A Canadian Family Traveling & Living Abroad (in Ecuador)

Casa de la Mujer: Souvenirs in Cuenca Ecuador

Cuenca Ecuador is rich in culture. From the style of clothing to the delicious food, you can see cultural influences almost everywhere you go.

When people come for a visit they usually want to know where they can find some souvenirs to bring a little bit of culture back with them.

ornaments Cuenca

We always like to take family and friends to Casa de la Mujer (house of the woman). It’s an indoor market with a lot of different booths. They sell such a wide variety of souvenirs that there is usually something to fit everyone’s taste.

Note: in guidebooks and some signage, it may be noted as CEMUART or Centro Municipal Artesanal.

casa de la mujer Cuenca

There is an open inner courtyard and the booths are all under the roof so it makes for nice shopping even on rainy days.

Casa de la mujer courtyard

They sell everything from panama hats to leather products, from silver and gold jewelry to ceramics.

leather bags and hats

Handmade leather goods


Handmade panama hats

It’s really nice to chat with the artisans working in their booths. They always welcome us in to watch them work and have a look around.


Casa de la Mujer is great because of the variety of cultural souvenirs under one roof. If you don’t have a lot of time for shopping, you could save time by checking out Casa de la Mujer. It could save you from walking all over the city.




Ecuador’s famous silver jewelry

Where is Casa de la Mujer in Cuenca?

Another nice thing about Casa de la Mujer is where it’s located. You can find it just a couple of blocks from the center of the city. It’s located on General Torres between Presidente Córdova and Mariscal Sucre. just past the flower market and behind the San Francisco market (if you are coming from the direction of Parque Calderon).



Giving Your Taxi Driver Directions

Be careful when giving your taxi driver directions. When my mother in law was visiting I wanted to take here to do a little shopping at Casa de la Mujer but I didn’t say it clearly and we ended up in front of the jail for women- cárcel de las mujeres. We clarified where we wanted to be and ended up in the right place. It was really funny, but if you were unfamiliar with the city you could get a little lost.

We have gotten many things for family and friends at Casa de la Mujer. We’ve also gotten some things for ourselves like scarves, woven wall hangings, decorative jewelry boxes, leather bags and panama hats.>

Have you visited Casa de la Mujer? What souvenirs did you find? Please share your comments with us.

An article by

Dena is a writer, artist, expat and mom. She enjoys being cozied away in one of her favorite cafes, sipping coffee and spending time with her family. She writes about life abroad (Gringos Abroad) and doing business abroad (Blogger Abroad). Connect with Dena on LinkedIn. Work with Dena & Bryan

More about: Cuenca Ecuador, Living in Ecuador

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Donna McNicol June 6, 2013, 2:59 pm

    One of our favorite spots to visit. We bought pottery, hand-painted wind chimes, two small dolls, a mini leather purse (nice to find something for change without Ecuador stamped on it) and a Tangua carved parrot (from the neatest shop with the nicest owner who even wanted his picture taken). We love it!

  • Harry Bronts June 6, 2013, 1:35 am

    always come away from your news with a smile and a happy feeling.
    Maybe one day we (hopefully) meet.

  • Penny Tolchin June 6, 2013, 12:37 am

    My sister and I stumbled into this wonderful source of artisan treasures after struggling through the booths of the San Francisco market. Two shops I especially liked were the one displaying uniquely beautiful silver jewelry by Max Iniquez and the leather shop operated by Javier Ordanez y Guadalupe Vargas. Both shops sold items of higher quality than we later found in areas outside of Cuenca known for these handicrafts (Chordeleg and Cotachoci). In addition, the above artisans were very friendly and helpful, making desired adjustments to some items we wished to purchase. Even at the piercing shop, the gentleman sold woven bracelets we were interested in and, with my sister’s help as a ‘holder’ spent about 45 minutes making slip knots instead of the existing tie knots on the bracelets for easy on/off and adjustment while wearing. The shopping here was one of the joys of our trip to Cuenca.

  • Trish Markowitz June 5, 2013, 11:09 pm

    Getting more and more excited about moving to Cuenca this September! THANKS for this post!
    Patricia and Marco and Zoe

  • maria June 5, 2013, 10:57 am

    another place on my list to see thanks!!!


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About Bryan & Dena Haines

We are a Canadian family of 3 living in Ecuador since 2009. We blog about life and travel in Ecuador. If this is your first visit, start here. Interested to work with us? Read more about Bryan & Dena

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