Arrival in Quito, Ecuador

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March 27th 2007
Published: August 10th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

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Arrival in Quito, Ecuador

Palm Sunday , April 1, 2007Palm Sunday , April 1, 2007Palm Sunday , April 1, 2007

JD (foreground) and Jesus. Palm Sunday procession through steets of Quito.

Quito, Ecuador

I arrived in Quito at mid day thankfully. Like every place you visit I had heard the horror stories of muggings and worse so I was a little apprehensive. It seems you never get used to those stories, and every city has them. But the public transport system is first class here and I didn´t feel threatened in the least. It´s quite a nice city but very high. At 2,800 metres altitude, that's 2.8 km, its cool even though you´re on the equator . Even the packages of pasta you buy in the supermarket take the altitude into consideration. They have instructions for boiling on the coast (8 minutes) and in the mountain areas like Quito (10 minutes).
I didn´t plan it but this was Semana Santa (Easter Week) and Catholic South America takes it quite seriously.

On Palm Sunday due to Quito´s long standing tradition in crafts, people began weaving the palms into baskets, crosses, flowers, butterflies etc. The palms in the old days were used to receive triumphant kings, it was synonymous with victory and so they use it to celebrate the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
On Good Friday
Palm Sunday VendersPalm Sunday VendersPalm Sunday Venders

Palm leaves are embellished by weaving them into various shapes like baskets and crosses.
the procession begins at noon, the
Palm Sunday Venders
Palm leaves are embellished by weaving them into various shapes like baskets and crosses.time Jesus was sentenced and ends at 3pm, when he died. I think everyone in Quito was either watching the procession or in it.

Even though I was here almost 25 years ago (my how time flies), I never did see the line drawn along the equator. This time I took a short bus trip north of the city. (Equator:Ecuador...get it?)

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Palm Sunday CrowdPalm Sunday Crowd
Palm Sunday Crowd

San Francisco Plaza, greeting the end of the procession with palm leaves.
La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World)La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World)
La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World)

Walking along the equator. You´d think it would be sweltering but it´s a surprisingly comfortable temperature thanks to the high altitude.
Good Friday ProcessionGood Friday Procession
Good Friday Procession

Procession starts at noon, when Jesus was sentenced to death andends at 3pm, the hour of his death.
Cross Bearer on Good FridayCross Bearer on Good Friday
Cross Bearer on Good Friday

Many penitents carry crosses or have their feet chained or thrash themselves while walking the route.
Let's TalkLet's Talk
Let's Talk

¨You poke me one more time with that sword and this cross will go where the sun don't shine¨ ¨How come you got to be the centurion anyway?¨
Good FridayGood Friday
Good Friday

La Basilica in background on part of the 5km cirucuit for thousands lining the streets to watch thousands more in the procession.
Hey! This is Heavy!Hey! This is Heavy!
Hey! This is Heavy!

¨How did José get to be the centurion?¨
Good Friday RainGood Friday Rain
Good Friday Rain

An hour of rain and nobody left. The umbrella sellers were happy. Most places the spectators were at least 5 deep, even in the rain.
Penitents on Good FridayPenitents on Good Friday
Penitents on Good Friday

The cucuruchos, dressed in purple, symbolise the penitents demonstrating their repentance and their will to change.
Good Night...I mean, Good FridayGood Night...I mean, Good Friday
Good Night...I mean, Good Friday

Celebrations carry on into the night, this is definitely an all day affair

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