I Meet Cantna by Embassy of Ecuador
I Meet Cantuna
Group of Latin American & Caribbean Embassies and High Commissions in India is the regional representation of the 20 Diplomatic Missions based in New Delhi. This regional group has held several joint activities this year such as: the Textile Exhibition at the Delhi Craft
Museum, the Business Conclave and Cultural Festival in Calcutta and the Fourth Edition Photo Contest of the My Latin American & and Caribbean Trip 2019 among others, which have had a very warm and enthusiastic reception by the Indian public.
All this commits us to continue working to hold other activities that bring India closer to Latin America and the Caribbean in the near future.
Embassy of Ecuador
Embassy of Ecuador is a diplomatic mission dedicated to promote bilateral relations between Ecuador and India.
The cultural Department is dedicated to encourage cultural ties between Ecuadorian and Indian artists, facilitate cultural exchange between both countries and initiate a wide range of cultural performances, art exhibition, seminars, workshops and community service. We jointly work to promote the arts by organizing multi-cultural events in collaboration with other local and international festivals and cultural institutions all over India.
In April 2019, we took a small step with a motive of spreading Ecuadorian cultural through a painting competition, in which several prestigious schools of Delhi participated. “I meet Cantuña” an event organized by the aforementioned Diplomatic Mission to make known an urban legend that is part of the Ecuadorian culture, specifically Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The contest was based on the famous legend about the construction of the Church of San Francisco, in the city of Quito.
Artworks on Display
The Atrium of San Francisco Cathedral
In downtown Quito, about two blocks away from the center of the old colonial city, is Plaza San Francisco, an airy plaza popular with pigeons, strollers, and those who want a nice outdoor cup of coffee. The western side of the plaza is dominated by the San Francisco Cathedral, a massive stone building and one of the first churches built in Quito. It’s still open and is a popular place for locals to hear mass. There are different areas of the church, including an old convent and an atrium, which is an open area just inside the cathedral. It is the atrium that is central to the story of Cantuña.
According to legend, Cantuña was a native builder and architect of great talent. He was hired by the Franciscans sometime during the early colonial era (construction took more than 100 years but the church was completed by 1680) to design and build the atrium. Although he worked diligently, it was slow going and it soon became apparent that he would not finish the project on time. He wished to avoid this, as he would not be paid at all if it were not ready on a certain date (in some versions of the legend, Cantuña would go to jail if the atrium was not completed on time). ….
A Missing Stone
Cantuña was pleased with the work but naturally began to regret the deal he had made. While the Devil was not paying attention, Cantuña leaned over and pried loose a stone out of one of the walls and hid it. As dawn broke on the day the atrium was to be given to the Franciscans, the Devil eagerly demanded payment. Cantuña pointed out the missing stone and claimed that since the Devil had not fulfilled his end of the deal, the contract was void. Foiled, the angry Devil disappeared in a puff of smoke.
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