Verdi’s Requiem at Carlos Cueva Tamaríz, ‘Time of Your Life’ workshop, Tango and salsa lessons, Pedro Almodóvar’s Átame screens at La Guarida

Apr 8, 2019

If you plan your time around what’s happening in Cuenca’s creative community, then this column is for you. Published every Monday, “What’s Happening Under the Domes” highlights the exhibits, concerts, workshops and other not-to-be-missed artistic events scheduled for the coming week. We cannot guarantee a complete listing, but we’ll try our best to keep you informed.

This week

On Thursday, April 11, from 4 to 7 p.m., Papel A Mano, a papermaking studio and school by Kimberley Wood, is having its 2019 Student Showcase for over a dozen local artists. The works are amazing – all created from beautiful handcrafted paper made from regional materials. Sculptures, mobiles, wall hangings, etc. will be on display. Mark you calendars and plan to come for the opening.

Papel A Mano is located at Calle Francisco Estrella Carrion 1-41y 10 de Agosto.

Monday, April 8
An exhibit by Scott McDonald, “So Far”, opening at idiomART!

Come by and see Alaskan-born artist, Scott McDonald, fabulous paintings influenced by his year-long stay in Ecuador. Exhibition continues through April 29

idiomART’s Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, from 10 AM to 3 PM.

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77 between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella.

Films in La Guarida: Átame by Pedro Almodóvar

La Guarida is happy to continue for free its Pedro Almodóvar Film Cycle with “Átame! (Tie me up! Tie me down!)”, in Spanish with English subtitles. 7 p.m.

About: In ‘Tie me up! Tie me down!’ Almodóvar chooses another difficult subject to tackle. What is love? What is true love? This great filmmaker is able to navigate through difficult passages like only a master can. He chooses a very young and sexy cast which includes a perfect Antonio Banderas. This film breathes sensuality in every corner, mixing in comedic aspects to loosen up some the violent behavior by some obsessive characters. Like always, his movies have a twist that one agrees to disagree. Don’t miss out this early gem from Spain’s best director.

Food and drinks served. The first 10 guests receive free popcorn. Reservations: 099 806 8071, call after 8 a.m.

La Guaridais located at Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta.

Tuesday, April 9
Virtuoso Singer-Guitarist Luis Ullauri performs at Café La Joyapa!

Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7:30.-10p.m. Cover charge $7.

Café La Joyapa is a rustic, candle-lit space on the second floor of of El Doblón restaurant. Food and drink service, provide by El Doblón, includes a wide selection of reasonably priced Ecuadorian, Italian, and North American fare.

Café Joyapa is located at Honorato Vasquez 6-60, between Presidente Borrero and Hermano Miguel.

Wednesday, April 10
Tom Larsen’s Book Launch of his English language translation of “Memorias Parroquiales Rurales”

7 p.m. Free event.

A few years ago, the Dirreción Municipal de Cultura, Educación y Deportes undertook an important project. They visited all twenty-one rural parroquias in the Cuenca Cantón and collected oral stories, fables and parables. Some have been handed down for centuries while some are fairly recent.

Tom became aware of these stories and thought they would be of great interest to the local Extranjero population. With the permission and support of the city, he took on a project to translate them into English. The result: “Parish Memories” a beautifully illustrated paperback book.

The first 150 who attend will walk away with a free copy!

The launch event will be at the City Museum (the old Escuela Central), corner of Gran Colombia & Benigno Malo.

Paiche Day at the Chocolate Factory!

9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Paiche is the delicious healthy white fish from the Amazon River.

Here are some of the Paiche menu items you can choose from: Paiche Del Mar Omelets with spinach and Gruyère cheese; Paiche loaded breakfast skillet – Eggs, country potatoes, paiche, onions, bell pepper, and shredded cheese, breakfast or brunch; BBQ; Paiche breakfast burrito; Grilled Paiche street tacos; Paiche ceviche tostadas; Seared Paiche with Ruthey’s farm-to-table salad.

The Chocolate Factory is located on Gran Colombia y Benigno Malo.

“Singing in the Rain”

On Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11, 8 p.m., the Cuenca International Chorale will present “Singin’ in the Rain” at the Old Catheral of Cuenca.  Free Admission.

Craft your novel idea in 3 hours!

Have an idea for a great novel, but don’t know where to start?In this 3-hour class you’ll discover how to get your idea organized, how to determine the right genre for it, how to create a working outline and how to tell a compelling story.Whether your idea is sci-fi, urban fantasy, romance, mystery/suspense or horror, let’s help you get started in a productive direction.

Wednesday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at idiomART.

$20, includes coffee and snack. Cash, Papal, and major Credit Cards accepted.Register now, as class size will be limited.

Email: or call: 099 998 8777

This IS the time of your life workshops by Susan Burke March at The Castle!

Don’t let your weight, a risk for diabetes, or poor diet stop you from enjoying it! Learn how to eat for your life.

April 10, “What’s the best diet? Diet fads, fallacies and facts”, from 4:30 t 6 p.m.
April 24, “Can you rev up your metabolism? Top myths and facts”, from 4:30 t 6 p.m.
May 1, “Socializing can be hazardous to your waist! Top tips for dining out without blowing your diet!”, from 4:30 t 6 p.m.

Come early for dinner and beverages will be available for purchase.

These talks are developed and presented by Susan Burke March MEd, RDN, CDE. Susan will allow time for questions after the presentation.All proceeds go to The Cuenca Soup Kitchen and Helping Kids in Ecuador.

$10 per talk, 4 talks for $30. Buy 3 classes, get one free!

Call 098 935 8169 or email to reserve you spot today.

The Castle is located at 3 de Noviembre downriver from the Broken Bridge.

Live Jazz at the Jazz Society Café

Wednesdays through Saturdays; Food and beverage service: 6:30 through 10 p.m.; Jazz Concert: 7:30 through 10 p.m.

Reservations:  Theirschedule of events is posted on Facebook page: Jazz Society Café

The Jazz Society Café is located at 5-101 Luis Cordero y Juan Jaramillo, Upstairs (2nd Floor) of La Viña Italian Restaurant.

Salsa lessons at Santa Canela every Wednesday

Do you want to learn Latin dances? Every Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Salsa, Merengue, Tango. $7 per person.

Santa CanelaHostal Bar Grill and Lounge is located on Calle Larga 3-82 Y Vargas Machuca, pass Todos Santos.

Thursday, April 11
Papel A Mano’s 2019 Student Showcase: “Paper Flight”

Opening on Thursday, April 11, from 4 – 7 p.m.

Exhibition continues for the next two days.Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Artists: Nancy Laughlin,,Susan Armstrong, Patricia Daugherty, Kathryn McCullough, Melody Crabb,,Kris Fischer, Victoria King, Nina Sazer O’Donnell, Rosemary Rein, Rita O’Donald, Henry Noel, Laurie Paternoster, Patricia Villeneuve, and Owl’s Nest Oasis.

Papel A Mano is located at Calle Francisco Estrella Carrion 1-41y 10 de Agosto.

Friday, April 12

idiomART’s Friday Salon!

10:30 a.m. to Noon (Doors open at 10 a.m.). Every Friday a new presentation!  Great way to meet local artists and writers, learn more about Ecuador’s art, history and culture and meet new folks!

This week, a special discussion will be led by Ron Wooten-Green, based on his new book, “A Bitter Harvest: Pesticides and Cancer – Avoidable Human Suffering”.  If wanted to learn more about the history and current realities of the health impact to the use of pesticides – Ron has over 40 years of experience and advocacy to share.

Free event.  Coffee, tea, and snacks available.  Ron’s book will be available for available for purchase. Open to all. No reservation needed. Coffee, tea, and snacks available.

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.

Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14
Requiem de Verdi

The Polifonico Choir of the University of Cuenca is performing the ”The Requiem of Verdi”, an Easter season tradition. 8 p.m. Cost:  $10.

On April 14, the concert will be at the Old Cathedral and on April 15, 16, the concerts will be held Carlos Cueva Tamaríz Theater by the University of Cuenca.

A Chamber Ensemble of six of the finest cellists in Ecuador!

Cellos Prieto will present a concert entitled Transiciones Etéreas (Ethereal Transitions) on Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. in the Old Cathedral. Amazing soprano Bernarda Holguín will be a special guest performer at this concert. Cellos Prieto will perform music especially arranged for cello ensemble by composers such as J.S. Bach, Samuel Barber, Cesar Franck and will include W.A. Mozart’s extraordinary work Exultate Jubilate featuring Ms. Holguín as soprano soloist. Free Admission.

Day of Flowers: Botanical garden La Macarena Tour

Saturday, picked up at 8 a.m. from Plaza Otorongo on Ave 3 de Noviembre.

It is 1 hour to the botanical garden in Guachapala call La Macarena where we will see around 16,000 different kinds of plants, trees and flowers and enjoy the beauty of this place, this time of the year is special with the Orquideas in blosom, we will spend there 3 hours learning about plants, legends and enjoying the beauty of this fantastic place. The cost of the entrance fee to the Botanical Garden is $10.

After this dreamed place, it is another 15 minutes travel time to visit the Santuary of Señor de Andacocha to enjoy a magnificent view and to learn a bit more about this very important place for the catholic comunity of Ecuador.

Lunch at his Restaurant Corvel, prices are from $4. Return at 5 p.m.  The cost os the tour is $15, plus entrance fees and lunch.

For reservation, please

Meditate with Shambhala

Sunday, 10 to 11:30 a.m.  Free, though donations appreciated. All are welcome! The Cuenca Shambhala Meditation Group invites you to meditate together.

Shambhala International follows the tradition of Pema Chödron and her teachers ChögyamTrungpa Rinpoche and SakyongMipham Rinpoche. Sunday’s practices include group chanting, silent seated meditation, and group walking meditation.

Chairs and cushions are provided. Everyone is invited to join us for brunch/lunch at a restaurant after meditation. Meditation instructions are available free with advance notice at 9.30 a.m.

Located at 8-81 Calle Larga, east of Benigno Malo, south side, upstairs at Namaste India Restaurant.

Volleyball on Sunday

Have you played regulation international 6-on-6 volleyball in the past and are looking for a fun way to exercise? Good news. Play will be from Noon to 2 p.m.

Location is tournament style outdoor net on the grass just west of the soccer field at the west end of Parque El Paraiso (not too far from Banos and refreshments!) – at the intersection of Pje. Del Paraiso and Avenida Diez de Agosto.

For more information, email Gary at

What’s Happening Under the Domes is a weekly column by Sara Coppler. Sara has lived in Ecuador for over 5 years. She is an architect by training, who has worked for more than two decades in the field of international development and poverty housing. She is a co-founder of idiomART, a creative community center in Cuenca. Having admired the creative process throughout her life, she describes herself as a “Head Cheerleader for the Arts.” It’s this enthusiasm that she hopes to bring to this weekly column. You may contact her at and feel free to check out her Under The Domes website at

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