Past October 31st, we received one of the 20 awards to the best “Colada Morada” in Quito Ecuador. The award is given by Quito Turismo (the touristic official office in Quito) and UDLA (America’s University) and the ceremony took place at the Itchimbia Cultural Center, inside the Cristal Palace, one of most important buildings in the city. This building was designed by Gustave Eiffel and was brought from France as a gift to Quito.

The “colada morada” is a tradicional beverage made of black corn flour mixed with sweet herbs and spices tea and several red fruit juices and marmalades, turning into a delicious hot drink that Ecuadorian people enjoy during the time around Halloween.  We accompany this beverage with “guaguas” or kids made of bread.

This “colada” is around 5.000 years old. The tradition comes from the Precolumbian era where our ancestors prepared this beverage for their death.  It was part of a ritual named “Aya Markay” (kichwa for: carrying our death) and it consisted in taking the death bodies of the loved ones and carrying them to their houses where the whole family could enjoy a meal with a glass of “Yana Api” (black “colada” – a thick beverage made of flour)

The time where our indigenous people used to do this is around the end of October, it marks the “death” of the harvest season.  It is a time where the land can take a break to recover the humidity and the people can prepare it for the next planting time.

Our people used to recollect by hand the fruits in order to make the “colada morada”, such as: blackberries, pineapples, naranjilla and the valued “mortiño”, a unique fruit similar to the blueberry that only grows in the Andean paramount.

During the time of the Spanish invasion, religion prohibited the indigenous to take out the death for their traditional “walk”, so they decided to represent them in a unique kind of bread. That’s how they began to make “guaguas de pan” (kids of bread), giving to the mass the form of a mummy of their death loved ones. This bread was not for eating, they left the bread in the tomb as part of a ritual to remember their ancestors.

The catholic priests gather together the indigenous ritual to the festivity of the holy saints, that’s how the Day of the Death is celebrated on November the 2nd. We still remember our deaths with the “colada morada” and the “guaguas” that now we decorate with creativity.


It’s been 10 years since UDLA began with the contest that gathers together the best establishments that offer the “colada morada”. Hotel Finlandia with its restaurant: Cinco Sentidos, is part of them 3 years in a row, promoting the best practices and the Ecuadorian culture.

We invite you all to taste this delicious beverage just until November 17th. Open hours: from Monday to Sunday from 7am to 10.30pm. We are glad to welcome you in the corner of Finlandia and Suecia St. HOTEL FINLANDIA QUITO.

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