Paul Acee's Ecuador



Cuencanízate is the name of the campaign sponsored by The City of Cuenca Office of International Relations, a campaign to help integrate foreign residents into the cultural life of Cuenca.

All expats were invited to the kick-off event, it began at 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 2 in Parque Calderón. The event included food and music.

Due to light rain and drizzle I didn’t get there until about 11 a.m. Our always visible mayor was one of the speakers. When I got there he was posing for pics with anyone in the crowd that wanted to as is his practice. I walked up to him, said “Good morning mister Cabrera” (in Spanish) and shook hands with him. What a kick. He said, “Como esta?” back.


There were a couple of ladies that walked around with a tray of mints for anyone that wanted some.


There was a buffet line of free food served too including roast pig.


A small booklet was passed out as part of the event that’s sort of a cultural dictionary. It has words and phrases that are used in Ecuadorian culture, in fact I think some of them may be slang. I looked a few of them up using Google Translate and got nothing. I can look up the definitions and figure it out though, it’s all in Spanish.

One of the words I recognized in it is yapa. Say you buy some produce at a Mercado and the vendor throws in an extra Tomato at no additional charge, that’s a yapa. That’s also very much a part of the culture here. A digital version of the dictionary is here.


A Facebook page has been created to post updates for the campaign about future events etc. and can be found here.

Thanks for the Cuencanízate event Cuenca.

Paul Acee

Author: Paul Acee

Retired and living in Ecuador.

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