5/29/15 - What a fun day it was. 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 Batolome - 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 Guatarres 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.
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. It is about 40 miles south west of Cuenca.
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 adhere to the “guild system” inherited from Spain, where each community specializes in a particular craft.
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