Fuel subsidies remain controversial; Get to know Cuenca’s creeks, gullies and revines; Interchanges for Pan American hwy.; Cost of living in Cuenca

Jan 14, 2024 | 0 comments

Jeanne’s note: These are Periodicos for January 8 and 10. My apologies for sending them to the wrong group. So here are issues of outdated news. 

Lunes, 8/1/2024

Hola, Todos –

Titular –

180 quebradas en Cuenca: 30 requieren obras (180 creeks/gullies/ ravines in Cuenca: 30 require work) – A study by GIZ, a German organization, determined that Cuenca has 180 creeks. It also identified badly built houses that discharge wastewater onto slopes which saturates the soil <you might not want to plant your kitchen garden on that slope> and changes these natural watercourses. Erick Gutiérrez, director of the Dirección de Gestión de Riesgos (DGR – Risk Management Department) said that a least 30 creeks with priority for maintenance have been identified and need work to prevent overflowing, damming, and slides. Among them are Los Sucos in Sinincay which was cleaned after neighbors complained. Gutiérrez said that there is an plan to address El Niño caused emergencies with 4.500 resources, including personnel and machinery, which are ready to respond.

Fuel subsidies continue to be a hot potato for the government. They cost about $5 billion a year, the same amount as the budget deficit.

Juan Palacios, a civil engineer and hydrologist, said it was urgent to update the list of creeks in Cuenca to know their conditions and characteristics. Those that are badly managed or neglected are a risk which can end in loss of life or major property damage. <Past articles have shown piles of debris which used to be houses further up hillsides. Be careful when you buy that house with the magnificent view.> Palacios said the main creeks in Cuenca that run into the 4 rivers are El Salado, Milchichig, Tres Marías (in Guzho), El Muerto (in Turi) y San Miguel de Putushi (in Sayausí). The one with the most risk is the Milchichig which runs through a low-lying area where many houses have been built. <Also be careful with that captivating riverfront property where the river might wind up in your living room.>

The U. of Cuenca has hydrographic map of the micro-watersheds of the 4 rivers showing their drainage areas and where the quebradas y riochuelos (creeks and streams – your words for the day. I think they might be interchangable to confuse you even more.) originate. The area of the watersheds in square kilometers <What? You were expecting the measurement to be in acres or sq. miles? Dream on. The US is going to have to catch up with the rest of the world eventually.> are 477.42 for the Tarqui, 414.85 for the Yanuncay, 326.67 for rhe Tomebamba, and 332 for the Machángara. One of the zoning or land use maps shows areas that are not buildable which includes the presence of quebradas as a factor.

Cuenca –

Sudamericano vuelve a ganar el primer lugar en Mascaradas (South American wins first place in Mascaradas again) – The Instituto Techológico Superior Sudamericano won again in the Institutional Category. Second place in that category went to the Instituto American College whose theme was “Once upon a time” a tragi-comedy of before and after the arrival of I.A. In the Comparsas category, the Unión Virgen del Socavón won with “La lucha del bien y del mal” (The fight of good and evil), 2nd place went to the Suprema Estación 9.61 with the theme , “Ladrón cogido, ladrón funado” (Thief caught, thief punished) <And that thief would probably be lucky if the punishment was only getting beaten with ortiga (stinging nettle)>. The 3d place went to El Vado-Artes Escénicas U. Cuenca with the theme “Gracias al apagón, regresamos a la leña y el carbón” (Thanks to the blackout, we are back to firewood and charcoal). <I hope that those of you who returned to wood and charcoal enjoyed your grilled chicken and veggies.>

Sucesos –

Evacúan policías por disturbios en el CRS de Turi (Police evacuated due to disturbance at Turi CRS) – Saturday night (6/1), various police who work in the Centro de Privación de Libertad (CPL) Azuay N° 1 in Turi were evacuated after a group of 30 prisoners protested violently in the in house vehicular service station. National Police opened a main door of one of the filtros (check points?). The inmates wanted one of the Agentes de Seguridad Penitenciaria (ASP -Prison Security Officers – a guard?) to leave and buy food for the protestors. <So now guards are also gofers for prisoners who are tired of the food?>

Police said they complied with all of the protocols for crisis situations and manned <or womaned, for those of you want things to be politically correct> strategic points to reinforce the external perimeter of the prison>; and put up security fencing to avoid entry of private vehicles. <Except the Pedidos Ya, Glovo, and Rapi motos>. There was no comment from SNAI as of the close of the edition of the paper. The Unidad Nacional de Inteligencia Penitenciaria (UNIP) of the National Police said these kinds of disturbances happen when heads of criminal gangs are moved to other prisons.,

Nacional –

Subsidios, un problema caliente para el Gobierno (Subsidies, a hot issue for the Government) – The first step of collecting all the information about the work of the previous Government has started. The first alert is on the table: focusing subsidies is complex and technical processes need to be implemented to realize a technical exclusion for subsidy beneficiaries. The Government is trying to create the least possible impact on those most in need. Juan Pablo Sáenz, economist and university professor, said any formula should be consensual, and that collaborative agreements have been reached with 136 social organizations. In 2022, fuel subsidies reached $4.560 billion. The past year, the Government allocated $2.293 billion in subsidies with $1.316 billion for diesel, $512 million for imported gasoline, and $401 million for domestic gas.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –


Miercoles, 10/1/2024

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

De El Mercurio del martes, 9/1 (3 items):

Mediaciones en museo (Mediations in museum) – Until el 31/1, the Museo de la Paja Toquilla y el Sombrero (calles Rafael María Arízaga y Luis Cordero) will hold a series of mediaciones (mediations – I can’t find any translation that isn’t related to law or conflict resolution which doesn’t seem to make sense here.) for people to learn the history and art behind the making of straw hats. They start at 9:00. Free to the public.

Exposición fotográfica – There is a show of photographs of “El Pase del Niño Viajero” in the Museo de la Catedral Vieja that will run until el 31/1. The fotos will show the history and culture behind the biggest parade that takes place in the Centro Histórico. Hours are from 9-16:00.

Four new traffic interchanges are planned for the Cuenca-Azogues autopista. Officials say redondels in several locations are no longer able to handle the traffic. (El Mercurio)

Muestra de bordados (Embroidery show) – The Centro Interamericano de Artesanías y Artes Populares (CIDAP) has a show “Bordando: mujeres creando historias” which will run until marzo with hours from 8-17:00, lunes a viernes. The embroidery was created by Chilean artists and women with each carrying a social message.

Titular –

Jornada de caos y terror (A day of chaos and terror) – See CHL articles about alll of this. <And don’t let yourself get too bent out of shape. I still feel a lot safer than I did in the US where I had neighbors who were shot and killed.>

Cuenca –

Inamhi pronostida lluvias en cuatro cantones del Azuay (Inamhi forecasts rain in four cantons of Azuay) – The Instituto Nacional de Meteorológia e Hidrología (Inamhi) is forecasting rain in various zones of Azuay for at least the rest of this week. The ones most affected will be Cuenca, Santa Isabel, Pucará, y Ponce Enríquez. It announced that there could be flooding in susceptable houses, businesses and roads due to topographical conditions. <Like low lying?> Roads could be affected by standing water, landslides, fog banks, and overflowing bodies of water. <In her own way, Pachamama can be a terrorist, too. Who else throws rocks the size of cows and cars at you? Randomly?>

De El Mercurio del martes, 9/1 (2 articles):

Cuenca ya no es la más cara (Cuenca is no longer the most expensive) – Cuenca is no longer the city with the highest basic family basket and vital family basket in the country, which it had been until 6/2023. Now the basic family basket costs $817.54 in Cuenca and $830.76 in Quito. The vital family basket in Cuenca is now $556.89, 4th after Manta with $602.44, Quito with $591.83, and Guayaquil with $574.02. The basic family basket is a group of 75 essential goods and services needed to satisfy the basic needs of a family of 4. The vital family basket is 73 products which include the minimum amount of food to cover at least the necessary energy and protein needs of a household. The baskets are composed of food, housing, clothing, hygiene, and other needs. In Cuenca, food and drink in the basic basket cost $258.76, housing costs $243.91, clothing is $53.75, and other expenses are $261.11. In Quito these costs are $286.22, 195.43, 62.89, and 286.23.

Planifican contratación de 4 intercambiadores (4 interchanges are planned to be contracted) – 4 new interchanges on the vía rápida Cuenca-Azogues-Biblían have been prioritized for this year. MTOP wants to start the contracting process in the 1st quarter of this year. In Cuenca, 3 interchanges are planned where the current Doce de Octobre, Gapal, and Monay (IESS hospital sector) redondels are. In Azogues, an interchange will be in the Bellavista sector. The interchanges in Cuenca are expected to cost $95.9 million and the one in Azogues, $7.9 million with financing from a loan by the Banco de Desarrollo para América Latina y Caribe (CAF).

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –



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