Día de los Difuntos - Day of the Deceased
Submerging yourself into a cultural tradition is probably the best way to get to know a country and its people. The Día de los Difuntos on November 2nd is a special day for the indigenous people which they celebrate with great dedication and devotion. On this day the loved ones who have passed away are honored with various rites, rituals and prayers. It is also during this day that the famous guaguas bread and colada morada drink are prepared. A visit to the cemetery is part of the celebrations followed up by the Wakcha Karay, a tradition in which people share food with the living and the dead. In this program you will join the families in the preparations for this celebration, visit the cemetery with your host family to honor their loved ones that have passed away and have fun with outdoor activities.
Day 1 – (October 31): In the afternoon you will arrive at the community of La Calera where you will be welcomed into the home of your host family. After you have had some time to settle in, it is time to participate in the daily activities of your family. You will help them with the preparation of the typical guaguas bread, which will be taken to the cemetery on the 2nd of November. These are colorful dough figures reminiscent of the dead, shaped like babies, birds or small children riding horses. Guagua means child in the indigenous Kichwa language. Thereafter, the breads are taken to the wood-burning oven to bake them. The breads are often accompanied with colada morada which is a hot drink made of red fruits and thickened with grains. In the evening you will have dinner together with your host family.
Day 2 – (November 1): After breakfast with your family you will depart for a full day of activities. Today you will visit different communities and both cities of Otavalo and Cotacatchi. The first activity for this day is a visit to a craft workshop where you will learn about the process of totora reeds weaving. These reeds are from the San Rafael lake. Afterwards it is time to visit the – for the indigenous people sacred site – Peguche waterfall, for a short hike up to the waterfall. The following activity is a visit to a local family for that runs a fabric workshop, where you will observe different traditional weaving techniques. In another small workshop you can observe the manufacturing process of Andean music instruments. After lunch in Cotacachi, you will have some time to explore this small city by yourself. Cotacachi is known for its production of leather goods. You can find lots of high quality and cheap goods made of leather here like belts, bags, jackets, etc. Before returning to your host family you will visit the Cuicocha crater lake for a short hike. In the evening you will have dinner together with your host family.
Day 3 – (November 2): After having enjoyed breakfast with your family, you will help them with the preparation of the food that you will take with you to the cemetery. Today you will join the tradition of Wakcha Karay in a visit to the cemetery where they remember their loved ones and share food in name of the deceased. Upon return from the cemetery you will have the afternoon to spend time with your family and in the evening you will have dinner together.
Day 4 – (November 3): After breakfast it is time to say goodbye to your host family. Today you will visit the Mojanda lagoon, where you will start the ascend to the Fuya Fuya mountain to hike up to 4262 meters (13,982 ft). After the hike you will have lunch in Otavalo where you also will have time to visit the famous indigenous market at Plaza de Ponchos. After lunch you will have some time to walk around the colorful market where all kinds of handicrafts (shawls, pottery, clothing, jewelry) are being sold. After this last activity the tour will come to an end.
- Accommodation at one of the host families of the community
- Meals from dinner on the first day until lunch on the last day
- Activities as described in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
This is a Shared Tour / Group Tour. This means that there will be other people on this tour besides yourself (or your travel party).
This tour takes place once a year in October/November.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Otavalo or Quito. The exact departure time is in accordance with Adore Ecuador Travel and/or indicated on your travel voucher.
What to bring?
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Rainproof jacket
- Layered clothing
- Comfortable shoes