For generations, young men have tested themselves in Alangasi's annual "Toros Populares" festival, amateur bullfights that have become a rite of passage for its youths.
Many venture into the rustic ring to taunt and tarry with the bulls, emboldened by beer and aguardiente, a local anise-flavored firewater.
But this month's festival could be the last for the town just outside the capital of Quito.
President Rafael Correa has called a referendum asking Ecuadoreans to ban bullfighting, cockfighting and other pursuits where animals are killed for human entertainment.
The referendum, which could come as early as May, could also end the dirt-floor cockfights at "El Gallo Rojo" (The Red Rooster) in Cotocollao, north of the capital.
Mexican corridos and local tropical beats are the backdrop at the tradition-bound honky-tonk, where gamecocks are set against one another.
Owners carry the testy contestants to the ring in canvas cases. Like prizefighters, the birds are weighed in. As the sanguinary pageantry of the fight begins, bets are placed _ $5 maybe $10.
Boosters argue that the roosters, who sometimes battle to the death, would attack each other naturally in the wild anyway; it's in their genes.
Directing that aggression _ and wagering on it _ is what these men have grown up with.
The more well-heeled in the Andean nation, as in Mexico, favor the stylized rituals of the bullfight in colonial-age "plazas de toros," where the animals are killed by celebrated Spanish matadors who tour Latin America.
In Ecuador, as in neighboring Colombia and Peru, the rings are a place to see and be seen, fixtures in the society pages.
There has been no major groundswell of protest against the games as there has been in Spain. A legal challenge to bullfights in Colombia was rejected last year by its constitutional court.
The Spanish province of Catalonia banned bullfights in July, joining the Canary Islands, which outlawed them in 1991.
And just last month, Spain's main broadcaster stopped showing bullfights, judging them harmful to children.