The Chota Valley, located 34 kilometers to the north of the Imbabura Province, is arguably best known for being home to a large Afro-Ecuadorian community.
Many of the current Chota residents are descendants of slaves that were brought to Ecuador by Spanish land owners. Agricultural work, such as sugarcane production, still figures prominantly in the area, and the locals have also maintained a unique Chota identity, mainly through music and dance.
Bomba, one of the regional dances, includes a mixture of African and highland Indian components (as an indigenous-hispanic-African hybrid). Women wear wide colourful skirts and men dress all in white. The music is rhythmic and based around the âbomba,â a drum played with both hands.
The community welcomes tourists, and provides basic, clean accommodation for $8 per night, including breakfast. The locals also sell various craft products, including wonderful clay masks, candelabras and other objects. The community also has a volunteer program, and can arrange for either dance classes or a variety of other activities. For more information contact: Mirium Ghysselinckx, Tel: 09-449-4029, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.