Hola, Todos –
De El Mercurio del martes, 13/12:
La Bienal tiene lista su temática (The Biennial has its theme ready) – The theme for the decimosexta (16th) edition of the Bienal de Cuenca is “Quizá mañana” (Maybe tomorrow) <That’s what your plumber tells you when you ask when he can come look at the leak, or what your mechanic tells you when you ask when your car will be ready. Or what your wife tells you when you ask for a little….you fill in the rest.> 6 Ecuadorian artists were chosen from about 300 submissions. The Bienal will be opened el 8/12/2023.
A un paso de la gloria (One step closer to glory) – Argentina 3 – Croatia 0. Argentina plays France in the World Cup final Sunday. You’ll have to go to your favorite sports site for any more info. than that.
Piden prudencia cuando se manipulen fuegos artificiales (Caution urged when handling fireworks) – The Gremio de Artesanos Pirotécnicos del Azuay (Guild of Fireworks Artisans of Azuay) has seen a jump in economic activity this Christmas and New Year season. The guild is urging people to be careful when handling fireworks to avoid what happened el lunes in Babahoyo where there was a fire that affected 14 stores selling Xmas items and fireworks. Fireworks maker Carlos Quizhpe said that his workshop, Arte y Tradición, has received an increased number of requests in the last few days. He said he observes safety measures such as a safety bar to discharge static electricity in people; and the use of cellphones or electronic devices is prohibited. The guild prohibits selling their products to children and drunks. <I’d also be very worried if I was near a drunk playing with fireworks and matches.> The fire chief, Sixto Heras, said that there has been a campaign this year called “El fuego no es un juego” (Fire is not a game) and the rate of this type of emergency has gone down 70%.
Incendios forestales se duplican en este año (Forest fires doubled this year) – There was a new forest fire in the Quinuas sector in the parque Nacional Cajas. 44 volunteers from the Cuenca Fire Department as well as from 6 other agencies responded. The fire chief said it was possible the fire was caused by human actions. So far this year, 1,320 hectares have burned in Azuay, a 97% increase over 2021.
El Mercurio is interviewing one candidate for mayor each day. <And if you think I’m going to translate a full page of political blah, blah, blah, you’re crazier than I am.> If you’re interested and able to, you can read these interviews on your own.
Profesores tendrán dos días libres por Navidad y Fin de Año (Teachers will have two days off for Christmas and New Year’s Eve) – This year, the Ministerio de Educación approved reforms to the Ley Orgánica de Educación Intercultural (LOEI) which changed academic vacations for public schools. The law provided for 30 days of continuous, uninterrupted vacation days for teachers as opposed to previous years when vacations were divided among Christmas, New Year, and July and August. This year the only days off in the holiday season will be 26/12 and 2/1. <I guess it’s because both Xmas and NY fall on Sundays.>
After 2/1, the school year will continue until the end of the quarter. Private schools can decide if they want to add vacation days during the holiday seaon as long as they meet the requirement of 200 days of classes for the whole year. Extra vacation days between 26/12 and 2/1 will need to be made up at the end of the quarter to meet the 200 days of instruction.
De El Mercurio del martes, 13/12:
240 mil niños viven en las calles, según las cifras del MIES (240 thousand children live on the streets, according to MIES figures) – According to Esteban Bernal, head of the Ministerio de Inclusión Económica y Social (MIES), 7.1% of the children and teens in Ecuador live on the street. The main causes of the problem were the pandemic which increased the number of poor and very poor people in the country; the wave of migration into Ecuador from Venezuela; irresponsible parents and the existence of the mafias who use children and teens to raise money or to use in illegal businesses. A UN report said that half of the people from Venezuela have had to resort to begging to survive due to the lack of work opportunities. The Government has identified 20 provinces where it will concentrate the efforts of MIES, mainly in the Central Sierras: Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Tungurahua y Cañar plus the receiving cities of Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta y Ambato. The Government has started an 18 month program called Solidaridad sin Mendicidad to get kids off the streets and into the activities appropriate for their age, namely studies and play.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –