The word "plazas" or squares also means towns. They can take on a life of their own. In Quito, each provides for a different need, and become "towns" as projected in Plaza Grande. It's the main meeting place of the people with or without issues at the front door of the Presidential Palace... definitely, the busiest little town inside a city that I can think of.
The founder of Quito, Sebastian de Benalcazar, commands his own corner and soap box
where senior citizens hold their dance once a month.
El Teatro square at certain times presents live performances.
Where the streets meet, San Blas at times offers live entertainment for festivities on its piece of the Andes.
At San Francisco square, on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the faithful honor God as cucuruchos emerge in procession and joy resounds celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. For now, construction for the subway goes on right off the plaza.
Santo Domingo, where the trolley makes regular stops, offers religious and secular happenings throughout the year all the way up "la loma" on Good Friday.
Before TV and other technology gadgets interfered, these "villages" thrived on communication. Communication prompted participation in community activities. Good neighbors ruled. Crime didn't stand a chance... talk about neighorhood watch! Danger came from the outside. Parent-children relationships evoked warmth and trust.
All came together in the "little towns." Dancing didn't promote sex. From innocent children to the elderly, enjoyable exercise entertained where gender gaps did not exist.
I remember those times from where I came.
Quito's dancing goes on throughout the colonial area, but from what I've seen, mostly in the daytime or on church grounds at night because danger lurks in the traditional gathering places.
Not that danger didn't exist before, but the cohesiveness of the people together with the church could keep it under far more control than now. Drug abuse and sexploitation seem the plague of the day in much of the world today.
Where I grew up in the States, we didn't need police. Scripture describes that as "where love exists, the law is not necessary."
Something, if not everything, lost its meaning in the translation of the word, "love" since then. But that's a topic for a different site.
Especially for the Fiestas, the plazas still bring joy in this ciudad colonial's festivities throughout the year. So far this country still values family more than money. Viva Quito!
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