National Folkloric Ballet Jacchigua

Each Wednesday evening the Theater Demetrio Aguilera Malta of the Casa de La Cultura Ecuatoriana in the city of Quito, Ecuador, comes alive with color and sound as the National Folkloric Ballet Jacchigua welcomes audiences to share a three hour celebration of

The National Folkloric Ballet Jacchigua came about through the efforts of Rafael Camino who decided to create a dance group that would be different from all the other traditional dance groups in Ecuador. With his passion for art and the objective of promoting and preserving the culture of Ecuador, Mr. Camino brought together a diverse group of people from all walks of life – poor, rich, tall, short, plump, thin, mestizo, Indian and black – who share his artistic vision and enthusiasm.

The name Jacchigua is derived from the word “jacchima” in the quichua language. This refers to a social gathering, including food, drink and dancing, that the landlord would arrange for his workers after the harvesting of the grain. Jacchigua has come to represent life with dignity and preservation of the family unit by means of traditions and cultural events that have been passed down through generations. The 365 Ecuadorians who are involved in the National Folkloric Ballet Jacchigua strive to preserve this heritage and present it in a way that is both entertaining and educational.

The program for the National Folkloric Ballet Jacchigua includes the Children’s Ballet where parents are given the opportunity of encouraging their children to use music and dance as elements to develop love for, and loyalty to, the country of their birth. The Golden Ballet is structured for mature Ecuadorians to set a positive example for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to get enjoyment out of life while respecting the rights of others. The Young Deaf Exceptional Ballet encourages young people to rise above their disadvantage and embrace the joys of dance. The Ethnic Ballet is coordinated by Indians who live in Quito and serves as to unite these friendly people with Ecuadorians, while still maintaining important aspects of their own traditions and customs.

The National Folkloric Ballet Jacchigua has performed in numerous national and international events, including the 2006 FIFA Word Cup in Germany, Miss Universe, CNN and the Organization of American States. Certainly, a visit to Ecuador would not be complete without enjoying a performance by the National Folkloric Ballet Jacchigua – living proof that the positive power of music and dance transcends all barriers.