Cuenca city government has announced that garbage recycling will become mandatory in March. The municipality it will impose fines on users of the city’s waste collection system who do not separate organic, inorganic and plastic waste after Mar. 1.
The ordinance establishing the recycling program was adopted in 2004 but has not been actively enforced. According to the city’s sanitation office, fines will range from $10 to $100 dollars. A spokesman for the office said that fines would also be imposed on people who do not adhere to garbage collection schedules and who place garbage on curbs on non-pick-up days.
TOURISM OFFICIALS HOPE TO ESTABLISH AN ‘ORCHID ROUTE’ IN SOUTHERN ECUADOR
The Ministry of Tourism has announced it will promote a ‘Route of Orchids’ in southwestern Ecuador, including Azuay Province, an area famous for the growing and exporting of orchids.
Regional ministry director, Juan Salvador Arpi, said he believes the new initative will appeal to tourists and help promote awareness of Ecuador’s preeminent role as one of the world’s top orchid growers and exporters. The area north of Cuenca, particularly near Gualaceo, is considered an international orchid center.
Arpi said that the provinces of Azuay, Canar, Morona Santiago and El Oro, have great natural and cultural potential in the highly profitable tourism industry. “Few things in the world are more beautiful and awe-inspiring than the orchids of this region and we want to increase awareness of this. Our market will be lovers of natural beauty from around the world.”
He noted that the company Ecuagenera near Gualaceo is one of the top exporters for orchids in the world. “Their showroom attracts thousands of visitors every year and we want to help them bring in even more. Ecuagenera’s website is www.ecuagénera.com.
Arpi said that Ecuador grows more than 4,000 species of orchids.
RED CROSS COORDINATING RELIEF EFFORT FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
The Cuenca chapter of the Red Cross is asking the community to assist Haitian earthquake victims.
The most urgent need is for financial contributions, according to officials. The Red Cross welcomes donations to its savings account, #5471872100, at Banco del Pichincha.
The Red Cross is also appealing for the following material donations:
• Canned food, especially meat, chicken, tuna and sardines
• Medications (please call for information)
• Bottled water
Donations will be received at the Red Cross clinic, Borrero at Presidente Córdova, or at the provincial offices at Huayna Capac 1 – 212 and Cacique. For more information, call 283 2132 or 280 2308.
CUENCA FLOWER MARKET REOPENS WITH A NEW DESIGN
Cuenca’s famous flower market at the Plaza de El Carmen has a new image. Flower sellers, who had been relocated to the sidewalk adjacent the cathedral on Calle Sucre for three weeks while workman installed new facilities, moved back on Feb. 2.
The new market design, which uses removable teak and metal benches and umbrellas for the selling stations, is the culmination of more than two years of discussions and controversy. In early 2008, newly erected selling stations were torn down following public complaints that the design. The new design was adopted by the city’s Cultural and Heritage Commission in November of last year.
The main feature of the new market is that the benches and umbrellas can be taken down at night so the plaza can be used for public events.
Photo caption: An orchid grown in Gualeceo, northeast of Cuenca; photo credit: Nancy Watson