“We call women here pitbulls: they are ugly and constantly mad” - this is what a friend of mine told me as soon as I arrived to the city. And he is mostly right, not because of the ugliness thing (which is purely subjective), but because people (especially women but not only) are constantly mad when seeing a camera. Latacunga has probably been one of the most difficult cities I've ever worked in! I was constantly yelled at for taking pictures in squares and people would approach me to ask me to give them money, otherwise they would “confiscate my cameras”. People in the highlands of Ecuador tend to be colder, but this was extreme.
Anyway, this was the first time in my trip I had a fixer, Jimmy. This facilitated things a bit. We met at his place next to the airport and then went to San Buenaventura, which is a barrio on the outskirts of the city. We entered the cemetery, met a man visiting her son's tomb and spoke a bit about documenting life (and death). After that we decided to clear our mindseating some “tortillas de palo” in the market nearby.
Latacunga is the biggest city closest to the Cotopaxi volcano, which has become very active the last couple of months. I saw many photographers on the outskirts of the city trying to capture this natural phenomena and told to myself “I don't want to be one of them”. However, I did take a picture of the eruption and it is in the selection above, let me know if you spotted it.
Again, I am showing some photos from the first whole day of shooting in town.
PS. Nobody here knows about the Manta-Manaus route either.
Next stop Tena.