Thursday, June 7, 2012

Che Guevara's Daughter Comes To Cotacachi

Che Guevara's daughter, Dr. Aleida Guevara, visited little Cotacachi on Monday.  I just happened to be walking home past the municipal building and saw all kinds of activity going on.  I was fortunate enough to sit down next to an indigenous couple, the husband of which spoke perfect English.  He and his wife thought it was possible I didn't know what was happening and told me all about it.  I was thrilled that I was able to get more information.  I probably wouldn't have stuck around for very much of it without knowing more about what was happening.

I found a short article written on the day she arrived in Ecuador (the same day she came up here to Cotacachi).  I should prepare you a wee bit by saying that it is less than complimentary to the US government.  Well, after all, her dad was a revolutionary.  

This is Aleida (to the left of the indigenous gentleman) at the table of honor.

Since I have no idea how this man was introduced, I don't know who he is for sure but I'm guessing he's the mayor so another dignitary of some sort because he was doing all the welcoming speeches.  The woman next to him interpreted everything he said into Kichwa.

Part of the audience.  The folks sitting down are in the VIP seating.  I'm not quite sure what makes them VIPs but there they are.  There are actually three rows of special seating and the rest of us stood over by the bus stop.

The Kichwa women performed some kind of ceremony with burning coals and putting things in them and Dr. Guevara was given a bag of goodies.

This fellow wasn't too pleased that I was taking photos.  It could have been because I'm a gringa and part of what was going on was being upset with the US.  Who knows.  I just liked the look on his face so you get to see it, too.

This was the children's band that played in between pretty much each speaker.  Take a look at the little guy standing on the far left.  I don't think he could be much more than 6 or 7 years old and he's just as cute as can be.

Eleina is dancing with the man she sat next to at their table (the nice one, not the one who didn't like me taking pictures.

She has the most lovely smile.

This woman is doing a dramatic presentation of some kind.  It may have been something she wrote or something else but that didn't matter to me.  I was moved by her passion as she presented it.

Another dramatic presentation.  Another woman with great passion.

I couldn't help thinking about what the odds were that I could ever have gotten this close to a world-known guest of the local government if I were back in Minneapolis.  I was standing just a few feet away from a police officer who didn't have any problem with me taking pictures from wherever I wanted, including getting up this close.
The final dramatic presentation I saw.  When she was finished speaking she presented the rose to Dr. Guevara.  This is the daughter of the man who told me what was happening so I would understand it.  He was such a proud papa.

And finally Eleina got up to speak.  I heard lots of words I understood: revolutionary, United States, South America, protest.  Someday I hope to know enough Spanish to get a little more than that.

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