Posts made in November, 2013

Alpaca Goods Manufacturing

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

Alpaca Goods Manufacturing

I was lucky enough to be invited to spend a part of Thanksgiving 2013 with friends who were providing a tour to a group of U.S. and Canadian citizens.  We toured Otavalo market and then got an invitation to see a busy shop in full action in a small village near Otavalo.  The work is created on antique imported machines from Europe.  I noticed one was made in Belgium.  As we entered the  noise level was rhythmic and some people began to dance to the beat as we entered the main production area.  It was jammed with machines all going very fast and we could see cloth being created right before our eyes.  The noise was so intense that the workers were all wearing ear protection.  Since I had none, I stayed only long enough to snap a few pictures.  Then we went to another area where other workers were hand combing the alpaca shawls with thistles.  This process makes them extra soft and...

Read More

Demonstration Against Domestic Violence

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

Demonstration Against Domestic Violence

Although I have not personally been aware of any cases of domestic violence in Cotacachi, and the general lack of violence in the area, the issue of domestic violence is important enough to the people of Cotacachi that they organized a procession and demonstration. The procession began with children marching into the main square of town.  They entered by the cathedral and went around three sides of Park Matriz before ending in front of the Municipal building (el municipio).  They were accompanied by their teachers and had a motorcycle police escort. The featured image is a police vehicle with images and messages against violence against women. What is different here in contrast to what I have seen in the U. S. is that the generations are not separated as much from each other in Ecuador.  If something is going on of importance to the community, all ages are present, and the people stand together.  There is a solidarity and sense of citizenship that I have not experienced in other places that I find very refreshing, and I think it bodes well for the future of the community....

Read More

New! Books at Circle on the Square

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

New! Books at Circle on the Square

I’m probably the only person you know without a Kindle or a Nook; but, I have to say, I love books and always have. Yes, the kind you can hold in your hands and turn the pages,  look at images, or stick a bookmark in to keep your place.  Call me old fashioned, but I love the smell and the feel and the experience of a real book; and I invite you to enjoy them with me at Circle on the Square. Now at Circle on the Square, you can enjoy some of the books I have treasured over the years and took the time and great expense to bring to Ecuador.  I am still re-arranging the space and looking for items to make it more commodious for students, clients and visitors, so it is a work in progress; however I hope you will come and visit soon. I gave away many many books before I came to Ecuador, but some of the favorites I brought are books on healing, native American wisdom, yoga and spiritual development, various esoteric studies, and many titles by Ruth Lee. Ruth is a long time friend and mentor who teaches through her writing of novels as well as channeled materials for students who aspire to live to their fullest potential. The jury is still out on whether this will be a lending library or a reading room since many volumes would be impossible to replace should they get lost or not returned; so we will begin as a reading room to begin with and then keep you updated on any changes. A few books of which I have multiple copies will be offered for sale.  Please stop by when you are in the neighborhood....

Read More

Sunday Procession

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

Sunday Procession

Not new, but a constant in Cotacachi is the feeling of celebration, particularly among teh indigenous people.  I feel so lucky and so blessed to have my business located in the center of town, and therefore being able to witness so many celebrations that happen frequently and often originate on the steps of the cathedral La Matriz, facing the main square of the town. I do not know what the particular occasion was for this parade, but it was beautiful to see the people in their traditional dress walking in the bright sunlit street bordering the park.  The featured photo shows men walking along Garcia Moreno street towards the Municipal building on the opposite side of the park from the cathedral. I find the white pants and blue ponchos  so striking, and love the visual impact, but even more striking to me is the feeling of unity that I believe is a part of being part of a centuries-old way of living that still works...

Read More

Power of Community

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Blog | 3 comments

Power of Community

Coming together as a community is a power that many do not practice today, but it is a tradition among the indigenous of Ecuador.  In the Cotacachi area are many communities where indigenous people live and  carry on the ways of their ancestors.  Today you will see a few tell tale differences with modern things like cell phone usage and vehicles and some modern conveniences, but despite these things there is little difference in how the community is structured compared to years ago. When there is a matter concerning the community, a meeting is called and everyone is invited to participate. Last Sunday I was invited to such a meeting concerning the water irrigation project that Circle on the Square and others are contributing to in order to improve the water availability in La Calera community. The initiative was started by Phyllis Cooper, longtime resident and active community supporter from the United States.  In the meeting people took turns standing and addressing their fellow citizens.  It was a respectful sharing with airing of feelings and perspectives on where the project stood at the time and what was needed going forward.  No confrontation, no animosity, some laughter, and I believe some agreement took place in a bit over an hour.  Workmen, young mothers with babies, old men and women, and children filled the space. I wanted to take a picture, but since I was a guest I was not sure it was appropriate.  Instead I took a shot of one side of the Community Center with a horse in the foreground and  mountains in the background.  I must say I was impressed at how cohesive feeling the meeting was.  This is not to say that all meetings are that way, but I was struck by how orderly and friendly and united the people seemed, and the few visitors present were all greeted and treated with respect.  I found that to be refreshing since many community meetings in the U. S. are full of contentiousness, divisiveness and controversy — or worse. In the U. S. there is not a lot of peaceful coming together such as I witnessed that day in La Calera. I think U.S. citizens could benefit from getting back to being able to see each other as one community...

Read More