Then there is the Festival of Artists that happens twice a year. Artisans from Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia, Columbia and other countries come to Cuenca, set up their tents, and display their artistic creations for sale. This year's feria was grander than the last few I've attended. The crowds were greater, the art was more amazing than ever, and the festivities were so numerous, I missed so much! What I did see and attend consumed me (and my wallet) for four glorious days of music, dance, food, art, beautiful people, and the 194th anniversary celebration of Ecuador's independence from Spain.
Living in El Centro, two blocks from the Tomebamba River has it's advantages. When my arms were loaded with wares, when I had to take a bathroom break, when I wanted to just take a break - I found myself 5 to 15 minutes "walking distance" away from my apartment. At night I could watch the most amazing fireworks right from my terrace. It was also a perfect meeting place for my peeps who shared these four fabulous days with me. Yes, I still enjoy living in the heart of this fabulous Historic District, I still love my little Ecuadorian flat, and I still love LIVING IN CUENCA! What's not to love?
PICTURES TELL THE STORY
|One of my favorite booths - beautiful handmade bags from Guatamala. Yes, I bought several of his little bags.|
Talented street musicians graced the Tomebamba River.
It was fun seeing and talking to the colorful vendors from different countries......
|......and stopping to photography the different dancers......|
|......and their dances told a story.|
|These lively musicians performed by the Broken Bridge (Puente Roto).|
|Delicious coconut balls|
|Our city is CLEAN - thanks to the blue people who sweep the streets day and night. |
How I appreciate them, and tell them so when I see them.
|Parque Del La Madre was packed with families attending the festivities.|
|The tables were ready for the crowds, and the vendors were anticipating their sales.|
|Heading down the stairs from Calle Larga leads us smack into the vendors tents lining the Tomebamba River.|
|Admiring the fine detailed work of the Saraguro people of the southern Ecuadorian Andes.|
|They are a humble and gentle people - and their attire sets them apart.|
|You know I'm not afraid of color - one of the reasons living in this colorful country makes me happy!|
|Some of the vendors would weave while they waited for their sales.|
|This beautiful woman from Baños-Ambato demonstrated her skill.|
|Colorful table coverings|
|How can one resist these beautiful pieces? I wanted to buy one of everything!|
|Un Colibri - Ecuadorians love hummingbirds!|
|Rustic pottery was another of my purchases.|
|Every artist was dressed so beautifully, and it is how many of the more traditional people dress daily.|
|I admire the beauty of the aged Ecuadorian women - this vendor was so classy and of a gentle spirit.|
|The banks of the Tomebamba River was a perfect place for the crowds to take a break.|
|Such beautiful and talented dancers......|
|.......a dance of romance......|
|......and their final bow! The crowds' applause makes them smile.|
|Artistic drawings grace this wall along the Tomebamba River|
|Ahhhhh, the beautiful children of Cuenca. She admires herself and the final face-painting art......|
|.....then turns to the photographer for a full-view shot! |
Isn't she beautiful?
|Another wee one takes her turn......|
|......then turns her sweet face to the camera!|
|How blessed Bo and I are to be living in this beautiful country!|
|......stuffed with cheese! A favorite treat for the people of Ecuador.|
|Colorful twirling dancers make me happy!|
|A bystander joins in to give this dancer a twirl!|
|The crowd and dancers clap and cheer them on.|
|The crowds cover the stairs under the beautiful blue skies.....|
|Gourd creations of an artist from Uruguay whose work I so admired.|
|The large fat carved and painted Armadillo Gourd (calabaza) was my favorite purchase.|