Airbnb owners targeted by the IRS; Local tourism sector worries about poor connectivity; Time for fanesca; Coastal hospital directors are murdered

Apr 1, 2023 | 5 comments

Viernes, 31/3/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Titular –

Lasso ‘dará la cara’ en juicio ante Asamblea (Lasso ‘will ‘show his face’ in trial before Assembly) – See today’s article (viernes) in CHL for story.

Cuenca –

Preocupado sector turístico se alista para recibir feriado (Concerned tourism sector prepares for holiday) – As the holidays for Holy Week and the Founding of Cuenca approach, the tourism sector is readying offers and promotions to visitors. However, the outlook is not very encouraging due to 3 factors: roads, security, and air connectivity. Angela Hernández, administrator of the Posada El Ángel said that in 22 years, they have not seen so few national tourists, although international tourists are reserving and occupying rooms. One of the constant complaints are road closures due to landslides. The Cámara de Turismo de Azuay and the Fundación Municipal de Turismo de Cuenca are promoting Cuenca in Guayaquil as a holiday destination.

Especial –

It’s time for fanesca, Ecuador’s famous Easter soup.

La fanesca, una representación del sincretismo culinario (Fanesca, a representation of culinary syncretism) – It’s believed that the origin of this traditional dish dates back to prehispanic times when the indigenous peoples celebrated Mushuc Nina or Día del Fuego Nuevo (Day of the New Fire) at the Equinox. Their dish, Uchucuta, included tender grains with pumpkin or zambo and meat which were what the seasonal offerings of the earth were. When the Spanish came, this dish was combined with Holy Week rituals that commemorated the death, passion, and resurrection of Christ, and dairy and fish were added to the dish. According to the beliefs, the 12 grains represented the 12 apostles and the fish represented Jesus. Other beliefs related each grain or ingredient with different characters in the Catholic faith.

Chochos (lupin beans) need to be soaked to avoid their flavor becoming bitter. They represent Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. For this reason, they need to be washed for 7 days, representing the 7 deadly sins, which purifies them so they can be included in the fanesca. Choclo (corn) reporesents St. Peter and the number of kernels on a cob represent the large number of descendents he had. Maní (peanuts) are in there after being peeled, toasted and blended with milk to provide texture, aroma, color and flavor. In many regions including the sierras, these are replaced with pepa de sambo (squash seeds). Habas (fava beans) represent María Magdalena. According to religious beliefs, arvejas (peas) are considered green pearls and represent St. Anthony for his affective relation with nature.

Col (cabbage) adds flavor and is a good thickener. Bacalao supports the fancesca with its characteristic taste and smell. From XVIII the fish (salted as a preservative) formally appeared as an ingredient and represents Jesus, relative to the loaves and fishes story and with his message that nurtures the Catholic faith. Arroz (rice) was introduced during colonization and is not native to South America, but it combines well with the variety of Andean grains and is a product of culinary syncretism. Fréjol (beans) are used, typically tender red beans; but white, red and black beans are also commonly used representing the 3 Wise Men. Zapallo (yellow squash) provides color, texture and flavor and represents St. Francis of Assisi for its for its abundant food and imposing presence. Zambo (white fleshed squash) is a characteristic ingredient of fanesca and has been used since pre-Colombian times. Melloco (a potato like tuber) is a traditional ingredient in fanesca although there are many versions that do not include this. <So start shopping.>

Just ask any market vendor for the ingredients for fanesca. And then start cooking. Or save yourself some work and make your restaurant reservations, go to one of the mercados, or get yourself invited to a friend’s house.>

Empresarial –

‘Anfitriones’ de hospedaje con mayor control del SRI (Lodging ‘Hosts’ face greater control by the IRS) – Since the beginning of 2023, the Servicio de Rentas Internas (SRI) is regulating and collecting taxes from ‘anfitriones’ (hosts – your word for the day) who offer lodging services on digital platforms such as Airbnb, Booking and others. These hosts are getting messages from the SRI <in Spanish of course so don’t delete them just because they’re gibberish to you.> that after physical and digital review, they have been identified as receiving income from Airbnb for providing lodging services, and you have 10 days to apply for or update your Registro Único de Contribuyentes (RUC) with this economic activity.

A study of Airbnb in Ecuador showed that in 2021, guest costs for lodging reached $262 million or 12.4% of direct tourist activity. The SRI is looking to get hosts to comply with their tax obligations such as declaration of the Impuesto de la Renta (Income Tax) and IVA. <I don’t really think it will come to this, but how many of you hosts believe that trying to stay underground with your Airbnb income is worth a charge of tax evasion or deportation? Isn’t that what they put Al Capone away for?> Hosts should register your RUC with the SRI under the activity “Servicios de alojamiento prestado por anfitriones,” gravar (record?) the 12% IVA and declare according to the category in which you belong. This does not appy to landlords who rent out permanent housing. <But you still have to declare and pay various fees and taxes.>

Nacional –

“Vacunadores” envolvieron a un hombre en explosivos (“Vaccinators” wrapped a man in explosives) – Ayer, a man showed up in the middle of the street outside the mercado de Sauces 9 in Guayaquil, wrapped in explosives. This was done by criminal gangs that rule the area as retaliation against the owner of a jewelry store who refused to pay protection money or “vacuna.” The victim worked as a security guard and was captured last miércoles and then left on the street where he worked. The anti-explosives unit of the Policía Nacional disactivated the device after 3 hours of work. The guard was not injured, but was visibly emotionally affected. <Poor guy – I hope they get him some psychological counseling.>

Indignación por crímenes de dos directivos de hospitales (Outrage over crimes committed against two hospital managers) – In one week, in Guayaquil and Esmeraldas, 2 hospital directors were assassinated “hit” style after previous threats against them and their families. The director of the ‘Teodoro Maldonado’ hospital in Guayaquil was shot by 2 men who stopped her car. Rubén Hernández, the manager of the ‘Delfina Torres’ hospital in Esmeraldas was killed el pasado miércoles. He originally survived the attack but died after being taken to a hospital in Manta. After the shooting and threats including against their families to resign “or else,” various directors of the ‘Teodoro Maldonado’ hospital resigned en masse.

And that’s all for today so hasta? –

Jeanne

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