SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES
STEVE BAILEY EDITOR AT THE NEW YORK TIMES
DATE: SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2002
Framed by volcanoes, towns near Quito specialize in weaving and shoppers can relax at family-run inns.
Above waiting for costumers in the market in Peguche, a village of weavers. Below at the Hacienda Pinsaqui, a former ranch that now takes guests.
The Otavalo region, cradled between two volcanoes; Imbabura (15,026 feet) and Cotacachi (16,292 feet), offers more than embroidery, adrenaline-inducing car rides and spectacular mountain views.
Poor soil and the dry climate shaped life for the Otavaleños and other Indians who were conquered by the Inca a few decades before the Spanish arrive to change everything forever. Indians and the early Spanish colonials lived in the stone and adobe houses and used the spikes of agave plants to frame roofs because there was no timber.