Monday, November 19, 2007

Latacunga is a plateau town of Ecuador, capital of the Cotopaxi Province, 89 km (55 miles) south of Quito, near the confluence of the Alaques and Cutuchi rivers to form the Patate, the headstream of the Pastaza. The population of Latacunga is 51,689 [1], largely mestizo and indigenous.
Latacunga, is an hour and half south from Quito on the Pan-American Highway. It was previously also in the old road from Quito to Guayaquil to Quito, and has railway station between those cities. It is 9,055 ft (2,760 m). above sea level, and its climate is cold and windy, owing them to the neighboring snowclad heights, and the barren, pumice-covered tableland on which it stands. The active volcano Cotopaxi is only 25 m. distant, and the town has suffered repeatedly from eruptions. Founded in 1534, it was four times destroyed by earthquakes between 1698 and 1798. The neighboring ruins of an older native town are said to date from the Incas.
Latacunga's most noted food is chugchucaras, which is composed of pork, hominy (stewed maize), empanadas, plantains, popcorn, and tostado (a type of toasted corn.) Often paired with ají, a type of condiment that can be mild to very spicy depending on how it's prepared.
Latacunga economy is dependent on agriculture, and floriculture. It has an international airport that is not used for international passenger use, but as Air Force base and some special commercial flights. The presence of volcanic activity, has led to the accumulation of pumice deposits which are currently mined, as well as the presence of natural sparkling water, which is bottle under the brandname San Felipe.

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