Otavalo markets

In the town square it’s hats, bags and blankets for tourists. In the side streets it’s vegetables, fruit and  second-hand clothes for the locals. And across the Pan American highway it’s cows, pigs and hens for the plate.

Saturday is market day in Otavalo; the biggest in Ecuador. We weren’t here to buy anything, just to watch and take in the atmosphere. Indigenous people dressed in their beautiful, traditional clothes in scenes that probably hadn’t changed that much in decades.

The animal market is raw. Especially when the screeching pigs are separated from their babies, the hens are tied up and carried off head down, or the cockerels sold off for fighting. But at least here it’s in the open and personal, not hidden behind sheds and abattoirs and on an industrial scale.

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