Decorations for the Festival or, Mary Poppins comes To San Clemente

San Clemente 9.5.2014 031 San Clemente 9.5.2014 032It was a wonderful surprise to see the decorations downtown in San Clemente this morning. Over the past several weeks a great deal of cleaning, painting of curbs and decorations for the Virgin statue have caught my eye. But this mornings addition just made me stop and smile.

Last night was a cultural evening with entertainment. Today there is a surf championship down at the point with cash prizes and over the weekend there will be fireworks, live music and food and drink available from many vendors around the downtown area.


When a great many people come to town for the holidays or vacation, the noise level is a bit of a problem. Our home is right on the street and our windows stay open all the time.  Mind you it is not a busy street normally but during this time of year many folks are in vacationing and the number of cars, trucks, and people walking by increases a great deal.  Joe found these little beauties at Fybeca Pharmacy in the SuperMaxi shopping center in Portoviejo.

San Clemente 1.2.2014 001If you are a light sleeper or have street dogs that just hate new cars on their street you may want to find these silicone ear plugs.  These are the children’s size because they did not have adult size. But they do the job and we get a good nights sleep using them. They did not block out all the fireworks but muffled it enough so that we were not awakened each time they were set off.

A good nights sleep is important to us old fogeys…

New Year’s Eve, San Clemente Style

It was a beautiful evening to take a walk downtown and see how San Clemente celebrates for New Year’s Eve.

It was a great time, we arrived downtown even before the sun set, Joe laughs at me all the time, we are not night people, we are not party people so when it gets to be 8:30pm Joe calls it Nancy Midnight.  But last night it was different, we sat at one of the outside areas, Fredy came over, El Gato visited for a few minutes and a few more of the local folks that we have come to know here. Then some of the expats arrived and the crowd started to get into the celebrating mood.

San Clemente 12.31.2012 003 San Clemente 12.31.2012 004 San Clemente 12.31.2012 008 San Clemente 12.31.2012 010 San Clemente 12.31.2012 011 San Clemente 12.31.2012 012 San Clemente 12.31.2012 014 San Clemente 12.31.2012 015 San Clemente 12.31.2012 017 San Clemente 12.31.2012 018 San Clemente 12.31.2012 021 San Clemente 12.31.2012 023 San Clemente 12.31.2012 024 San Clemente 12.31.2012 025 All of the effigies have a personal meaning for those that built them, they are filled with the bad things that happened in 2012 and were burned in a huge bonfire at midnight.

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Mary and I were trying to learn the basic moves for the San Clemente Shuffle or Samba or Salsa from Fredy, who knows at this point we were just having a great time. I did get to dance with a few of my neighbors, Jorge (Tu tu ta) who lives behind us and Nellie whose home is across the street from ours.

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Patricia served us all tasty homemade eggnog. Below is a link to a short video of the crowd. It was great fun and we were back home way before the fireworks.

Evacuate the beach, Por Favor!

Mid-morning today the police patrols starting announcing the evacuation of the beaches in Salinas. Calling for all crafts, sunbathers, swimmers and vendors to leave the beach due to high tide alerts.  Most folks are now milling around the malecon.

Below is a link to La Nueva for an article that outlines the evacuation.

Tomorrow is the official holiday to celebrate the Independence of Quito and many folks are on their way to Salinas and other beach towns for this long weekend. According to what we have read, the beaches, fishing, boating, sailing and swimming will be prohibited for the next three days. Currently there are police as well as other gentlemen standing guard on the malecon and at the waters edge.

I have never seen the beach this quiet except for census and election days. Strange to be able to see the beach so bare!

High noon Thursday, August 11, 2011


High noon Thrusday, August 11, 2011


High noon Thrusday, August 11, 2011


What do you think these folks are being told?


A few of the folks patroling the waters edge.

Ecuador Independence Day – celebrating on August 12th

August 10 is the official date of the Declaration of Independence of Quito which is a national holiday here in Ecuador. It will be celebrated on August 12th this year. This is a mandatory holiday both public and private.

Independence Plaza Quito

Ecuador became an independent territory after it ceased to be a part of Greater Colombia in 1830. Independence Day in Ecuador is celebrated on 10th August.

The Spanish settled in the region in 1532 and their kingdom flourished. The people of Ecuador revolted against the Spanish rule for the first time in 1809. A decade later in 1819 Ecuador along with Panama and Colombia became a part of the confederation of Greater Colombia.

Ecuador gained its independence in 1830 after the collapse of Greater Colombia. It was now known as the Republic of Ecuador. Since then 10th August has been celebrated as Independence Day in Ecuador. Numerous programs are organized to observe this day in different parts of the country, especially in the capital city of Quito. It also marks the anniversary of the Battle of Pichincha that was fought in Quito. It turned the tables for the invading Spanish army as the local armies succeeded in defeat them. This begun the era of political autonomy in Ecuador.

Independence celebrations in Ecuador includes special events organized throughout the day to celebrate the occasion. The extravaganza includes cultural exhibitions, parades by military forces and cannon fire. In Quito the events are mostly organized in Plaza de la Independencia and the Palacio de Gobierno.

Ecuador Independence Day is also celebrated by the people of the country residing in United States of America. Various events are organized by the immigrant community to celebrate this event with music, sports and cultural shows.

This has been reprinted from: Maps of the World at

Guayaquil Founders Day – July 25

This weekend has been very busy with many folks visiting the beach and spending all night outside our apartment. It started pretty early on Friday and late yesterday afternoon when it looked like most of the crowd was staying Joe saw an article that today is Founders Day in Guayaquil. In looking on-line I found that July 24 is a holiday as well with Simón Bolívar’s Birthday.

I had never seen so much purple in my life, I have no idea who or what these folks were in Salinas for but as they walked down the beach they were singing and seemed to be having a great time.

The tent message translates to Queen of the Birds and the flags are Ecuasal which I think is the salt manufacture here in Salinas. I only saw a young lady there once during the entire weekend not sure what this set up was all about.

We don’t normally see cargo transports  – only tankers out in the queue waiting for their turn at filling up with some form of oil product. This was a huge cargo ship and this morning it is still waiting in line.

Battle of Pichincha – Holiday May 24

Today marks the holiday Battle of Pichincha – May 24. This was the most important battle in the year 1822 in the war for independence from Spain.

You can see all Ecuador holidays in my post dated July 26, 2010 – Ecuador Holiday Calendar or even better go to: for a more detailed description.