A Travellerspoint blog

Independence of Guayaquil (and other celebrations)

Guayaquil

I went into town on Wednesday morning to see what I could of the 9th October Independence of Guayaquil procession. The bus journey took a very long time because of all the traffic, but even though I missed the military part of the procession, I caught the latter stages which consisted of schoolchildren twirling batons, waving Guayaquil flags and playing drums, trumpets and portable steel glockenspiels (though not all at the same time...) It was very colourful and musical - the sound of the glockenspiels reminded me of Caribbean steel pans.

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I started off watching it on Avenida 9 Octubre, the main street in Guayaquil, but then walked along to the Malecon and saw some of it there before returning the way I'd come.

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I could only stay for about an hour because I had to get back to work, but I was really glad I'd made the effort to come.

I did a bit of food shopping earlier today at the supermarket and noticed they had some (undressed) artificial Christmas trees on display - the first sign of Christmas I've seen here. I suppose in the UK there's Hallowe'en stuff everywhere. Here, apparently a couple of years ago the government banned Hallowe'en for being an US import and not a native Ecuadorian festival. They celebrate All Souls' Day, 2nd November, as The Day of the Dead, but officially at any rate they don't celebrate Hallowe'en.

I was told this by the students in the pre-advanced conversation class I had for the past four Monday mornings but has now finished. (The conversation classes come in blocks of four). I enjoyed that class a lot, despite it being between 7-9 am on Monday mornings, because there was a great atmosphere, everybody got on extremely well and there were some very interesting discusssions about such things as the high levels of corruption they feel is present in the government and Ecuadorian society in general; the problems with drugs which they think has only become a major issue since Correa came into power; the All Souls' Day, Christmas, New Year and Carnival celebrations in Ecuador and other countries; the popular meaning (in Ecuador) of different colours of flowers, which led on somehow to the importance of love and positivity; whether people's destinies are fixed from birth or fluid; and freedom of speech and where the line is.

Posted by 3Traveller 04:51 Archived in Ecuador Tagged buses ecuador procession guayaquil english_teaching malecon_2000 avenida_9_de_octubre traditional_customs

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