Hospitals restock meds; Lasso prepares labor reform; 2022 city budget emphasizes public works; Cuenca Int’l Art Bienal opens; Guayacan trees are blooming

Dec 10, 2021 | 4 comments

Jueves, 9/12/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Invitan a florecimiento de los guayacanes (Invitation to the flowering of the guayacan trees) – One of the best natural spectacles in the world is the flowering of the guayacan trees between diciembre y enero in more than 40,000 hectares of the Zapotillo canton in Loja. Although the trees flower only 8-10 days, the process takes about a month since the tree flower at different times in different zones. After they flower, another sight is the fallen blooms carpeting the ground in different shades of yellow. The area is part of a 500,000 hectare UNESCO biosphere reserve with tropical and semitropical forests and over 51 species of birds. Go to for more information including local and hotel businesses.

The guayacan trees are blooming in the southern sierra. The best place to see them is in Zapotillo in Loja Province.

Since the pandemic is not yet over, there will be biosecurity measures and visits will be controlled. When you enter the communities, you will be asked for your vaccination card, and capacities will be limited to 50% even though the locations are outside.

¡A buscar las Venus de lego! (Let’s find the lego Venus!) – In 2015, artist Noé Mayorga was thinkinig of how to universalize the language of some of the Ecuadorian cultures to show what is considered folklore or crafts to other countries. He decided on legos which are known to and have been played with by many people. At first, he thought to modify them to represent he Diablo Huma which is an iconic character in fiestas in Ecuador. His thinking evolved and went to 3D printing and finally he thought of the Venus de Valdivia, the most powerful icon in Ecuador, and recognized in the rest of the world. <Even in the US? Does an image of the Venus of Valdivia come to your mind without constulting Google?> Mayorga decided to mold the Venuses in clay and called his project, “Ñaupa Warmis, las Venus de lego,” and it is part of the 15 Bienal de Cuenca. His little Venus figures are in the forms of warriers, mothers, and protectors, and he brought 60 to Cuenca. They will be placed throughout the city, and if you happen to see one, you can leave it or take it with you. If you don’t happen to run into one, you can see a silver Venus at CIDAP.

Another work that will be active is “Un jardín nuestro” in the Museo de los Metales and it opened tonight a las 19:30, and will run until 11/2/2022. The work is by Arte Actual FLACSO which is moving towards a space the seeks to reconnect and regenerate life in relation to and in dialogue with the plant world.

Mañana se inaugruará la 15 Bienal de Cuenca – The 15th edition of the Bienal de Cuenca will open tomorrow a las 10:00 in the Museo de la Ciudad. For the first time, the 10 venues showing the work of the 34 selected artists will open at the same time. The Bienal will run until 28/7/2022. The venues will be the old Escuela Central, the Museo de Arte Moderno, the Casa Sede de la Bienal, La Casa de la Lira, el Salón del Pueblo, INARTE Contemporáneo, Teatro Sucre, Sala Proceso, and the Museo Remigio Crespo. <I wonder if the works will be art for other artists or art for the general public?>

Titular –

Reforma Laboral, otra “batalla” del govierno (Labor Reform, another “battle” of the government) – The details of the Reforma Laboral project will be known when Pres. Lasso presents it to the public. He wants to have the debate in public with unions, workers, business associations and academia so he can make observations and improve the project so it will more easily pass the Asamblea. The project will be a law functioning parallel to the Código del Trabado (Labor Code). The pres. said that no one has dared to propose a reform to the Labor Code which dates back more than 80 years. He said the starting reality is that 70% of workers are not fully employed and this should stir the consciousness of the country’s leaders. Lasso wants to free this democratic battle first in public opinion and then the Asamblea Nacional. He expects the public debate to last 90-120 days and present the law to the Asamblea in the middle of 2022 since the IMF has withdrawn approval of the Labor Reform as part of its agreement with Ecuador leaving only a suggestion that the country succeed in economic growth.

Ángel Zapata, president of the Frente Unitario de Trabajadores (FUT) anticipated that the proposal will not be supported by the unions since it would create job insecurity, a setback in rights, and allow for the existence of first and 2nd category workers. Lasso responded that there can’t be a setback in rights for people who do not have labor rights because they have no job. He also pointed out that there are already 2 classes of workers – formal and informal, the second of which he wants to include in the labor reforms so that they can become legal and part of the Social Security system.

Cuenca –

Navitón busca recolectar miles de fundas de caramelos y juguetes (Navitón seeks to collect thousands of bags of candy and toys) – The Acción Social Municipal is organizing Navitón 2021 for this sábado, 11/12 a las 9:00 -19:00 in the parque de La Madre. Diana González, director of Acción Social, said this is the 3d year for this event to collect bags of candy and toys to deliver to different areas where there are vulnerable people. The goal is to offer a day with Christmas themed family entertainment from many groups and individual artists. The Acción Social is inviting local businesses and citizens to make donations. The hope is to exceed the amount collected in 2020 and benefit thousands of children in the canton. <Coral and SuperMaxi have bed pillow-sized bags of candy and cookies which I’m sure would be welcomed.>

Gobierno realiza compra masiva e inmediata de medicamentos (Government makes massive and immediate purchase of medicines) – Este martes, the Ministerio de Salud Pública (MSP) announced that it is coordinating with the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social (IESS) to guarantee medicines for its patients at a national scale. There are about 200 kinds of medicine on the list. The $50 million purchase will supply health care centers with 100% of their needs for at least 5 months. The MSP will receive about $30 million and the IESS about $20 million. In 2022, the investment in the Sistema Nacional de Salud will be $3.419 billion, $559 million more than 2021.

Cuenca con 265 millones para el 2022 (Cuenca with 265 million by 2022) – El último martes, the Concejo Cantonal de Cuenca approved the budget for 2022 at the 2nd and final debate. The budget rose to$265,855,177, an increase of $42,189,755 from 2021. Current income represents 35%, capital income is 38%, and financing is 27%. The budget prioritizes investment expenditures at 73% with current expenses at 11%. <What does the remaining 16% get spent on?> The 2022 budget increases the amounts for public works projects which include construction of the Mirador de Turi, the Piedras de Yanuncay linear park, the Isauro Rodríguez and La Compañia bridges, Los Eucaliptos and Nuestra Casa parks, the Mercado 27 de Febrero development center, the Programa Cuenca Unida, the CLTV or wholesale market, and the mercado in Mutualista Azuay.

Permisos de funcionamiento (Operating permits) – The Empresa de Desarrollo Económico (ECED EP) of the City of Cuenca is offering training to get operating and health permits such as from the Agencia Nacional de Regulación, Control y Vigilancia Sanitaria (ARCSA – National Agency of Regulation, Control and Sanitary Surveillance). Training will cover the requirements for operating permits, standards of the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización (INEN) for products, food labeling, and more. <Training in handling food safely would be nice, and can there be training in English for gringos offering food to the public to get legal if they’re not?>

Region –

A siete cantones unirá el Pase del Niño Manuelito (The Pase del Niño Manuelito will link 7 cantons) – For the first time, the Pase del Niño Miguelito will unite the 7 municipalities and 26 parish juntas in Cañar. The activities will run from viernes, 7/1 to el domingo, 9/1. On 7/1, the image of the Niño Miguelito will be taken from the Catedral de Azogues to the offices of the GAD provincial for the employees and workers to pay tribute, and then returned at 18:00. There will be a mass which ends with fireworks and music. <I’m assuming the fireworks will not be set off in the church. Only in Cuenca could a celebration end with almost burning down the old seminary.>

El 8/1, the image will be taken to the barrio Luis Cordero with more celebrations. El domingo, 9/1 a las 7:00, there will be a mass after which the image will go to the Parque Infantil where the Pase del Niño Manuelito will start at 10:00. The parade route will include av. 16 de Abril, Aurelio Jaramillo, Simón Bolívar, Azuay, and other streets, and end at rhe Estadio Federativo where there will be a mass. <Save the date in case you miss the Pase del Niño Viajero in Cuenca.>

Obras de mitigación antes de estabilizar talud en Molleturo (Mitigation work before slope stabilization in Molleturo) – In collaboration with the residents of Molleturo, the Gobierno Provincial has taken machinery to the slope at km. 49 of the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme. The work will begin when MTOP gets a contractor to stabilize the slope. The current work will be to remove the largest rocks on the slope. <That work could be really dramatic – SUV sized rocks bouncing and rolling down the mountain. As long as the supervising engineer doesn’t monitor the progress from the bottom of the slope things should be OK.> Once the stabilization work has been done, there will be a new technical meeting before starting the cleaning. The province will also hire a road crew to recuperate 2 lanes of the vía Granda-Centeno which connects Molleturo with Guayas.

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). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.