Prefectura de Chimborazo: Raw beauty, secrets and ancient dynasties


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Chimborazo is a land covered by handmade ponchos and the exquisite designs of its world-class weavers, a land wrought by multicolored patchwork fields of gold, emerald green, and the red and purple quinoa plantations… A land of history, which preserves the cultural heritage of its peoples, legends and customs. This can be experienced deeply in Cacha (a word that means “messenger” in Kichwa), which continues to be one of the country’s most representative in terms of Andean ethnic legacy.

In spite of the cruelty of Colonial times, the people of Cacha have managed to maintain their traditions with courage, staying true to ancestral communal practices, the advice of their wise elders, their traditional crafts and their rituals, which continue to provide a framework for their daily practices, including taking care of crops and animals or accompanying children in their rights of passage.

This struggle has had impressive results. On November 7, 1980, Cacha was declared the first indigenous parish in Ecuador and in 2000, the Ministry of Social Welfare legally declared its recognition of the Federation of Indigenous Peoples of the Puruhá-Cacha Nation, giving the community its own legal status.

In addition, Cacha keeps its cultural treasures alive. Fifteen minutes from the city of Riobamba, you can find a living testimony of this town’s history: the Pucará Tambo Community Center. Here, indigenous Puruhá natives welcome visitors, dressed in their traditional clothing, and take them on a journey through their culinary treasures, crafts and heritage.

The center is run by no less than the heirs of Paccha Duchicela (the “one who is beautiful as the moon and majestic as the sun” according to the meaning of her name), daughter of Cacha Duchicela (a legendary figure of ancestral Quito). She became the great Huayna Cápac’s lover and was the mother of Atahualpa, the last Inca: a true queen of ancient times.

Who better to accompany us on a journey through this special realm?

Primera Constituyente y Carabobo, Riobamba
(+593 3) 296 9887/296 3940 / (+593 9) 8199 1581
GADP Chimborazo

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