Confiscated food is donated to city orphanages; Cuenca’s giant Christmas tree lights up; Quito subway is finally ready to roll; Camp out in style
Hola, Todos –
La luz de Navidad ya brilla en Cuenca (Christmas light already shines in Cuenca) – The 41 m. high Christmas tree was lit on la noche de domingo in the Parque Miraflores with at least 5,000 in attendance. In addition to the tree with its 22,000 mini-lights and 600 stars, more than 500 figures were installed, turning the area into a parque navideño. Two of the main installations are a mega nativity scene with 5 pieces, and a 7 m. high Christmas ball. The tree and figures will be lit from 18:30 to midnight until 6/1/2023.
The Fundación Iluminar has decorated other parts of the city. There are illuminated decorations along calle Bolívar from the Parque de San Blas to the Parque San Sebastián. The banks of the Tomebamba from the El Vado Bridge to the Centenario bridge and av. Solano from the Centenario to Tres Puentes will also be decorated with lights. On 1/12, decorations in the Seminario San Luis and in the Calle Santa Ana were lit.
A threatened protest by an association of street vendors was called off when the city allowed some vendors to erect sales tents in the park.
De El Mercurio del sábado, 3/12:
Ecoturismo toma fuerza (Ecotourism gains strength) – “Glamping Look” is a new concept from Leonardo Tenempaguay that combines the experience of camping in the open air with the comodidades (comforts, amenities — your word for the day) of the best hotels. This ecotourism project is in El Cebollar on the vía a Pumayunga just 12 minutes from the middle of Cuenca. The main attraction is a 40 sq. meter geodesic dome built from recycled materials and which emulates a womb in which the camper can feel safe and protected. Windows in the roof and sides of the dome let in sun and allow views of the surrounding trees and different birds during the day and the moon and stars at night. The dome is furnished with beds, hammocks, arm chairs and fridges. Other amenities include a jacuzzi, a traditional wood burning oven where you can bake bread or roast a suckling pig <If it were me, I’d start out with a frozen pizza. I have no idea how to bake something in an oven where you can’t set the temperature.>
There is also an outdoor kitchen where you can prepare food harvested from the poultry farm (eggs) or the garden and you can also gather around a campfire. In the 3,000 sq. m. property are other recreational activities such as a football field, animal farm, garden, lake, children’s games and a “pet friendly” zone. For more information, visit Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for “Glamping Look.”
Alimentos decomisados son dejados en orfanatos (Confiscated food is left at orphanages) – Perishable foods seized by the Guardia Ciudadana during control operations in public spaces are then delivered to social benefit institutions such as the Hogar de Madre y El Niño of the Instituto de Misioneras de María Corredentora, Fundación María Amor, the Hogar Infantil Tadeo Torres, and more. Sister Priscila, with the congregation of the Madres Corredentoras said that the once or twice a week donations feed women and children at risk, marginalized women, and women suffering from violence in the family circle. A report from the Guardia Ciudadana said about 70 people at another shelter receive deliveries 3 times a week.
Mateo Correa, a Guardia said that control operations are conducted every day so that the sidewalks and streets are available for pedestrians and vehicles to circulate. He added that before goods are seized, the vendor gets 2 notices that they are committing an infraction. If by the 3d time, they don’t produce permits, the Guardia proceed with confiscating their products, both perishable and non-perishable. The non-perishable items go to the offices of the Comandancia General of the Guardia Ciudadana until the owners come to claim them. The goods are released upon receipt of a letter of commitment acknowledging the prohibition of commercial activities in public places. Not all citizens are in agreement with taking the items of vendors who are working to support their families. <It’s ironic that the neediest citizens are being subsidized by those who are only slightly less needy.>
Otros controles (Other controls) – The Guardia Ciudadana has the responsibility to control good use of public spaces including removing people who use them for drinking. The alcoholic beverages are confiscated and taken to a storehouse where they are destroyed. <Whew, I’m glad they aren’t delivered to the orphanages and shelters. Better (maybe) if the kids with ADD get prescribed medication rather than spiked jugo.> So far this year, the Guardia Ciudadana has interacted with 41,209 drinkers in public spaces and destroyed 670 liters of alcohol that were confiscated.
Metro verá la luz 12 años despúes (Metro will see the light after 12 years) – Quito mayor Santiago Guarderas made the announcement people have been waiting 12 years for <Oops – I ended a sentence with a preposition — so sue me>. The Quito Metro system will be inaugurated el 21/12. The idea to build the largest urban transportation project started in 2010 during Augusto Barrera’s term with the economic support of then Pres. Correa who offered to pay half of the cost which was later reduced to $750 million of the total cost of $2.1 billion.
During Mauricio Rodas’ term, the project advanced more quickly, but 2016 saw the Odebrecht corruption scandal. It was never determined if the ex-mayor was responsible for $5 million Odebrecht paid in bribes for the contract. Although the infrastructure was finished and Rodas took the first ride on the Metro in 2019, no one had figured out how and who was going to operate the system. The system will be operated by the operator of the Medellín system and the French multinational corporation Transdev. <Makes the construction of the Tranvía seem fast. At least it’s in service and carrying passengers.>
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.