CUENCA DIGESTShamanic cleansing at Pumapungo blesses new mayor

Aug 2, 2009 | 0 comments

New Cuenca mayor Paul Granda participated in the traditional shamanic cleansing ceremony Friday in Pumapungo, the site considered sacred for thousands of years but such cultures as the Canar and Inca. Pumapungo, behind the Banco Central on the eastern fringe of Cuenca’s historic district, is best known for the ruins of the Incan temple that was destroyed before the Spanish invaded the city in 1537.

According to both shamans and historians, the cleansing ceremony is based in tradition and is administered to new leaders in hopes that their reign or administration will be a fair and prosperous. The ceremony invokes spirits of the land, sky and water.

Friday’s event included music and dances as well as displays by Azuayan artisans. New mayor Paul Granda and his wife, Gabriela Velez, joined dancers and singers in the performance of Cuenca’s ceremonial song and dance, Chola Cuencana

Later, speaking to the audience, Granda said that the citizens of Cuenca should cherish their long history.  “We are the products of this marvelous land. We must share its wisdom and its energy and not forget our sacred roots.”


A survey by the city of Cuenca reports that 202,000 passengers ride city buses each day. Of those, 196,000 are regular riders. The city will use the survey information to adjust bus routes and to handle increases and declines in ridership in particular areas.


Ecuador’s Internal Revenue Service (SRI) reports that 1,800 individuals and couples filed the newly required “Patrimonial declaration” statement by the July 28 the deadline. There are 500,000 potential tax payers in the province, according to the SRI.

The declaration of assets is required for individuals who have assets exceeding $200,000, and for married couples with assets of more than $400,000.

According to regional SRI director Carlos Leon, information from the filings will be correlated with annual income tax returns. In some cases, he says, results of the correlation will mean the SRI will ask tax payers questions regarding income. “It is important to understand that we are not conducting an inquisition in the process,” he said. “The information we collect is simply for the purpose of verifying data that we already have.”


The city has begun installation of new vendor booths in Rotary Plaza between Calle Sangurmia and Calle Lamar, just east of the Ninth of October market. The Rotary market was moved more than a year ago to Union Park as renovation work began on the three-block market area. The anchor of the area, the Ninth of October food market, reopened in the spring.

Vendors in Rotary Park sell a variety of handicraft products as well as household goods. Among its wares are hand-made clothing, baskets, hats, bags, pottery, jewelry and furniture.

The 24 booths will have steel frames that vendors will cover with canvas. Some vendors complained about the design of the booths, claiming they were too small. Others, however, said they would work fine.

Almost all vendors agreed that a return to the original Rotary area would be good for business. Jose Quinde, who makes and sells straw baskets, said, “We have suffered at La Union. Our customers could not find us and we did not sell as many products as we did before. It will be good to be back home.”

Photo caption: Mayor Paul Granda and his wife, Gabriela Velez, at Friday's shamanic ceremony at Pumapungo; Photo credit: El Murcurio 



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