Scott’s Ecuador Timeline

  • 09 Jan 2016

    Up in the Air back to the states

        When I get to the airport to fly back to the U.S., my plane home has already taken off without me. The change of my flight times was buried and unread in an e mail from the airline so I am left grounded and have to purchase another ticket home. The airline assigns […]

  • 09 Jan 2016

    Street Food In the park

        There are dining opportunities available this morning. This girl is carrying, on her head, confections to sell in front of the New Cathedral to afternoon crowds the day after New Year. The mounds of whipped cream with ice cream cones stuck in the top, look like curlers and wiggle as she walks. This […]

  • 08 Jan 2016

    Chalk Painting Support art and culture

        Walking in the Cuenca Historical District wears your standards down. This is an old part of Cuenca and you gradually become accustomed to deteriorated appearances. After a few weeks you don’t notice worn doorknobs, peeling paint, plaster coming off walls, windows with no curtains, roll down steel security doors with graffiti. You look […]

  • 02 Jan 2016

    Night Moves Well orchestrated chaos

        The 31st of December begins quietly. As the day moves forwards it changes like your favorite radio station whose volume keeps increasing as the variety and quality of the songs gets better and talk gets more inflammatory. As night falls there are effigies being burned, in front of a hotel, by the flower […]

  • 02 Jan 2016

    Burning Man couldn't wait till dark

        This affair starts early. Usually, people wait till dark to do their exorcisms, but this bunch has already laid their body in the street in front of a business and are stuffing papers down its pants. In a world of camera phones, nothing goes un-noticed and un-reported. These participants don’t care if people […]

  • 01 Jan 2016

    Angels and Demons Halloween revisited

        Ecuador doesn’t celebrate Halloween but they have New Year’s Eve to take Halloween’s place. Today there are bad spirits about. They are atop cars, seated in chairs in retail stores, looking down from balconies, slumped on curbs and grouped near churches. Some are fully dressed and have ears and noses and eyes and […]

  • 30 Dec 2015

    Ecuador Mural for the tourists

        Down from the Moreno bridge, this wall mural gives a quick lesson on Ecuador. All the familiar Ecuador themes are presented in public here. There is a Panama hat that bobs its way through Cuenca. The making of Panama hats goes far back into Ecuadorian history. Oddly, the only people who wear these […]

  • 30 Dec 2015

    Artist words Andres Arizaga Cordero

        This exhibit is in a Cuenca city government supported gallery, Salon del Pueblo, next to the Don Colon Restaurant, across from the New Cathedral. The artist is a teacher of art locally. He was born in Cuenca. His art is stark and grotesque but his drawing technique is exquisite. Here are the artist’s […]

  • 29 Dec 2015

    Christmas Baby Coming out of the New Cathedral

        On the 24th of December there is a massive Christmas parade through downtown Cuenca. On the 25th of December, the day officially celebrated as Christ’s birthday, there is a much smaller and simpler celebration at the New Cathedral across from the Parque Calderone. Entering the park, you see people gathering in front of […]

  • 29 Dec 2015

    Cuenca Work Out New twist on the stairs

        People work out. Some walk, some run, some drink beer, some play golf. Others go to the weight room or swim. Old men like to play softball under lights at night and dancing is loved by couples who wouldn’t put on a pair of running shorts but will squeeze their body into nice […]

  • 28 Dec 2015

    Sunrise Cafe Cuenca ex-pat hangout

        You go down Luis Cordero all the way to Calle Larga, make a right, go mas y meno two blocks and look right, and you are at the Sunrise Cafe Cuenca. The Sunrise Cafe Cuenca is a hangout for ex-pats. It is a comfortable mom and pop place with good prices, basic local […]

  • 28 Dec 2015

    Birdwatching San Sebastian Park

        After people watching, bird watching is one of the world’s favorite pastimes. Birdwatchers travel the globe, stand in swamps, dress in camouflage, take pictures and write bird sightings in little books, and swear there is nothing better. In this city the most common birds are pigeons. These survivors can be seen on top […]

  • 27 Dec 2015

    Panama Hat from Ecuador a traditional Ecuadorian craft

        Panama hats have oddly enough always been made in Ecuador. From the 1600’s, the weaving of hats out of the leaves of the toquilla palm has been done, at it’s finest level ,on the western coast of Ecuador. These best hats are called Montecristo’s and are from the village of the same name […]

  • 27 Dec 2015

    Adams family so closed up I can't get in

        Walking, you see odd stuff. This Museo and Cafe is on a walkway, just down from one of the tortuous staircases that lead you from Cuenca’s Historical District to the Tomebomba river. The first time I tried to visit this curiosity, its front door was closed. The second time the front door was […]

  • 26 Dec 2015

    Old People Can Dance too Even old people can dance

        While parents like to see their children participating in this parade, it helps their children to see their parents next to them on the parade route. When the parade comes to a stop, waiting for something ahead to clear up, families hug each other, adjust their costumes, and wave at spectators along the […]

  • 26 Dec 2015

    Kids in the Spotlight Dancing in the xmas parade

        It warms adult’s hearts to see children doing dances they did themselves when they were little. There is always concern by one generation that the following generation is going to hell,but traditions do get passed down and kept alive. These children are wearing traditional clothes from the past, but, at home, these days, […]

  • 26 Dec 2015

    Christmas Parade All day affair

        The Christmas Parade on December 24th is the full Monte. It is an all day affair with the parade route being prepared at seven in the morning and the end of the parade passing Calderone Park at seven in the evening. It is music, floats, dancers, walkers, Christmas religious scenes, traditional Ecuadorian dress, […]

  • 25 Dec 2015

    Skeletons on the wall Seems like Mexico again

        There is a lively street art scene in Cuenca. One can google Cuenca Street Art and find examples I haven’t met yet. At an intersection where traffic moves from the Rio Tomebamba into the Historical District there are two skeletons on an exterior wall of a building cavorting amid a glorious cactus patch. […]

  • 24 Dec 2015

    Jazz time Jazz Society of Ecuador, Cuenca, Ecuador

        Gilberto is trying a new reed. Sue is playing clarinet instead of soprano sax. A different bass player is sitting in. It is Wednesday, the middle of the week. At showtime, it doesn’t matter how many hours you practice, how much theory you know, how many times you have played a song. Live […]

  • 24 Dec 2015

    Boys crossing the Rio Tomebamba boys will be boys

        This morning there is a Christmas concert in progress across the Rio Tomebamba, in Cuenca, Ecuador. Two young boys have decided they aren’t going to walk up or down the river to either of the bridges to cross so they roll up pant legs, leave tennis shoes on, grab sticks for support, and […]

  • 24 Dec 2015

    Orchids Gualaceo, Ecuador

        Within thirty minutes of Cuenca, right on the highway not far from Gualaceo, is an orchid farm that grows, cross breeds, and sells orchids worldwide to collectors and aficionados. Ecuador is home to thousands of varieties of orchids and Ecuagenera is a business that grows, researches, and promotes conservation of orchids in Ecuador […]

  • 23 Dec 2015

    Incan Code Pumapungo Museum-Cuenca

        Walking through the Museum, and the grounds below, gives footnotes of the past. All that is left of the past here are rock walls of homes and stone walls built to terrace land so crops could be grown on hillsides. The soil is deep, dark, rich, and, with light and rain, it is […]

  • 23 Dec 2015

    Dinosaur Comeback still popular

        From the street, this exposition seems promising. There is a huge dinosaur on a flatbed in Parque Calderone. There is also, nearby, a tall movie poster featuring a reptile with big teeth, the word Dinosaurs in big letters, and an offer to children to get in to this exhibit absolutely free if with […]

  • 23 Dec 2015

    Wedding Pictures A different kind of wedding

        These two couples, just married, are getting their wedding photos taken in Parque Calderone. When I first see them they have, with them, a young bearded tenor sax player playing ” Here comes the Bride ” on a street corner. Their little photographer is contorted to get the right angle for his shots, […]

  • 23 Dec 2015

    Bus Crash Taking out a retail shop

        The last accident covered in Scott Treks was a rollover in Montevideo, Uruguay on the Rambla. In this case, in the Cuenca Historical District, by the time I walk to see what the crowd is about, the scene is just a crashed blue bus with its front end partially inside the front door […]

  • 22 Dec 2015

    New Cathedral Blues stepping in

        The domes of the New Cathedral can be seen from most high ground in Cuenca. The New Cathedral was built in the last hundred years but still qualifies to be called new. The Old Cathedral, on the other side of Parque Calderone, is smaller, less ambitious, and is used now for events, occasional […]

  • 22 Dec 2015

    Flower Market A big export for Ecuador

        You can buy flowers all over Cuenca, but one of the best places to buy is at a small flower market in front of the Sanctuario Mariano, across from the New Cathedral, down the street from Parque Calderone. Daily, under white canvas tents, ladies and men do flower arrangements, sell flowers, meet the […]

  • 20 Dec 2015

    Andean Music Winay - from Otavalo, Ecuador

        This band is from Otavalo, Ecuador and is playing on a corner by the Cuenca New Cathedral. Dressed in costume, the musicians play, sing, dance,and pose with a European tourist who wants his wife to take a photo of him playing an Andean pipe. Managers and friends sell band CDs and crafts on […]

  • 20 Dec 2015

    Three odds on an even walk odd things stand out

        There are surprises on walks, many of them small, many that will be missed if you are not in the right mind to see them. My first surprise this morning is horses in Calderone Park that kids can ride, pushed by a man. These equines roll easily on park paths. They look well […]

  • 19 Dec 2015

    Watch your step Looking down

        Looking where you walk in unfamiliar places is a very good idea. On morning walks down Luis Cordero, through Parque Calderone, I ramble down stair steps, take a quick scamper over a bridge across the Rio Tomebamba, and park my creaking bones at the Gringoland McDonalds where Wi-Fi is still free and the […]

  • 19 Dec 2015

    River Watching Rio Tomebamba - Cuenca, Ecuador

        Our dad liked fishing. His dad liked fishing. So, sons and grandsons like fishing too. The Rio Tomebamba bubbles up memories of trout streams in New Mexico, the Pecos and Jemez in particular. It also reminds me of the Conejos River in southern Colorado, or the Gila River near Silver City, New Mexico. […]

  • 18 Dec 2015

    Soprano sax soloist Sue Terry

        This evening we are treated by an American jazz musician who has a home in Cuenca. She slips into the Jazz Society club with her instrument in its case, takes a seat and listens to the band, puts her horn together, finds a reed, and joins the boys for the concluding song of […]

  • 17 Dec 2015

    Ecuadorian Zones differences in style, not substance

        The Museo Pumapungo’s second floor features exhibits on Ecuador’s geographical zones. In one room is Amazon man with a blowgun who welcomes you into his jungle. Amazonian’s dress light and move silent as the animals they pursue. They live in thatched homes made from broad leaves and use nature’s pigments to decorate themselves. […]

  • 16 Dec 2015

    It Rains in Ecuador too Monday morning

        This morning, it rains. Having an umbrella seems essential, but, even now, there are people walking to work without one. Ladies in pants suits have raindrops form in their dark hair and drop down on their leather boots like melting black icicles. Motorcycles speed by with drivers wearing plastic drop cloths pulled over […]

  • 16 Dec 2015

    Karana – House of Chocolate Equadorian export

        Chocolate is a money maker for Ecuador. Karana is a Cuenca chocolate shop that uses only the best chocolate ( arriba) and makes their own delights in a kitchen in the back of their showroom. This business is located at the intersection of Guayas and Pinchincha and this morning, Andres, the proprietor, is […]

  • 15 Dec 2015

    In the Andes Through the mountains

        The road from Cuenca to Saraguro is two way but wide with shoulders on both sides, coming and going. It winds up and over several large mountain ranges, in and out of valleys, over a few bridges, and, all the way, runs just below huge clouds scraping the top of the mountains. Part […]

  • 14 Dec 2015

    Pictures from the Past Exhibit in Parque Calderone, Dec 2015

        Cuenca is a World Heritage City. World Heritage cities possess geographical, cultural, artistic, archeological, and architectural wonders which UNESCO believes are worth protecting. In Parque Calderone, these photographs were taken between 1890-1930. They are of indigenous Ecuadorian peoples in the Amazon. Most show the native peoples in their Amazonian lifestyle and Spanish Catholic […]

  • 12 Dec 2015

    Modern Art Cuenca, Ecuador

        Modern art is an oxymoron. When you go to galleries and see ” modern ” art you are seeing art done by masters whose works have critical interest and investors fretting over value. Modern Art in this gallery, this month, is Eduardo Sola Franco, an Ecuadorian native, who was not only a painter […]

  • 12 Dec 2015

    Steps Revisited

        Plaza Otorongo is a popular meeting place. It is at the bottom of a huge hill near the Tomebamba river and one way to enter and leave the plaza is ascending or descending a long and steep stairway. Stairs are grouped in sections with five steps and a landing to each section. Going […]

  • 11 Dec 2015

    Washing Clothes At the Tomebamba River Wednesday morning

        Humans wear clothes. Some wear more, some less. Some are expensive, glamorous with designer touches straight from the runway, some are little better than rags. This morning, in the Rio Tomebamba River, a family washes their clothes and bedding. Two women, wearing yellow rubber boots, stand in the river, soak fabric in water, […]

  • 11 Dec 2015

    Paper Thin Spirits

        Cartegena, Columbia is a spirit place even if I hate its heat, humidity, street vendors, and dirty streets. There are spirits in that Old City behind huge locked doors, in notches cut into stone walls that held big guns aimed at pirate ships coming for treasure. Spirits sit on the steps of the […]

  • 09 Dec 2015

    Performance Art Unintended Consequences

        By the New Cathedral, on a cloudy afternoon, these performers stand motionless. Then, they move and beckon to a little girl to pose for a photo with them with her mom. After the photo, they blow them a parting kiss and return to their rigid pose. They work for tips, depending on generosity […]

  • 09 Dec 2015

    Ronald McDonald For President 2016

        Ronald doesn’t mind getting photographed. Just five minutes ago, two kids sat next to the icon eating fries and sipping Coca Cola. How is it that a clown can become the most famous person in the world? Ronald’s only resume is red hair, crazy colored clothes, clown shoes, and a continual smile. In […]

  • 09 Dec 2015

    New Generation At the Gazebo on a Monday night

        Ecuador has a new changing young generation. A still small number of its children have adopted the music, talk, style of other big city children around the world. There is graffiti in Cuenca. You see some tattoos, some ear piercings and dyed hair, torn levi’s with holes in them, a liking to turn […]

  • 08 Dec 2015

    Mirador De Turi To Mirador de Turi and home

        At the top of the hill are panoramic views. Cuenca, Ecuador has expanded as far north and south as you can see, stopped only by the Cajas National Reserve on one end and more mountains on the other. Red tile roofs and reddish bricks look like a bloody battlefield but there are no […]

  • 08 Dec 2015

    Cuenca City Tour On the Bus

        Up top, on our double decker bus, you have wind and sun, but, on this trip, you can’t stand up because low hanging electric wires will take off your neck. Our guide reminds us to watch for low hanging wires, watch the tree on your right, don’t stand too close to the edge […]

  • 07 Dec 2015

    Jazz Society of Ecuador LaVina restaurant, Cuenca, Ecuador

        On Wednesday thru Saturday nights, from 6:30-10:00 pm, on the 2nd floor of La Vina Restaurant, at Luis Cordero 5-101 y Juan Jaramillo, the Jazz Society of Ecuador holds forth. The group this evening is piano, drums, bass, and a tenor saxophonist who play mainstream jazz. Having a restaurant downstairs, I can’t not take photos […]

  • 07 Dec 2015

    Public Mercado down Gaspar Sangrimuno from Luis Cordero

        In the historical district are public mercados where vendors sell fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and sundries from little stalls inside huge open buildings. There are modern groceries in Cuenca but visitors, and locals, like to shop in this old way.   On the square outside the Mercado are even smaller vendors selling religious artifacts, […]

  • 05 Dec 2015

    Protest Cuenca, Ecuador,December 4, 2015

        When people are shut out from having a say about what happens to them, by those they have elected, protests are inevitable. Some protests move into chaos and violence,some are contained, others are snuffed out like the tip of a burning candle. I make myself invisible, slip away, and don’t get home till […]

  • 05 Dec 2015

    Who is in charge here? sign of our times

        There is political and social unrest around the world. This protest in Parque Calderone centers around recent Constitutional Amendments approved by the National Assembly in Quito. Ecuador has a representative democracy and it is written in their Constitution that the people must directly vote on changes to their Constitution. This protest focuses on […]

  • 05 Dec 2015

    Christmas Candy Dec 4th in Cuenca

        There are Christmas lights already being hung in Parque Calderon. On balconies, in store front windows and living rooms, trees are dressed with lights, nativity scenes, tinsel, peppermint sticks and brightly colored Christmas ornaments. This little parade, of two vehicles, is driving down a Cuenca thoroughfare and Santa, with his pink dressed assistant, […]

  • 04 Dec 2015

    Parque Calderone PowWow Celebrating ex-pats, visitors, locals, foreign investors, government dignitaries

        On a Carol tip, this event celebrates the integration of foreign ex-pats into the Ecuadorian community. In a city leaning towards five hundred thousand there are estimates that twenty thousand Americans have relocated to Cuenca, not that many for Ecuadorians to be worried about. This event also celebrates foreign investment, transportation projects,and large […]

  • 04 Dec 2015

    Hat and Map In the travel bag

        We aren’t talking Dr. Suess, but my Hat and Map belong in one of his books. I don’t like maps because they are a pain to carry, unfold, find north without a compass. The streets on the map are hard to read and intersections look like rat’s nests. In the middle of a […]

  • 04 Dec 2015

    Cuenca Out and about

        Before breakfast, Cuenca is a blank tablet. On the streets are a few people, stray dogs, taxi drivers, construction men headed for jobs. Churches aren’t open, retail shops are locked tight, and, as you explore, the Historical District is shut down tight too. As people wake and go to work, traffic increases. Walking […]

  • 04 Dec 2015

    Dorado Panaderia In the Cuenca Historical District

        If you like strolling empty sidewalks with little traffic, and only a few walkers, seven in the morning is good in Cuenca, Ecuador. It is a downhill jaunt from the end of Munoz Luis Cordero to the Parque Calderone. There are many General streets in this district but I remember Luis Cordero because […]

  • 03 Dec 2015

    Leaving Belize/ Arriving Ecuador In transit

        Leaving one place and moving to another is more difficult when you have enjoyed your stay. Then you have one place tugging at one arm and another place tugging at the other. The Caribbean is worn, tattered, frayed, chipped, pieced together, bright colors, strange language, intense sun, stifling humidity, rain, mosquitoes, stewed chicken, […]

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