The World is big enough

“Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it” (Mahatma Ghandi)


INTI RAYMI – When Incas celebrate midsummer!

Dear all

I guess it’s time again for a little bit of culture and latin american history. For that, two weeks ago I made my way to the South Sierra of Ecuador. Ingapirca is a little city near Cuenca and is named after the Archaeological complex of Ingapirca – in english this kichwa name means “wall of the Inca”. It is the best preserved pre-Hispanic architectonic site of the country and it had long been settled by indigenous people called Cañaris before the Incas were living here. There’s ruins from both cultures and the differences in construction style can be observed  when taking a tour from the “old” to the “new” part of the site. Besides the complex and the beautiful landscape this place is surrounded by, there’s not much to do in the city of Ingapirca. Except, and that was the main reason for getting there, it’s midsummer! Then this is the place for one of the biggest INTI RAYMI celebrations of the country. Casually said it’s the Thanksgiving of the Andean culture. It’s to thank Inti (father sun) and Pachamama (mother earth) for the previous year and to ask for their support for the upcoming year. That’s about the history of this place and the event.

Thanks to the bus driver who dropped me of in the middle of nowhere and to the two ladies with their kids who accompanied me to a little community called Sisid Anejo and to Manuel who was expecting me at the place I was supposed to stay at, I reached my home for the upcoming 4 days without problem. The community of Sisid Anejo is a 45 minute walk away from the Archaeological site and was already worth the journey. Just beautiful and quiet, except for some dogs who announced every passing person loudly. Thankfully there were not many of them, meaning passing persons. And as so many times before, I was the attraction as there’s never any tourist at that place. The next morning, it was friday, I got up early to not miss anything that might happen at the festival. But after a delayed start  (about two hours later than printed in the program)  it was not at all busy and there were just few performances of music, dance and ceremonies during the day. On saturday though it was busy and after the ceremony of gratitude there were lots of presentations of traditional music and dances from the countries of Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico all followed by big applause from the audience and the words “muy bien” from the moderator. Dear organization team, I recommend to hire someone else for next year. The presentations itself comprised everything from great, interesting and different to sometimes strange but always entertaining even including a Miss INTI RAYMI!

On sunday morning, not alike the days before, there was a group of people for breakfast all gathering around one big table while I was sitting alone at my table. When looking at my pictures from the day before on my camera I did recognize some of the faces sitting at the big table. So I asked if they had been dancing on the festival yesterday and yes, it was the delegation of Bolivia from Quito 😉 from the Centro Arte Folklórico “INKARY”. So lovely people. They invited me to join them not only for breakfast, but for the rest of the day, as Jorge, the director of the group and the bus driver offered me to take me to Riobamba as they anyway would pass through on their way back to Quito. We again went to the festival, made a tour through the Archeological site and a hike to the face of the Inca before starting our journey back north at around lunchtime. Thanks to all of you for the enjoyable day! And especially for you, this video is in spanish! On sunday evening I got back “home” with lots of impressions, many nice people I got to know, hours of videos, tons of photos and a sunburned face! Sometimes, even after this long time I’m here I underestimate the power of the sun on an altitude of 3.200 meters!

As mentioned before, this video is by way of exception in spanish and that’s why I’ve given some information I’m talking about in the video already in the text above. But don’t miss the video and especially my highlights of this event at the end of the video!

Yours, Carsten