Anniversary of Ecuador’s financial collapse and switch to the dollar; Political parties lay out their platforms; Plans for Covid case surge; Expat donates computers

Jan 10, 2021 | 5 comments

Sábado, 9/1/2021

Hola, Todos –
Actividades –

De la pagina cultural –

Teatro – The Teatro Infinito-Salamandra will present a dramatic work, “Chinaku, el viaje hacia la liberación,” el próximo 14/1 a las 19:00 in the República Sur and el 16/1 a las 19:00 in el Prohibido Centro Cultural.

Taller – The Centro Cultural Municipal Los Sauces (next to the Facultad de Artes at the U. of Cuenca) will have a free, virtual photography workshop for youth and adults from the 11-15/1. Contact mcmorocho@cuenca.gob.ec to register.

Exposición – An exhibit, Buscando Espacio, opened ayer in the gallery Vitrina de la Casa de la Cultura (Pres. Córdova y Luis Cordero) and will run to 26/2. 11 artists are showing their work in painting and graphic design.

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200 mil dólares se entragarán a proyectos editoriales del país (200 thousand dollars will be delivered to publishing projects in the country) – The Instituto de Fomento a la Creatividad y la Innovación will receive proposals from artists who want to be part of a project to promote development of editorial projects which can include novels, essays, compilations of chronicles <whatever those might be>, graphic novels, fanzines, popup books, audio books and more. Conventional publications can receive $25,000 and alternative publishers $12,500. You can link to the RUAC web page through ruac.culturaypatrimonio.gob.ec/registro or go to the web page for the Instituto de Fomento a la Creatividad at http://www.creatividad.gob.ec/. <If you intend to submit a proposal you shouldn’t need me to translate the names of the institutes.>

Otras cosas –

Pizza shop owner and Italian expat Lucas Pallanca has been collecting donated computers to set up a computer center in the centro histórico for students who do not have internet or a computer at home.

Titular – 21 años de la dolarización (21 years of dollarization) – Today marks the 21st anniversary of dollarization, and the Banco Central del Ecuador published statistics showing financial conditions in 2000 versus today. The population was a little more than 12 million then vs. more than 17 million today.
Per capita GDP – $1,489 vs $6,222.
Annual inflation rate – 78.07% vs -.07%.
Nominal average salary – $71.2 vs $459.60.
Real salary – $59.30 vs 109.10.
Basic basket of goods – $252.93 vs. $715.80.

The 1999 financial crisis caused a severe recession with a 5% fall in the PIB (Producto Interno Bruto – GDP) and a wave of unemployment which in turn caused a wave of migration. The country tripled the amount of money it printed which led to a devaluation of the Sucre. Dollarization also imposed a “camisa de fuerza” (straight jacket – I really like that for your word for the day) on managing public expenditures.

Casos positivos siguen en alza (Positive cases continue to rise) – The Mesa de Salud #2, composed of various public institutions, met yesterday to decide what actions to take given the increase in Covid patients and lack of space in ICU units. As of 7/1, the Ministerio de Salud registered 4,214 cases in Azuay. Between el 4-8/1, there were 86 new cases in Cuenca, mainly because of the Christmas and New Year holidays. From the beginning of diciembre to now, the number of Covid cases in the Covid area of the Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso went from 9 to 28. The hospital has no spaces for patients with Covid complications and patients are receiving oxygen in the triage areas until an ICU bed opens up.

If there is a continued increase in patients, a contingency plan will be put into effect. The first part is to identify and isolate people with Covid. A private company has donated 2,070 tests for that purpose. <Even better is not getting Covid in the first place – so put that mask on your face, and not below your chin or your nose.>

Habilitan centro de Computación para las clases virtuales (Computer center for virtual classes enabled) – Pizza shop owner and Italian expat Lucas Pallanca has been collecting donated computers to set up a computer center in the centro histórico for students who do not have internet or a computer at home. 5 computers have been set up in the Unión Nacional de Educadores (Pres. Córdova y Borrero) and will be ready for students to continue their virtual classes in the next few days. The center also has donated notebooks, pencils and pens. A similar program delivered computers to casas comunales (community centers) in rural neighborhoods of Cuenca.

El Centro de Especialidades empezó a trabajar (The Specialty Center began to work) – The Centro de Especialidades Médicas of the U. of Cuenca opened after finishing construction at the ex IESS hospital on Huayna Cápac y calle la República. There are 15 offices with speech therapy, nutricion, pediatrics, nephrology, cardiology, internal medicine, and more. The non-profit center will charge $15 for visits and $15-$40 for minor surgeries that do not require hospitalization. For treatment by professors and medical students, you can contact info@eus.ec, call 286-0463 or go to the center. <Sounds like an economical option for those of you who evaded the insurance requirement and self insure.>

Alientan a que prediales se cancelen vía online (Online payment of property taxes encouraged) – Between 1/1 and 7:30 yesterday, the Municipio de Cuenca received $500,356 in property taxes through 3,318 online transactions. People used a new Kushki button which makes payments with Visa or Mastercard credit and debit cards (https://enlinea.cuenca.gob.ec/impuestos); an electronic payment platform called PlacetoPay, and through their banks. <Since I’m an electronic dunce, I’ll be standing in line at the tesorería.> You can also pay with an app called Cuenca en Línea. With credit card payments you can opt for 3-24 payments or corriente (one lump sum). The city is hoping that at least 50% of payments will be online. A systems engineer said that there will be people who don’t have confidence in electronic systems. Other reasons are that the systems are not usr friendly, they ask for a lot of information, the design isn’t armónico (harmonic?), and the colors aren’t attractive. <Since when have you not used a website because you didn’t like the colors?> Another taxpayer said that banks don’t give you the detailed receipt that you get when you pay in person at the city.

Voto 2021 –
Jueves, 7/1/2021-

PSP da prioridad a la fiscalización (PSP prioritizes auditing) – Candidates on Lista 3, the Partido Sociedad Patriótica, believe the policies established in the presidency of Lucio Gutiérrez are correct and will incorporate his plan de trabajo with anti-corruption proposals. The candidates include Jorge Vera Bustos who is a 66 year old retired teacher, Karen Sarango who is the youngest at 23, Polibio Martínez who is a university professor, Alicia Peña who is the principal of the Fe y Alegría school, and José Cano who is a promoter and businessman in tourism.

The main axis of their plan de trabajo is the fight against corruption which would include confiscation of assets of those accused of crimes against the public faith since 2000 and a demand to justify the income of people who have had extraordinary income in the last 20 years. They would propose indefinite prison for those who could not demonstrate that their assets were legal until the excess money was returned. Lista 3 would change the Ley de Telecomunicaciones to increase income to the country from cellphone companies. They would regularize artesanal and open pit mining, sanction people who obtain disabled cards fraudulently, have a new Ley de Tierras and fund the amplification of Internet coverage nationally.

Viernes, 8/1/2021 –

Ecuatoriano Unido con tesis “provida” (Ecuadorian United with “pro-life” thesis) – List 4, Ecuatoriano Unido, is a pro-life, ethical and moral alternative that is neither left nor right with Gerson Almeida, an evangelical pastor as its presidential candidate. The candidates are Mónica González who is a marketing and communications professional and teacher with experience in the Provincial and Municipal governments. Other candidates are Marcos Guerra who is a lawyer, Priscila Ávila who is an architect, Marcelo Bajaña who is a lawyer, and Nelly Guallpa who is the young person. <I’m guessing that each slate has to have age diversity and include a young person. And not young as defined by a person of tercera edad for whom 50 is young.> The average age of the candidates is 39.
Their plan de trabajo would promulgate an ethical pragmatism; equal opportunity in access to health, education, safety, employment, quality goods and services; and respect for the environment, public space, and urban fauna. They plan to boost a program for entrepreneurs to access credit, and to promote entrepreneurs with training, marketing, financial administration, strategic management, and a development bank. They would reduce fiscal deficits, strengthen tax collection, and increase the tax base. They would promote sustainable cities, inclusive urbanism and oppose abortion and anything that would affect the family as the nucleus of society.

Medios se unen para “Buena Política” (Media unite for “Good Politics”) – “Buena Política” is a program coproduced by El Mercurio, Academia TV and Buena Política in which presidential candidates will be interviewed by journalist Cristian Sanchez and political commentator Sandy Calle. The interviews will start with the “Tú Decides” (You Decide) segment which will cover the candidates’ proposals. Another segment, “Otra mirada” (Another view) will be more informal and present the human side of the candidates. <They have human sides?> The shows will be from lunes a jueves a las 20:00 starting el 11/1 on the Facebook pages and YouTube accounts of El Mercurio and Academia TV, the open signal of Academia TV (Channel 2) and on radio station Universitaria Ondas Cañaris 95.3 FM and 1.530 AM.

And that’s all for today so Hasta Mañana –

Jeanne

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