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Travel and Photography by Burt and Evelyn Johnson

Another Inocente’s Parade

Food vendors were the first to set up, and kept the audience fed all night.

This is our third year attending the "Día de Los Inocentes" Parade in Cuenca.  It seemed this year was a bit more subdued than last year (2014), which was our favorite so far.  You can also see our first year (Jan 2013) post here.  You can read our 2014 entry for info on what the parade is supposed to be about. The Cuenca parade has morphed into a combined fantasy, social statement and political satire event. In the past, it included more men dressed in drag.

The political satire was much more subtle this year -- some say because of the anti-libel laws passed in 2014 and the general feeling that the Correa government is now censoring criticism.  Unfortunately, my Spanish is not sufficient to ask these people directly, so I am left on the outside wondering why it was so tame this year?

Masks were on sale at several stands.  Many looked like left-overs from New Year's Eve.

Vendors were selling balloons, bubbles, fireworks, face painting and more.

Amistad Club clowns were the official parade marshals, trying (and usually failing) to keep the audience back.

Many of the parade groups wore large cardboard or Styrofoam heads -- many of which I did not understand?

Here are some of my favorite individual costumes in the parade.

Many of the audience dressed up too, even if they were not in the parade.

As a description of the elements of the parade, perhaps it is best to end with a quote from El Tiempo, the local Spanish language daily newspaper.  Here is what they said about the parade, translated via Google Translate:

At 18:20 started the journey of the groups from the intersection of La República and Avenida Huayna Capac, with the parade of children of school NOVA. Then it was the turn Azuay District Scouts, who acted with the theme "Scary Movie Scout". Young people dressed as zombies, scythes and other characters from the underworld. Next, the students of the South American Technical Institute with his troupe "Chiripiolcas, garroteras and garrotazaos" where combined issues of national political events represented by the characters of comedian "Chespirito". For example, a very old ambulance logo YESS (We're Insurance Suffering) to the accompanying figures of the "Neighbourhood Chavo" injuries and ailments, parodied services Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS). Also, put the South American rhythm when nine "chilindrinas", performed a dance to the sound of batucada.

Political satire could not miss with the participation of the family Vanegas presented "Mommy will be what you want the black" where the character of US President Barak Obama, dancing alongside Fidel Castro of Cuba and representatives of Latin America and Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Dilma Rousseff, Brazil; Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela; Cristina Fernandez and former President of Uruguay, José Mujica, accompanied the leaders in his Volkswagen Beetle. Also Pope Francisco and Che Guevara, with angel wings, accompanied politicians joked with the audience. Another of the groups that drew public attention was the University of Azuay (UDA), with its theme "Traditional Crafts of Cuenca". Two women dressed as policemen took the sign with the name of the troupe. Behind them a traditional village band sang popular rhythms to make way for the "seamstresses". Students developed a sewing machine old giant, whose pedals were driven through the hands of damsels with old dresses. Al artifact students followed him disguised scissors, yarn skeins, reels, tapes, etc. Similarly, trades like selling ice cream cart, photographers Calderon Park, until the sale of the famous hot dog size "Mandingo" were represented in elaborate costumes. The competition continued with the parade of other groups, representatives of institutions and individual presentations.


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