Muyu Raymi – Cotacachi Indigenous Seed Festival

We were kept awake most of the night from the workers setting up tents and a stage in Matriz Park, then the gardeners cleaning the park with their gas powered blowers.  We came out in the morning to a transformed park, along with the street below our apartment, which was blocked off with tents and tables.  The Indigenous market, which is usually held every Saturday next to the regular market up by the bus depot had been moved into Matriz Park for the Muyu Raymi Festival of Seeds.

People started arriving with their produce and seeds and set up displays of their products in nice neat rows on the street.  This cultural event can only be seen in Cotacachi.  The farmers all come down to the city to exchange their seeds and there are competitions for the best display and best seeds.  There were dozens of varieties of corn on display.  Many of the seed varieties stem from ancient times. Everybody was dressed in their finest cultural clothing.  It is quite a sight to see.

There was live Andean music all day, and the event even included a food vending section with BBQ pork, beef, chicken, and yes, cuy (guinea pig).