Huasquiña is an oasis in the Huara commune, in the Tarapacá region, Chile, 150 kilometers from Iquique. With a maximum height of 2,000 meters on the tops of its hills.
Of Aymara origin, it has witnessed different eras and transitions. Living through the Inca and Spanish conquests, and later, the Pacific War.
The name comes from the hills that protect the town. The Spanish assimilated them to the "Basquiña", a type of Spanish skirt. Since the natives could not pronounce correctly, I stayed in Huasquiña.
The main flora in the town is quince trees, Easter pears, pomegranates, mangoes and oranges. One of the important times is the so-called "Poda", a period in which the quinces must be pruned. It takes advantage of cleaning the heras and sowing sectors. There are also autochthonous herbs from the valley, such as sorona, horsetail, foxtail, reedbeds, matico and others that are all over the ravine. Agricultural production is still produced in a millennial way, in the Terrazas format and irrigated with the flood method.
The characteristic wildlife of this area are condors, Colo Colo cats, ducks, foxes among others.
The climate corresponds to desert, with temperatures that oscillate between 10° C. to 30° C. The days are very sunny and hot in contrast to the nights, clear and frosty. Favoring almost the whole year to look at the starry sky.
Between December and March, the so-called "Altiplanic" winter occurs, air masses coming from the Amazon that produce summer rains in the area, making it possible to lower water levels and river floods.
The Historical Heritage that Huasquiña has is diverse and goes from the town itself with its alleyways and remains of adobe houses, its Church (national monument since 1983), Petroglyphs, Geoglyphs and vestiges of the ancient settlers along the Quebrada of Huasquina. The town has its own cemetery. This is taken care of by the hills of Aroma and where all the Huasquiñanos have their reserved place.
The typical food is calapurka, spicy rabbit, roast kid, llama, lamb, country chicken, all quince by-products (juices, jams, tea, etc.), quinoa, jerky soup among others. The calapurka is a decoction of various meats with mote corn, local potatoes and coriander. This delicacy is consumed especially as a revitalizer during the traditional festivals of the town.
The traditional festivals are mostly religious festivals. The patron saint of the town is San Andrés (November). The Virgin of Candelaria (February), San José (March) and San Antonio (June) are also celebrated.
One of its most important festivals is the May Cross. On this festivity the population gathers and changes clothes to the holy crosses that take care of the territories of Huasquiña. Each Family is responsible for one. This festivity ends with a miniature market on the crest of the hill, where the most important cross is, the Cruz de Aroma.