So who’s being incinerated on New Year’s Eve? Every year, this is the burning question in Ecuador, one that says a lot about the political mood of the country.
An informal survey of vendors of New Year’s monigotes, or dummies, shows the favorite targets of 2017 are Vice President Jorge Glas, former president Rafael Correa, current president Lenin Moreno, and U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Burn them all,” says José Castro, who sells dummies near the Feria Libre market in Cuenca. “Let’s start 2018 on the right foot.”
The likenesses of Glas are the most popular in Quito and Guayaquil. He’s shown in striped prison garb, sometimes in chains. Although most of the Glas dummies or human size, you can also purchase monigotes gigantes, some of which reach heights of 10 feet.
In addition to political figures, popular dummies include the likes of old standards like Sponge Bob, Marvel Comics heroes and villains, and the Ninja Turtles.
You can also buy faceless dummies and turn them into friends and family. Says Castro, “I always put on faces of my two brothers,” he says. “We need to burn out their bad spirits.”