After weeks of delays and hundreds of dollars in contributions from Cuenca’s expat community, the memorial mural honoring Gualaceao native Marcelo Lucero, murdered in the U.S. in 2008, was dedicated Saturday at Gualaceo’s Casona Municipal.
The mural was created by Lucero’s classmates at the Long Island, New York, high school he attended in the 1990s, and shipped to Ecuador. When it arrived in Guayaquil, the mural was held by customs officials for non-payment of fees and taxes. Largely through the efforts of Cuenca resident Lee Dubs, money was collected to cover the costs of delivering the mural to Gualaceo.
Among those attending the dedication were Gina Casale, a teacher at the Long Island high school. She spoke to family and friends of Lucero, offering support from faculty and students of the school. Also attending the ceremony were Dubs, who was one of the program speakers, and several Cuenca expats who had contributed to efforts to bring the mural to Gualaceo.
According to Dubs, owner of Carolina Bookstore on Calle Miguel, the help of foreign residents was not only appreciated by Lucero’s family but sent an important message to Ecuadorians. “It is important that the expats get involved in the life of this country and that we don’t become known as a bunch of people who are here taking advantage of the good things Ecuador has to offer. I think our help in this case shows we are involved in the community and that we give something back to it.”
The ceremony was covered by Ecuador’s major television channels and newspapers.
Lucero’s murder was prosecuted as a hate crime in New York. Two suspects were convicted of the crime in June and are serving life prison sentences.
CONSTRUCTION, FURNITURE, FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL EXHIBITIONS PLANNED FOR CUENCA’S FOUNDATION HOLIDAYS
In addition to the traditional craft shows and street festivals that highlight Cuenca’s foundation ceremony later this month, the city will also host national construction, furniture, livestock and food fairs.
The 12th annual Cuenca Construction Fair, showcasing the city’s booming construction industry, will be held Oct. 20 to 24 at the Mall del Rio convention center. The fair will also feature furniture, interior design and construction machinery and tools exhibits.
The Taste of Ecuador fair, Oct. 14 to 17, also at the Mall del Rio convention center, will offer attendees a chance to sample food and beverages, both Ecuadorian and international.
The annual agricultural and livestock fair begins Oct. 30 in several venues. In addition to livestock, the fair showcases competitions for best small animals and crops. There will be music, dances in the Plaza de Toros. The highlight of the show are the horse competitions, including Spanish, Peruvian and Arabian horses, and riders from around Ecuador. Last year, the agricultural fair drew 250,000 to all events.
The Furniture Fair, at the Capac Huayna exhibition center in the Industrial Park, will include exhibits of furniture from the country’s top manufacturers, many of them based in the Cuenca area.
LAN ANNOUNCES NEW NON-STOP MIAMI TO GUAYAQUIL FLIGHTS
Lan Ecuador has begun operating non-stop flights between Miami and Guayaquil. Previously, Lan’s Miami to Guayaquil flight had stop-overs in Quito for both incoming and outgoing flights.
The new route, which started operating Oct. 4, will use Boeing 767 aircraft, with a capacity of 230 passengers and crew. The new service is the result of a new bilateral air transportion agreement between the U.S. and Ecuador.