Avianca begins flights as Aeroregional ends them; Public drinking on the rise; U. of Cuenca resumes some classes; Farmers complain of climate change
Hola, Todos –
Suspenden vuelos (Flights suspended) – Almost 3 months after resuming Cuenca-Quito flights, Aeroregional airlines has suspended its flights again, possibly because of a lack of passengers according to tour operators. The airlines has not officially issued the reason for its decision. The airline started operations in Cuenca in 8/2019, then suspended them in 2/2020 for lack of passengers, then restarted in 7/2021.
At the beginning of the month, the US State Department revoked the visas for the airline’s pilots and warned that other flight crew could be considered as inadmissible to the US. The airlines is being questioned by the Fiscalía General (AG’s office) as part of an investigation into alleged trafficking of migrants. This is because thousands of Ecuadorians have taken Aeroregional flights from Latacunga to México to cross to the US in an irregular manner. <How is an airline expected to police passengers who might be future irregular migrants?>
Marcelo Carvallo, executive director of CORPAC (Corporación Aeroportuaria de Cuenca), confirmed that Avianca will fly to Cuenca starting el 4/10 with 6 flights per week. There will be morning and evening flights on lunes y miércoles, and night flights on viernes y domingo.
Ceramistas intercambian experiencias para innovar (Ceramists exchange experiences to innovate) – The Asociación de Ceramistas del Ecuador decided to organize a national seminar in Cuenca to train ceramists in workshops about new processes. The seminar is going on this week until 3/10 at the Casa de Chaguarchimbana. Luis Chumbi, who has been working in the craft for 40 years, said that the goal is to transmit their knowledge, experiences, production processes, the machines needed, and how to use them.
Iván Encalada, president of the Asociación de Ceramistas, said that the seminar is part of the reactivation of this work which was affected by the health emergency. Since ceramics are decorative and not basic necessities, sales fell, and many workshops closed. He is expecting that with the fiestas in noviembre, the market will reactivate. The ceramists are preparing for a feria in the Casa de Chaguarchimbana during the celebration of Cuenca’s 201 years of independence. <OK, gringos, now we do our part and spend all that money we saved during the lockdown on ceramics. What ceramists need is a moderate earthquake.>
Clases híbridas en la U. de Cuenca (Hybrid classes at the U. of Cuenca) – After weeks of planning, the U. of Cuenca has become the 2nd institution in the Austro (south) to reopen its classrooms with 10,000 students in the 9/2021 to 2/2022 cycle. The hybrid model will have part of the student body attending classes and part in virtual classes. Then these groups will rotate. To reopen the aulas (classrooms – your word for the day), authorities changed the spaces to provide more ventilation, established capacity limits, and the amount of time that can be spent in the physical location.
Problemática por presencia de libadores en calles y parques (Presence of drinkers in streets and parks is problematic) – According to entities of control (public safety institutions?), there has been an increase in poor use of public spaces for drinking. Citizens have been relaxing the observance of distancing and public spaces are being frequented by drinkers which brings problems such as violence and accidents involving drunk drivers. Between enero y septiembre, 2021, the Guardia Ciudadana seized 344 liters of alcohol from parks, streets, mercados and more. One of the most conflicted areas in Cuenca is around the Feria Libre where camouflaged liquor is sold in small throw-away bottles and by the gallon. <That’s probably the stuff that gets into the news when partygoers wind up poisoned.> The area is frequented by alcoholics who sleep on the streets, and sometimes die there.
El campo ya siente cambio climático (The countryside already feels climate change) – Nancy Hiuracocha, legal representative of the Asociación de Productores Agroecológicos del Azuay which has 170 members, said that climate change has been felt more since 2015. Both rains and droughts have been longer in the last years, causing loss of production. She believes that use of natural fertilizers brings better resistance to crops. From her grandparents, she learned to mix chili peppers with ruda and Santa Maria plants to control cencilla (an ashy looking fungus). <Now I know who buys chili peppers – farmers, since it sure doesn’t seem to show up in the food except for the ahí sauce.> Angélica Samaniego, of the Asociación de Productoras de Ludo parish also said that organics strengthen crops so they have more resistance to droughts, rain or frost.
Beekeepers are also feeling the stresses of climate change. In Santa Isabel canton, they are used to changing the locations of their colmenas (hives) at certain times of the year. She said the rainy season is the worst enemy and they have had bad losses this year.
Ayer, these producers, mostly women, participated in a dialogue and exchange of ancestral knowledge about use of water, fertilization, forestation and other actions to slow climate change. The project is in the provinces of Azuay, Bolívar, Chimborazo, y Cotopaxi. Viviana Erazo, coordinator of the Proyecto Andes Resilientes, and the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería (MAG) organized the event and are looking for young farmers or those who do not know this ancestral knowledge to put the knowledge into practice.
Registro permitirá alertar sobre casos de violencia (Registration will allow alerts about cases of violence) – The Government has activated the Sistema Nacional Integral para Prevenir y Erradicar la Violencia contra las Mujeres (Comprehensive National System to Prevent and Eradicate Violence against Women). This includes the implementation of the Registro Único de Violencia (RUV – Single Registry of Violence) which had been delayed for 3 years. The RUV will allow indentification of early alerts and possible risks to women found in circles of violence. Pres. Lasso said that it will be the best registry in South America and that it is a social debt the previous governments were not interested in paying. The Registry has the support of the EU and Spotlight, a UN initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –