New paint job on the fountain in Parque Central

Mar 26, 2022 | 3 comments

(Yeah I know … not much happening here in the pueblo today.)

Sprucing up for the celebration of the founding of the parroquia de Vilcabamba.

I was curious as to how the colors were chosen so I chatted with one of the municipal workers on site. He said basically there was no executive decision about what the color scheme would be. Suggesting, by the look of the paint cans,  that they scoured the bodega to see what they could put together from left over or ignored paint.

I asked him who mixed the paint: “We do.”

So the colors are kinda hit and miss? “Right.”

What would you call the colors  from top to bottom? “Bueno, el primer arriba es Celeste.” I agreed, it’s a low risk perennial favorite. ” El segundo es Fuchsia.” OK! Or how about grape?  “Ah si!” he responded. And the last one is? “Verde Limon.” Nice I said, good work! Later I saw them taking photos of each other standing in front of their handy work, arms outstretched in a victory pose, beaming like there was no tomorrow.

I thought of an American friend who makes six figure income from naming colors for interior design and the clothing trade.

She’s clever, its challenging work.

Had she been at my side today she might have come up with  pretentiously trendy names for:

Celeste: “Paradise aqua”
Fuchsia: “Neuvo Beaujolais musk”
Verde Limon: “Dusty split pea”

She and I once had a contest to find a new name for a swatch of uninspiring gray cloth. I won with “Nantucket gull wing gray.”  We almost puked laughing at ourselves.

So our wee pueblo offers the chance to relax and let serendipity play out without the stress of Historical (Hysterical) Societies taking months sitting through tedious meetings to decide on a color scheme …. for whatever … rather than just rummaging around the water works building for a five gallon tub of Battleship Gray, mixing it up with some Chinese Red and get on with it.

Photo: Parque Central, Vilcabamba, Ecuador.
May 25, 2017 Thomas H. Ives

American-born photographer Thomas Ives has worked for international news and feature magazines for over 38 years. His photo essays and images have appeared in National Geographic, Time, Geo, Stern, Newsweek, Life, Smithsonian, and many others publications. He lives in Vilcabamba with his Ecuadorian partner. For more about Thomas, click here.

Thomas Ives may be contacted at and more of his work may be seen on his Instagram account: thomas_h_ives 

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