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Ecuador, Quito, Centro Histórico

Centro Histórico Culture

The Plaza del Teatro is best known to tourists as the site of the Teatro Nacional Sucre—a home of high culture—but the Plaza itself is one of Quito’s best places for people-watching.

Unlike in the Mariscal, most of the quiteños passing time in the square have indigenous family roots, and very few are dressed like they just stepped out of an American shopping mall.

Late afternoon on weekdays you’ll likely encounter one (or several) proudly indigenous comedians. Maybe the mime and his dog will be there. If not, chat with the famous comedian Don Evaristo; he’s there 24/7.

Sit in the Café del Teatro and watch the kids play. If you sit long enough, you might see a mob of hundreds enter the square singing, chanting and lighting fireworks—that could be the Deportivo Quito soccer fanatics, who call the Plaza their home, or it could be a political protest or a parade.

Weekend events, scheduled by the city, range from rock concerts to university dancers writhing around in a giant wad of bubble gum, to book markets, to panel discussions of free speech.

Yet more cultural events, everything from monologue dramas to puppet shows, can be found at the Teatro Variedades Ernesto Albán, also in the Plaza. If you are dressed for the theater, order a cocktail in Teatrum on the second story of the Sucre and enjoy the balcony with the statue of Mariscal Sucre.

Although you may have traveled thousands of miles to get to Ecuador, you can immerse yourself much more deeply into Quito’s culture just by venturing a couple miles south from the Plaza Foch.

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04 Feb 2010

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