A Cuenca Christmas and New Year

As we approach the upcoming holiday season it is interesting how differently they are celebrated in Ecuador versus other countries. While you can find commercialization in the big cities here, in the smaller communities you can escape the hype and shopping completely.   Christmas is an important religious festival in this predominantly Catholic country. In Cuenca, celebrations begin early in December with Novenas, masses and events recalling the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The highpoint is the festival of the traveling Infant Child, the Pase del Niño Viajero,…

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Miss Cuenca, beyond the beauty

The year was 1924, the place: a vibrant city nestled in between Andean heights called Cuenca by its Spanish settlers, and Guapondélig by the Cañari people before them.  One hundred four years had passed since Cuenca had established her independence, and the renowned poets and passionate artists of this cosmopolitan city yearned for an official muse to call their own. She would embody the charisma, the timeless values, and the culture of the Cuencana people. And so, in November of 1924 Cuenca crowned her first queen, Lola Carrasco Vintimilla. By…

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The Heirloom Tomato Man

Follow the purple arrow. You’ll find a purple gate. Above the entrance, you will see, “The Oasis for Conscious Living.” “Five dollars! It’s a bad road.” When we decline the price, the taxi driver shakes his head and zooms off. Five dollars is quite the exorbitant taxi ride for Cuenca. Zach, my boyfriend and Spanish guru, insists we wait to find a better deal. However, when two more drivers tell us the same thing, we forfeit our money and begin the journey. Our driver zigzags through oncoming traffic, abandons the…

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Ecuador Cares

Ecuador Cares is a new non-profit organization recognized by the Ecuadorian government, founded by a group of North American and Ecuadorians with a clear mission: to provide help and hope for orphans, the aged and the terminally ill.  The group came together in 2014 to help an orphanage in dire straits, lacking clean water, plumbing, and adequate food. When that project was completed with many man-hours of volunteer labor and a cash donation of just over $28,000 for a year’s worth of food, Ecuador Cares began a new project in…

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Shared responsibility: the integration of refugees in Cuenca

1. UNHCR/ACNUR. S.Escobar-Jaramillo We live in a world where the drama of people fleeing war and persecution has reached unprecedented levels. In this context, where refugees and those forcibly displaced from their homes face growing challenges in seeking safety and reclaiming their dignity, Cuenca still provides a framework for local integration. Ecuador remains the country with the largest refugee population in Latin America, some 60,500 people according to government data. We know that since 2000, around 190,000 people (95% of Colombian origin) have come to this country seeking asylum; and…

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Venga Gastrobar

In Spanish the word venga has several meanings, but loosely translated it means ‘come on.’  In the markets here in Cuenca, the meaning of the word venga when used by the merchants has a more profound, and almost endearing, meaning.  Because the merchants genuinely want to serve you and make you feel welcome, they use the word venga as an inviting way to get your attention so you will come and try, or see, whatever it is they are selling.  It is for this reason that Javier Patiño named his…

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Triad Goodwill presents workforce event Thursday at Destiny Christian Center

Meet recruiters from more than 35 companies at Career Fair  GREENSBORO, NC – Triad Goodwill, a 501(c)3 non-profit leader in career development and job placement, presents a Career Fair this Thursday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Destiny Christian Center, 2401 Randleman Road in Greensboro. Meet recruiters and managers from nearly 40 employers who are seeking new staff for fulltime, part-time and seasonal openings. Several of these businesses are first-time partners of Triad Goodwill with new opportunities for job seekers. Sponsored by Two Men and a Truck.…

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Tot Hill Farm Golf Club

Ogburn Yates grew up in Asheboro. His dad managed the local Belk-Yates store, and he and his brother both eventually entered the family business. In the early 1940s, the family began searching the surrounding area for a farm. His father loved horses, having grown up around them in Monroe, NC. In the Fall of 1943 they traveled out of town one Sunday to have a picnic and look over a wooded site for sale. Later, they drove a mile or so down a winding dirt lane. To their left was…

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Christian Emphasis – Good Friday Prayer Breakfast

When you think about the YMCA, you think of kids playing basketball, seniors doing water exercise in the pool and people working out in the fitness area. You may not know that the “C” in YMCA stands for Young Men’s “Christian” Association. The “C” gives us clarity of purpose and a foundation for building a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.  At the Randolph-Asheboro YMCA we started a Christian Emphasis Committee last year to help ensure that we are following our mission to put Christian principles into practice focusing…

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Randolph Health Community Foundation Makes A Positive Impact on the Community

Supporters and friends of the Randolph Health Community Foundation gathered on Friday, March 3rd, for a lovely evening of elegant dining to support a great cause. Beginning in 14 beautiful homes throughout Asheboro, the 16th annual DineAround event culminated with dessert at Pinewood Country Club. The Randolph Health Community Foundation’s signature event, DineAround, proved to be an outstanding success. Over 250 sponsors contributed to help raise more than $120,000, the most sponsorship money raised to date through this event. “With a record number of sponsors and amount of money raised…

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