecuador (arediscoveredlife.wordpress.com)