Bus Tour To San Bartolome, Sigsig, Chordeleg And Gualaceo

What a fun day we had. Twenty-four of us boarded the bus at San Sabastian Plaza and at 9:00am, headed off for a day of adventure to San Bartolome, Sigsig, Chordeleg and Gualaceo.
San Bartolome – In Southern Ecuador, about 20 miles east of Cuenca, lies a small village where guitar-making is a way of life. The master guitar makers are world famous. No one really knows when the guitar-making tradition began, but it dates back at least 200 years, and many families can trace their own family guitar-making traditions to a 100 years back or more. We went on the Ruta de la Guitarres where we visited the workshop of one such craftsman, San Bartolome Guitarras Uyaguari. Guitarras Uyaguari, where Homero Uyaguari has been hand-crafting guitars of all sizes, shapes and designs for more than 40 years. Uyaguari’s father and grandfather before him were also guitar makers.
*9Cuenca5-29-15Cuenca2SanBartolome*On the way from Cuenca to San Bartolome
*23Cuenca5-29-15Cuenca2SanBartolomeRutaDeLasGuitarrasSign*Ruta de las Guitarras
*45Cuenca5-29-15SanBartolomeGuitarInlay*Setting inlay into face of guitar
*47Cuenca5-29-15SanBartolomeHangingGuitars*Some of the finished guitars
*33Cuenca5-29-15SanBartolomeLittleGirl*A cute little girl
Sigsig  – Located about 40 miles southwest of Cuenca. We visited The Asociación de Toquilleras de María Auxiliadora (ATMA), a women’s Fair Trade cooperative that produces artisan crafts, and in particular, Panama hats. Yes, Panama hats are made in Ecuador!! It is about 40 miles south west of Cuenca.
*57Cuenca5-29-15SanBartolome2Sigsig*San Bartolome to Sigsig
*80Cuenca5-29-15SigsigHatCoop*Dying the reed to make hats
*82Cuenca5-29-15SigsigHatCoop*Dyed reed hanging to dry

*107Cuenca5-29-15SigsigHatCoop*Beautiful Panama Hat

*108Cuenca5-29-15SigsigHatCoop*A stand of Panama hats

Chordeleg – Located about 27 miles east of Cuenca, Chordeleg, is known for its silver jewelry. Like many of the rural towns scattered across Ecuador, Chordeleg still adheres to the “guild system” inherited from Spain, where each community specializes in a particular craft.
*123Cuenca5-29-15Chorteleg*One of the lampposts that looks like jewelry
*129Cuenca5-29-15Chorteleg*The church at the town square

*134Cuenca5-29-15Chorteleg*Beautiful fountain in the town square

*137Cuenca5-29-15Chorteleg*Colorful shawls and tablecloths
Gualaceo – Located about 25 miles east of Cuenca, on the outskirts of Gualaceo, we visited Casa de la Makana, owned by José Jiménez and learned about the beautiful art of weaving.
*143Cuenca5-29-15Chorteleg2Gualaceo*From Chordoleg to Gualaceo
*159Cuenca5-29-15Gualaceo*Loom and colorful yarn
*162Cuenca5-29-15Gualaceo*Demonstrating a back strap loom
*163Cuenca5-29-15Gualaceo*Colorful shoe with woven fabric
*165Cuenca5-29-15Gualaceo*Beautiful old weaving
*170Cuenca5-29-15Gualaceo*Beautiful woven shawls

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