Many people come to Ecuador these days with the express purpose of kayaking. And, they are smart to do so, as Ecuador is a kayaking wonderland. You’ve got steep creeks, you’ve got medium volume technical rivers, and big water runs all within a very tight radius. And, the runs here are world class! So, what kayaker wouldn’t want to come to Ecuador?
But, when kayakers come to Ecuador in pursuit of their sport, they also get the pleasure of meeting wonderful people, and of being exposed to a beautiful culture much different from that of North America or Europe.
The fiestas of the Virgin of Quinche we held in Borja last week. The Virgin of Quinche is an important icon all along the Quijos Valley (where we base for much of our kayaking). The Virgin has longed been revered as both a savior and a protector for the people living in the Quijos Valley in Ecuador’s Oriente.
The Celebrations included a huge bonfire in the town park, followed by some tunes from the local marching band, a very impressive fireworks display, and some good ol’ partying afterwards.
And yes, that is a cow with fireworks spraying out its horns. Dairy farming is the mainstay of the economy in the Quijos Valley and celebrating their agricultural prosperity is an integral part of the fiestas here in Borja. And, of course, no party would be complete without Sponge Bob (that’s Bob Esponga here in Borja).