The Otavalo People

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January 18th 2020
Published: January 21st 2020
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I very much enjoyed the time we spent as a group in Otavalo. It was fantastic to be able to see such a different way of life, and only an hour or so from Quito. By far though, my favorite part of the excursion was being able to relate to them in our interactions.

In general, at the various stands I purchased items at, I could tell that they knew I was from either Europe or the U.S. At one stand in particular, I struck up a conversation after my purchase of a Quena (a flute/recorder hybrid instrument), and he asked me where I was from, inferring that he knew I wasn't from around here. He was very kind though, he complemented my Spanish speaking and I'm sure he talked a little slower so that I could understand him better. I could tell that they charged me higher prices though at first though, since that's just the smart way to do business when you're allowed to set prices. As much as I would rather not be judged by people without them knowing me, I didn't feel offended at all at their treatment. Their goal was to make money, and my goal was to get what I wanted, and because of the way the bartering system worked, I think that we both maximized our achievement of our goals. I got what I wanted, at what I thought was a reasonable price, and they made as much money as they could off of me. Everyone was happy after the transaction.

Another thing that I noticed at Otavalo was that it was really a good place to practice language. We saw several groups who were there to learn English by talking to tourists, and there were several people I noticed were foreigners who were also practicing their Spanish. I'm really glad that the Otavalo people recognize that this is there clientele, and that they make it a great place to practice. So, not only did I make some purchases I was glad about, I also was able to practice my Spanish skills and bartering practice. It was an absolute win for everyone, and the only thing that was better was the beauty of the town. I would absolutely have spent another night there, and I'm really glad that we went.

(for grading, this blog is relational)


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