Latin America facing economic challenges in 2023; Top 12 natural wonders to visit in Cuenca; ‘Return to normal’ theme wins the Años Viejos contest

Jan 3, 2023 | 9 comments

Lunes, 2/1/2023
Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Titular – 

El año se abre con devoción (Year opens with devotion) – The fiesta of the Virgen de la Nube, patron saint of Azogues, was attended by thousands of faithful yesterday. The celebration included a mass and a 3 hour procession through the streets of Azogues. After two years in which the virgin paraded by car, this year she was carried on peoples’ shoulders again.

Cuenca –

El Vergel gana el concurso de “Años Viejos” (El Vergel wins “Años Viejos” contest) – The El Vergel barrio won the Años Viejos contest organized by the Amistad Club and the Unión de Periodistas del Azuay (UPA) for the 5th consecutive year. Their theme was “Calendario 2022: volviendo a la normalidad, pero a lo mismo de siempre” (Calendar 2022: return to normal, but back to business as usual). The entry was selected for its message, its creativity, and the neighborhood union. The other barrios recognized by the Amistad Club were the Barrio Central,. Comité Barrial Cruz del Vado, Mutualista Azuay, Ciudadela Uncovía, y Gran Cove. Each of those entries, most of which had themes related to politics and sports, also had creativity and neighborhood union.

A Chinese insect carrying the Covid-19 virus is part of El Vergel barrio’s winning entry in the Años Viejos contest organized by the Amistad Club. (El Mercurio)

Mascaradas 2023 – Now that the winner of the Años Viejos has been picked, the Amistad Club is concentrating on the Mascaradas which will return this 6 de enero a las 18:00 on av. Huayna Cápac. Those interested in participating can go to the Facebook page of the Amistad Club. There will be cash prizes for the institutions, groups, or families with the best costumes and presentations.

Especial –

De El Mercurio del domingo, 1/1/2023 (2 articles):

10 retos para la economía (10 challenges for the economy) – Controlling inflation is a common challenge for the economies of the US and Latin America in 2023. In addition is how to maintain fiscal sustainability and reduce debt while protecting the most vulnerable sectors. <For the US that would be how to protect the non-renewable energy sector. Gotta protect those oil and gas earnings who contribute so much to the economics of the governing sector.> These are the main desafíos (challenges, along with retos – your 2 for 1 words for the day) confronting Latin América in 2023.
1. Control inflation.
2. Stimulate economic growth.
3. Stop the rise in interest rates. <But only for borrowers. Keep them going up for savers. I want to have my cake and eat it, too.>
4. Reduce public debt and the deficit.
5.  Stem the loss of purchasing power.
6. Encourage private consumption and investment.
7. Transform the development model.
8. Reverse indigence and poverty rates.
9. Promote economic integration.
10. Return to pre-pandemic investment levels.

Los 12 lugares cuencanos para conocer en 2023 (The 12 places to visit in Cuenca in 2023) – <For those of you who like lists and checking things off, here’s your Cuenca bucket list.>
1. El Cajas – Many of you have been to the Cajas and seen its lakes and walked over the páramo, but fewer have seen it at night. After sunset with clear skies, the Cajas change into an astronomical observatory where you can see the Vía Láctea (Milky Way), planets and the Magellanic Cloud.
2. Pico de Pescado – This is also known as the cerro Sagrarumi and is one of the vista points from which you can see all of Cuenca. From the peak you can see Tarqui, Victoria del Portete, Baños, and the whole city. If it isn’t cloudy you can see the mountain range separating the Sierra from Amazonía.
3. El Plateado – El Plateado is in the Nulti parish and still to be discovered. Besides its trails, orchids, and stone roads, there are cracks through which you can enter if the weather permits, and with security measures (helmet and ropes). The area also has a lookout from where Cañar province can be seen.
4. Quebrada Oscura – This ravine is in Santa Ana and has a long, narrow passage where a stream flows down from 2.5 km. away. Besides the creek, nature is all around with steep slopes, the Quingeo river, walks, and paths where you can walk in the silence of Santa Ana.
5. Cerros – In 2019, the Municipio de Cuenca published “Caminantes,” which is a guide to 16 routes to ancestral hills which surround the city. The guide is available at and people have the opportunity to see Cuenca from different altitudes and from different viewpoints.
6. Soldados – During the pandemic, the community of Soldados converted itself into a space for leisure. Bicyclists and runners used it to train and pass through nature. It has thermal pools where you can soak for moderate prices.
7. Llacao – In addition to its lookout points, Llacao has a stretch of the Camino del Inca which you can walk from the main plaza. In a half hour of walking, you can see adobe and tile roofed houses. There are also places selling comida tipica where you can enjoy the gastronomy of Llacao. <Cuy, anyone?>
8. Paccha – Paccha parish has a series of natural attractions including the cerro Guagualzhumi with its hiking trails that can’t be visited in only one day. Included in its attractions are families that still bake bread in wood burning ovens so visitors can enjoy hot bread all day.
9. Boquerón – If you’re there to see the sunrise or sunset, for hiking, bicycling, or horseback riding, Boquerón in the rural parish of Turi offers attractions for adults and kids. One service is camping where you can enjoy views of the city.
10. Museos – The Museo Pumapungo and the archeological park, the Museo de Arte Moderno, and the Museo Remigio Crespo Toral are some of the sites where the public can enjoy and see the memories and past of Cuenca.
11. Pailahuaico – Between the Llacao parish and canton of Déleg is Pailahuaico which is an area where you can see small waterfalls and natural pools. These can be accessed by walks of up to 5 hours. On the path, you can see about 40 pailas (a pan or cauldron – or pools in this case) where you can isolate yourself and breath in silence. <Until the next group of panting tourists heaves into earshot.>
12. Avilahuayco – For those interested in climbing summits, Avilahuayco is a hill in the Cajas at 4,185 m. in altitude which can be used for training. To get there, enter via the elevation located in front of the Virgen del Cajas. <No, I don’t know what that is unless it’s the sort of theme park with a religious theme where some teenager saw the Virgin.> Getting to the top takes from 2-3 hours. It’s recommended to hire a guide to visit Avilahuayco.

Nacional – 

De El Mercurio del domingo, 25/12/2022:
El CNE habilita el portal web “Conoce a tu candidato” (CNE set up the web portal “Know your candidate”) – To encourage voting in the elecciones seccionales (midterm elections), the CPCCS (Consejo de Participación Ciudadana y Control Social) and the CNE have set up the web site Users can see the platforms for the candidates for prefects, vice-prefects, mayors, rural and urban council representatives, and members of the Rural Parish Councils. The site also has the resumes and motivations of the candidates for the CPCCS <Could one take for granted that the motivation would be power with easy money as a side benefit?>,.

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.


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