Wow! When I arrived in Quito, I was not expecting this fanfare on my first day -- I had unwittingly come on the Día de Los Difuntos, which is like Mexico's Día de Los Muertos, where they honor and celebrate the dead. I was strolling the streets of the city, when I heard faint music nearby, so I went to investigate. It was a parade, all pomp and circumstance in red, blue, and gold. I followed it down to this main plaza, where the band played, crowds gathered, and speeches were made from the balcony of a building in the middle of the square. Quite a welcome!