Alimaki: Wise hands


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It takes just two hours to travel from Quito to Cotacachi (province of Imbabura) before continuing on to Hacienda Alimaki. Owner Monica Riquetti, a lover of tourism and nature, has made this family home into a center for the transmission of traditional arts and crafts: Quito Baroque imagery, Tigua painting, jewelry making, and basketry.

Those who sign up for the adventure not only enjoy a few hours of bliss at the property’s remarkable gardens, full of guava, lemon, macadamia, and yalomán trees, medicinal bushes and roses, but also test their artistic abilities.

At Alimaki, Gabriel and Magali help visitors discover the secrets of how religious images are made; Rosa spreads her contagious joy with her constant smile and laughter, patiently teaching us how to weave fibers to make baskets and other useful things; José gives advice on what colors to combine in our Tigua-style paintings, and with Laura we make our own bead bracelets. After this heart-warming experience, we enjoy a delicious vegetarian lunch made with locally-sourced produce.

Monica’s commitment to the project is centered on her plight to not let old trades die. The opportunity to witness artisans tell their stories of these marvelous lands is a true privilege.

The hands of wisdom (ali-maki in kichwa) teach us to hold the aloe spikes we use to draw over gold leaf sheets; to handle a needle with skill when beading a bracelet; to cook the food of the Earth. As we say goodbye, we shake hands in gratitude for having opened their doors and their hearts to those who visit.

Calle Manuel Larrea s/n, Barrio El Coco, vía a Cuicocha.
Mónica Riquetti Carrasco
(+593) 9 9854 5622

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