Ibarra is a moderate sized city of about 140,000 people in northern Ecuador. It felt “old” in most of the areas although we did go to a couple of new malls in the area.
I continue to be impressed with how much buses are used in Latin America compared to most places I have been in the USA. Buses tend to be fairly clean and run frequently. In Ibarra, it was $0.15 per senior for a ride, $0.30 for others. My only issue is that despite having these signs about disabled people and people in wheelchairs, I didn’t see any wheelchair accessible buses. In fact, the buses are very high off the ground and if you aren’t getting on/off at a curb, it can be an issue for us shorties. Given the number of short Andean people, it is amazing.
Breast feeding is the norm in Ecuador as it really should be in all countries. In addition to a very prominent statue in honor of breast feeding, you will often see a woman breast feeding her child openly on the bus, sitting on a curb, or just about anywhere. Unlike American women who usually drape themselves, these women don’t cover up, at all. Way to go!!!
There were a lot of indigenous Andean people who are easily recognized by their stature and clothing. Women usually have on a hat and a shawl tied to one side, and lots of gold necklaces. Men are dressed in slacks and a white shirt and hat.
And they are often seen carrying large/heavy loads.
We are so used to saying “black and white” photos and copies that it was surprising to see “blanco y negro” (white and black) signs advertised. Sometimes they said “b/n”.
Children don’t just learn their ABC’s in school. In Spanish, “ch” is a distinct letter even though it is pronounced the same as “ch” in English.
Trash is placed in neighborhood bins that are scattered around the area. Presumably the bins are exchanged for full ones although I didn’t actually see this.
It is not uncommon to see shops that have bars on the door with a small opening. I am sure that this cuts down on shoplifting but it also probably cuts down on impulse buying as well.
It was odd to hear dogs barking and not see any on the street because they were on the second floor looking out. Lots of dogs in the neighborhood where we stayed.
And don’t forget the goats. Here is a picture of some in the town and also others 2 blocks from where we stayed being herded by a young man.
Lastly, there was a 4 day holiday while we were in Ibarra. That was an excuse for kids to spray people with a foam soap. Or even better, use a squirt gun with a back pack reservoir to spray the bus as it goes by.