Cuenca rings in New Year with fire and satire

Jan 1, 2018 | 4 comments

Although many historic district streets were quiet at 11 last night, that changed in a hurry as the clock ticked toward midnight. As 2017 gave way to 2018, thousands gathered around burning piles of año viejo dummies while others fired off fireworks.

Some jumpers didn’t wait for the fires to burn down.

A few revelers took the traditional challenge of jumping over the burning dummies three times for good luck. Others showed off their yellow underwear, another New Year’s tradition said to usher in a lucky year.

Earlier on Sunday, street-side vendors of dummies and masks were doing a brisk business until afternoon thundershowers closed down many of them.

Odebrecht scandal as “Pirates of Caribbean”

In El Centro, several neighborhoods showed off satirical exhibits that will headline next week’s Day of the Innocents parade. Among the most notable was the “Pirates of the Caribbean” inspired by the Odebrecht scandal that depended on off-shore bank accounts in Panama and the Caribbean islands.

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Two exhibits provided commentary on the interminable delays in construction of Cuenca’s tranvía. The funniest, titled “Waiting for the Tram,” produced by the Convention 45 neighborhood, showed a row of skeletons waiting at the station.

Other exhibits made fun of Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera and Azuay Prefect Paúl Carrasco.

Prizes will be awarded to the best exhibits following next week’s parade.

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