This is Part 1 in our 3-part series from day trip we took from Cuenca Ecuador with Flavio from Polylepis Tours to Biblián, Cañar and Ingapirca. Our first stop was La Virgen del Rocío in Biblián Ecuador: the church built into the side of a mountain.
Other Videos on this Day Trip from Cuenca:
Biblián Ecuador Day Trip from Cuenca
La Virgen del Rocío – Biblián Ecuador
Biblián is home to El Santuario de la Virgen del Rocío, or the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Dew. This church was built into the side of a mountain after the residents of Biblián believed a miracle happened.
A long drought in 1883 killed all the crops in the area so a farmer placed a statue of the Virgin Mary on the side of the mountain and prayed for rain. Within a few days, the rain came and saved the crops and the people. Soon after, construction of the church began to honor the Virgin Mary and the miracle.
The church is literally built into the side of the mountain with the altar and support structure carved into the stone. The Catholic people believe this is a very holy site so they place important pictures, plaques and other trinkets in and around the church and pray for miracles.
If you’re familiar with Catholicism, you’ll recognize the Stations of the Cross in the video on our hike up to the top of the mountain above the church. This is a steep hike and a challenging climb at such a high altitude, but at Easter we’re told this trail is packed with people of all ages and abilities performing the Stations of the Cross.
An informational plaque on the top of the mountain tells us a little about the Canton of Biblián. (See in the image gallery) While veganism is growing rapidly here in Ecuador, many of the traditional dishes are of animal origin.
We’ve noticed that the Ecuadorians don’t have the same issues with meat reality as Americans. It’s common to see the entire animal, head, hooves/claws and all, served up for everyone (including children) to see.
To us, it’s utterly disgusting, but they’re exposed to it from birth so it seems normal to them. Along with several Ecuadorian vegan friends who are equally disgusted, we’re working to help people realize animals are here with us, not for us. As the rates of diet-related disease increases here, they are becoming more open to the idea of returning to their traditional mostly plant-based diet.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day with Flavio and Christian. Our next stop is Cañar Ecuador Indigenous Market.
Watch Our Video About la Virgen del Rocío in Biblián, Ecuador
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