Quito is the beautiful capital of Ecuador. It is situated in the Andes mountains and you have a perfect view of the city. The city is built on the mountainsides, the houses line from the bottom to the top of the mountain. The houses have a lot of traditional Spanish red roofing as well.
Capilla Del Hombre
We traveled to the Capilla del Hombre, a museum built for the artwork of Guayasamin. He is a painter that was inspired by the injustices around the world. He did not like the mistreatment of mixed people and intended to show this through his art. His paintings showed the issues faced by normal people and tried to promote peace and equality. The paintings are of a dark nature because of the intense subject that they are capturing. Guayasamin is buried outside of his house which is right outside of the museum. He is buried under the tree of life in the fetal position. The Spanish believe that you should be buried in this position because that is how you came into the world so you should leave it the same way.
We set out for an hour and a half bus ride from Otavalo to the real equator line. Once arriving we had time to take pictures and take in the scenery. A local worker in the organization spoke to us about their beliefs on the equator and the world map. They believe that the map is currently turned the wrong way. They feel it should be turned on its side and be displayed vertically instead of horizontally. This is because north means left. They feel it makes more sense for it to be this way. It was neat to be in both hemispheres at the same time. I would suggest the trip even to hear their explanation. How many people can say that they’ve stood on both hemispheres at the same time?
Quito is a large city with a lot to see. We saw 2 beautiful churches while there. The first was the Basílica del Voto Nacional, which has beautiful colonial architecture. You can go up into the towers which overlook the city of Quito. The view is spectacular from the top. You can’t be afraid of heights to do this and also must be capable of going up steep ladders. Inside there are beautiful stained glass windows lining the large church.
The second is a gorgeous church covered in gold, La Iglesia de La Compañía De Jesus. There was a small light bulb that exploded and caused a fire and burned a part of the church. There are still signs of the burns on some of the artwork and architecture. The golden door at the beginning signifies the line in which the baptized and unbaptized are allowed to enter. The baptized can go inside for the mass while the others must stand outside.
We were also able to go into the presidential palace. The first floor of the palace is all shops. The second is a museum and the third is where the president works. There is a security guard at the first gate to let people in, then 2 guards before the entry way. They are similar to the guards in Britain, they stand in the same position with a weapon and in uniform. It is not as strict as in Britain though because they can interact with you. They also don’t mind pictures with them. Once inside you can see the museum but must go through a security checkpoint to enter. There are guards walking around all over inside the museum. It’s very interesting compared to the United States. The presidential palace is the equivalent of our white house. The fact that we were allowed to basically walk right in is astonishing because it is so different in the US. The current President of Ecuador is the first president to not live in the presidential palace. He prefers to live a more normal life. Therefore, he travels to work each day. It was very interesting to be in the main square there.
There are plenty of other things to do while in the countries capital. There are plenty of places to stay and eat while you are there. These are only the experiences I was able to take advantage of while there.