Officials busted for selling driver’s licenses; Take a tour of Cuenca’s El Centro churches; Call for artists; Turn off the lights in the ‘Hora del Planeta’

Mar 16, 2024 | 0 comments

Viernes, 15/3/2024

Hola, Todos –

I hope you all had a happy Pi Day yesterday (March 14=3/14=3.14159). I celebrated with pizza and made a rhubarb pie. There were 2 packages of rhubarb at the Coral on Wed. afternoon, so unless they restocked, now there aren’t any.

I didn’t post Periodicos on lunes or miércoles because the newspaper stopped getting delivered on domingo. After a few calls and a complaint, it arrived this morning.

Takee a tour of Cuenca’s historic churches. (El Mercurio)

Actividades –

Agenda cultural –
15/3, 20:00 – Concierto – Réquiem de Mozart – Todosantos.
16/3, 12:00 – Charla (talk) – Periferias y Argollas (Peripheries and Rings) – Museo Pumapungo. <Any guesses as to what this talk will be about? Urban Planning?>
17/3, 9:00 – Astronomía – Proyecciones astronómicas – Planetario.
18/3, 9:00 – Exposición – Yo río (I laugh) – Museo Universitario.
21/3, 10:00 – Escritura creativa (Creative Writing) – Casa Bolívar.

Ads <for you gardeners) –
Club de Jardinería El Sigsal – XII Exhibit of NGC flowers (what the heck are NGC flowers), “Cuenca florece en arte y jardines 30 años – Metrocar Chevy Dealership on Remigio Crespo y Federico Proaño – viernes, 15/3, 9 am to 7 pm & sábado, 16/3, 10 am to 6 pm.

Club de Jardinería El Sigsal – Workshop, “Cuidado de suculentas y su uso en diseño floral (Care of succulents and their use in floral design) by Ximena Neira Moscoso – Metrocar Chevy Dealership on Remigio Crespo y Federico Proaño – sábado, 16/3, 1h00. <Somehow, I don’t think the workshop will be at 1 am, but I don’t know if it was supposed to be at 1 pm or something else.>

Pumapungo convoca a artistas y diseñadores (Pumapungo calls for artists and designers) – <This is for all of you creative folks out there.> The Museo y Parque Arqueológico Pumapungo is calling for artists and designers from Ecuador as well as from abroad to show their work in one of two galleries at the museum. Those interested should propose projects that are related to subaltern identities, gender, childhood, women, or the Cañari world, through the visual or performance arts, literature, design or architecture. The winning projects will be shown in the Museo Pumapungo for at least 1 month and up to 3 months during 2024 or 2025. The proposals will be accepted until 17/3 after filling out a form and a letter of committment. To apply, go to No fee to apply.

Titular –

Una ruta para conocer iglesias patrimoniales (A route to discover heritage churches) – It’s said that if you come into downtown Cuenca, you need to get your hand ready to presignarse (make the sign of the cross — your word for the day) on each block for the number of churches. For this, El Mercurio has prepared a new route that centers on churches and religious temples. Besides keeping religiosity, you can find history, culture, art and even nature in the interiors of the churches.

To start the route, go to Todosantos which is a archeological, religious, historic and natural complex. Visitors who enter the church can find 3 options: the altar, vestiges of the church’s past, and the museum. You can see the lower part of Cuenca from the balcony and the restaurant. There is a convent behind the church, and inside is the museo de Todosantos, the oldest wood burning oven in Cuenca, and a cafeteria. In the part below the convent, are a garden and orchard.
After Todosantos, go up calle Larga to Borrero where the plaza and La Merced church are. Pay special attention to the wooden door of the church which is covered with the coats of arms of Cuenca and Ecuador.

Your next stop is Las Conceptas on Hermano Miguel at Juan Jaramillo, which has the Museo de las Conceptas with religious paintings, sculptures, games and crafts. Composed of 2 levels, rooms and a garden, this is a space where silence reigns. <This is not the place to be the stereotypical loud gringo, especially if you’re disparaging the religion or artwork.>

When you leave Las Conceptas, go to Parque Calderón where you can see the 2 churches that are the landmarks in Cuenca: the Catedral Vieja and the Catedral Nueva. The Old Cathedral contains art and architecture of the olden days, religious pieces, and a crypt you shouldn’t skip over. After the Old Cathedral, go to the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción (New Cathedral) where you can see a series of altars on the lower floor and the presbytery at the back. From the calle Santa Ana, there is the entrance to the balcony with its view of the whole Centro Histórico and the mountains to the west. <Be warned, there are lots and lots and lots of stairs and no elevator.>

End the route in the Plaza de las Flores and the iglesia del Carmen, directly to the south of the New Cathedral on calle Sucre. This spot is particularly photogenic. <For $10 you can probably buy more flowers than you can comfortably carry.> You can also buy the agua de pítimas made by the Carmelite nuns. The water is said to have tonic, diaphoretic, febrifuge and soothing properties. If you still have time <and your feet aren’t telling you to take them home now>, you can continue to the Plazoleta de San Francisco, Santo Domingo, San Sebastián, and the Cenáculo.

Cuenca –

El 23 de marzo será la Hora del Planeta (Earth Hour on March 23rd) – The Fondo Mundial para la Naturaleza (World Wildlife Fund – WWF) is inviting participation in the Hora del Planeta during which lights in buildings and monuments will be turned off for one hour. It is calling for Ecuadorians to dedicate 60 minutes of their time to recreational or fun activities that avoid plastic contamination. In Cuenca, participating institutions include the Municipio, Prefectura, Azuay Government, universities and schools. This year the Hora del Planeta will be at a crucial moment for the country since it is leading the negotiations for the International Treaty on Plastic Pollution. According to the WWF, Ecuador generated 1.000 kilos of plastic waste each minute. <A lot of my plastic waste gets filled with dog poop. Less ecological than picking up doodoo barehanded, but also less disgusting.>

Region –

Festival de la Manzana será el 6 de abril en Principal, Chordeleg (Apple Festival to be held on April 6 in Principal, Chordeleg) – The organic and chemical free production of apples will seen at the ‘Festival de la Manzana’ scheduled for el 6/4 in the Principal parish in Chordeleg canton. The parish is 65 km. from Cuenca and 18 km. from the Chordeleg canton capitol. During abril, the production of apples is unique even though there are at least 35 other classes of fruits including peaches, pears, capuliés (Ecuadorian cherries), santa rosas (plums), strawberries, quince, granadillas, taxos, moras and more. On weekends you can enjoy gastronomy including tortillas and comida tipica. In Cuenca, you can buy Royal Gala apples from Principal at the Precio Justo stores of AgroAzuay in the Gobierno Provincial on Bolívar 4-30 y Vargas Machuca. <Hmm – time to extend Pi Day to Pi Month and bake apple pies?>

Nacional –

‘Megaoperativo’ por entrega irregular de licencias en ANT (Mega-operation’ for irregular delivery of licenses in ANT) – The Prosecutor’s Office conducted raids related to corruption in the irregular delivery of drivers’ licenses in Quito and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. The case is being investigated as organized crime involving 9 people including 6 public officials. Included in the sites that were raided were the home and office of the provincial director of ANT (Agencia Nacional de Tránsito) in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. She would be the head of the presumed selling of appointments, alteration of licences, and use of false documents in the paperwork.

In 2021, under the direction of Adrián Castro, now a National Assemblyman for Azuay, 85,000 false licenses were detected. <Did they go after the drivers who got those licenses? Like revoke the licenses? Can ANT take points off a license that wasn’t valid to begin with? Maybe some of you irregular (illegal?) gringo drivers better start studying to take the test. It’s actually not that hard since the laws here aren’t all that different from the US.>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –



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