Bienvenidos y bienvenidas a Simiatug
en la Cordillera Occidental, en la espalda de Taita Chimborazo (6'310 mts), serán no más de unos 20 kms, desde las alturas de Simiatug se le puede percibir su cabeza y sus costillas. El Chimborazo define mucho de lo que es la vida de los pobladores: ante todo es ´Padre´, un padre duro, autócrata, que sanciona los desvíos sociales y morales de la gente haciéndonos caer los vientos fríos, las heladas y tormentas negras que queman en un abrir y cerrar de ojos los sembríos y de ahí, la vida económica de las familias en los páramos.
muy al norte de la provincia de Bolívar, pertenece al Cantón Guaranda. Esto jurídicamente; sentimentalmente, los demás Bolivarenses con sus Autoridades políticas nunca nos sintieron ni mucho cariño, ni atención a nuestras necesidades existenciales de ser comunicados con carreteras que valen su nombre, con una Red eléctrica que permita una producción industrial y Telecomunicaciones, que nos enlacen con el mundo más grande y nos permitan competir con los demás.
Simiatug es poblado…
en un 99% por Indígenas-Kiwchas, que viven en Simiatug-Pueblo y en 42 comunidades repartidas en un territorio muy extenso desde los páramos a 4'300mts, cayendo abruptamente hacia la Costa del Pacífico por cantidad de valles transversales, hasta los 1'800 mts de altura. De ahí que, Simiatug presenta una inmensa variedad de microclimas desde los páramos, pasando por vegetaciones y condiciones climáticas más templadas, hasta casi lo subtrópico. Brinda una variedad de paisajes increíblemente bellos; una gran variedad de flora y fauna hasta especies declaradas en peligro de extinción; formas de vivir y mentalidades muy diversas entre las comunidades ´de arriba´ y las ´de abajo´.
Somos unos 12'000 habitantes. Para defendernos en la alimentación, somos semi-nómadas. Todas las familias son ciudadanos de una Comunidad de altura, pero siempre tenemos otros terrenitos en la zona baja; estamos continuamente caminando y reuniendo los productos entre los varios pisos ecológicos (una estrategia aplicada desde los tiempos pre-incásicos).
lo que se encuentra de útil en la web:
´SHIMIÁTUC. BOCA DE LOBO´, por Julio Ballesteros Espín: www.nuso.org
PARROQUIA SIMIATUG – GUARANDA – ECUADOR: www.viajandox.com%2fbolivar%2fsimiatug-parroquia-guaranda
CARLOS PALLO, Universidad Estatal de Bolívar: http://www.slideshare.net/anarkia6616/simiatug-1622167
Caracterización del uso y apropiación de la telefonía móvil en zonas rurales pobres del Ecuador por parte de mujeres campesinas, en Simiatug: Final-Rossana-Flores-2010-pdf-
NACIONALIDADES Y PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS DEL ECUADOR: http://www.slideshare.net/trackdata?link=/leninsuco/nacionalidades-y-pueblos-indgenas-del-ecuador
ETNIAS DE LA SIERRA: http://www.slideshare.net/trackdata?link=/victor_velasco/etnias-de-la-sierra-
COMUNIDADES INDÍGENAS SIERRA CENTRO-SUR DEL ECUADOR: http://www.slideshare.net/sherrera/comunidades-indgenas-sierra-centrosur-del-ecuador
amigas y amigos que visitaron Simiatug en 2014:
Heading to Simiatug, de Álvaro Neil, biciclown: http://vimeo.com/99040661
SIMIATUG DE RACHEL: http://bananasbiodiversityplurinationality.blogspot.com/2009/04/simiatug
A few weekends ago, I went to a small indigenous town called Simiatug in the province of Bolivar, to the south of Quito. I went with four classmates and our professor of an anthropology class I am taking called La diversidad cultural del Ecuador. We went to visit and learn about the women's organization (of over 100 women from Simiatug and surrounding communities) that has developed there and has had a lot of success with their community development projects.
After a three hour bus ride up and down some of the bumpiest dirt roads I have ridden on since being in Ecuador, we arrived in the small town. It is located quite literally in the middle of nothing and nowhere. I was shocked at how far removed the town was from the main road and from any other sign of human life. The isolation made the scenery all the more beautiful, though. And the quiet was a welcome break from the noise and business of Quito (this seems to be a theme of my travels).
First, we went to visit the artisan shop that the women began with the help and financial support of an eccentric Italian woman. Cornelia came to Ecuador over thirty years ago and has lived in Simiatug for nearly 25 of them. I found myself equally curious about her as I was about the indigenous women. What must her life be like, living there alone? And 25 years in one little indigenous community: what dedication. In the shop, they make a variety of hand-made textiles, baskets, bags, and other goods. Their work is beautiful and original (see picture below). I bought some gifts there and it was probably the best $ 20 purchase I have made. The women explained that they sell their things at the local markets and in select shops in Quito, but that most of what they make is exported to Italy where they have a shop (and can charge a lot more). I do not remember the figures, but they have done quite well in terms of sales and all of the money goes directly to the organization and the women. Other projects include: organic farming, traditional medicine and herbs, and a bakery in town that makes delicious empanadas. Most of the traditional medicine that they sell is dried plants and can be used as tea or in many recipes; there were remedies for anything form obesity to arthritis.
We walked through the gardens where they grow the organic produce that they sell and checked out the cuy farm. Cuy is the Spanish word for guinea pig, which is a typical dish here in Quito. People say it tastes like chicken. Apparently, cuys are also used in some healing rituals; a live cuy is used to suck the negative spirit out of a person and once removed, the person is healed. They do not eat these cuys though, for the obvious reason that they contain negative energy or spirits.
There is not much nightlife in the campo, so once the sun was gone, the day was for the most part finished. It becomes bitter cold there at night. It was the coldest I have been since being in Rochester, and the temperature was perhaps comparable. The air was crisp and fresh and the sky was full of stars. Some of the constellations are different here from the equator, so star gazing is awesome--with a sky full of different shapes to look for. We spent the night at the hostel in town--another one of the womens' projects. The electricity had gone out earlier that day, and so we cooked and ate by candlelight. Apparently the government periodically shuts off the power in certain areas; it is a common problem for the inhabitants of Simiatug and many other remote, rural communities. They expect these shortages and are accustomed to living without power.
Breakfast was a reminder that I was in an indigenous village in the Andean highlands: a plate of 10-15 potatoes with a fried egg and a slice of tomato. No one could finish all of the potatoes, and no one was hungry for lunch.
Seeing such successful and autonomous community development projects from these women was really cool. And at the same time, I was left thinking about how hard life must be there. So much work: manual labor. Such limited resources: the frequent power outages, in combination with other things. Simiatug and many of the surrounding communities do not have access to clean water, for example. Developing the infrastructure to have access to drinking water is one of the current projects of the organization. And all in such a harsh climate: cold and difficult for growing all but a few crops.
The president of the women's organization. She walks three hours every day from her home in a "nearby" community to the center of Simiatug.
Simiatug is situated in a valley, surrounded by moutains. The views are beautiful from everywhere.
bellas fotos de Roberto Chávez,
lo qué hay en Simiatug
lo qué no hay en Simiatug