Freak hail storm covers much of Cuenca in ice

A strong thunderstorm produced enough hail Saturday afternoon to turn parts of Cuenca into a winter wonderland. The weather bureau reported that ice was as much as two inches deep in the area around Miraflores Park, Los Trigales, and along Av. Gil Ramírez Dávalos near Terrestrial Terminal. The storm also affected driving on the Cuenca-Guayaquil […]

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Indigenous Ecuadorian fashion designers aim to renew ethnic pride and reach a world market at the same time

After years of taking a back seat to Western style, indigenous fashion is re-emerging in Ecuador, thanks to a new generation of designers who are re-imagining traditional clothes. “Make the turn snappy!” says Juana Chicaiza, who founded the modelling agency “Awkis y Nustas” – “Princes and Queens” in the Quechua language. A former beauty queen […]

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Does cuy really taste like chicken? At Mi Escondite it tastes just like cuy

By Deke Castleman “It tastes like chicken” is such a common expression that it has almost become a self-fulfilling prophesy: Any uncommon meat is now compared to the bland standard of this particular poultry. Rabbit, quail, ostrich, goose, pigeon, ptarmigan, frog, turtle, alligator, snake, iguana, even kangaroo and the two-toed amphiuma (a type of salamander) […]

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What’s with all the public smooching in Latin America? Conservative family values mean young lovers can’t do it at home

By Scott Keys Parks in Latin America serve a number of purposes. They provide a green respite in an otherwise concrete jungle. They’re a space where anyone from the wealthy to the homeless can rest their legs. And, for young couples, they’re the most popular place to hook up. In the park in southern Mexico […]

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Support network makes life easier for Cuenca’s English-speaking expats; services, organizations and events create a ‘real community’

By Liam Higgins Cuenca resident Kathy McClary recalls the day, a year ago, when she suffered what she calls an “expat panic attack.” “I was having my morning coffee in Café Austria, in the historic district, when I was suddenly overwhelmed with the question: what am I doing here? Why in the world would I […]

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Why is it so hard to learn Spanish? Maybe it’s because our native English is the weirdest language in the world

By John McWhorter English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a ‘spelling bee’ competition. For a normal language, […]

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Why are tourists and expats continuing to flock to Cuenca? A travel writer makes a visit and reports what she found

By Elissa Richard A colonial jewel of Ecuador, spilling over with cobblestoned streets, well-preserved churches and attractive leafy plazas — all tucked into a verdant Andean valley traversed by four winding rivers — Cuenca wins out as the country’s most idyllic urban locale. From the Inca to the Spanish to the most recent wave of […]

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Sin muertos no hay carnaval picked to represent Ecuador at next year’s Oscars

Sebastian Cordero’s movie “Sin muertos no hay carnaval” has been picked by Ecuador’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts to represent the country at next year’s U.S. Oscar competition. It will compete in the “best foreign film” category. The movie tells the story of the Monte Sinai neighborhood in Guayaquil, where impoverish squatters built a community […]

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