News Center -TDO- The Embassy of Ecuador in Turkey, and its Commercial Office in Ankara, presented Ecuador´s touristic offer to the Turkish Tour Operators in the framework of the Travel Expo Ankara 2022. Ecuador is a country in northwestern South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator line, for which the country is named.  Ecuador is known as the country of the 4 worlds due to its rich biodiversity and different climate zones, which are present in their 4 regions: the Coast (the Pacific coastal region), the Sierra (the Andes highlands), the Amazon (eastern region) and the Galapagos Islands located 960 km west from the mainland of Ecuador.

“Panama hat” originally from Ecuador.

One of the cultural heritage products of Ecuador is the toquilla hat. The Ecuadorian toquilla straw hat, popularly known as “Panama hat”, is a handmade piece originally from Ecuador. The hat is woven from fibers from a palm tree of the Ecuadorian coast. The art of weaving the traditional Ecuadorian toquilla hat was added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists on 5 December 2012.

Coastal farmers cultivate the toquillales and harvest the stems before separating the fiber from the green outer skin. This is boiled and the dried for subsequent bleaching with sulfur over a wood fire. Weavers take this raw material and begin weaving the crown and the brim of the hat. Weaving a hat can take from one day to eight months, depending on the quality and finesse. The weavers are mostly peasant families and transmission of weaving techniques occurs within the home from an early age through observation and imitation. The skills and knowledge enfold a complex and dynamic social fabric including traditional techniques of cultivation and processing, forms of social organization, and use of the hat as part of everyday clothing and in festive contexts. It is a distinctive mark of the communities perpetrating this tradition and part of their cultural heritage.

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