Day and Night Street Parades Get the Message Out

In the morning, a team of activists participated in a procession through Quito that was part of the Inti Raymi Equinox festival, a traditional Andean spiritual festival. Then at night, in the polar opposite environment, we held a festive street parade through Mariscal, the district that is central to Quito´s nightlife.

Activists had been invited to participate in the Inti Raymi festival, an indiginous festival focusing on traditional knowledge. The event started with a street procession, with many participating groups and traditional leaders. The activists from the Coordinadora and Women on Waves gave out flyers during the procession and people were very interested, often asking for more flyers to pass out in their communities.

The procession ended up in the Plaza de San Francisco, where there were speeches and presentations to begin what is a 3 day event of workshops and ceremonies. During the opening speeches, Monica, an activist from the coordinadora, was invited up onto the stage to present the hotline to the crowd! Later, she was interviewed by Argentine documentary filmakers about the situation of women´s right to an abortion in Ecuador.

In the evening, the Coordinadora mobilized people to meet on a busy street corner in the Mariscal, the entertainment district, notorious for bars, discoteques, and streets filled with people.

We walked through the streets of Mariscal holding banners and giving out flyers, and dancing to the beat of the batucada, the drumming group that accompanied us during the march. Nancy was tireless with the megaphone, going into the bars and restaurants talking about the need for safe abortion, and even getting up into the city buses, where she had a captive audience! People were very interested and receptive to the procession that livened up even the bustling Mariscal night.

Over all, it was a very busy but productive day. The positive reception that we got at both of these events make us realize that this is an important issue in many many lives, and even though the press is and the dominant political currents are strongly pro-life, this does´t truly reflect the public opinion.

Monica being interviewed during festival
photo by Myra
interview 2
photo by Annemarie
samba band during evening demonstration
photo by Mrova
banner with hotline number
photo by Mrova

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