Covid cases rise locally but ICU occupancy drops; Street begging doubles; European film festival opens; French geodesic mssion in Cuenca; Budget trouble

Dec 4, 2020 | 4 comments

Jueves, 3/12/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Exposición resume los “hitos” de misión geodésica francesa (Exhibit summarizes the “milestones” of French geodesic mission) – The exhibit at the Planetario uses objects, drawings, documents and fotos to explain the French geodesic mission to Cuenca almost 3 centuries ago. It will be open from martes a domingo from 10:00 to 16:00. There will also be 3 talks on the 4, 11 & 18/12 a las 19:00 at the Planetarium and on Facebook Live at the Dirección de Cultura.

Filmes del Eurocine se proyectarán en Cuenca (Eurocine films will be screened in Cuenca) – Two films will be shown in Cuenca at the Multicines. Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa will be shown el 4/12 and Cuento de Verano by Eric Rohmer on el 8/12, both a las 19:00. The program for the festival of European films is at

Otras cosas –

Titular – Restauración de bien patrimonial (Restoration of heritage assets) – The restoration of the old Francisco Febres Cordero high school will cost $8 million. The building has been the responsibility of the MInisterio de Educación since 1988 and has deteriorated. In the first phase, the Department of Historic Areas will work on the roof and conduct an archeological study in the courtyard. The courtyard will become either a green space, or if no archeological artifacts are found, it might be an underground parking lot. The building is planned to be a Centro de Interpretación del Patrimonio Cultural with commercial spaces for artisans, cafeterias, administrative offices and a space for Cantonal Council meetings.

Renovation work on the Francisco Febres Cordero school is underway in El Centro. The completed project will provide space for artisans, cafes and administrative offices. (El Mercurio)

Para finanzas municipales el 2021 será difícil (2021 will be difficult for municipal finances) – Money collected in 2020 was less than expected, and more cuts in 2021 are expected. The Concejo Cantonal met Thursday to consider the 2021 budget. <This is a very confusing article so this translation is probably full of errors.> The Mayor’s office is hoping that the national government will withdraw the agreements that reduced funds to the GADs (Gobiernos Autónomos Descentralizados). For Cuenca, this was a cut of close to $16 million. Added to this was a reduction of $4.8 million in the previous year’s budget which will be solved by una optimización (optimization – is that a euphemism for layoffs?) of personnel. Recovery of money for public works scheduled for 2021-2022 will decrease from $8.2 to 6.2 million. In 2020, the City budgeted for an income of $242.6 million, but only got $97 million. $85 million was expected from taxes but only $62 million was collected. Money from the feds was expected to be $86 million but only $26 was received, $8.4 million of it in the form of government bonds. $71.5 was expected from loans, but only $8.4 received.

Aglomeraciones bajan, riesgo persiste (Crowds go down, risk persists) – In spite of Black Friday sales, crowds in Cuenca went down last weekend from 260 to 196 reported cases. However, this is still higher than the daily average of 133 reports this month. The MSP reported 451 new Covid cases in Azuay in the last week with 382 of them in Cuenca. In the last 7 days, there were 14 deaths due to Covid in hospitalized patients. The number of non-critical patients at the Vicente Corral Moscoso went from 36 to 39 and at the IESS hospital, from 42 to 54. The ICU beds are less than 50% occupied.

Marcado incremento de mendicidad (Marked increase in begging) – Statistics from ECU911 show an increase of 107% in begging. Institutions of control are conducting operations to attend to people who are begging in order to avoid child labor in Cuenca. Between enero and noviembre, ECU-911 Zone 6 received 31 alerts about begging which exceeded the 15 alerts in 2019. Agents toured sectors such as Feria Libre, Centro Histórico, Puente del Arco, Empresa Eléctrica, y 10 de Agosto where adults and children are in the streets asking for money.

Proyecto para prevenir accidentes de tránsito (Project to prevent traffic accidents) – EMOV is training people in rural parishes about rules of the road and signals. These sessions are fundamental for the citizenry to learn about roads, respect for pedestrians, traffic signage, stoplights, and spaces for non-motorized vehicles. In the next sessions teachers will use special glasses that simulate being drunk so people can see what driving drunk feels like. Transit authorities say the main causes of accidents are inattention and using a cellphone while driving. <I hope they tell people to use the pedestrian overpasses and not run across the vía rápida with their cow and two kids.>

Se reactivan los seguros (Insurance is reactivated) – Because of the pandemic, a good part of the population did not renew insurance policies on property such as houses, cars and businesses because they saw less need due to mobility restrictions and confinement. But people have opted for life and health insurance.

Ad for Fundacion SOS – This foundation has a “Haciendo una Navidad Diferente” (Making a Different Christmas) campaign in which it is collecting clothing, food, toys, medicine and economic support to be given to seniors, single mothers, street children and families in need. They will make pickups at your house. Call 0959150567 or 09999938459. <Too many numbers in the second one.>

And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –



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