Cuenca Gas Truck Song Lyrics and English Translation (Cuenca’s Anthem)

The Cuenca Ecuador gas truck song lyrics come from a song written about Cuenca after it was named a Unesco World Heritage Site. I guess you could call it Cuenca’s anthem song. I’ve done my best to translate the lyrics based on the context, but please feel free to correct me if I’ve made a mistake.

The dialect of Spanish that’s spoken in this part of Ecuador has roots in Quechua, which is the native language of the indigenous Cañari people who have lived in this area since the 6th century.

That means a lot of words and phrases either have a Quechua origin, or they’re a combination of Quechua and Spanish, which makes them REALLY hard to translate!

Here are the full lyrics of the Cuenca song in Spanish:

Title: “Por Eso Te Quiero Cuenca”

Por tus cholas buenas mozas,
por tus longos bien plantados,
por tus mañanas preciosas,
y tus cielos estrellados.

Por tus ríos cantadores,
por tus chapas pitadores,
por tus cuyes bien asados,
y por tu mote pelado.

En la fiesta de El Vado
y en la del Septenario
todos hemos bailado ya nuestro suelto de “arroz quebrado”,
como buenos cuencanos por siempre amamos las tradiciones.

Esta mi tierra linda con miles de doctores
todos han admirado a los poetas que hay por docenas
Cuenca es la tierra linda del buen Zhumir y el agua caliente
Por eso… Por eso… ¡Por eso te quiero Cuenca!

Cuenca Gas Truck Song Lyrics in English

Title: “That’s Why I Love You Cuenca” (literally, “For That, I Love You Cuenca”)

For your indigenous women, good girls,
for your young ones, well rooted,
for your precious mornings,
and your starry skies.

For your singing rivers,
for your thin dogs, (literally, “thin veneer metal or wood plates,” but that doesn’t make sense in this context; Pitador is a breed of dog that’s common in Ecuador – a cross between a Pitbull and a Labrador)
for your guinea pigs well roasted, (cuy, or guinea pig, is a traditional Ecuadorian dish)
and for your peeled, cooked corn.

At the party of El Vado (the oldest neighborhood in Cuenca founded in 1557)
and in the Septenary (aka Corpus Christi, a Catholic holiday)
we have all, already released our “arroz quebrado” dance, (literally, “broken rice” dance, which is the name of a traditional Ecuadorian musical genre, as well as a specific song and dance)
As good Cuencanos, we always love our traditions.

This is my land with thousands of doctors
all have admired the poets, there by the dozens
Cuenca is the beautiful land of good Zhumir and hot water (Zhumir is an alcohol made from sugarcane that’s similar to rum; hot water refers to the volcanic hot springs)
That’s why … That’s why … That’s why I love you Cuenca!

Confusing Translations

This song was NOT easy to translate! It’s full of Cuencano expressions that I couldn’t find translated on the web. I did my best to piece the individual word meanings together to construct a contextual translation, but some expressions could have multiple meanings.

For example, “cholas buenas mozas” might be better translated to “indigenous women with big butts,” but I find it hard to believe that phrase would be in Cuenca’s anthem! ?

The phrase, “tus longos bien plantados,” could also be a slang reference to indigenous children, but I don’t know enough Spanish or Quechua to be certain.

Please, if you know Spanish and/or Quechua, let me know if you have better English translations for the Cuenca song.

Cuenca Gas Truck Song Lyrics in Spanish



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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

6 replies
  1. Pamela Gassaway
    Pamela Gassaway says:

    Hi JP. I liked the Police blowing their whistles from the corners. That sounds like a perfect translation to me. I hope your travels are going great I loved your pictures from the wedding in India of our friends Chinu and her now husband. Enjoy life.

  2. Scott Simmerman
    Scott Simmerman says:

    Hey and Hi! I asked about the meaning of the song in one of the Cuenca expat FB groups and someone found the link to this article and posted it up. Many have wondered about the words, since we have heard this played a couple of times a week by the Astrogas trucks. So, now we know!

    I trust that your travels go well. I had read you relocated from Cuenca just after I ran into you guys as La Entrada. I trust that all things go well during these difficult times.

    • JP
      JP says:

      Hola Scott! We were told by a native Cuencano that some of the translation isn’t completely accurate, but he didn’t provide any corrections so we left it as is. I think it’s mostly correct.

  3. Yokokor
    Yokokor says:

    Hi, your translation of the song
    “Por eso te quiero Cuenca” is very close to what the composer said about our beautiful city. But the 2nd stanza the meaning of the CHAPAS PITADORES is confusing because what the autor meant to say is “the police guys blowing their whistles in the corner of the Cuenca streets.

    • JP
      JP says:

      Awesome! Thanks for helping with the translation! Does “chapas” means cop or police officer? And pitadores means blowing a whistle?


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