Crime is main concern for young voters; Pase del Niño is in final preparations; Traffic interchange, bridge projects open; Nativity scenes to visit

Dec 22, 2022 | 3 comments

Miércoles, 21/12/2022
Hola, Todos – 

I will be working on another volunteer project and will not be translating the week of el 26-30/12. The Periodicos will resume el lunes, 2/1/2023.

Actividades –

Los pesebres caseros con identidad de cuencanos (Homemade nativity scenes with the identity of Cuencans) – Patricio Bravo remembers setting up nativity scenes with his family on their mantel each Christmas. He went to the US and kept up the family tradition when he returned, considering it an act of faith and gratitude for blessings received. <I think we all need to recognize and appreciate blessings received.> The nativity occupies the whole living room, takes 2 months to set up, and includes the manger, an area that reproduces Belén (Bethlehem), and further out, areas that show the rural activities and traditions of the region. One corner has snow and Christmas colors, a reminder of when Patricio lived in NY.

Reinaldo Criollo’s display his massive nativity scene in his family’s patio. It depicts Christmas scenes from around Ecuador. (El Mercurio)

Reinaldo Criollo displays his family’s pesebre in their patio. The figures in the display were collected over the years and now there are too many to display all of them. <He´d have to buy the house next door and expand into their patio.> The pesebre has Belén, agricultural zones, haciendas, volcanoes, rivers, churches and traditions of the villages in Ecuador. He has also incorporated water into his pesebre. His house is in the traditional barrio of San Roque at calles Remigio Romero y Lorenzo Piedra. You can visit the pesebre every day from 10-21:00. Free.

Pesebre en la Catedral Vieja (Nativity Scene in the Old Cathedral) – Martha Coronel’s pesebre has been set up in a chapel in the Old Cathedral. The 2,000 pieces form a mercado, the Pase del Niño Viajero, traditional fiestas of Ecuador, and other activities of the rural zones. The pesebre will be there until the end of diciembre with hours from 8-16:00 on M-F, and from 8-14:00 on sábados y domingos.

Titular –

Distribuidor y puente abren al tránsito hoy (Interchange and bridge open to traffic today) – The 400 m. long underpass with lanes running north-south and south-north at the De Las Américas interchange is complete and opened to traffic. 75,000 vehicles circulated through this area before the interchange was built. This connects the autopista Azogues-Cuenca to the south side of the city and vice versa and will benefit 170,000 people in Ricaurte, Checa, Chiquintad, Ochoa León, Machángara, and the Parque Industrial. Work is continuing on the upper side on-ramps that will connect the ciudadela Calderón and the Parque Industrial. Delivery for the whole project is expected in the 2nd week of enero. The project was started el 19/3 with a completion date of 27/11; but it was delayed by the strike from 13-30/6, winter, and redesign of the hormigón (concrete – your word for the day and not to be confused with hormiga which is an ant.> The original contract amount was about $6.25 million and almost $7 million was spent. <Not bad for a project that size. I wonder what the cost of an interchange like that would have been in the US?>

Puente Isauro Rodríguez se abre al paso vehicular (Isauro Rodriguez Bridge opens to vehicular traffic) – The Isauro Rodríguez bridge in the south part of Cuenca opened to traffic today. It benefits 200,000 inhabitants of El Batán, Yanuncay, Misicata, Medio Ejido, Baños and San Joaquín. The bridge cost $1,466,104 and was to have been finished el 8/9, but was delayed by the strike and changes in the original design. The La Compañia Bridge is expected to be finished in the coming weeks.

Cuenca –

Oganizadores ajustan detalles para la pasada (Organizers fine-tune details for the parade) – While participants in the Pase del Niño are finishing up their work, the organizers of this religious event are finishing up the details of the December 23 & 24th activities. On el viernes, there will be a Eucharist a las 18:00 in the iglesia del Carmen followed by a serenade in honor of the Niño Viajero an hour later. At 19:30 there will be a procession through el Centro Histórico. El 24/12 a las 7:00, the Niño will fly over Cuenca in a helicopter. There will be a Eucharist in the Catedral Nueva a las 8:30. When the mass ends, the Niño Viajero will start his walk along calle Bolívar to San Sebastián where he will be joined by parade participants. The Archdiocese of Cuenca is recommending the use of masks for participants to prevent flu. <Not Covid anymore? We’re back to seasonal flu precautions?>

Nacional –

El CNE define cuatro temas que debatirán candidatos en enero (CNE defines four issues to be discussed by candidates in January) – The CNE (Consejo Nacional Electoral) decided to hold debates for candidates for prefecturas on el 7 & 8/1 and for mayoral candidates on el 14 & 15/1. The questions for the candidates will be on 4 issues:  safety and citizen coexistence, the economy, mobility, environment and territory, and local and provincial administration. The candidates will need to explain their proposals through 8 questions, 2 for each issue. The order in which each candidate will speak will be decided by a drawing held by the provincial electoral juntas.

Inseguridad, lo que más preocupa a elector joven (Insecurity, the main concern for young voters) – The 5th edition of a survey was presented in Quito ayer by the “Ecuador Decide” initiative. It found that 81% of youth between 16 and 35 years thought that citizen security should be the main priority for the mayors who will be chosen in the 5/2/2023 elections. The Grupo Faro, which conducted the poll concentrated on youth since that age group makes up almost 1/3 of the voters in the next election. 1,541 people in the cities of Quito, Guayaquil, Portoviejo, and Loja, and the canton of Pastaza were interviewed. In Guayaquil, 90% of the respondents felt security should be a priority of the elected mayors. <That surprises me. I would have thought that jobs would be the primary concern for youth.>

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.


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