2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage

2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage
VIVA CUENCA

VIVA CUENCA!

My mission in publishing this blog is first to provide a living history of my settlement and life in Cuenca, and to provide myself and the reader with a journal account delineating my reasons for why I have chosen to settle in Cuenca. Second, the posts are my way of staying in contact with family and friends back in the states, and to provide them with an understanding of a country and culture that most North Americans have little knowledge and awareness. Third, the blog is open to one and all who wish to compare and contrast the experiences of expat bloggers living in Cuenca, so that you can determine whether or not from your perspective Cuenca is an appropriate move for you. Fourth, my blog provides another example of how expats view and interpret life in Cuenca. Ecuadorians and Cuencanos who may read this blog are especially invited to post comments that may enhance all expats understanding and appreciation of Cuneca and its people, or to correct any misinterpretations in my assumptions and perceptions of Cuencano culture. Finally, I hope I can convey the feeling of love and appreciation that grows within me each passing day for this heavenly city nestled in the Andes and its very special people.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

CUENCA'S PASA DEL NINO PARADA, DECEMBER 2014

Enclosed is a potpourri of photos from this year's Pase del Nino Parada. The annual parade begins at Feria-Libre Mercado, makes it way north on Avenida Americas to the circle at Gran Columbia, from there it heads down the main parade route of Gran Columbia and continues all the way to San Blas Church and Square on the north side of town.  The parade route is approximately four to five miles long, and meanders its way through the heart of El Centro, the historic district of Cuenca.

Participants generally are actively involved in the parade for approximately two hours, although the parade begins about 9:00 a.m. and continues until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. before all the floats, dancers, and horse riders have participated.  Participants come from all over Ecuador.  Almost every cultural group in the country is represented.  Many of the costumes are hand-made, and the exotic decorations on the floats and cars, with their vivid colors and that of the costumes are a glory in themselves.

The parade officially began at 10:00 a.m. at the Corazón de Jesús church (Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) on Gran Colombia. Cuenca’s Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera carried the Traveling Child statue of the infant Jesus to an altar erected at the main entrance of the church. The entire Christmas Eve parade is in honor of the infant Jesus.  Once the image of the infant was placed, the commanding general of the Ecuadorian army commended the commitment and dedication of the nuns of the Carmen de la Asunción convent, who care for the original Traveling Child statue and oversee its ornamentation in the weeks prior to the parade.  I was told that the soldiers who make up the procession and dedication of the Christ child must be in the military for at least ten years to serve as the honor guard, in which they wear 19th century uniforms for this and other celebrations.  (You will see a photo of the honor guard.)

The Pase del Nino Parada is my favorite event of the year in Cuenca, with approximately 50,000 participants in the parades; and folks from many parts of Ecuador and the world, who take in the sites and watch the parade, it definitely provides an opportune time to visit Cuenca.  I especially enjoy the parade because it is by no stretch of the imagination a big corporate affair like Macy's.  This parade is a different kind of extravaganza, which primarily features the children and families, and is quite fitting in light of the fact that it is held to honor the Infant Jesus.  It is very easy to move about the floats to take photos, and to interact with the float participants who are more than happy to pose for pictures.  Drinks of traditional juices are handed out to the people, flower petals and candy are thrown, and food vendors are to be found everywhere.  Enjoy, if only vicariously, until you can come and visit Cuenca.

                            Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You All!


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