Loose Roots, New Traditions


Machachi, head of the canton of Mejia, is a city that has spread throughout a valley until it meets mountains and volcanoes. Its inhabitants, neighbors of Pasochoa, Rumiñahui and Corazón, prepare themselves with a seemingly exaggerated anticipation to receive the Paseo del Chagra and all the events that surround it, which summon people from all over the region making it the largest gathering of the chacarera culture in Ecuador; and Machachi, during its festivities, becomes a convention that brings together associations of chagras, bullfighting fans and people who want to enjoy the revelry and excesses of a typical "village festivities". But there are also many families, who still wear the poncho of the hacienda owner and also recognize themselves as chagras.

From some of the interstitial spaces of the concept that most of us have of the festivities of the Paseo del Chagra we wanted to address certain issues that seem relevant to tell them from our experience, in this great event that enjoys so many symbolisms that we have collected what is essentially necessary to convey what we saw and felt in our passage through Machachi.

The relationship of the chagra with his horse becomes instrumental, beyond the romantic discourse that embraces it, it serves to open up a field for him -in a literal and figurative sense- and thus dominate the party. The Chagra's ride ends up being a process of legitimization of power, like most of the popular festivities, which generates all the excesses of the case.


The party and those who participate in it are part of a chaotic hustle and bustle that keeps some order when some misfortune occurs, such as people in a state of drunkenness who are wrapped by the bull, or the fights that take place inside the ring that end up being classified as serious offenses and are punished with a dose of violence almost equal to that which deserved such condemnation.


It is worth mentioning that blood and alcohol are spread without any qualms in all the spaces that make up the bullring as a whole. In addition, not only the violence between participants is present during each run, the benefits that for some represents the animal abuse is transported to the henhouse and becomes the permanent function that "adorns" the festivities.

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