Noe O. Vaca
“Cumanda: The Story of the
Noe O. Vaca, known as “Ozzie” by his friends, became an elementary
school teacher at the age of 19. He also coached the school’s soccer
and basketball teams, led a Boy Scout troop and founded an acrobat
squad. He moved to New York in 1969 and South Carolina in 1979 where he
met his wife Edith and became an American citizen. He is spending his
later years translating and interpreting English and Spanish.
The House of Ecuadorian Culture awarded the rights to translate a
classic story by Juan Leon Mera, who was known as the father
of Ecuadorian literature. For the past 130 years, Latin Americans have
enjoyed this great work. Now English-speaking readers will be able to
enjoy the newly translated version of Cumanda: The Novel of the
Noe O. Vaca loved this story so much as a child that he wanted to share
it with the world. “Throughout my life I wondered why one of the most
important novels of 19th Century Latin American literature was never
offered to English readers,” he said, “Then I thought to myself, let me
bring to life this tale of star-crossed lovers staged in the lush
Ecuadorian jungle. The story is a national treasure of my
At the time, Christian missionaries wanted to convert everyone to their
religion. The landscape, villages, lakes and background of Ecuador are
brilliantly described, as the book details the bloody revolts that are
taking place with the invading Christians.
In this gripping story, the family and goods of rancher Juan Domingo
Orosco were destroyed, as revenge for the maltreatment and abuse of the
savages. After the revolt, Orosco converted and became a missionary
priest who worked with the tribes. He devoted his life to God and
became a Dominican friar, working among the native people of the jungle.
Juan was always accompanied by his son, Carlos, who became very fond of
a young Indian beauty named Cumanda. She saved the young white man’s
life many times. Soon Carlos and Cumanda become close, but their union
is opposed by many, including Cumanda’s father. The couple
bravely defends their unique love for one another until Cumanda, forced
to marry a Jivaro chief in order to spare the life of Carlos, is
sacrificed according to the customs of the tribe. The story takes an
unusual shocking turn that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
“Cumanda” highlights obligations and complex situations that people who
are fighting to stay in love against the norm often face. “Within the
dramatic-tragedy, you’ll find a thoughtful examination of race
relations and the assimilation of the indigenous people of Ecuador to a
Christian-based society,” says Vaca.
“Cumanda,” as pictured above, has won awards in Ecuador as well as a
Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from NABE. The book retails for $17.49
and can be purchased on the web at http://www.authorhouse.com
You can also find more info on it at www.ozziescumanda.com.
Dealer inquiries are invited. For a review copy, send an e-mail to mailto:Ambato37@aol.com