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Mar 29

Carnival in Ambato, Ecuador (Video)

Foam fight victim, in Central Market

One of the highlights of our recent vacation in Ecuador was the carnival celebration in Ambato.  Known as the Garden City, Ambato sits two hours by bus due south of Quito.  It’s a special town — it was completely destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1949 at a loss of 6,000 lives.  To commemorate its comeback from that disaster, Ambato celebrates the traditional February Carnaval as the Festival of Fruits and Flowers.  Ambato is also the only city in Ecuador where the throwing of water balloons during Carnival is forbidden and doesn’t happen.  But Ambato makes up for that with carioca — pressurized cans that shoot jets of a harmless foam.  We were practically the only tourists there for this enormously popular festival. We’ll feel a little bit guilty if this video brings more tourists to the festival and to the town, but only a little bit.  Apologies for the amateur quality of this video.  Enjoy!