Fiesta de Guapulo

Last Saturday, after our adventures in Old Town, we headed for a different part of the city, Guapulo. There is an annual Fiesta de Guapulo that happened to be last weekend! The tradition involves fireworks, music and moonshine. Guapulo itself is in a valley on the edge of Quito. There is one very windy and steep cobblestone road that leads down to the church in the central plaza. We began our night by stopping at a restaurant halfway down the hill to meet up with friends from school. The view from the restaurant was impressive:

After enjoying the view for a bit we began to make our way down the rest of the hill, stopping at one apartment at a time to chat and enjoy a beer. Several of our coworkers like in Guapulo. We were specifically told not to live there this year since the area is sometimes known for mudslides during the rainy season and with only one way in and out….
We finally made it to the bottom of the hill and joined the crowd gathered in front of the church.

The party was already underway so we joined right in, dancing to the band and imbibing in some local beverages. A stage was set up and a group of men were playing trumpet, trombone, drums, etc. They even danced in unison…my favorite!
The signature drink of Fiesta de Guapulo is called CanaLazo and is a bit like warm apple cider with a serious kick. A wine bottle full could be purchased for $1.50!
Once everyone had warmed up from the inside out and gotten their dancing feet prepped, the fireworks began. A huuuuge bamboo contraption was placed in the center of the crowd and as it started to burn from the bottom up, people began to dance in a circle around it.
We were told by returning teachers to watch our hair, so I put the hood of my jacket up and joined in the fun!

And the fireworks begin!

Do you see Alex at the bottom trying to cover his head?

More sparks!

Pretty!!!

The night ended by us having to walk back up the hill….brutal!!!
We took several breaks along the way but my legs were still in a lot of pain on Sunday! Worth every sore muscle though!
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