After years of talk and false starts, Cuenca’s Calle Santa Ana could soon be opening. More an alley than a street, Santa Ana will host crafts shops, a performing arts area, a cultural center, and cafés, targeting the city’s growing tourist market, as well as local residents.
The entrance to Santa Ana, between the cathedral and the Raymipampa Restaurant, facing Parque Calderon, is currently bricked closed.
“The final plans for the project are almost complete and work can begin soon,” said Cuenca Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera. Most of the funding is in hand, he says and the church and the city of Cuenca plan to provide the final $90,000, some of it through donations. Ecuador’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage contributed $100,000.
Cabrera says work could begin within two months to prepare Calle Santa Ana for shops and cafés. He said that, to date, the church as hauled away 57 dump truck loads of debris in preparation of the final work. Once work begins, he says it should be completed within three months.
Cuenca restaurateur Fausto Cardoso, who directs the project for the archdiocese, says that several parts of the infrastructure needed for the alley, including electrical work and the completion of sewer drains, remain to be completed.
“We are excited by what Santa Ana will add to Cuenca’s cultural and entertainment life,” Cardoso said. “This will be space for enjoying life and appreciating the best that the city has to offer.”