Fresh milk is always in demand and milking the family cow is a chore that I enjoy watching. Each family has a couple of cows, a few pigs and perhaps a lamb or two. If the family needs cash, they sell an animal.

  Milking the Family Cow                          
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It has been years since I have been to the Quechua Mass on Easter in Otavalo.    The older people of Otavalo still take Easter very seriously!  It is the music of the choir during the Mass that I truly enjoy.  These are a few short excerpts of the Mass and the music.
The celebrations this week are the holiest of holy celebrations.  Many communities re-enact the Roman persecution and crucifixion of Christ.  This is a slide show of photos I took a few years ago in the community of Yambiro.   Music soundtrack is by Pacha Mama.
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The first few truck loads of materials were passed down to the building sight by hand during the first few mingas. Moving tonnage the 100 mtrs. got old quickly so someone suggested they all build a road that morning…...and that is exactly what they did!
Dr. Allison Hall and Sr. Patricio Castro spent two weeks in two small Indigenous villages near Otavalo working with the children of the local schools. They taught health, art, phys. ed. and provided the kids with a great experience. This is their video.
Beans and Maize are the staple of the rural Indigenous family. For the next month families will be harvesting the beans dried on the vine that will provide their food for the entire year. In June the final harvest of Maize begins.
The Ali Shungu Foundation was formed to improve the Health, Education and general Welfare of the people of five Indigenous communities. 
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  Rural Andean Communities of Otavalo                         


  Construction of the Yambiro Community Center continued                            

  Cosechando Frejole                          
Today I visited the Paradero Inca Tambo in Peguche to visit with Tio Mario Tontaquimba Diaz and his wife who welcome guests to visit their workshops and to obtain insight into the Indigenous Andean culture of the Otavalo rural area.    Spanish       Quechua
The new school year begins this Monday.  Tia Eugenia Farinango, an Indigenous Community leader, explains the need for financial assistance to educate the young people of the rural areas.  The Ali Shungu Foundation Scholarship program is in it’s sixth year.

   Shelling Beans                             
The first harvest of the year is taking place in the Otavalo area.  Fresh corn, choclo, and beans, frejoles de chagra” are staples for the Indigenous campesino. Even José, the family pig, is involved and does his part of the chores.

   How to Build a Choza                             
The Ancient Otavalos lived in thatched adobe huts called “chozas” for many centuries.  An Otavalo Indian remembers watching villagers build these huts in his mountain village as a young boy and he offered his expertise when we needed some chozas fast!

   Preparing the Fields                             
Now that the maize has been harvested it is once again time to prepare the fields for planting corn and beans in September.    The indigenous farmers of Otavalo continue to plow and hoe the earth by hand or with oxen.  Tractors are for rent, but very expensive.
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Harvesting Beans

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