Corpus Christi blasts off in Parque Calderon; Truckers make their own road repairs; Highwaymen rob vans; Illegal mining plagues three cantons
Hola, Todos –
De El Mercurio del jueves – 8/6 (3 articles):
Calles peatonales por la fiesta del Corpus Cristi (Pedestrian streets for the Corpus Christi festival) – During the Corpus festivities until el 15/6, streets bounding Parque Calderón will be converted into pedestrian only from 18:00 to 23:00. The closed streets will be Bolívar between Luis Cordero y Benigno Malo, Luis Cordero between Bolívar y Sucre, Sucre between Padre Aguirre y Luis Cordero, and Benigno Malo between Bolívar y Sucre.
Actividades culturales gratuitas en junio (Free cultural activities in June) – Free activities in June including dance, concerts and training were announced by the Department of Culture of the U. of Cuenca. The 2nd Festival de Artes Escénicas La Estrafalaria (quirky, bizarre, outlandish, freaky – our word for the day <now would it be a compliment or insult to call someone estrafalaria?>) will be on the 13 & 14/6 with dance and theater performances. Arte Raíz will be on el 14/6 a las 14:00 in the Casa de Arcos with music, dance, video and photography. There will be workshop on patrimonial photography from el 14-30/6 in La Casa de Arcos. To register for this free workshop go to the Facebook page of the Dirección de Cultura de la Universidad de Cuenca.
Aplicación para explorar la estructura del cuerpo (Application to explore the structure of the body) – The XRLAB of the U. Católica de Cuenca has created BodyUC, a free app that shows the parts of the human body through augmented reality and which works with your cellphone camera. All you have to do is point the camera at a space to project the parts of the human body. <What would be scary is if it would project the human soul.> Currently you can download BodyUC from the Android Play Store (the iOS version is coming in a few weeks).
Corpus: devoción, dulces y castillos (Corpus Christi: devotion, sweets and castles) – The 7 day festival of Corpus Cristi which started yesterday has a history going back at least 3 centuries. 115 tents for sweets venders have been set up around Parque Calderón. There will be masses said until el 15/6 at 7:00, 9:00, 12:00 y 19:99. After the last mass, the priostes will burn the castillos. The priostes for Sunday are the Queens of Cuenca Foundation <Not the kind of queens that are upsetting conservative Republicans in the US and here.>, and the Artesanos de la Pirotecnia (fireworks crafters). <So you would think that Sunday’s castillos should have the finest and most spectacular displays of fireworks.>
Asaltan a familias que llegaban desde EEUU (Families arriving from the U.S. robbed) – An armed criminal gang intercepted a van with families who had just landed in Guayaquil with Cuenca as their final destination. The Cuencan families live in the US and were visiting Ecuador. The assault happened in the early morning of jueves just past the Puerta Inca toll booth. The gang shot into the air to scare the travellers who were subdued and held for over an hour while the gang transferred their 12 suitcases and other belongings including about $5,000 in cash into another car. After they were freed, they continued on to Cuenca. <Maybe flying from Guayaquil, as iffy as it may be, is a better alternative than driving. Especially if you’ve got a lot of visible luggage for the spotters in Guayaquil to report to the gangs.>
A tres municipios les toca encarar a la minería ilegal (Three municipalities face illegal mining) – The Azuayan cantons of Camilo Ponce Enríque, Santa Isabel, and Sígsig are feeling the estragos (ravages – another word for the day) of mining, and are planning actions to care for the environment. In Ponce Enríque which borders the province of El Oro, the main source of employment is metal mining, especially gold which has contaminated the rivers. Mayor José Sánchez, will confront these problems by formalizing illegal mines that meet requirements. He will implement a 1,000 meter protective strip of land on the río Gala and desilt and clean the río Siete to recover areas affected by mining.
There are problems in Santa Isabel in quarrying for aggregates and rock even though there are legal concessions. What is worrisome is the illegal metal mining in the high parts of the Cañaribamba parish. Mayor Anabel Lalvay is working with MTOP to implement a checkpoint on the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje to regulate mining production. Sígsig is trying to eliminate metal mining in the Infiernillos zone which is the source of the río Santa Bárbara which also flows through Chordeleg y Gualaceo. Mayor David Duchitanga is working on a referendum for the population to decide the future of mining in the canton. Federal agencies have conducted operations in Sígsig that destroyed illegal mining camps.
De El Mercurio del jueves – 8/6 (1 article):
Transportistas mitigan daño vial en Santa Isabel (Transporters mitigate road damage in Santa Isabel) – The transporters in Santa Isabel canton, tired of the bad shape of the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje, took matters into their own hands and started filling the undercut at km. 66 in the El Ramal sector. Videos on social networks showed representatives of heavy carriers announcing that between 80 & 100 dump trucks took a large quantity of material to the site. They filled the sinkhole. They took that action given the lack of attention from MTOP in spite of constant complaints and accidents in the zone. <Welcome to Ecuador – if the government won’t do something, people take their own initiative – a nation of self reliance. Like speed bumps where neighborhoods install their own.> Elías Peñaloza, vice mayor of Santa Isabel repeated that it was an initiative of the transporters in view of MTOP’s non-compliance, and added that the municipality did not have the capacity or economic ability to resolve problems on a road that is not its responsibility.
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –