Puerto Lopez Canton Celebrates Anniversary With A Parade

For me, a day spent monitoring the passing parade is a day well-spent. 
— Garry Trudeau

Happy 23rd Birthday Puerto Lopez Canton

Manteño civilization artifacts are often unearthed when digging ground for new cisterns or homes in Puerto Lopez. The town has been around for a long time. Although people have lived here for many years, Puerto Lopez Canton was created 23 years ago (a canton is comprised of several neighboring towns and villages, much like a county in the United States).

The canton celebrated on August 31 with an anniversary parade in their canton seat, the town of Puerto Lopez. Main street is closed, anyone not participating lines the sidewalks and the parade participants make their way through town.

Parade participants


Welcome Back, Parade

The 2016 parade was cancelled following the April 16 7.8 earthquake. Many people in towns north of Puerto Lopez were still living in tents. (I wrote about the night of the earthquake here and some of those in tents here.) People in town who had lost their homes were still living with friends or relatives. Puerto Lopez skipped a huge celebration out of respect.


The parade returning in 2017 was a sign things had returned to normal this year. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves despite the drizzly, muddy conditions.

Parade participants in the wet streets
Marching down a side street on the way to the main street



Every high school marches in the parade and practices every day during the month of August. Some schools practice before school, some after school. During the week before the parade, they can be heard practicing both before and after school as well as on Saturdays. They all play beautifully during the parade.

Parade participants
High school marching band

Local historic communities, taxi cooperatives, credit unions, fruit and vegetable associations, and artisans all proudly represent their respective organizations.

Parade participants
Representatives from the historic community of Agua Blanca

Some joke that so many people are in the parade, there is no one left to watch but as you can see, there are plenty of us on the sidelines.

Parade participants
Fruit and vegetable association representatives

I asked three young men if I could take their picture for you after they finished marching. They did better than pose for a photo – they gave us a personal one minute concert. Hope you enjoy!

It is times like these when I wish I could play an instrument. Do you play one?


Click here to read more about Puerto Lopez.

I am a US Expat in Ecuador. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. My goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let me know what you would like to read more about!


  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Emily – what a lovely post – about life in the canton … bringing the communities together. Love the xylophone – and no I cannot play any instrument – regrettably rythmically disengaged! I'm so glad the pageant and parades could go ahead after last year's earthquakes …

    I answered your question re the scaffolding tour and put in a link to the one I made in Canterbury Cathedral a couple of years ago …

    Cheers and it's lovely you're participating in all things Ecuadorian – Hilary

    • Emily Bloomquist

      Thank you for your kind comments, Hilary. We are alike in the musical arena. It was wonderful to have everything go on this year.

      I will go look for your scaffolding tour answer now. Thanks again!

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