New Years Eve in Cuenca Ecuador

This was our second New Year’s Eve in Cuenca Ecuador, but I was sick last year so we didn’t leave the house. This year, we logged over 15 miles in our day in the life walking around Cuenca looking at the monigotes.

If you’d like more background on the monigotes, or effigies, check out our last video: Preparing for New Years in Cuenca with Monigotes and Black Eyed Peas.

Each neighborhood has a monigote contest and the winning monigote gets set on fire at midnight. We weren’t sure where to go for the best viewing, so we decided to wander around El Centro in the afternoon to find the best spot. After seeing a couple of displays, we headed back home to eat dinner and do some research online about where to go.

New Year's Eve in Cuenca Ecuador Monigotes

Lucky for us, Amelia found that our neighborhood of El Vergel has a great New Year’s Eve party and monigote display, so we left the house around 8:30 PM to go check it out. The party was already in full swing with live music and lots of monigotes.

Since it was still early, we decided to walk back down to El Centro to look for more of the displays we found online. We also saw lots of men in drag dancing in the streets and collecting money. The funniest ones were the men dressed like indigenous women dancing in the streets. We’re not sure what the money went to, but they were very entertaining.

New Year's Eve in Cuenca Ecuador Men In Drag

After walking up and down the streets in El Centro for a couple hours, we walked back home for a snack and then back down to the park in El Vergel to countdown the new year and see the monigotes set ablaze.

It’s hard to describe the atmosphere on New Year’s Eve in Cuenca Ecuador, and the video doesn’t do it justice. At midnight, everyone sets theirNew Year's Eve in Cuenca Ecuador Fires monigotes on fire with fireworks exploding all around and people throwing firecrackers and other fireworks up in the air and into the crowds. Small children were lighting fireworks and throwing monigotes on piles of other burning monigotes.

In the US, none of this would be legal or allowed, but it’s “tradition” in Ecuador and other Latin American countries. The Cuencanos will be ready for armageddon because they live through it every year on New Year’s Eve!

Watch Our Video About New Years Eve in Cuenca, Ecuador

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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!

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