Corpus Christi candies and fireworks return! Alert issued for monkeypox; Taxis drivers want to charge higher fares; Hotel occupancy beats expectations
Hola, Todos –
Corpus: regresan dulces y castillos (Corpus Christi: candies and castles are back) – The fiesta of Corpus Christi is back after 3 years of pandemic-enforced absence. Sales of sweets and religious events around the Catedral de La Inmaculada Concepción will return between 16-23/6. 124 vendors who have traditionally occupied the sidewalks on Benigno Malo and Sucre have received permission to return. Their return is bittersweet since some long term vendors died during the pandemic. Their stalls can be taken over by persons who are in the degree of consanguinity to “inherit” the spaces. In addition to the dulces, the Archdiocese is preparing religious events. On 16/6, there will be a procession starting from San Sebastián a las 18:00 to the Catedral Nueva which will hold a mass at 19:00. When that it over, burning the castillos (castles – your word for the day) will start. On the rest of the days, there will be masses in the Catedral Nueva a las 7:00 and a las 19:00. Castle burning will begin at 20:30.
Proyectos (Projects) – The Unidad Educativa Promoción Social Integral del Austro has organized an open house in the plazoleta San Roque el domingo from 9-15:00. 25 entrepreneurial projects will be presented as well as a social-cultural tribute to the Virgin Mary.
Alerta epidemiológica (Epidemiological alert) – Even though there are no cases of monkey pox in Ecuador, the Ministerio de Salud has declared an alert. Francisco Pérez, sub-secretary de Vigilancia Epidemiológica, said that action was taken with the goal of preparing doctors to be able to detect cases in a timely manner and being able to discard other similar diseases such as chicken pox, herpes, measles, zika, dengue, chikungunya, bacterial infections, syphilis, and alergic reactions. The alert will also require people entering Ecuador from countries in which the disease has been detected to say if they have symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has been infected. So far, cases have been found in the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Canada, the US, Australia, Sweden, France, Belgium and Germany. <This might have just added another layer of paperwork to your return from visiting the US.> In the region, there is a suspected case in Argentina. According to Pérez, it is not very contagious and you need to be close to an infected person to catch it.
IGM entrega material para cedulación y pasaportes (IGM delivers material for ID cards and passports) – The Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGM) announced that it had delivered 13,000 passports to the Registro Civil, Identificación y Cedulación, adding up to a total of 20,000 in 3 weeks. On martes, they delivered 45,000 cards for cédulas which will allow the Registro Civil to increase the number of daily appointments. For cedulization, the hours on sábado will be maintained. Expired cédulas or those about to expire will be valid until 30/6/2022 for all sorts of paperwork.
If you want an appointment for either a cédula or passport, go to www.registrocivil.gob.ec, and pick Agencia Virtual. If you need either document urgently, ask for help at correo email@example.com and attach the necessary supporting documents. <The alternative is to have your facilitator do it for you. What would gringos do without their facilitators to help them buy toilet paper?> Other Registro services such as birth and death certificates, marriages, etc. are being done normally. <Not that you’ll be in any condition to register your own death certificate.>
HVCM atiende pacientes con infarto agudo (HVCM treats patients with acute myocardial infarction) – Prompt treatment in the hemodynamics unit of the Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso (HVCM) has saved lives of patients with acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks). Statistically, 1 of every 3 patients with this condition dies. The treatment is to run a catheter to the arteries to diagnose if there are obstructions and then perform a therapeutic catheterization if needed. <My apologies to all you medical people out there for this lousy translation.> In 2021, there were 236 diagnostic procedures and 64 therapeutic procedures; and from enero to abril, 2022, there were 81 diagnostic procedures and 24 therapeutic procedures. At a private hospital, the diagnostic procedure can cost between $2,000-$2,500, and the therapeutic procedure from $8-10,000. <And what those would cost in the US would probably give you a heart attack.>
Cuenca tuvo el 79% de ocupación hotelera (Cuenca had 79% hotel occupancy) – A press release from the Municipalidad de Cuenca said that 53,819 tourists visited the city during the 24 de mayo holiday, spending $5,274,261. The Fundación de Turismo said that hotel occupancy was at 79%, surpassing expectations. A total of 3,969 passengers on both commercial and private flights arrived at the Mariscal Lamar airport during the three-day holiday.
36 grupos políticos habilitados en Azuay (36 political groups authorized in Azuay) – The Azuay delegation of the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) confirmed that 36 parties and movements were qualified to participate in the elections on 5/1/2023 (sic). Voters will pick new mayors, prefects and vice-prefects, council members, parish juntas, and representatives of the Consejo de Participación Ciudadana y Control Social (CPCCS). Teodoro Maldonado, CNE director in Azuay said no new political organizations were formed so the organizations are those that were authorized to participate in previous elections. There are 17 national groups, 3 provincial, 13 cantonal and 4 at the parish level.
María Augusta Cordero, a lawyer and researcher in election legislation, said that the CNE constantly needs to purge political groups. This cleaning is covered in the Códico de la Democracia. A large part of the current parties and movements have lost their structure, ideology and are now practically group of friends or acquaintances led by a politician who is the one who decides on the candidates. When the elections are over, these groups almost close down until the next elections, and there is no real political participation. <So some ambitious person could start the Gringo Party or Movement to advocate for policies beneficial to gringos and field a candidate?> Another attorney and researcher, Pablo Salazar, said the CNE has incentives to encourage political alliances that can reduce the number of candidates. One is election funding where groups that make alliances receive 20% more for each party or movement that participates in their alliance. Another incentive is that alliances can meet the minimum number of votes so that they won’t be eliminated from the electoral registries. The Códico de Democracia calls for parties and movements to get 4% of the valid votes in 2 consecutive national elections to qualify for subsequent elections. It is also an advantage in calculating the 30% of women who need to head the slates.
Frutas andinas (Andean fruits) – The 9 producers in the Asociación Agrovida in the San Pedro sector of Biblián in Cañar are developing a business model offering offering value added products. They hope to rescue ancestral Andean fruits that have been lost over time such as uvillas, taxo, and chamburo. <Well, they can find the first 2 at the SuperMaxi, and the first in my front yard (it was a volunteer).>
Precio del combustible afecta al gremio de taxis (Fuel prices affect cab unions) – In Cuenca, more than 90% of the taxis use ecopaís gas and the other 10% use super. Eduardo Andrade, president of the Unión de Taxistas del Azuay said the 65 cooperatives that comprise the union have a total of 2.638 members. Even though the government froze gas prices in octubre, 2021, at $2.55 for ecopaís and $1.90 for diesel, the problem for cabs is that they were frozen at a high price. A typical cab uses 7 gallons of gas a day. That amount of Eco used to cost $10.36 and now costs $17.85. The cabs that run on super, which costs $4.66/gallon, spend $32.62/day. Some cabbies are mixing the two to save money. Extra is not available in Cuenca and is a somewhat better gas than Eco, which evaporates faster and is of poor quality, which can damage engines.
Actualización de tarifas (Update of fares) – The increase in gas prices has the taxi union asking local authorities to revise rates as was done in 2014 when the U. of Cuenca analyzed various parameters to arrive at a minimum rate of $1.39 during the day and $1.37 at night.
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.