Spectacular Museums in Cuenca Ecuador

We are spending our mornings sleeping in late, grabbing a bit of breakfast and then visiting a new museum each day (there are so many in Cuenca to visit).   We spend the afternoons in Spanish classes — 4 hours a day.  Don’t believe me? I will translate it in Spanish:

?No hacer creerme?  Yo tranduco la frase arriba.  Nosotros pasomas manana dormemos tarde, comemos daysayuno y visitamos museo nueva cada dia.

OK, if you know Spanish I may have just butchered that but I think the main point gets across.   This week we were walking around to a museum and happened on to this Indian group playing indigenous music.

Indian band

We noticed that they were dressed very similar to Native American Indians, which seemed odd to us because we see indigenous Ecuadorians every day and they do not dress this way.  Our Spanish teacher said that it was not original dress, but the music they played was authentic.  Interesting!

One of the coolest museums we have visited is the Banco Central.  It has an inside museum of indigenous artifacts but also is built on some old Inca ruins.

Inca ruins

Inca ruins

Banco Central Inca ruins

Behind the ruins are some impressive gardens.

Beautiful gardens

In the gardens are fields of indigenous crops.

Crops and beautiful grounds

Next to the gardens is a pond full of fish that is inhabited by ducks and other birds.

Ducks around the pond

Toucan — endangered bird!

We also visited one of the many Panama hat factories this week.  These hats have always been made in Ecuador but are called Panama hats because when the Panama Canal was being built, they ordered tons of hats due to the hot sun and rain.  Since they were being worn so often there, they were dubbed Panama hats.

Making Panama Hats

Panama hats are made the old fashion way. It takes 2 days to make a single hat (the ones that cost between $25 and $250) and 6 months to make really high-end hats that cost $1500.

Can I help?

Once the hats are weaved, they use machines to press them into different styles.

Steam used to mold hats into different styles

Lynn tried to talk me into buying one but I just don’t think I am a hat guy. What do you think?

Not a hat guy

Yep, that’s what I thought!  I did not buy one!

Next week is our last week in Ecuador, then off to Machu Picchu and then the Bahamas.  Hasta Luego!

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