Cuenca is ... surprisingly wealthy
Cuenca Travel Blog› entry 24 of 92 › view all entries
Arrived in Cuenca and have spent a few days here. It´s nice - many colonial buildings and interesting looking churches in the central area, with a pleasant and safe atmosphere. They actually make an effort to keep it clean too - I´ve spotted road sweepers which is a first since I´ve been in South America!But a lot of the people here are wealthy and fashionable, and many of the shops sell jewellery and expensive clothing to these normal Ecuadorian folk whereas in other towns/cities these types of goods would only be aimed at tourists. And this just feels quite at odds to everything else I´ve seen, even in Quito, because the relative poverty of normal Ecuadorian life isn´t hidden but is on display in the many beggars that are found on the streets. And I haven´t as yet worked out what makes people here so relatively wealthy - Cuenca is described as the cultural capital of Ecuador but I´m not sure what it produces as such. And whilst there are foreign tourists here, I don´t get the impression that the place relies on them but rather is as much visited by othe Ecuadorians.
I thought I had got Ecuador fairly well sussed having spent almost 8 weeks here in various places, but this city (and the impression I get that many people seem to support the socialist presidential candidate rather than the pro-business one that other richer areas back) has added another, confusing, dimension...