The Watering Hole Blog

Inti Raymi- Ecuador #3

MA after swig

Surviving Inti Raymi – Ecuador Photo Blog #3


MA after taking swig of sugar cane swill

“We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity.”

– Desmond Tutu

Party, party, party…

You know the saying, “When in Rome…”? Well, when it’s Inti Raymi time (end of June) in Ecuador, get ready to celebrate with the locals!

Inti Raymi is celebrated in Andean villages in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Ecuador. People sing, dance, play music, eat, drink, celebrate and show gratitude for the bounty of the earth. Inti Raymi means Festival of the Sun or the sun’s resurrection.

Members of indigenous communities also undergo ritual spiritual purification, which they believe results in a renewal of energy, as well as a strengthening of their relationship with Mother Nature. Here is a great link to learn more about Inti Raymi.

On our trip, we were very fortunate to be able to celebrate Inti Raymi with an Indigenous group of performers, the Juyungo Dancers. They were outstanding musicians and dancers – and pretty determined to make sure we didn’t just observe the celebration but also participated 🙂

At the beginning of the evening, I was tired (and still feeling blue about Sadie) so I chose a seat nearest the exit with the hopes of slipping out early:

Hah! Here are some party pics:

Lynne dancing up a storm

Earlier on, we all stood in a giant circle and a Shaman slowly worked his way around the group, performing a spiritual cleanse of sorts on each and every person. It was powerful.

The celebration continued the next day:

Love this shot…the musicians were taking a much-needed lunch break but kindly posed


One of my favourite photos from the trip 🙂

And just in case we didn’t have enough in the way of joy & laughter, singing & dancing, we also visited the Afro-Ecuadorian community of Mascarilla. We saw a demonstration of their mask-making:

And then the party began:

Lynne busting a move with the town matriarch…yes, that IS a bottle of wine on her head!


MA & kids in Mascarilla

That’s it for this blog…I am exhausted from just posting these photos! I can’t believe how much we saw and did while in Ecuador. More photo blogs to come…

Until then, have a wonderful week & enjoy the lazy, hazy days of August!

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Magical Moran – Ecuador Photo Blog #2

Walking the Line – Ecuador Photo Blog #1

Celebrate Good Times – Saying Goodbye to Sadie Pope

About Experience International Study Tours

Experience International (EI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization based in Bellingham, Washington. Incorporated in 1988, their mission is to embrace and create opportunities for international understanding and human resource development through technical and cultural exchange in a wide spectrum of disciplines including but not limited to agriculture and natural resources. EI also works with community and choral groups of all ages that travel and often sing to celebrate human diversity, peace, and social justice; to exchange and share with local groups and communities off the beaten track.  Please click here for details. 

About Altropico

Altropico is an organization committed to social and environmental causes in the binational region of Ecuador and Colombia. They collaborate with indigenous, afro-descendant and mestizo organizations, with programs and projects oriented to the good living of their populations. Please click here for further info.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.



Share this post

2 thoughts on “Inti Raymi- Ecuador #3”

  1. That cover photo…amazing…I swear I have a photo of Dad with that exact expression. Although he was probably protesting the LACK of sugarcane swill…

  2. Hah! Too funny…yes, Pops would have been giving that look of disgust if there was not ENOUGH booze in the bottle!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.