Images from our first Pase del Niño parade

Dec 28, 2015 | 2 comments

We went to our first Pase del Niño this past Thursday and I was able to take a few pictures.chl walt logo

Early that morning, we scouted out a good viewing spot and were able to find a place from which we could watch the action without having to look over and through other spectators.

The parade started about 10 and we stayed until 12:30, went home to “freshen up”, went out to lunch and then about 2:30 returned to Simon Bolivar to find the parade still going on. We finally went home for good about 3:30 even though the parade continued.

My impression of my first Pase del Niño. It was great! It seemed like everyone who lived in the areas surrounding Cuenca was in the parade, and everyone else was watching. It is estimated that 15,000 people marched in the parade and about 100,000 more lined the street to watch. It’s claimed to be the largest parade in Ecuador. I believe it!

Here are just a few of the pictures from the parade:chl walt1

 

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Some of the children dressed up and riding on horses. The parade was designed for children. Many, if not most, of the participants were infants being carried by parents, toddlers and youngsters. They walked, they rode on floats and on horseback.

The truck with the orange canopy in the background was distributing free bread, bananas and “chicha,” a home-brew fruit and alcoholic drink popular on Christmas Eve. They refilled the truck at least twice to keep distributing the free food and drink.

The large building in the background is one of the historic buildings on Calle Luis Cordero in the historic district. The ground floor is occupied by shops and restaurants. The white portion furthest from the parade is the side of the “Old Cathedral” now used as a museum and concert venue. The parade moved from west to east on Simon Bolívar from San Sebastian Plaza to San Blas Plaza. The route was changed this year due to construction of the Tranvia.

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One of many angels riding in the parade. The horse is being led by a member of the “National Police.” I don’t know if he was related to the rider, off-duty, or if this was one of his duties. 

In the foreground you can see an indigenous woman with a Panama hat and long braids going down her back. She is an example of what the locals call a “chola Cuencana,” an indigenous woman who dresses in traditional clothing and maintains her traditional agricultural life style. They often bring the fruits and vegetables their families grow into the city to sell at the market or on the street. Their dress is quite distinctive and the style of hat they wear is dependent on their ethnic background. Cañaris, for example, wear a different type of hat than do the Shuar, or other groups.

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This parade participant has had about enough! He actually was sleeping while riding on a horse decorated with Christmas decorations, fruits, fruit-juice bottles, and, of course, his giant teddy bear behind him. We watched while he paraded over a block and never woke up! The gold fabric in the background was a huge skirt that a woman riding in the parade wore. It is draped over her horse.

All in all, the Pase del Niño was quite an experience, one that we are looking forward to next year — and the year after that. Especially now that we know what to expect and how to better prepare!

For an overview of the parade, you can check this link to a CuencaHighLife article.

 

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