HOME

Monday, December 24, 2012

living In Ecuador - CUENCA'S ALL DAY PARADE!!!

Today was Cuenca's all-day parade called "Pase Del Nino."  What an amazing and unique day it was for us!  With camera in hand and only a two block walk from our apartment to Calle Simon Bolivar, we were able to plant ourselves for hours and observe a most grand celebration by these partying religious Ecuadorian people.  This eight-hour plus procession had the most creative and colorfully decorated vehicles, horses, adults, children, pets, and floats.  there were bands, stilt-walkers, dancers, and latin music along the narrow cobbled streets.  Crowds lined the Bolivar, and vendors cried out with sweet and cold drinks, traditional foods, cotton candy, ice cream, and various wares for sale.  The theme was the Catholic infant Jesus being carried through the peoples' town.  It is written that over 50,000 people participate in the parade, and more then 200,000 observers watch from the sidewalks, balconies, and rooftops.  This is also a three-month-long celebration which extends to early March when Ecuadorians celebrate "Carnival."  A high alcohol content drink called Chicha was also being handed out, free, which is their traditional holiday beverage.  Bo and I didn't get to sample this drink, but I read that it is very bitter and not tasty at all.

My photography delight was seeing and capturing the families together walking the streets or riding in floats and vehicles with their adorned beautiful children.  Their satiny dark skin, shiny charcoal eyes, and thick long dark hair stood out in their colorful and bling-adorned costumes as they proudly flaunted their religious belief and dedication to this relgious celebration. 

We were able to walk back to our apartment to take several breaks from this festivity.  Never before have we experienced a day long parade with so much energy and festivity on the streets of a city.  There was such joy, laughter, music, song, and dance all day long, and it was a wonderful experience for us as newcomers to this unique and vibrant city.

At 3 pm, we were back at our apartment, and via Skype we were able to see and talk to our mom.  The care facility had her all dressed up in her Christmas outfit, and she looked wonderful and our conversation was sweet and precious.  At 87, Mom's dementia is slowly advancing, but she still knows her children.  I cried saying goodbye to her, knowing I can't just drive over to see her and spend Christmas Day with her this year.  However, I continue to rest in the fact that she is in a loving place with loving care, and I know they will make her Christmas special.

I hope our readers will enjoy some of the special photos I took of this day's festivities.  It won't be the same as watching the parade live, but at least it will give you a glimpse of how grandly Ecuadorians celebrate, and how serious they are about their creative costumes and parades and festivities.

 CUENCA'S BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN
 







MORE BEAUTIFUL PARADE PEOPLE.......


ECUADORIANS LOVE COLOR!!!
A CATHOLIC RELIGOUS THEME ADORNED ALL OF THE PASSING FLOATS......

ECUADORIAN WOMEN IN THEIR ELABORATE PARADE ATTIRE

MANY OF THE FLOATS, HORSES, VEHICLES, AND WALKING PARADERS CARRIED CHANCHO (ROASTED PIG), ROASTED CUY (GUINEA PIG), POLLO (CHICKEN), AND OTHER FOOD GIFTS.
 
CUENCA'S PARADE DANCERS



 IT WAS A DAY OF FESTIVITIES AND VIBRANT COLORS

IS THAT CHICHA HE'S SIPPING???
(Notice the detail of this adorned Horse - toys, candy, ribbons, etc.)

CUY (GUINEA PIG) AND DRINK

THE Calle SIMON BOLIVAR BALCONY WATCHERS

By evening, the streets were lined with "basura." 
CUENCA IS A CLEAN CITY, THANKS TO THE BLUE AND ORANGE MEN AND WOMEN!
WITH GRASS GROOM, THEY QUICKLY SWEPT UP THE GARBAGE AND FILLED WICKER BASKETS....
 .....as the water truck drove by and finished the clean-up task.
 The wicker garbage-filled baskets were dumped into the garbage truck......

 ......and in less than 5 minutes the streets along this corner were immaculately swept and washed down!
This evening, on the way home, we stopped and bought a postre (dessert) and took it to Sr. Diaz.  We wanted to wish him a "Feliz Navidad."  He was sitting at his shoeshine home eating a simple bowl of rice.  It was sweet seeing him light up as he took the dessert and shook our hands, thanking us with such gratitude.  A simple gesture meant so much to him (and to us)!
 Tonight and tomorrow, some will be celebrating Christmas with family and friends, and some will be all alone.  Some will be celebrating through their religious beliefs, and some will be celebrating with a special meal and gift exchange.  Some will remember with heart-felt gratitude Jesus Christ as their Risen Savior, and some will scoff at the name of Jesus.

Tonight and tomorrow, Bo and I are thousands of miles away from our family and friends, but we will be celebrating our Risen Lord and Savior together.  We have so much to be thankful for apart from the material world of stuff.  We have each other, our health, and a new City to explore and learn about.  We have new friends we've made here, and we'll meet new friends as we journey through this amazing country.  We wish everyone reading about our Journey a blessed Christmas and a fruitful and blessed New Year ahead.



 

12 comments:

  1. Loving your blog. My wife and I live in Washougal, WA and are contemplating retirement there in a few years. But she is already a little teary about moving so far from the grand kids. I feel the same but I don't like weather here. And it is also expensive to retire. Will be in touch..

    Bob and Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you are enjoying our Blog and Journey, Bob and Cathy. Sometimes we make difficult decision in order to move from our comfortable places and step into the unknown. I'm confident you will know, when the time comes, what you are willing to do in order to relocate to a place that is more affordable (and so beautiful in so many ways). I hope our journey is an inspiration for you and that you continue to follow along as we learn more about our new city, which we live in day to day. Stay in touch.
      Linda (and Bo)

      Delete
  2. My husband and I are moving from Albany, Oregon to Cuenca in April 2013. Reading your blog has been very interesting and helpful.

    I just sent an e-mail to Noshy to see if she could help us out with our Pensioner's Visa.

    Maybe we will see you walking around the markets someday! Keep enjoying your adventures....we hope to have our own soon!

    Ron and Nora Dabe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  3. Hey Linda & Bo, Hope you had a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Jon is having the New Year's Eve workout tonight starting at 11:55 p.m. Love your descriptive stories of your adventures & love your beautiful pics. Sounds like you are meeting lots of new friends too! Your going to have some friends from Oregon coming soon too! Wahoo! Just went to my cousin's daughter's wedding and the bride & groom have been living in Washougal. Small world! Well, I don't blame Cathy about being teary in moving far away from her grandkids. I wouldn't want to move far from mine, especially with 3 new ones on the way this year! Maybe they can come and visit???
    Love you two,

    Renae

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year, Renae,
      I miss you so much! Glad you are enjoying our adventure and my photography. It is wonderful being behind the lens and photographing the beautiful people and colorful city we now live in. It's a day by day journey. People ask us how long we will be here, and my answer always is, "We don't know! It's day by day..." It's so freeing living like this. Your beautiful family is growing, and so your adventure there continues. Thanks for keeping us posted. We love you and love hearing from you. Love to Jon and your girls. Did you get SKYPE yet?
      Linda

      Delete
  4. Linda and Bo,
    Thanks for the wonderful posts about Cuenca. And a special thanks for taking the time to get to know Sr. Diaz and post pictures of him. I was in Cuenca in 2011 for a month and used to buy my daily newspaper from him. He and his wife were always so sweet. I am sorry to hear about his wife.
    Please keep up the well-written posts and great pictures.
    Cathy in California

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Cathy,
      We're glad you are enjoying our blog posts about our journey in Ecuador. We see Mr. Diaz every day (we live 1/2 block from his corner) and he always lights up when he sees us. We didn't have the privilege to meet Sra. Diaz. We hope you continue to follow us as we share our personal experiences living in Cuenca. How wonderful you got to know Mr. Diaz too.
      Linda and Bo

      Delete
  5. Hi Linda and Bo: I'm loving reading your archived posts. This one is especially good and beautiful. Linda, you have a gift of taking photos of people! All of these pictures look like they could be in a coffee table book. Of all the different blogs we've read over the past few years as we think and plan about moving to Cuenca, yours gives me the feeling of really being able to do it. I sure do hope to meet you both in a few months. God bless you. Mara Gano

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Mara,
      Oh, you continue to flatter me - bring it on!!!! You know, photography is my passion, and photographing people is a favorite subject - especially here as the people and children are soooooo beautiful - their silky dark skin, charcoal eyes, and beautiful smiles. Maybe I will do a coffee table book of Ecuadorian People. What a great idea.....
      Mara, if we can do it, so can you and anyone else. We've left a one-acre beautiful country home in Oregon and are now in the center of the city - living a life we never thought we'd do - AND LOVING IT!!!! Everything has it's good, bad and ugly - and we have to decide what we're willing to leave behind to plunge into the unknown and make it work. Bo and I are learning new things daily, and it will only make us stronger and more equipped for life's continued journey.
      We will definitely want to meet you when you arrive - so let's plan on it, for sure.
      Until then, keep on reading and enjoying our journey - and we love your comments.
      Bo and Linda

      Delete
  6. OK... these are some of the best pictures I have seen so far on an Ecuador Blog.... congratulations... they are stunning. You must give me lessons once I get there. I assume there is some editing done after the shot... The clarity and then the out of focus effects are spectacular.. Welcome to Cuenca.... George

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, George, for such high praises on my photography! It truly is my passion, and I am enjoying sharing photos of this beautiful city and people with our family, friends, and readers. So keep on checking in for more photos of our journey here, and when you come to Cuenca, I'll give you some photography tips. So, when are you getting here anyway????
      Linda

      Delete

Leave us your comments and I will respond with any questions you may have. Enjoy our Blog! Linda (y Bo)