Phnom Penh Hash House Harriers: Fwd: In the Spotlight – Ecuador

Fwd: In the Spotlight – Ecuador

In the Spotlight – Ecuador
By Ed "Hazukashii" Howell
1 March 2021

Ecuador is one of just 11 countries that are split by the equator, but the only one that gets its name from it, as Ecuador is Spanish for equator.  Roughly two thirds of the worlds land mass resides in the Northern Hemisphere, but 90 percent of Ecuador is in the Southern Hemisphere, along with the Capital of Quito, and the two major cites of Guayaquil and Cuenca.  Located on the west coast of South America, Ecuador has a population of just over 16 million and is bordered by Colombia to the north, and Peru to the south.  Over 500 years ago, Ecuador was at the northern tip of the Inca Empire, and is represented by the Ingapirca Temple site.  The mystical Galapagos Islands are also part of Ecuador, located about one thousand kilometers off the coast in the Pacific Ocean. 

The joy of hashing was first introduced to Ecuador in the capital city of Quito on 14 December 1986 by Alan Fernie, who had previously hashed in China with the Guangzhou H3.  He was assisted by Phil 'Tonto' Townsend from Aberdeen, and Mark Grove-Smith from Karachi.  I was lucky enough to meet Tony 'Upchuck' Lloyd, who ran with Quito H3 in the mid-1990s.  He explained to me that there were two trials every week, years ago.  The first on Sunday was more family oriented, and would take the pack out into the countryside.  The Monday trail ran more in the city and was predominantly expat men.  He also explained that there were also monthly outstation hash events that would take the adventurous hashers to other locations throughout Ecuador.  Upchuck put me in touch with Mark Thurber who also was an avid hasher, who stated "I remember the Quito H3 as an important social event for expats and some Ecuadorians in the 1990s and 2000s."  He also mentioned that ". . . the Quito H3 hash was a friendly environment for all types, families with children, young single people, and very welcoming to new comers from all walks of life and nationalities."  Paula 'Knotted Crotch' Newton, who was a regular on the Quito Hash between 2008 and 2011, also added that "One of the best hashes that I did [in Quito] was the 'Purple Dress Hash' - we had a lot of fun, and the locals in the city that day were very amused by it.  We also ran events at the Pululahua Crater and out at Papallacta Hot Springs." 

The next hash to form was the Galapagos Boobies H3, founded by Jill 'Front Bun Flasher' Pether on 1 June 2014.  Jill had previously hashed with the Batu Hijau H3 in Sumbawa, Indonesia and the Kiribati H3 before that.  She was assisted by Cindy 'Tuna Helper' Cook.  Jill told me that "GBH3 was set up as a women's group with men accepted.  They had to carry eggs on their first run, symbolic of our eggs.  Our red dress run money went to Darwin Animal Doctors."  She has since moved on to Australia, but has fond memories of her time in the Galapagos.

Unfortunately, the Quito H3 and Galapagos Boobies H3 clubs are not active at the present time, but hashing has recently been revived in Ecuador by Rick 'Circle Jerk' Murray.  Circle Jerk founded the Cuenca Alpaca's H3 on 14 Sep 2019, assisted by Audrey 'Missed Lyrics' Kenyon from Trinidad, in the city of Santa Ana de los Rios of Cuenca.  Circle Jerk is a bit of a hash traveler, and hails from Prince Edward Island in Canada, his home hash in the Ottawa H3.  Traveling back and forth to Ecuador for the past few years, he eventually met Missed Lyrics, and they decided that Cuenca needed a hash club.  The Cuenca Alpaca's H3 runs monthly on a Saturday afternoon, and fortunately for me, I had the good fortune to hash with them on my recent visit to Ecuador.  Being February, the theme for this trail was Mardi Gras, so the pack was adorned in beads, masks, and brightly colored clothing.  We had a solid 25 hashers on hand, and trail started from a Beer Garden that serves and distributes local craft beers.  The Cuenca hash club is still new, and developing their identity, but the hash spirit is alive and well here in Ecuador.  If you are looking for a friendly, warm, and inexpensive place to visit, put Ecuador on your list (and don't forget to include a trip out to the Galapagos Islands, one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites).

For many more articles like this on the history of hashing, check out . . .

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On on!