Guano is one of the cantons that make up the beautiful province of Chimborazo, 8 kilometers from Riobamba city. The place is distinguished because its climate is mild and the great Chimborazo Volcano is in its surroundings, Guano is a canton of much history as the archaeological remains testify.
This beautiful place is not only known for its landscapes but also for its craftsmanship, which is why it is recognized as the Artisan Capital of Ecuador, with its hand-woven carpets, leather crafts and recognized manufacturing, these are the main engines of Guano Tourism.
Guano, Ecuador, known as the Artisan Capital of Ecuadorians
Over the years, Guano Craftsmanship has come to provide various craft fields for the inhabitants of the place to develop in:
- Blanket Manufacturing
- Yarn Carpets
- Embroidered Garments
- Products with leather
Guano is also recognized for undertaking activities that strengthen the gastronomic Guanos’ offer, another strength that distinguishes this canton.
Guano, Ecuador´s Artisan and Tourist Capital
The destination Guano is located in the Sierra Centro region, eight kilometers from Riobamba city. Differentiated by its mild climate and sheltered by the snowy colossus Chimborazo, Guano has a lot of history since the beginning of the century due to the discoveries that arose from the archaeological remains of pre-Hispanic culture such as Inca and Puruhuá.
Guano has been called the "Artisan Capital of Ecuador", since this destination is certainly a reference for tourism and crafts. Its hand-woven carpets, the leather industry and its manufacturing ability identify this place as one of the main engines of tourism development at the regional level.
Guano's ancestral heritage has contributed to the creation of various craft fields, manufacturing blankets, cloths, carpets, yarns, mats, ropes, embroidery garments and leather products to more of the great artisan artists such as carpenters and stonecutters.
Another of the strengths that distinguish Guano is its typical, varied and good-tasting gastronomy such as the delicious fries, the original chorizo and the ancestral chicha huevona that are in high demand by visitors.
At present, Guano has undertaken activities that strengthen the offer of natural and cultural tourist attractions, service providers, geosites, tourist points of interest, among others important references to continue positioning the Canton as a tourist power.
Guano and the Route of the last ice maker of Chimborazo
Baltasar Ushca known as the Chimborazo’s “last ice maker” begins the extraction of ice at the age of 15 with his father and a large group of people who worked in this activity. Baltazar so far keeps intact this spectacular tradition of his generation.
The "last ice maker" of Chimborazo begins the extraction of ice at 04:30 a.m., preparing his three little donkeys, named after his friends Yuli, Widinson and Luis Román, who helped him improve his style of life.
For an hour and a half of walking, Baltazar arrives at the bottom of the Chimborazo to cut the straw and make 30 to 40 ropes that he uses to marinate and cover the ice blocks. He continues its journey about two and a half hours more, until it reaches the ice mines, at a height of 4,800 meters above sea level, where it begins to make the cut with its rectangular-shaped peak using a bar to tear off the ice, using the ax to cut in small cubes of 40 to 45 kilos.
On a flat ground, he places the ropes on which water straw to wrap the ice blocks. He usually removes six blocks of ice to load on his donkeys and returns home to keep them in a hole inside the earth so that they are kept frozen.
Baltasar Uscha goes up to the mine twice a week, Thursday and Friday, on Saturday he rents a car to transport the ice cubes and deliver them to the markets La Merced and San Alfonso in Riobamba city, where visitors enjoy the exquisite typical dishes accompanied by the delicious Rompe Nucas that is a fruit smoothie with Chimborazo ice. It is truly a pleasure to taste this delight!