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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Sector Tres Cruces, road to the East going up by Las Nieves, 2 km from the center of Gualaceo, Province of Azuay, Ecuador
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10:00 - 20:00
Saturdays and Sundays 09:00 - 20:00
ATTENDING FOLKLORIC EVENTS
ATTENDING ARTISTIC EVENTS
ATTENDING COMMERCIAL EVENTS
MIPA is the acronym for the Interactive Museum of Craft Pyrotechnics. It is the dream come true of Romulo and Wilson Orellana, father and son, heirs in fourth generation of this popular work.
The firework industry in the province of Azuay is a family activity. The fireworks are a custom inserted in the heart of the town's celebration. The Museum is also a viewpoint of the valley of the Gualaceo River. It has been working since mid 2019, as a different and current proposal to dignify this custom.
Wilson Orellana, a professional in tourism, put into practice the idea of his father Romulo, who had already passed away. In Ecuador it is the first museum of its kind. It exhibits in an interactive way the work of the pyrotechnic craftsmen, which is almost always hidden behind the lights, the color and the explosions, during the celebrations in every corner of the Ecuadorian Andes.
The construction of MIPA took two years. It is divided into 6 exhibition rooms. The first one tells the family saga of the Orellana family and the history of pyrotechnics. The second space shows assembly techniques, ignition and burning sequences and different game designs, such as the famous mad cow, mad dogs, condors and traditional characters. Some of these creations are donations from the artisans Miguel Carpio, Carlos Rocano and Octavio Orellana.
Another space, very special, is dedicated to the castles that are the soul of the party. The objects shown are donations from more artisans like Manuel Tenesaca. It is a unique opportunity to know how a castle is lit and what function its different elements fulfil: cakes, lights, roses, doves and crown. The materials for its elaboration are the reed, the wick and the paper.
The fourth recalls the elements of the craft such as the cabuya, the grinding stones, the scales. Then the visitors move on to a new space to learn first-hand how the "cuete" is made. For safety reasons, no gunpowder is used, but they can take a nice souvenir with them.
For those who have a little more time and want to enjoy the whole experience, there is the room where the paper balloons are made. Another service of the Museum is the room for the promotion and sale of Azuayan handicrafts.