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Cuenca: lovely home stay, lots of Spanish lessons

September 21, 2010

After two weeks at the coast, we were ready to visit the sierra, and Ecuador’s intellectual capital: Cuenca. Population of 250,000 (twice as big as Eugene, Oregon), it’s called the Athens of Ecuador and is fairly stuffed with universities. It’s also a center for intensive Spanish language schools. We studied at Simon Bolivar, four hours a day. Sounds like a long time, but the thirty minute break and tours of the city afterward kept us active and helped hold Colin’s interest– which certainly flagged at times.

Street signs in Cuenca are tile set in masonry walls. We stayed on "Windmill Street."

While in Cuenca we stayed with a lovely family headed by Señora Elena Jerves de Hermida. Every afternoon her children and grandchildren came by after school for a large almuerzo (lunch) and visit. Sunday afternoons and Monday nights were also family times. Our first Monday there, we accompanied Señora Elena to her sister-in-law’s house where seven or eight families (all relatives) gathered to chat and enjoy homemade tamales for the evening’s merienda (light supper).

More on Cuenca, including pictures of our visit to Parque Nacional Cajas, in our next post.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve Samis permalink
    September 23, 2010 4:26 pm

    Refreshing blog – looking forward to hearing more about your fishing, shrimping and other countryside adventures!

    Cuenca’s population is listed on Wikipedia as 467,000.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuenca,_Ecuador

    Steve Samis

    • September 23, 2010 7:49 pm

      Thanks Steve! We have much more to report, if we can just find the time. Our visit to Cajas was a highlight.

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