By Bartley D’Alfonso
If there’s one thing we gringos love to celebrate, it’s our beloved 4th of July national holiday.
Yesterday was the 241st anniversary of U.S independence, when the original thirteen colonies declared that we were a new nation and no longer colonies of Great Britain. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was John Adams, who became the first U.S. vice-president and then the second president. In a letter to his wife Abigail, he wrote about this day that, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” In that spirit it has become our tradition to hold parades, barbecues, picnics, family reunions, carnivals, baseball games, and lots of fireworks displays.
Which is exactly how the expat community in Cuenca celebrated its 4th of July Tuesday night. Several businesses, organizations and media outlets sponsored the celebration last night. Inside the Parque Virgen Del Milagro on Avenida Ordoñoz Lasso, on the edge of so-called “Gringolandia”, there was a screening of the popular “Field of Dreams” baseball movie on a twenty-four foot wide outdoor screen, free hot dogs, cotton candy and lemonade.
After the movie ended, there was a fantastic display of fireworks (“fuegos artificiales” in Spanish), loud enough to trigger car alarms. Just as enjoyable was the opportunity to see the excitement of ecuatorianos and gringos alike, as they gazed in amazement of the colorful explosions.
Supermaxi reported that 645 people attended the event. Supermaxi’s regional general manager, Alvaro Rothembach thanked those who attended saying, “Thank you for your trust and loyalty; they encourage us to always work towards growing in order to serve you better”.