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Friday, December 26, 2014

Get Your Parade On!

It wouldn't be Christmas Eve without El Pase del Nino Viajero. You saw it last year and we couldn't resist returning for another go this year. We went a little bit earlier this time and got some better photos. (At one point, I perched myself up on an electrical or phone service box to see over the crowd.) Like last year, we went back a few times, as it's exhausting being buffeted by crowds for the full 8-9 hours it takes for the parade to pass. I wish I could tell you where all the different styles of traditional dress are from, but I'm just not the well educated, I'm afraid.

Without further ado, the festivities:

Dressed to the 9's even on the sidelines.

Black face is new to us this year, don't know what that's about...

Diablos de la Carnival

The Unknown Flautists?

So many different generations participating!

Check the modern push car...old meets new
If the children look mildly disgruntled, tired or just plain peevish, it's because we're at the end of the parade route...they're all just tuckered out.
Clown a la Ecuador

We think that this poor guy carried the pig the whole route! Exhausting!
 If you think it's just the girls, think again, the men get involved, too!

More crazy masks and llama skin pants...can you say overheated?

"Are we there yet??" (Ya llegamos?)

Angel with a toque, must be Canadian!

You can barely see, but the horse is laden with food of all types...

...including a chicken in a sombrero (PS that's a real chicken)

One little guy actually waved at me, most are too stoic, or too tired.

The sun has been breaking through the clouds, can you imagine how hot this guy is?

May pole...or should I say December pole

The guys in the centre are champions...they could barely keep the pole still.

Heavy Spanish influence on the little principesa - huge horse, huge dress, tiny girl!
I have two videos as well, one of the December pole and the other a general street scene:
That's it for the wild and wacky world of Christmas in Cuenca. Come down and visit one year to experience it. Next up: New Years Eve meaning bonfires, burning effigies and fireworks!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Street Art, Cuenca Style

I find that public art, authorized or not, says a lot about a place; what's important, what's controversial, what's taboo, the whole lot. The very first thing we noticed when we came to visit Cuenca in May of 2013 was the tagging. There wasn't a lot and what we saw were mostly messages of hope and love. Sure there were a couple f#*^ the police, but for the most part it was so and so loves whosey-what, make love not war and the like. It was kind of nice, since you can't eradicate tagging all together. Murals are very popular on the walls of schools, as shown in the next few pictures:

Once we came back the second time for a longer stay, we noticed the tagging had increased, but that street art (or graffiti if that appeals to you more) was blossoming. There's been a government promoted project to beautify empty wall around the city and the results can be stunning.

We're very excited about a project in the works to paint one of the under passes, that's having a broad range of styles of street art painted as I type this.(Shown in pictures above - post completion). The artists had set up a whole stage with huge speakers in the middle of the street which had been blocked off and were blasting South American Rap music while the prepped and painted. It was pretty cool, but I'll have photos about that later. So here's all the wild wacky and creative art we've come across in our wandering.

I think about the murals of whales in Vancouver, the fake brick wall tenement in Quebec City and for the life of me, I can't remember any street art in Prince Edward Island...tagging, sure, but huge works of graffiti, it escapes me. I'm sure someone will educate me!

Back of a bus stop

We hope you enjoy the enthusiasm, talent and whimsy of the Ecuadorian artists.

One of my favourites!

One more note about art (good or otherwise), my next book is almost complete (at least the first draft), so I'll hopefully have it available for summer reading. (Fingers crossed!)
One more photo just for fun, in the vein of Human's of New York (look it up, if you've never seen the site!) Today in Microfashion:
Domenica, our resident Chola Cuencana

The pose just kills it!