Cuenca is furniture-making center; Plaza project awaits new mayor
Most of Ecuador’s furniture is made in Cuenca
According to the Municipal Public Enterprise for Economic Development (ESDP), 60% of the furniture manufactured in Ecuador is made in Cuenca. ESDP says that the industry employees 6,000 and adds more than $70 million annually to the local economy.
Trajan Bermeo, ESDP director, says that much of the industry is located in Tarqui. “The industry is very healthy and we believe that it will continue to grow,” he said.
One of Bermeo concerns, however, is that some manufacturers use wood that is not thoroughly dried.
Not using high quality, dried wood leads to cracking and warping of furniture, he said, adding that new wood drying facilities should help improve the quality of finished furniture.
San Francisco Plaza project awaits new mayor
The final design and construction decisions for the rebuilding of San Francisco Plaza will be made by the administration of in-coming Cuenca mayor Macelo Cabrera, project managers say.
Cabrera had criticized some aspects of the renovation design during his campaign against out-going mayor Paúl Granda, particularly the plan to put most current vendors in an underground mall. He said that the vendors had too little input in the planning process despite the fact that they are the ones most affected.
Vendors say they expect Cabrera to change the design so they will remain above ground.
The current plan, developed by the Granda administration, was approved by the city historic committee and UNESCO, which served as an advisor. Funding is in place for the work.