Chronicles of the Wayward Moot

WELCOME TO THE MOOT, oh world-wanderers and word-whisperers. After two years of Peace Corps. After 2,200 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. What. Comes. Next?


Last Saturday I was down in the valley to participate in the pregón (opening shebang) of the National Mining Festival they throw down there. It started with a desfile (parade) after dark, and here are some of the photos from that... I didn't think they came out too impressive, but then again it's difficult to take great shots at night of moving subjects with a happy snap camera.

The entire parade and festival is about honoring the miner's life and the glory of living in a mining town. Chekc out there girls' costumes.. they're made to look as if they're riding on the shoulders of little dwarf miners or something similar. Cute.

And here we see one of the many home grown floats. That's a mock-up of the Portovelo church and the "castillo" which is a scaffolding tower used to service the deep mining shafts that go way underground. I hear that the biggest mines in Portovelo go about 600 feet below the level of the river valley.

They put real dynamite into the bottlow rockets the make here. When they go boom, the go BOOOooOOOOOooOOOOooOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM. Here we have three quite inebriated miners setting off bottle rockets as they roll by in their picup truck. I didn't see anyone get killed, but I did see some close calls.

"The Association of Small Miners?" This guys loks anything but small! Note the dancing girls with glittery mining hardhats and golden boots over silver outfits. Symbolism runs deep here. Deeeeep.

A Portovalense landmark is the statue of the three miners, advancing the goal of progress and hard work. Passing below this statue are the real miners, almost all nearly too drunk to stand up. The guy on the far left is swigging from a two liter bottle of puro (pure sugarcane moonshine, ubiquitous around here ... the stuff smells very much like Everclear.)


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