Hola, Todos – Feliz Año – Espero que 2019 sea un buen año para todos.
De la pagina cultural –
“Noches Circulares” – The Bienal de Cuenca has organized Circular Nights on jueves, 10 & 17 a las 19:00 for a night tour at the two largest venues – the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno (MMAM) and the Museo Pumapungo.
Rotofest – The “Rotofest Festival” is preparing “Colors,” a special edition for 1 & 2/3 for Carnaval which will be after their regular festival with bands, producers and DJ’s of Cuenca. On viernes, 1/3, there will be four bands for the “Escenario Rock” and 4 DJ’s for the “Escenario Electrónico, and on sábado 2/3 and on sábado 2/3 there will be 10 slots for each producer to submit and original track for the 5th Rotofest compilation album which will actually be an album – on vinyl. <All you old geezers out there should remember vinyl, 45’s and maybe even those hard, breakable plastic records before vinyl.>
Rosero – Rosero is a corn thickened fruit drink typical of Gualaceo which is made at Christmas and Corpus Cristi. One woman is the 4th generation in her family to make it and she is passing the recipe to her daughters. You can get rosero at the Panadería la Delicia at the entrance to the city and all year round at a small location very near the terminal terrestre. <I guess you just have to know where it is or ask your taxista.>
Otras cosas –
Titular – Abrazamos a 2019 (We embrace 2019) New Year’s is not quite over in Cuenca yet. There’s still the Comparsas y Mascaradas parade on 6/1.
Aceras (sidewalks – your word for day) – The state of the sidewalks was one of the concerns that came out of all the Asambleas Ciudadanas (Citizens’ Assemblies) last year. All the urban parishes wanted sidewalk improvements and road maintenance. Of the 314 requests from the Assemblies, 111 had to do with streets and sidewalks. Some of the areas that have been identified for sidewalk work are av. 3 de nov.; av. Loja; La Condamine; Imbabura y Galápagos in the “Antonio Ávila sector; stretches of Don Bosco; Presidentes Córdova y Borrero, Mariano Cueva, other sidewalks in El Centro; and more. <Safer to just say sidewalks almost everywhere in Cuenca.> A list of the studies has been submitted to the Banco de Desarrollo del Ecuador (BDE – Bank of Development of Ecuador) for $2 million in credit to do the work.
IVA refund to city – The federal government owes $16 million to the city in unpaid IVA refunds for 2018, with other payments still pending from previous years. This represents close to 15% of the city budget and is impeding programmed public works. Originally, when the municipality contracted for goods or services it paid the 12% IVA which was then returned monthly – then quarterly, then every six months, and now only upon presentation of projects with the risk that the ministry can decide which projects to accept and which to reject.
2018 crimes in Azuay and Cuenca – In 2018, there were 36 violent deaths in Azuay Province with 17 in Cuenca. The city’s rate of 2.7 murders per 100,000, down from 2017, puts it in the top two percent of Latin American cities for lowest murder rate. Of the 36 murders in the province, 4 were considered femicides. <That 17 in Cuenca compares well with the 73 murders in the US city I lived in with about the same urban population.>
San Francisco Plaza – The vendors will be relocated from PRAC back to the SF Plaza in the first days of this year. Based on a census of the vendors taken previously, of the 131 vendors only 96 will have a space in the remodeled plaza. New spaces will be assigned only to those vendors who were in the original registry and city policies will allow only one space to each nuclear family. This means that spouses and single children can’t each have their own space.
Vendors who weren’t in the original registry will be relocated to other sites such as the Pasaje León, across from the plaza, the Casa de Mujer, or the city parking lot that will be built next to the mercado 10 de Agosto. The merchants themselves have suggested grouping members of the different associations together.
The day laborers will be relocated to a building in the Feria Libre sector on Calle del Batán diagonal from the seat of the María Corredentora convent. The building will have classrooms, showers, sports courts and places for workers to wait. The plan is to inaugurate this house el lunes, 7/1. <That should give the laborers somewhere to take a leak instead of on the wall of the closest building. Remember that really stinky corner of the plaza at Padre Aguirre and Pres. Córdova?>
Property taxes – It’s time to pay your property taxes to the city. The office will be open from 7-18:00 Wednesday. If you pay within the first 15 days of enero, you’ll get a 10% discount. If you pay in the 2nd half of the month, the discount drops to 9%. This continues every half month until the discount goes away.
Drivers’ licenses – ANT issued about 50,000 drivers licenses in Azuay during 2018, 38.000 of them in Cuenca, 8,000 in Gualaceo and 3,000 in Girón. Most of them were type B <private cars>. <That’s a lot of drivers who’ll be clogging up the streets although a lot of those may have been renewed licenses for those of us already clogging up the streets.>
Flu vaccines – About 100,000 vaccinations have been given as part of a campaign that runs from 27/11/18 to 28/2/19. So far the campaign has been directed at vulnerable populations – children from 6 mo. to 5 yrs, the chronically ill, tercera edad (over 65), and health workers.
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. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.