Past Trips


This tour far exceeded my expectations. Despite the road closures Jackie was able to get to my hotel early and we were able to see the preparations in San Francisco church. We bought bouquets for $1 each from the vendors outside that we handed to the staff adorning the statues. It was interesting seeing the faithful stream into the church with their bouquets. We then went to the San Andres school behind the church and saw the penitents collecting their costumes,, and once ready, assembling in the field. It was a remarkable opportunity to observe local culture as one could see every age group represented- couples, friends, families. Jackie spoke to some of them and we got insight as to why people partcipate. We then staked out our positions outside the church and watched the thousands of cucuruchos stream out - many with bare feet, some dragging chains, some with crossbeams on their shoulders or wood covered with thorny vines. Then the buildup to the statue of Jesus de Gran Poder being wheeled out of the church - it was a mixture of profound reverence and love of country. We then proceeded to another viewing spot from which we could enjoy the procession from a balcony. In the evening we went to Alangasi and this was pretty mind-blowing. The sight of the holy souls entering the church, the trumpets, the diablos taunting the attendees, etc. This was happening as the statue of Christ was being slowly taken down fron the cross, his crown snd garnent handed off to angels, and the priest delivering his Good Friday meditation- nothing in the workd like it. We ended by gathering at the home of a local who could answer all our questions about the tradition. I am barely scratching the surface here - this tour is a MUST I would like to mention that this tour was made possible with the help of blogger Angie Drake who writes very informative articles about cultural experiences in Ecuador and beyond - she put me in touch with Jackie and she joined us for the event - check out her blog!
By RUTH S for Good Friday - Quito & Alangasí 2023 on Apr 13, 2023
i found this procession to be very interesting - partcipants dressed as recognizable icons of Mary seen in the local churches, penitents, holy souls, indigenous women, etc. It assembled at the Basilica de Voto Nacional and it was so much fun observing the cast of characters and the grassroots feel of the event. It was raining so Jackie and I decided to wait for the procession at Calle La Ronda instead which was great because it allowed me to experience that part of Quito. I was told that place was open oniy on the weekends. It was a Thursday night and the street was indeed open albeit quiet which I liked. We enjoyed a delicious dinner with excellent service. We weren’t able to catch the end of the procession as intended but all in all it was a great window into the culture and I appreciate that we were able to make adjustments for inclement weather. special thanks to blogger angie drake who put me in touch with jackie- her blog is chockful of information about ecuador . she also met us at the event
By RUTH S for Holy Thursday and Candlelight Procession, 2024 on Apr 13, 2023
I felt incredibly privileged to have witnessed this, it was like being teleported to the 16th century. The excitement in the cathedral was palpable - filled to capacity, with full media coverage. Every step seemed choreographed with precision to give justice to the rich symbolism. The sight of the chosen priests, cloaked in black, assisted by priests/seminarians as they slowly walked down the aisles dragging their capes was unforgettable. The image did convey the weight of the sins of humanity. Then to see them lie prostrate in front of the altar as the archbishop waved the black flag emblazoned with the red cross, then rise unencumbered by the capes - this was effective in delivering the message that God’s sacrifice has conquered sin and death. Jackie was wonderful in making sure we had choice viewing spots way ahead of the scheduled start tine. She would cue me on what was about to happen next, in what direction to look,, who were the dignitaries in attendance, etc. She has a keen sense of journalistic curiosity so she made sure to give me a wealth of detail I’d like to mention that this experience was made possible because i reaxhed out to blogger Angie Drake (Not Your Average American) who writes about these unique cultural experiences in South America. I expressed my interest and she worked with Jackie to create bespoke itineraries for Semana Santa. Fantastic collaboration.
By RUTH S for The Arrastre de Caudas on Ash Wednesday, 2023 on Apr 13, 2023