Posted by: Waheeda Harris | June 10, 2013

It’s a parade!

Ecuador - Quito saintIn many parts of the world, a parade isn’t always an official, planned, publicized event. On my first full day exploring the city of Quito, Ecuador, I got to see the tale end of a parade.

My tour bus was stopped in the traffic, and we didn’t realize what was going on – until I spotted a religious procession. So although this wasn’t a parade in the traditional sense, for locals, it was something to stop and witness.

A small group carried a saint or perhaps the Virgin Mary, while others followed behind and still more were playing music to encourage the faithful to proceed.

I was reminded of living in an older Portuguese neighbourhood in Toronto, where these kind of religious parades happened regularly, and seemed to be without warning to this non-clued in resident.

As locals stood at the side of the streets to watch, us travellers craned our necks down to see a split second of it – trying to figure out what was going on.

I wish I had looked down earlier, to get a closer view of what was going on – and to see the procession from the front.

But I couldn’t sneak out of the tour bus from the second level, and I just had to look from my vantage point.

And yet this quick glance told me more about Quito – its devotion to its Catholic faith, the reverence and interest of the locals and the spontaneity – it was happening without much pre-organized fanfare, something that is now so foreign to us in most of North America.

What would I discover next about Quito? I’ll be detailing more stories this week of last month’s travels in Ecuador….

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