This traditional food, original from the nineteenth century, consists in baby-shaped bread that is usually accompanied with the habitual drink for this holiday: the colada morada.
The word “Guagua” is a Quechua word that means”child” or “infant”. Indigenous Ecuadorians, from the time of Spanish colonization, prepare dough figures to represent and remember their deceased relatives, especially when they were children.
In the records of the American Center of Crafts and Folk Art (CIDAP for its Spanish acronym), the colada morada and guagua de pan emerged from what was called Ayacaray (feast of souls) as an interpretation of life and death.
This practice could be present in Cuenca since 1930. During that time the texture and meaning has changed. Initially, it was not edible and were made to be placed in tombs, and in their hands (the guagua) hold a halo. They were also dressed in white and were offered as a symbol of friendship and the meaning of its elaboration is related to “eternal life.”