New vaccine centers open; Nativity displays at Old Cathedral and CIDAP; Sink hole closes Pan Americana sur; New cafe features coffee and cereals
Hola, Todos –
Artesanas presentan su nacimiento de toquilla (Craftswomen present their straw nativity scene) – For 7 months, 18 women have been weaving the garments for a giant nativity scene with the Angel Gabriel, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. They wanted to show that the paja toquilla (straw) can be used for large things and not just hats. The nativity scene will be in the Catedra Vieja until Carnaval, 2022. Hours are lunes a viernes, from 9-17:00, and los sábados y domingos from 8-16:00.
The Centro Interamericano de Artesanías y Artes Populares (CIDAP) opened the “Navidad en el arte popular” exhibit to a las 10:00. The exhibit has 42 nativity scenes by artists from 10 Latin American countries. The exhibit will run until 7/1/2022 with hours from lunes a viernes, 8-17:00.
Jóvenes artistas presentarán obras (Young artists to present works) – 3 students at the U. of Cuenca who won scholarships for symphonic composition will have their works played by the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Cuenca el 3/12/2021 a las 20:00 in the Teatro Carlos Cueva Tamariz. A 4th student´s work will be played next year. Free.
Salas del Pumapungo se abren hoy (Pumapungo galleries open today) – The salas at the Museo Pumapungo reopened today after being closed during the health emergency. There are 3 new exhibits, RE, Manuel Tarqui “pintura en forma de,” and Árboles. The public can also see the permanent exhibits, visit the Víctor M. Albornoz library, and the archeological and ethnobotanical parks. Hours are from lunes a viernes from 8-17:00 and weekends from 10-16:00. <Isn’t it nice to have more than “Nada” in the activities section? Does that mean we’re getting back to normal?>
Inauguración de Ceres (Ceres opening) – The first cafetería in Ecuador with the theme of cereals will open in Cuenca el 4/12 at Ricardo Muñoz Dávila y Remigio Crespo a few meters from La Taverna. It will be a coffee shop with selected beans, flavored milk, toast, pancakes, milkshakes and more. <How long do you think this one will last?>
Titular – Graves daños por lluvias (Severe rain damage) – See the articles about the water shut-offs and the sinkhole below.
Ómicron pone en alerta (Omicron puts on alert) – The new ómicron variant has caused booster vaccinations to be moved forward. Originally scheduled for enero, they started this month. Starting Thursday, two new sites have been added for adults over 18 who will receive AstraZeneca boosters. Andrea Bersosa, Zone 6 coordinator, said this vaccine has an effectiveness of almost 100%. The 2 new sites are at the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana (UPS) and UE Manuela Garaicoa de Calderón. People with suppressed immune systems and those whose first doses were Johnson & Johnson, will get Pfizer boosters. People who got Cansino will get Cansino boosters. Only people who have completed 6 months since their last shot can get the booster. You need to show your vaccination certificate. Vaccination of children from 5-11 (Sinovac), teens from 12-17 (Pfizer), and immunocompromised people (Pfizer) is continuing normally at health centers that have been set up. Additionally, there will be weekend vaccinations at the Mall del Río and Feria Libre.
Epidemiologist Andrea Gómez Ayora said that there is a lack of information about the ómicron variant, although she anticipated that it is more transmissable. What is still unknown are the symptoms, whether they are more serious or not compared to previous mutations, and the effectiveness of the vaccines. She said that closing borders can only delay the entrance of the variant into the country by one or two weeks, so it is essential that people continue to use biosecurity measures and get vaccinated. She noted that the Government should increase its diagnostic capacity. For example, it is unknown which variant is circulating most widely, although it seems that we have more cases of delta which can cause serious illness. This information is needed to plan prevention campaigns, promoting vaccines, etc. <I’m hoping that the ómicron variant is where the virus wants to be – highly transmissable, but only causing light symptoms so that victims feel well enough to go out and spread the virus around.>
La cirugía citorreductora más HIPEC gana espacio en el país (Cytoreductive surgery plus HIPEC gaining ground in the country) – This type of surgery for advanced abdominal cancer has been successfully performed in Ecuador since octubre, 2020. Dr. Carlos Machuca Carpio who works at the Mall del Río and Dr. César Nevarez Graber at the Hospital Alcívar in Guayaquil formed an oncological group to perform this surgery for the first time in Ecuador. The surgery is not simple and can last from 5-12 hours. The process which started in the US in the 90’s, allows chemotherapy to act in a specific location for better penetration and concentration than conventional intravenous chemotherapy.
Con plantón reclaman falta de medicinas (Lack of medicines claimed in sit-in ) – There was a a sit-in outside the Hospital José Carrasco Arteaga (IESS) organized by the Alianza Nacional por la Salud to protest the lack of medicines. There were also protests at 4 hospitals in Quito and 2 in Guayaquil.
Corte afectó a unas 5,000 familias (Some 5,000 families affected by outage) – About 5,000 families were left without potable water after the collapse of a siphon of the Junta Administradora de Agua Potable (JAAP) Proyecto Nero. Luis Quinde, president of the organization, said that the break in the line at the El Salado creek in the Emilio Sarmiento barrio was due to a landslide. He said the slide was due to an antrópico (anthropic – human caused, our word for the day) problem since people along the banks of the creeks fill them in to the level of the surrounding land so they can build houses. In this case, there was about 5-6 meters of fill which the creek started to wash downhill, causing the collapse. <If building your house on sand is stupid, how much dumber is it to build it on running water? Unless you’re building a house boat.>
The JAAP Proyecto Nero has restored water service to about 4,200 families with 800 still without water. About 25 communities in the El Valle parish and 5 in the Turi parish were affected in the Guncay, El Despacho, Rayoloma, Baguanchi, El Cedillo, Carmen de Baguanchi, Tierras Coloradas, and San Pedro zones. Quinde said the damaged line takes water from the reserve tank at Tierras Coloradas and from there to the principal reserve in Icto Cruz. One resident of Rayoloma said that at times of low water, some people use it for irrigation, and she asked for better control. Another neighbor said that the City should control illegal construction in the area where there have been dozens of fills blocking creeks.7.
Robos en la vía hacia Guayaquil (Robberies on road to Guayaquil) – There was a second robbery this month on the vía Cuenca-Zhud-Cochancay, the only road to Guayaquil. A truck driver headed to Cuenca stopped at the side of the road in the Suscal sector to rest. He was surprised by 4 armed people who tied him up, and took him to another location where he was abandoned. He managed to untie himself made a police report. The first robbery was of Paola Machuca Tacuri who was returning from competing in the Juegos Panamericanos Junior in Colombia. She was robbed of her sports equipment and competition bicycle in the Cochancay sector.
Ármico para recuperar vía (Ármico para recuperar vía) – A 3 km. stretch of the vía Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje will be closed for at least 5 days. A large sinkhole opened up Wednesday at km. 14.1 between the “Y” at Tarqui and the redondel de Cumbe. The damage occured at 9:00 when a heavy truck drove over the stretch of road which collapsed under it. The material under the road had washed out due to water filtration. There has been a dam forming at the side of the road from the constant rains. There was also a deteriorated culvert under the road connecting two private properties, and large amounts of water pased through that culvert.
The repair will involve removal of the roadway across both lanes of traffic to allow installation of an ármico (a corrugate metal sewer pipe), 1.3 m. in diameter and 25 m. long, and subdrains. MTOP intends to restore circulation by el domingo and finish paving the next week. The work will cost about $30,000. The alternate route will be through Victoria del Portete. <Better cancel that reservation at Izhcayluma.>
Estado de carreteras (Road conditions) – The vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme has been closed to traffic since the middle of noviembre. MTOP expects slope stabilization work to start in mid diciembre. The vía Cunca-Girón-Pasaje was closed ayer between the “Y” at Tarqui and the redondel at Cumbe. The vía Paute-Guarumales-Mendéz closed today for scheduled construction work at the Jurupis creek. It will be completely closed until domingo to both vehicles and pedestrians, from 6-8/12 only for pedestrians, and from 9-12/12 it will return to being completely closed. <I’m assuming that the 6-8/12 closure will allow only pedestrians rather than be closed only to pedestrians.>
And that´s all for today so Hasta ? –