The barricades around Parque Calderon were pushed aside early Monday morning and, for the first time in almost two weeks pedestrian and vehicular traffic moved freely around the park.
“We are once again resuming our normal lives,” Cuenca Mayor Pedro Palacios said in a Monday afternoon interview. “We suffered a painful disruption and look forward to re-establishing our routines. We still have some clean-up and repair work to do and we will begin that as soon as possible.”
Among the signs of normalcy are the resumption of classes at the city’s schools and universities. Ecuador’s Ministry of Education said it will announce plans later this week to make up the seven days of lost classes. In total, 4.4 millions students missed classes during the strike.
Regional LP gas distributor AustroGas was busy filling empty canisters Monday and said it believed home deliveries would resume Tuesday or Wednesdays. It said delivery schedules will be determined by subcontractors but said the gas shortage is over.
The supermarket chain Supermaxi announced Monday that its shelves should be fully restocked by Wednesday. Before Sunday’s agreement to end the strike, social media posts reported some Cuenca Supermaxis might close this week due to low supplies. Other local supermarkets and mercados were also busy restocking.
Municipal buses have dropped their fares back to the pre-strike 30-cent rate after charging 40 cents for several days during the strike. The city is threatening to fine bus owners who charged the higher fare although the owners say they were simply following guidelines from the national government. If it isn’t resolved between the city and carriers, the issue could go to court.
Inter-provincial bus service is also returning to normal schedules although a spokesman at Cuenca’s terminal terrestre says it could take until the end of the week for all routes to be restored.
Flights between Cuenca and Quito are back in the air following the weekend shut down.
National Police report that all local and national curfews have been cancelled.