New city logo causes a fuss; Illegal mines operate like drug cartels; Flooding risk of local creeks requires study; Retirees protest IESS pension forumla
Hola, Todos –
Cuatro municipos se unen para Carnaval del Pueblo Cañari (Four cities join for Carnival of the Cañari people) – The agenda is ready in Biblián, El Tambo, Cañar and Suscal for the “Lalay Raymi” festival, also known as “Carnaval Cañari”.
In Cañar, a special program will start a las 10:00 with activities continuing from 25-28/2 with a comparsas parade, launch of the “Taita Carnaval,” orchestral performances and more.
El Tambo will celebrate for 3 days starting el lunes, 21/2 a las 9:00 with the naming of the padrinos of the “Taita Carnaval 2022.” On el viernes 25, also at 9:00, there will be a comparsas parade and el lunes 28 a las 11:00 there will be the acts of the Unión Cantonal de Organizaciones Indígenas (UCOIT).
Biblián is planning 4 days of festivities. On sábado, 26/2 a las 13:00 there will be a parade of carros alegóricos (floats) <probably cars draped with all the curtains in the house and embellished with candies, fruits, and bottles of beer>, el domingo 27, lunes 28/2, and martes 1/3 all at 13:00, there will be “Carnaval Nazón 2022.”
Suscal will start its events el lunes 28/2 starting at 9:30 with folkloric parades, cultural events, and musical performances.
The 4 mayors announced that all activities will comply with the health requirements of the national COE.
Quebrada Milchichig la de mayor riesgo (Milchichig Creek the most at risk) – Cuenca needs to know the conditions and characteristics of its creeks in order to assess risks, but it does not have a current listing of all of them. Civil engineer and hydrologist Felipe Cisneros said an inventory of the creeks is much needed. He said Cuenca has 4 watersheds for its 4 rivers. The main creeks feeding the 4 rivers are El Salado, Milchichig, Tres Marias (Guzho), El Muerto (Turi), and San Miguel de Putushi (Sayausí). The one with the most risk is Milchichig because along its length and especially in the lower elevations, houses have been built closer than the minimum 15 m. away from the creek. This has happened along the other creeks as well. A study was done in 2009 which looked at the condition of the channel, hydrolic changes, the riparian zone, bank stability, appearance of the water, nutrients, ponds, invertebrate habitat, forest coverage, and presence of manure. They found the hand of man in large modifications of the creeks including filling, changing the courses, and illegal construction. Some had been converted into garbage and debris dumps.
La Cooperación Técnica Alemana (GIZ) has a project with the Ciudades Intermedias Sostenibles to design a management plan to restore the creeks of Cuenca. The first thing is to study the Shinshín creek in Baños and from there create a pilot plan that can be duplicated on an urban scale. <And then maybe there won’t be fluorescent blue water flowing in the creek that runs into the Tarqui near the parque lineal.> Daniel Tello, a consultant, said that although each creek has its own characteristics, once it reaches the realm of humans, they are all very similar in the types of pollution they show.
Imagen institucional genera debate (Institutional image generates debate) – Mayor Palacios’ administration signed a contract for $46,500 to create a new graphic image for the city, which was unveiled Tuesday. Various graphic designers have reacted to this new image. Johnny Gavilanes reacted with surprise because it is a very stylized escudo (coat of arms) with fewer elements the previous one. He said Cuenca is considered one of the cradles of graphic design in Ecuador and this image has generated some discomfort since you could see it as an exageration of minimalism. City councilmember Cristian Zamora said that the changes in the image have happened each time the administration changes. He said that this image caricaturizes the coat of arms and also uses the colors of the mayor’s political party so you could say it is a subliminal campaign.
El Mercurio was not able to get the technical criteria for the new design. Social communicator John Machado analyzed the image on Twitter and also observed that it is the most stylized escudo. He also said that use of the symbol of the city for the seal of an administration is an appropriation of a common asset, but he added that this is what past administrations have done so perhaps it is to send a message of continuity. He indicated that in the new banner you can see the campaign promises of the mayor: a new airport, integration of the Tranvía, the environment, tourism, and the mayor’s name. However, he said it is a good work from a technical viewpoint. <From my viewpoint as an almost Spanish speaker, the way the name of the city is presented is confusing – cu, en, ca on 3 different lines so it looks like 3 separate words. See it for yourself – it’s hanging on city hall.>
Jubilados realizan hoy tercer plantón (Retirees hold third sit-in today) – There was a sit-in called for all offices of the IESS to protest the amount of pensions received which were reduced to 60% and in some cases to 27.5% of the amounts promised, and a deficiency in medical attention. Protesters say that IESS is ignoring a Constitutional Court order to use a payment forumla that would mean larger monthly checks for pensioners.
Universidades ofertan posgrados (Universities offer postgraduate degrees) – The Universities of Cuenca and Azuay, the Universidad Politénica Salesiana and the U. Católica de Cuenca are open for applications to their masters programs in a variety of subjects. You can go to the web sites of the Universities to see what desciplines are open. Classes will be in person, on line and hybrid. Costs of the 18 programs offered at the UPS range from $5,000-7,000, and classes start el 1/5. The cost for one of the 13 masters degrees from la “Cato” (U. Católica) ranges from $4,500 to 7,000 with discounts for vulnerable populations and prompt payment with classes starting the end of marzo. <Sounds like you might get a senior discount for that degree in Obesity and its Comorbidities or Sustainable Construction Management that you’ve always dreamed of getting.>
UDA offers 8 masters at costs from $5,000-6,500. Apply before 13/3. The U. of Cuenca is offering a Masters in Engineering Sciences for Water Resources Management in an interinstitutional program which costs $8,600 with classes starting el 18/4. Apply before 25/2.
The U. of Azuay (UDA) and the Gobernación del Azuay have signed an agreement to start a free service to accompany victims of domestic violence to legal and psychological services and appointments. In Cuenca, the most affected are women, children and youth. Security agencies say that of 10 calls for help to the Policía Nacional, 6 are for domestic violence. In general, those who are confronting conditions of violence every day are women in life conditions they need to overcome. Because of that they need psychological support from professionals, and students who are doing their internships can help. <I hope when they collect the woman from her house they send either a big strapping intern or if a small one with martial arts training. I doubt the abuser would be happy that his wife is going to get some help.>
“Minería ilegal funciona como el narcotráfico” (“Illegal mining works like drug trafficking”) – Governmental authorities analyzed an ongoing operation against illegal mining in Yutzupino in Napo province. Alexandra Vela, ministra de Gobierno said that activities in the area are managed like a business organization similar to drug trafficking. There is machinery there costing from $180,000 to $250,000 which is way out of reach for artesanal miners. <That would be the guy with one pick and one bucket digging a hole under his house. He probably doesn’t even have a hard hat.> She said we will not permit the destruction of nature, poisoning the water drunk by people living next to the rivers or poisoning river wildlife, the main food for that sector of the population. The uniformados (soldiers/police?) will not leave Yutzupino for as long as needed to get people back to their normal lives.
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.