Cultural notes: Cuenca artisans’ gallery opens Thursday; Expat novelist launches a political thriller

Oct 28, 2020

Ayni — the Quechuan word for “reciprocity, or, working together”  — is the name of a new Cuenca artisan cooperative which hosts its grand opening beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 29. The gallery, located on the ground floor of the Casa de la Cultura, Luis Cordero and Pres. Cordova (next to Moviestar), will showcase 13 of the area’s finest artisans featuring a wide variety of crafts in multiple mediums.

The copper weavings of a Cuenca artisan will be on display at the opening of Ayni.

Founded under the auspices of the Jardin Azuayo Cooperative, Ayni will serve as a model for emerging artisan cooperatives nationwide.

Gallery manager, Paul Calle, is optimistic. “The pandemic has decimated the tourist trade and the income of artisans. However, we understand the challenge to change with the times, reaching out to new markets in a collaborative way is the future.”

The 13 artisans, chosen by CIDAP, will be available to answer questions and take any special requests customers may have. The opening will continue to 4 p.m. and social distancing protocols will be respected.

Cuenca writer Carolyn Hamilton launches a political murder mystery
Just in time for the U.S. election, Cuenca writer Carolyn Hamilton is launching her latest novel, a political murder mystery. Plan to Kill will be available on Amazon November 1.

After Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, a restaurateur, a CPA, a retired toxicology nurse and a Congresswoman plan to poison the President of the United States. Though one woman steps forward to claim sole responsibility — surrendering her future and possibly her life for her convictions — the nation is in for a shocking surprise.

Because of the sensitivity of the book’s thesis and proximity to the election, Hamilton says she was required to verity her identity to place ads on Facebook. “They’re extra sensitive these days about any ads that have to do with politics or — God forbid — assassinating the president!,” she says.

Hamilton is offering a complimentary download of the novel for Cuenca expats. She writes: “I’m hoping you’ll read the book, then go to Amazon on November 1, rate the book and write a few lines saying what you thought of the story.”

Hamilton can be reached through her website,, or by email at


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