Last Saturday morning, in bright sun, Judy G and I caught a quick bus from Cañar to El Tambo, the town ten miles to the north on the Pan American highway. We had been invited to a Feria Artesanal sponsored by the Municipality of El Tambo and Ministry of Culture and Patrimony, celebrating the cultural heritage of the region. As we jumped off the bus we could hear live music coming from the market area, and rounding the corner we found the feria in full swing. A music group played on a stage, and food stands lined the street, offering everything from chichi to cuyes and conejos roasting on the spit.
As we joined the crowd, I greeted Francisco Caguana, an old friend. I first knew Francisco ten years ago when he was a young guide at Ingapirca, the Inca and Cañari archeological complex. Now he is all grown up, a town councilor and vice-mayor. I asked if we could do a short interview, and Judy quickly pulled out her recorder and headphones and began to ask questions, despite very loud music blasting over a big sound system. I couldn’t believe she could really get a good interview, and I wandered away to peruse and photograph the food stands. On the way back, I bought a serving of warm mote, ocas and papas, which Judy and I shared while enjoying the first of several dance groups.
By the time we were ready to get back to Cañar, dark clouds had formed on the horizon and thunder joined another music group on the stage, while dancers lined up for the next performance. As we got off the bus in Cañar, the skies opened. But having been to many events in this fast-changing weather place, I knew that the feria would continue, and continue through the afternoon. Viva la cultura y el patrimonio de Cañar.
To see our interview and video: https://vimeo.com/126150996