Chimbora Hats: the perfect combination between luxury and tradition

Chimbora Hats

If you ask Nicholas Barringer to describe himself, he would answer: “Nicholas is an adventurous young man who loves to travel and tries to be a better person every day”. And this seems to be a very accurate description!  After spending time in the United States as a life guard, at the age of 17 Nicholas started his journey through South America, working for a non-profit in Guatemala. From there, he later moved on to Buenos Aires.  And after that, Cuenca. Barringer has lived in Ecuador now for over six…

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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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CIS Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

Communities in Schools in Randolph County

Get on your ugliest, most creative Tacky Christmas Sweater & gather your friends for some drinks & music & dancing! Yes, we are talking about the Communities in Schools infamous annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party.The event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Cetwick, 162 N. Cherry St., Asheboro, for what has become an annual holiday tradition. 2017 Planning Committee include Shannon Foster -Chair, Mark Strider, Beth Knott, Kurt Sullivan, Robin Necci, Laura King, Kelly Shipley, Isai Robeldo, and Aimee Scotton. Mary Lisk is spearheading the…

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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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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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“Snakes and the California Boy” by Nils Skudra

Before coming out to Greensboro for graduate school at UNCG, my Virginia-born god-mother sat me down and painted a vivid picture about what to expect in NC: different social traditions from those of the West Coast, a phenomenon famously known as “southern hospitality”, food the likes of which I’d never heard of: pulled pork, vinegar-based fried chicken, and  chocolate chess pie. I would be greeted by the slow drawl of speech mixed with expressions of gentility (‘bless your heart”) and life would be infinitely slower and simpler.  At every turn…

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All Things Alpaca Ecuador

Alpacas produce a luxurious fiber esteemed by textile connoisseurs throughout the world.  The history of this domestic species extends back four thousand years.  By the time the Spanish arrived 500 years ago, alpacas were being raised everywhere in the central Andes, and the conquerors would certainly have found these “sheep of the Andes” grazing the hillsides and grassland páramos within what we know today as Ecuador.  But alpacas became extinct in this country during the late 1800s, after centuries of decline due to disease, displacement by introduced European livestock, and…

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