Indigenous Ecuadorian Woman Chatting on Cellphone at Market (Photo of the Day)

Indigenous Ecuadorian Woman at Market Near Cuenca

Today’s photo of an indigenous Ecuadorian woman was taken at a market somewhere near Cuenca. I think I shot it at Gualaceo, but it might have been at Chordeleg. I visited both that particular day.

Indigenous Ecuadorian Woman at Market Near Cuenca

What Inspired the Shot?

I love taking photos of people and I liked the expression on this woman’s face; she looked pleasant and as if she possesses strength and determination. I liked her Panama hat, too.

And the fact that she was chatting on her cellphone definitely got my attention. Was she speaking to a relative? A friend? Someone she was doing business with? There’s no way to know, but it’s fun to ponder.

Photographic Details

Camera: Olympus XZ-1
F stop: 3.2
Shutter: 1/800 second
ISO: 100 (shot in RAW)
Filter: None (but blur was added to edges)

Your Thoughts/Reactions?

Have you been to Cuenca or any of the nearby markets? If so, what did you think? And if not, would you like to go?

Do you ever wonder about the people you spot (and photograph) while traveling (if you don’t end up talking to them)? I often wonder what their likes might be like. Often, I’m lucky and we get to speak somehow, but not always.

Last question–who do you think the woman was talking to?

Can’t Get Enough?

Want to see more photos from around the world? Here are the other ‘photos of the day‘ (people, places and things) from several continents. For more Ecuador-related posts, many of which are quirky, click here. Enjoy!

Photo is (c) L Egle/Chickybus 2013 and may not be used without permission.
24 Responses to Indigenous Ecuadorian Woman Chatting on Cellphone at Market (Photo of the Day)
  1. Maria
    January 1, 2013 | 10:52 pm

    “Do you ever wonder about the people you spot (and photograph) while traveling (if you don’t end up talking to them)?” Oh but of course, I’ve made a game of it. Come sit with me, we’ll sip coffee and play a round of “Accelerated Character Assassination.” No, no one will be harmed but the mark’s character may be dinged a bit.

    I say:
    The woman in the photo Lisa is a drug mule and she’s calling to advise the “eagle has landed.” The hat serves as a red carnation might, so the intended party can easily find her in the crowd.

    You counter:
    No, she is leaving an encoded message for her lover who is married to her sister’s brother-in-law and she wears the hat to alter her appearance enough so her sister won’t recognize her as it’s Monday and the sister always shops the market on Monday.
    Maria recently posted..Soul TemptingMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 2, 2013 | 9:08 am

      Oh wow–you must be a lot of fun to people watch with! Both parts of your dialogue there are hilarious!! I’m afraid to play now. I couldn’t possibly come close to your level of creativity–ha, ha! They’re both brilliant guesses!

      Maybe it was just something like, “I’ll be home a little later than I thought. It took longer to pack up the stand than I thought.”

  2. Maria
    January 2, 2013 | 10:26 am

    Hrmm, hadn’t thought of that. I grew up watching soap operas so that might explain my flair for the dramatic. *laugh*
    Maria recently posted..Soul TemptingMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 3, 2013 | 4:50 pm

      Guess what? I grew up watching them, too! And I must admit that I still watch a couple. On CBS. :)

      • Maria
        January 3, 2013 | 6:08 pm

        I was a fan of General Hospital and later of Ugly Betty (soap spoof but still…) Now I suspect everyone is the illegitimate love child of a poor woman who acted as surrogate who later discovers she has a brain tumor from her brother (who’s her doctor but he used to be her sister) then they both discover he’s really her Uncle who turns out to be Gene Simmons.
        Maria recently posted..Soul TemptingMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          January 3, 2013 | 7:12 pm

          That is hilarious!! I’ve heard of Ugly Betty, but I haven’t checked it out. Maybe I will. :)

  3. Hogga
    January 3, 2013 | 11:42 am

    I might own that same hat lol

    • CB Driver
      January 3, 2013 | 4:51 pm

      Really? Cool. If you’re willing to put it on and take an Instagram, I’ll post it! On FB… :)

  4. Mary Nash-Pyott
    January 3, 2013 | 4:26 pm

    I’m curious about whether or not to procure permissions or releases if i wish to publish a photo of a stranger?

    it feels terribly invasive to begin with, and intrusive to bother a stranger for permissions, and then hopelessly disorganized as images are disconnected from the permissions.

    i know it may be old-school manners, or empathic resistance to intrusions to my own privacy, or simply throwing the hands up at the whole mess of it — i don’t suppose it makes much difference. But it would help me a lot to know what others experience and how they manage it.

    thank you in advance!

    mary ;-)

    • CB Driver
      January 3, 2013 | 5:00 pm

      Thanks for asking the question, Mary. It’s an important one.

      I was a reporter many years ago and see myself now as an amateur travel photojournalist of sorts. I like to tell stories through photos and also to express myself artistically at the same time. I don’t make money from them, so that removes any sort of commercial aspect from it. I think that’s what makes it feel OK for me (for the most part). I do have many photos and videos that I most likely would not post–such as some from a Muslim funeral in Indonesia. (Please note that a friend in Indo, one I was staying with, suggested that I take the photos/video to document that aspect of the culture.)

      I do think that if you want to sell a photo to a magazine, like National Geographic, you need to have a release form signed. Perhaps there are exceptions when a photo is part of a news event. Not sure.

      I do ask for permission to take photos in certain cases–most often when in a village with a culture that hasn’t seen many tourist or where it doesn’t feel appropriate. And if a particular group feels that photography violates them on a spiritual level (eg, ‘taking a piece of their soul’), then I don’t pull out my camera at all.

      If you’re interested, I wrote an article a while back about the morals and ethics of travel photography. Here’s a link if you want to check it out.


  5. Mary Nash-Pyott
    January 3, 2013 | 5:21 pm

    Thank you for your quick response! Yes, I too am an amateur, and mostly ‘publish’ on facebook or photo-sites. Your feedback and the article are exactly what i needed! At least i know that i haven’t been overstepping, but too, that i have been losing otherwise perfectly appropriate shots just for not knowing the protocols.

    i can’t thank you enough!

    mary ;-)

    • CB Driver
      January 3, 2013 | 5:47 pm

      You’re very welcome, Mary–my pleasure! I’m so glad that the explanation, etc. helped you.

      PS: Just wondering how you found my blog. On Google? Or Twitter? It’s always nice to find out how someone ended up visiting the ‘bus.’ Thanks! :)

      • Mary Nash-Pyott
        January 3, 2013 | 5:52 pm

        Actually, a friend Liked this article on Facebook and whoosh! Here i arrived! LOL ;-)

        it is a most amazing world, these days!

        thank you for sharing your slice of it ;-)

        • CB Driver
          January 3, 2013 | 7:09 pm

          Really? Very cool. Thanks for letting me know! You’re right–it is an amazing world. Is your blog Garden Planet Project? I just googled your name and found it! If so, great! :)

          • Mary Nash-Pyott
            January 3, 2013 | 7:25 pm

            omg – which one? I’ve got several! LOL! More a factor of disorganization interspersed with bursts of energy and a desire to master the internet. My current is I am playing with roughing out general ideas coupled with photographs as plates for a future publication. So it serves to (hopefully) focus and organize me. But it’s pretty rough! I figure I may start culling and cleaning it up after i hit fifty pages or so. Enough about me, already! LOL!

            I am still noodling your ‘ethics’ article. I LOVE how it challenges me to really dig deep and sense into the situations. And it’s wonderful to know i’m not alone in feeling conflicted about it! I love the solitary journey, but sometimes i need guidance, if not someone to keep me from wandering into traffic!

          • CB Driver
            January 3, 2013 | 7:41 pm

            I checked out the Garden Planet Project–and just now, the Daily Grist. Very nice! And I also looked at your photos on SmugMug. Wow!!! Love those nature shots–amazing!

            I’m glad you like the ethics article. That was one I wasn’t sure about. I remember a friend saying, “Oh…it’s already been done.” But I had a feeling that if I showed the photos and situations I found my self encountering (minus the shooting), it would be interesting. Sure enough, people really got into it. That was very gratifying for me.

            Let’s keep in touch for sure! Are you on Twitter? I hope so! :)

  6. Maria
    January 3, 2013 | 6:04 pm

    Did you used to get home from school and hit ABC for General Hospital? I did. So now I think everyone is someone’s illegitimate surrogate love child of a poor woman with a brain tumor who’s brother used to be her sister but recently revealed they’re really her Uncle who turns out to be Gene Simmons.
    Maria recently posted..Soul TemptingMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 3, 2013 | 7:11 pm

      I did used to watch GH after school! And when I was off, I also watched AMC and OLTL. My absolute favorite–and you may remember this was–was the Edge of Night, which I think came on at 4 pm. It was only 1/2 hour, but was sort of different. I really liked it.

      Now, I watch the Young and the Restless and the Bold and the Beautiful. To be honest, I like the CBS soaps much more than what was on ABC. I wonder why I didn’t discover them sooner. :)

      • Maria
        January 3, 2013 | 7:56 pm

        I didn’t know The Edge of Night until 10 minutes ago. Found this episode for you on You Tube:

        Maria recently posted..Soul TemptingMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          January 5, 2013 | 12:58 pm

          Thanks for sending that. Very ’70s–very trippy!

  7. Travel Wired
    February 4, 2013 | 8:56 pm

    I took a similar shot a few years ago in Cusco, Peru. The woman was seated on church stairs by herself with a cloth bag with veggies hanging out of it. She looked so pensive sitting there by herself. Of course as I got closer I saw her gabbing on the phone. :)
    Travel Wired recently posted..The Best of Swiss Rail JourneysMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 4, 2013 | 11:47 pm

      Ha ha–funny how the phones are everywhere now–and everyone’s got one! Maybe the veggies have their own phones now, too. :)

  8. Nick @ theboywander
    May 17, 2014 | 7:19 am

    My guess is her husband, she has that cheeky smile of someone in love.
    Nick @ theboywander recently posted..Don’t Worry, Be HampiMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 28, 2014 | 12:20 pm

      You might be right about that! :)

Leave a Reply to Mary Nash-Pyott

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv badge

Trackback URL
Hop on Board...
Join Our Facebook Fan Page

Like this blog?

Get my book!

don't miss the bus! sign up for the monthly newsletter


I was syndicated on


Review on

Chicken Busology
Learn more about chicken buses by checking out these links:

Chicky Bus: The Real Story: Join me on a wild 12-hour chicken bus ride through Central America. Meet cheese smugglers and other characters. 

Chicken Bus Q & A: I answer all the questions you might have about chicken buses, but were afraid to ask. 

Want the quick fix
Watch the YouTube video to the right of this box. Vicarious thrills guaranteed!

come ride a Chicken Bus