Avian flu drives up egg prices; Worries expressed about airport repaving closure; New landslides on Cuenca-Girón hwy; Tourist route opens in Nulti

Mar 16, 2023 | 12 comments

Miércoles, 15/3/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

El Plateado tendrá nueva ruta turística (El Plateado to have new tourist route) – A new tourist route in Nulti parish will start this weekend. The route descends into las grietas (cracks) which you can explore and hike through. There is new signage and security when you make your descent. <The foto shows a steep rock sided canyon in which you wouldn’t want to be trapped during a flash flood.> Este domingo will be the first tour and the celebration of Pawkar Raymi. There will be free buses leaving from parque San Blas a las 9:00 y a las 10:00.

Cuenca tourism organizations are concerned about the closure of the airport for a runway repaving project.

The Pawkar Raymi celebration will be a las 10:30 along with crafts, gastronomic, and ecological agricultural products feria. The activities will be on the cerro Jalshi (Jalshi hill). The president of the parish junta, Sebastián Aguirre, added that there are cabañas on the hilll to relax in and enjoy spending time with your family. He added that in a few months there will be a giant columpio (swing). <More thrills – besides the fear of falling off the swing is the added fear of how safe that swing actually is.> Nulti is 15 km. from the center of Cuenca and entered at km. 10 of the vía rápida Cuenca-Azogues.

Monólogo sobre eventos de belleza (Monologue about beauty events) – For her 20th anniversary as an actress, Giovanna Andrade is bringing her show, ‘Miss Funnyverse,’ to Cuenca el 18/3 at the Hotel Oro Verde. The monologue is about things that happened at beauty events – nerves, mistakes, tacos altos <high heels which should be good for at least an hour’s worth of comedy>, and more. Cost: $45 including a supper. Tickets available at the hotel.

Titular –

Embajador expulsado tras la fuga de Duarte (Ambassador expelled after Duarte’s escape) – See today’s (miércoles) article in CHL for story.

Cuenca –

De El Mercurio del martes, 14/3 (3 articles):
Hay preocupación por cierre del aeropuerto por 210 días (Concern over 210-day airport closure) – Directors of tourism organizations in Cuenca asked for an urgent meeting to talk to the Corporación Aeroporturia de Cuenca (CORPAC) after it issued a call for bids to rehabilitate the runway. In a document sent to outgoing mayor Pedro Palacios, the tourism sector asked to present their concerns since a shutdown of the terminal would affect them. <As well as the traveling public and businesses using air freight. Without an airport, the only way out of the country from Cuenca is through the Cajas and Molleturo to Guayaquil or a longer drive up to Quito.> Mayor-elect Cristian Zamora, was in disagreement with the project since it would leave the city without air transport for 6 months.

Quejas por multas de tránsito (Complaints about traffic fines) – Drivers are upset because fines paid to the Empresa de Movilidad (EMOV EP) and the Comisión de Tránsito del Ecuador (CTE) and registered as paid, do not show up in the records of the Agencia Nacional de Tránsito (ANT). Drivers caught in this situation cannot register their cars or sell them. Pablo Merchán, an attorney specializing in transit, said he has consulted with 9 clients this month on the issue of unrecorded payments. He said that when a fine is paid, the information should be updated simultaneously. EMOV blamed the AXIS 4.0 computer system used by ANT. This is the platform that was hacked in 10/2021 leaving it unable to process driving licenses and vehicle registrations.

EMOV has asked the Consorcio Móvil Technology Ecuador for an answer to a complaint by a driver of a pick up truck. The driver was fined as if he were driving a heavy vehicle for which speed limits are lower than for light vehicles. The radar was on rhe Circunvalación Sur.

El sistema del Tranvía limitado por pendientes (The Tranvía system limited by pending issues) – A lack of cards and parts are increasing difficulties in the Tranvía system. Acquisition of both are underway, while a getting an insurance policy has caused controversy. Jorge Moscoso, director of the Executive Unit of the Tranvía said that in spite of these inconveniences, the trains haven’t stopped running. What worries him is that 150,000 cards have been sold, but there is only a daily ridership of 20,000, meaning that 130,000 cards aren’t being used. He expects another 60,000 cards to arrive, but with no specific date. <Would you accept mañana?> He also ruled out changing to a virtual fare system and eliminating the use of cards since most riders don’t use the new new digital banking platforms. <How many tourists do you think would set up their bank accounts to be able to ride the Tranvía?> There are 3 ways to pay your fare – card, ticket, or virtually. All the banks have been invited to to provide the last service, but only 3 will do it without additional fees.

For now, Moscoso said there aren’t parts for the trains, however there are two contract processes under way to get these supplies. The first is with Alstrom which built the system and is the only entity that can supply the unique and exclusive parts. The city couldn’t get the parts since commercial relations between Alstrom and the city were affected by a lawsuit between the two. The products from Alstrom will be delivered over 3 or 4 years. The first delivery should be within the next 4 months depending on need. The 2nd contract is with Fayveley from Chile to work on the braking system. The brakes’ hydraulic system needs decontamination and an oil change every 120,000 km. Some of the trains have already reached this “mileage.”

Bidding for the insurance policy started in febrero of this year. The previous contract was in force until junio/2022 and extended by the city until it could start a new bidding process. The policy covers the value of assets of the Tranvía including the trains, workshop, signals, ticketing system, electric substations, and others. The contract has been approved by the Consejo Cantonal and should be signed. Two councilmembers including the incoming mayor questioned why the contract was being done at the last minute, leaving the issues for the next administration.

Empresarial –

De El Mercurio del martes, 14/3 (1 article):
La cubeta de huevos hasta en USD $4.50 (Flat of eggs up to USD $4.50) – Egg prices have risen since the population of laying hens has been reduced by 1.2 million due to avian flu. The price has risen between 15 & 20% since last noviembre when the first case was found. Distributors in the Centro Histórico reported that the price of a flat of 30 eggs has gone up $.75 to $4.50 in the last 2 weeks. In 2022, 3,812 billion eggs were produced in the country – 10.4 million a day. On average, an Ecuadorian eats 212 eggs each year. Other factors contributing to the price increase are the increases in the prices of corn, from $17 to $22 a quintal; the price of feed and other supplies.

Region –

Deslaves impactan en vías azuayas (Landslides impact roads in Azuay) – <Another rainy/landslide season story. Don’t worry, these will end. Then you’ll get the dry season fire stories.> There have been constant slides on the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje due to the rains. The last rock and earth slide was in the Zapata, El Cáñaro, and Santa Ana sector and two lanes were blocked. MTOP, with help from machinery from the City of Girón, cleared these segments of road by mid-day. Machinery will stay in the area against future slides. The Uzhcurrumi-Quera bypass was closed to traffic yesterday since the provisional bypass would not support a new rise in the creek. <Seems like the Lord was not willing and the creek did rise.> Heavy rain yesterday afternoon caused the río Chantaco to overflow in Santa Isabel. The water covered part of the road, interrupted traffic, and put the machinery there at risk.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
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Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.

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