Cuenca holiday tourists fill hotels; Woman fights for right to euthanasia; First ‘pet park’ opens; Sewage system upgrades planned; Water-saving challenge

Nov 7, 2023 | 0 comments

Lunes, 6/11/2023

Hola, Todos –

<So you remember my challenge to you when the drought was just being publicized? To see how much water you could save? Well, I went on a water conserving regimen and took my monthly usage from a 6 month average of 8 cu. meters a month down to 5 c. m. And never sacrificed daily showers, laundry once a week, or home cooking. Now let’s see if I can keep it up in non-drought conditions.>

Actividades –

Th 2023 Cuenca independence holidays attracted a record crowd, many tourists coming from coastal cities to escape the threat of violence, according to tourism officials. (El Mercurio)

De El Mercurio del domingo, 5/11 (1 article):

El ‘tesoro natural’ de la familia Vega (The ‘natural treasure’ of the Vega family) – One of the best kept secrets in Turi parish is a 4,000 sq. meter garden designed by the famous ceramicist, Eduardo Vega. HIs daughter, Federica, is its custodian, along with her restaurant, the Amapola Bistro. Eduardo Vega created the paths to which the visitor is greeted with a welcome totem. Federica explained that the sculpture didn’t have an artistic or decorative purpose but is more of a guardian of the seeds. There are other sculptures along the path created by Eduardo Vega and other artists. There is a deck in the lower part which can be used for marriage proposals, spiritual meetings, yoga classes and suppers.

The garden is located just before the main lookout point in Turi, and is part of the complex with the Amapola restaurant, and Eduardo Vega’s workshop and showroom. The restaurant is open from martes a sábado from 12:30 – 16:00 & 18:00 – 23:00. Visits to the garden are by appointment. Call 098 757 0898. The tours have a minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 15 with a cost of $7.00.

Titular –

Guangarcucho, a licitación (Guangarcucho, to be put out to bid) – The bidding process for the new Planta de Tratamiento de Aguas Residuales de Guangarcucho (Guangarcucho wastewater treatment plant) will be this coming diciembre. The renovation of the current Ucubamba plant will proceed concurrently. The contract for the project was suspended during the previous administration due to irregularities so the current administration is starting from scratch.

On el 27/10, The Banco Europeo de Inversiones, the construction lender, issued a “no comments” letter indicating that it is in ageement with the terms of reference for the $70 million job. ETAPA is updating the project budget which was last done in 2020. Then the project can be published in the Diario Europeo on 1/12 as well as on ETAPA’s social networks and in local papers. This formally starts the bid process. Offers are expected in 3-4 months, will be reviewed in the first 4 months of 2024, with the offers qualified 2-3 months after. Preliminary results should be ready in junio o julio.

Meanwhile, the current treatment plant which is at 100% capacity will be revitalized. The hope is to have a contract and advance payment in 2024 which will be used to extract the sludge that has accumulated in the pond and dry it to send to businesses such as EMAC. The muck does not contain any bacteria. <But have they gotten rid of the smell, too? Is this basically human manure?> The Banco de Desarrolle de América Latina y el Caribe (CAF) has been approached for funding the $35 million project. This will prolong the useful life of the plant until 2050.

Cuenca –

Exitoso feriado para turismo (Successful holiday for tourism) – Juan Pablo Vanegas, president of the Cámara de Turismo del Azuay, said that Cuenca is not just a trendy tourist destination, but also safe. The Independencia de Cuenca holidays registered hotel occupancy rates from 95% to 100% which hasn’t been seen since 2015. There were campaigns by tourism associations to promote Cuenca in cities such as Quito, Manta, Machala, y Guayaquil. <Come to Cuenca where you won’t get caught in crossfire!> Roads were another facet to reactivate tourism. Starting 3 months ago, the province and city started cleaning drainage ditches and improving the vía to Guayas. The tourism Chambers are also promoting MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions/Events) to attract tourists for small events such as weddings; and sports, educational, cultural, business, and music events.

De El Mercurio del domingo, 5/11 (1 article):

Fue inaugurado el primer ‘Parque de las Mascotas’ (First “Pet Park” opened) – <I know it says “Pet Park,” but you’d either be loco to bring your cat, or your cat is an exceptionally large and the “just try mess with me” one.> The Pet Park is located on av. 24 de Mayo y 10 de Agosto <a previous article on Thursday placed it in a section of the parque El Paraíso so make your best guess or listen for the barking.> The area is 2,585 m. sq. and is properly fenced. There is also a 235 m. sq. pet playground zone with an independent entrance and exit, an area with children’s playground, walkways, 1,350 native plant species, and wastebins for dog poop. There is park furniture, a dog walk, high jump hurdles, a tunnel, a hoop to jump through, see-saw, and a pet parking post to hang leashes. <That set up sounds like a a partial agility course.>

Nacional –

Se abre el debate sobre la eutanasia en Ecuador (Debate on euthanasia opens in Ecuador) – A legal team representing Paola Roldán pesented a conditional claim of unconstitutionality in article 144 of the Penal Code which punishes homicide. The claim would be for this act to not be punishable in respect of a person’s freedom not to continue with a life that he/she no longer considers worthy, i.e. the right to euthanasia. <How would you punish someone who has successfully ended his/her life, anyway? How about making the punishment for an attempted suicide be the death penalty>

Roldán has made this demand since she has been suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis <sometimes called Lou Gehrig disease>, an incurable disease that destroys the nerve cells controlling muscles, and causes unbearable pain and paralysis. She argues that she will die, you will die, and anyone reading this will die. Is not a fight to die, but a fight for when the moment comes, she can decide how and under what conditions she dies.

Along with the claim, the claimants have included a protocol to prevent misuse of this right. There would be 3 professional filters. The first would be medical exams to confirm that the illness is serious and incurable and that it causes intense emotional or physical suffering. For the second filter, the patient would need to voluntarily express that he/she wants to be euthanized. The decision cannot be made by a third person <like the greedy 4th cousin twice removed who’s after your estate>, and it should be performed at a stage when the person is conscious, (even if it is done subsequently? – I don’t understand the last clause so it’s Google’s translation). The 3d filter is by a psychiatrist or psychologist who will guarantee that the decision is not a product of a deep depression but is the product of reflection and information. <Although the thought of a prolonged death in agony could certainly cause one to be depressed unless you had a Plan B.>

9 countries have approved euthanasia – the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Colombia, Spain, New Zealand, Portugal, and Australia. 91.95% of Ecuadorians are affiliated with the Christian religion which prohibits euthanasia. <But how many of them support the right to it anyway?>

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). If information is incorrect, it is the responsibility of El Mercurio. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.


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