Despite uncertain future, bullfighting tradition continues in Ecuador

Corridas de Toros, or bullfighting, came to Ecuador with the Spanish more than 400 years ago. Since then the tradition has been ingrained into the culture of Ecuador.

In 1822 after the Battle of Pichincha, the definite victory over the Spanish rule was celebrated with eight days of bullfights.

“The festival was so rooted in the country that we celebrated the expulsion of the Spanish with the most Spanish tradition,” said Milton Calahorrano, president of the Ecuadorian Bullfighters Union. The festivals continued, and the founders day of the capital city, Quito, was celebrated with large parties and bullfights on Dec. 6.

A 2011 referendum, however, banned “the killing of animals for show” in seven districts of Ecuador, including in Quito. Because of the new law there, have been fewer professional bullfights. But the tradition continues in smaller towns, such as San Miguel, where the bulls are still fought and killed in the ring.

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