Earth : South America : Ecuador : Andean Highlands (Ecuador) : Guamote
Guamote is a city in Ecuador.
By bus: From Riobamba 45 minutes travel, buses every 20 minutes from/to Guamote. These local busses bring you to the railway station in the centre of the village. Interprovincial busses leave you at the Panamerican Highway wherefrom you have a five minute walk up to the village. From Quito 4,5 hours travel, buses aprox every hour. From Cuenca 5 hours travel, buses aprox every hour.
By train: On the Devil's Nose route every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
As the village is very small, everything is done by foot. Going to the community's is rather large distance. You can hire a car at the railway station that will bring you where ever you want to go.
A non profit organisation, Inti Sisa, that offers workshops for the local people, offers interesting touristical services in the region. They have the expertise for guiding you to the nicest and most interesdting places in the region. Their guesthouse is very nice and well served meals. Meanwhile the money gained with tourism is 100 procent invested in their educaction centre.
The same way you got in;-)
The county of Guamote is situated halfway the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”, at 50 km south of Riobamba. Together with the other 9 counties, it is part of the province of Chimborazo and covers a surface of 1223.3 km2 or 18.9% of the provincial terriory, of which Guamote is the second in size. The county of Guamote consists of three parishes: Guamote, Cebadas and Palmira.
The county has a varied topography because of the Central and West Andean Mountains. The major part of the territory consists of slopes, one of the major causes of erosion, between 2.600 and 4.500 masl, with an average temperature of 13.7°. There are two seazons: winter (rain) and summer (warm, dry and windy).
The language of the indigenous is Kichwa. The majority of the indigenous are bilingual (Kichwa-Spanish).
Kichwa descendants of the Puruha-tribe: 90% White and mestizo population: 10% During the last decade, lots of mestizos who lived in the village, have crossed the frontiers to Spain and the USA to improve their economic situation. Instead, some indigenous families have come to live in the village.
The main activity is agriculture. The most cultivated crops are potatoes, beans and barley. The Thursday market is one of the most important indigenous markets of Ecuador and reflects the dynamism of commerce. During the last decade, lots of family-run micro-enterprises have been founded for handicrafts and industrialization of cattle and fish.
Education is the most problematic area. Due to poorly trained teachers and lack of community participation (amongst others), the quality of education is horrible. In 1990 illiteracy rate was still 37.55% amongst the population older than 10 years and 44.2% amongst the population older than 15 years.