Pimampiro Terraces - Imbabura 1/2
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Pimampiro is a canton of great natural beauty located in the province of Imbabura. It is surrounded by mountains, plateaus, valleys and lagoons, as well as large amount of crops which are distributed inside and outside the country. It is located in the north-eastern part of the province of Imbabura.
PHOTO CREDIT: QUITO ADVENTURE

Pimampiro means: village is located on the shores of a large river. Its primitive inhabitants conformed tribes, such as the Caribes and Arahuacos, which resulted in the emergence of two castes "los lachapis" that form the village of Chapis and the Pimampiros. These last ones were conquest for the Caras, creating a new language: the Quichua.

 

The form of Government was the chiefdom. Aboriginal Pimampiro people were dedicated to the cultivation of the land, mainly of products such as: corn, tobacco, coca, cotton. In addition, is considered its source of wealth was the cultivation and marketing of coca, exchanged with gold, silver and animals from other tribes.

 

It’s considered this settlement existed before the coming of the Shyris in 930 A.C; there are still vestiges of that era. But above all, Pimampiro has the remnants of pre colonial agriculture, for example: terraces, ridges, irrigation channels, among others.

 

The agricultural terraces of the Cebadal Hill are a clear example of these remains. They are located in the current Hacienda La Meza. It has been speculated they were important lands for the Incas and the Caranquis since they were areas of great aptitude for the crop growing of Coca.

 

The terraces were built as systems of crops on slopes. They have this name because they were built with continuous and artificial changes to the geography of the place. They are testimony of a complex work using steep slopes in order to expand the space of agricultural crop production.

 

The terraces don’t have a definite or an exact ordering pattern; they have several dimensions and a disorganized way according to the topography of the land. They were built changing the slope of the hill called El Cebadal. The place is formed by walls of cangagua or build-up of Earth at the edges.

 

The terraces of Pimampiro were built to protect the crop and counteract soil erosion. It has been suggested that they also facilitated the use of water, avoided frost and facilitated the irrigation. The vestiges similar to these ones exceed the 2,000 hectares in the northern mountains of Ecuador, the Cebadal Hill is only one of the 47 registered.

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