grados 0°

Landing on the intersection of the rotating sphere, in the midway between the poles, at the 9′ 0″ S, 78° 21′ 0″ W coordinates:  arrival at Quito, the heart of Ecuador.



A linear city unfolded from the north to the south, as if keeping the geographical balance, as if struggling to maintain its’ heart on the 0°, a city unfolded on the intense Andean geographical relief. The Andes sierra hosts Quito by producing its fragmentation into neighborhoods according to the ground’s inclinations. Neighborhoods perched at the eastern slopes of the volcano of Pichincha and others facing its summit, are all defined according to the four cardinal directions. Northern, southern, eastern and western neighborhoods.  The volcano of Pichincha fills the frame of all the streets’ perspectives, as if absorbing the movement of the public space, magnetizing the visual sidelines, at an earth’s hole at 0°.


 Time is also balanced. The year is being split into two contrasting periods, the drought period and the rainy one; and the 24 hours of the day are being split into two equal periods of night and day. The sun rises at 6 a.m. and the city of Quito counts 12 hours full of life. The whole of the city is being converted into a ‘’colorful market’’ selling the sun´s products and public space is being created through the sun´s energy. Music and colors complement people´s actions. The sun sets at 6 p.m. and life shrinks, letting space to the 12 coming hours of darkness, 12 hours for the moon to play the scene.


Life, since the first indigenous populations inhabited the space around the equator, was organised around values which revered the earth and the  sun. All around the world similar values defined life’s orientation, yet, the ‘’0° condition’’ produced here a more stable faith based on the stable timetable that organized all of people’s occupations. The goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes, is called La Pachamama, the Earth/Time Mother, the ‘’World Mother’’ and the four cosmological Quechua principles are:  Water, Earth, Sun, and Moon.

Until today, wandering into the Andes relief one can come up against celebrations by indigenous people who live there and while wearing colorful suits, carrying hens and treating cactus drinks, they occupy the public space by dancing and singing for the sun, the earth and love. Celebrating the sun’s and the moon’s position and the earth’s values for continuous weekends, days and nights, even though these celebrations are being disguised under the Catholic religion, a reality that corresponds to a deep meaning of life rooted in the local traditions persists.

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