Ecuador – Part 8: Cuenca

Chapter 6: Murals 1

There are a lot of murals in Cuenca. Many are tarnished by meaningless graffiti. Some remain without being damaged. Why some are and some not is a mystery, except for those too high to reach. When I photographed murals I tried to get to them before the graffiti monsters found them. In some cases I used Photoshop to help me to present murals as they should be. As far as I can tell homeowners welcome mural painters to their property walls and sometimes the wall of a house. I am guessing artists are selected for those and maybe paid to do them. Other murals seem to be the work of bandit artists that steal a wall here and there. Then, there are the really exquisite murals that are commissioned by the Cuenca Alcaldía or Cuenca Town Hall, meaning the City of Cuenca. The city welcomes other sponsors that might include corporate sponsors, especially for big projects. 

I was out for a walk when I came cross the huge project I will start with. I happened upon it as I was exploring an area of Cuenca where I had not been. What a find!

I came across another large project spanning a long wall with a more whimsical theme.  

Between my apartment and El Centro on the river walk is Otorongo Plaza. It is a very large open space with shops and restaurants on three sides. From the plaza there is a long stairway to the city level of El Centro. These images start from the top of the stairway and move down to the plaza from there. 

Walking east or downstream along the Tomebamba there are bridges and water retention walls along the way. Here are three murals under a bridge and a short distance downstream from it. 

At river level there is a large gate to a Catholic school that is part of the Todos Santos complex. At the top of the hill rests the church. The school is operated by nuns and they shy away from being photographed. I was framing a photo of the mural on the gate when a nun appeared just as I snapped the photo. 

Closer to home a wall made of boulders that covers two sides of a city block is colorful. I really like it. After that, some singular murals with noteworthy themes. Where appropriate, I translated text.  

This wall is pretty fun! 

Common in Latin America is the use of broken glass cemented on the top of walls to discourage intruders. A wall of murals I photographed was on such a wall. 

I highly recommend that you see the photos of this chapter in higher resolution. You can access them by clicking HERE

Next week is the second of my two chapters on murals.