Carnaval kick-off moves to San Francisco Plaza; Sucre arrived in Cuenca 200 years ago; Construction costs rise sharply; Neighborhoods warn of street crime
Hola, Todos –
Ofertas turísticas (Touristic offers) – The traditional Jueves de Compadres y Comadres will be held in San Francisco Plaza Thursday, starting at 18:00. The event was originally announced for Alejandro Serrano Aguilar stadium but was changed because of concerns about damage to the football playing field and because it has traditionally been in the historic district. The celebration will have various musical and dance performances. The Ministerio de Turismo (MINTUR) has many other carnaval activities in Azuay, Cañar, and Morona Santiago provinces listed on its web page: www.turismo.gob.ec. <Better have your translating program ready.>
Áreas protegidas (Protected areas) – In view of an increase in Covid cases and to protect tourists and staff, The Ministerio del Ambiente, Agua, y Transición Ecológica (MAATE) and the Ministerio de Turismo (MINTUR) are informing citizens that protected areas in continental Ecuador <as opposed to the Galápagos> have implemented biosecurity measures which can be reviewed on the MAATE web page at www.ambiente.gobl.ec. <Ditto for the translating program if you´re planning on a hike in the Cajas for carnaval. Leave the Carioca at home.>
El ciclismo apasiona (Cycling passion) – Robinson López was the general winner of the first edition of the L’Etape Ecuador by Tour de Francia. The Colombian cycled the 150 km route in 3 hours and 45 minutes. <I probably couldn’t drive the route in that time.> He was invited to Ecuador by friends in the Cycling Team Pishki, and said that Cuenca is “a very pretty, clean, orderly city and it makes me want to come and live here.”
Inspección a hosterías en cantón Santa Isabel (Inspection of inns in Santa Isabel canton) – Technicians with ARCSA are inspecting hosterías and balnearios (spas – your word for the day) in Santa Isabel prior to carnaval since it’s one of the more visited destinations for Azuayans during this holiday. One of the recommendations is the constant changing of mattress covers and other basic hygiene measures. <I hope that’s something that’s done when there isn’t Covid to worry about. Can you get an STD from someone else’s wet spot on a mattress?>
Alza en materiales de construcción (Increase in building materials) – There is worry in the construction sector over the increase in prices of basic materials such as iron, aluminum, steel, and from the start of 2022, in concrete. In spite of cost increases, builders can’t exceed the value of the real estate in their sales to the public. The increase is a consequence of the cost of transportation in which ships have quintupled the cost of freight shipments. There aren’t enough containers to meet global demand, and ports are a bottleneck due to lack of workers. Most of the materials come from China. Copper has gone up 50%, iron by 20%, and aluminum by 16%. A consequence is that the higher cost of materials added to already expensive land, and higher labor costs make it impossible to build housing to sell at moderate costs. Builders can’t lower the quality of construction so their alternative is to decrease the area of housing units. <Oh, they can lower the cost of construction if they’re unscrupulous enough — on the coast they can use beach sand in the concrete mix. In the Sierras they could cheat on the amount of cement in the concrete mix. But there’s so little rebar to begin with it’s hard to imagine putting in less of that.>
Bicentenario del arribo de Sucre a Cuenca (Bicentennial of Sucre’s arrival in Cuenca) – Today, 21/2/1822, is the 200th anniversary of General Antonio José Francisco Sucre’s arrival in Cuenca. <He was only 27. A whole lot of current 27-year-olds are still just playing war games on their phones. Sucre was commanding real armies.> Sucre named Tomás de Heres as the first republican governor on 24/2 and elevated 6 pueblos to cantonal status including Azogues, Cañar, Gualaceo, Girón, Nabón, and Paute. Unfortunately Azogues, Paute and Nabón were only able to hold on to that status until 8/10/1822. While he was in Cuenca, Sucre granted amnesty to deserters from the Spanish army, set a monetary award for people who provided arms, horses, grain, and other things of value. <He did a bunch of other things, but you’ll have to read the rest of the article for yourselves.>
Delincuencia acecha en pasos peatonales (Crime lurks in crosswalks) – Robbers are committing crimes in the Carmen de Guzho, Punta Corral, stairs to Turi, U. de Azuay (UDA), Gapal roundabout, and Nulti sectors. People are being robbed on the pedestrian overpasses, and neighbors are asking for better security. <Now all those students running across av. De Las Américas in heavy traffic instead of taking the overpass makes sense.> In addition to robberies, the overpasses are used by drinkers and druggies. Several neighbors in the Tres Marías barrio on the road to the Vía Corral say that the overpass is full of crooks all day. <And that’s the overpass built so that elementary school kids wouldn’t have to cross the autopista. Forgive me for this next “They should” statement, but a cop or two or three on the overpass at least before and after school might be nice.>
Nuestra Siembra promueve el aprendizaje de la lengua kichwa (Nuestra Siembra promotes the learning of the Kichwa language) – In honor of the Día Internacional de la Lengua Materna, Nuestra Siembra which is part of Cervecería Nacional, started a campaign for the preservation of kichwa. It is promoting multi-lingualism and rescuing cultural diversity through its social networks and ads. Leslie León, in the marketing department, said that this week there are learning capsules to explore different themes in kichwa to learn things like greetings, basic phrases, and phrases for Valentine’s day. <Since the parent company seem to be the Cervecería Nacional, start with “Another beer please.” Repeat this 4 or 5 times, and then learn “Where is the bathroom.”> According to Professor José Luis Maigua, participation on the social networks of Nuestra Siembra is free. The kichwa language is disappearing with barely 7% of the population of 18 million Ecuadorians considered indigenous.
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –
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.