I took a taxi up to Cacha the day after the festival on the most beautiful road I have seen so far in Ecuador! It is newly laid and makes the twisting ride up the mountain much more enjoyable than it would be on a dirt road. The billboard to the left is placed along this road and is also new, with a fantastic picture of the Pucara Tambo site, which is where I am staying for the duration of my time in Cacha. I have taken this week to settle in and get to know the people who work at the site. There are two women and two men who are there every day and they cook my meals and answer all my questions.
I was pleasantly surprised by the accommodations, they have five cabins, with two rooms each, that are a mix of single person rooms and rooms with bunk beds and each room has its own shower with hot water… ya! It gets pretty cold at night, but they have wonderful blankets that keep you nice and warm. Pucara Tambo is located up a mountain from Riobamba, so you get a fantastic view of the city and the other mountains surrounding the city, including Chimborazo, which is the tallest one in Ecuador.
The museum is in the middle of the complex, right in front of the ceremonial square. It is circular and has circular mosaics placed between each window around the outside of the building. While I have yet to see a group of people go into the museum, the second day I was in Cacha a group of Indians from another community came a performed a ceremony in the square and stayed the night. They were very friendly and shared their food with me when I was sitting around outside writing, but I did not feel comfortable photographing their ceremony because it seemed very private.
This week has been my ¨get used to me week¨ and it seems to be going pretty well. Now when I walk around people talk to me, smile and call me Sarita instead of giving me funny looks. Cacha is made up of 22 communities, some of which are too far afield for me to reach on my daily walk, but I have become comfortable with the communities within reach and have plans to reach the others soon so I can see where they make the ponchos and belts they are famous for and that are on display in the museum.
Posted by Sarah Szabo- MA Candidate CLACS/Museum Studies NYU