Pase del Niño traditions return; Nat’l police target extortionists; Ecuador exports surge 19%; Latam adds Cuenca-Miami flights; Foreigners join festivities

Dec 24, 2022 | 2 comments

Viernes, 23/12/2022
Hola, Todos –

Titular –

Pan y caramelos para Pase, listos (Bread and candies for Pase) – Carmela Llivipuma (Carmelita), granddaughter of one of the initiators of the Pase del Niño Viajero parade, resumed making bread and candy which she and friends bag to share with parade spectators. She will be next to the Fybeca on calle Bolívar. <Like shopping at Costco only with different food.>

Cuenca –

Expectativa por ruta directa a Miami (Expectation for direct route to Miami) – The Corporación Aeroportuaria announced a new daily routes for Cuenca-Quito-Miami and Miami-Quito-Cuenca. Latam will start flying this route el 2/1/2023. Boris Palacios said that the flight will leave Cuenca a las 6:20, arrive in Quito around 7:00, and after an hour and half layover, depart from Quito at 8:30 with a 12:45 arrival in Miami. Passengers boarding in Cuenca will pick up their luggage in Miami. He added that fares will be high early in the year since that is part of the high season. They will be reviewing fairs as the routes start operating and level off to analyze the real costs.

Cuenca expats Sally and Peter Dudar are dressed for Christmas but they maintain the spirit of giving year-round, handing out food every day in the historic district. (El Mercurio)

De El Mercurio del jueves, 22/12 (4 articles):
Sabores cuencanos a mesas de EEUU (Flavors from Cuenca to U.S. tables) – Mariana Ayala joined the long line of Ecuadorians at food shipping services to send 12 cuyes to Queens where her 8 brothers live. Every Christmas, people send humitas, bread, mote, tamales and sweets to relatives living in the US. Rogelio Quizhpi, manager of Quizhpi Express said that shipments increase around el 12/12 with cuy, Easter bread <as if panettone weren’t available in the US, but maybe not until Easter>, traditional liquors, and dulces de frutas.

The main destinations are Chicago and Minneapolis, and shipments take 2 days to arrive. Customers shipping things were aware that many of the products were available in the US, but said it wasn’t the same as the food prepared with love in a mother’s kitchen. Mauricio Atiencia, administrator of Koko Cargo Express said that the shipping agencies don’t have problems conserving the foods. Food sent on a miércoles would arrive el viernes. He said 95% of the shipments are of prepared food and Koko ships 6,000 pounds each week. <Good thing these shipments are going at Christmas instead of for July 4th.> For security and to comply with Policía Antinarcóticos orders, people bring the food to the shipping agencies open so it can be inspected and packed and packaged by the agency.

Exportaciones no petroleras crecieron 19% interanual (Non-oil exports grew 19% year-over-year) – Non-oil or mining exports grew 19% through octubre, 2022 according to statistics from Comercio Exterior. The value of these exports which represented 56% of total exports, reached $15,293 billion. Shrimp exports grew 50% through octubre, making it the main non-oil/mining export. For other products, the value of banana exports were reduced by 6%, canned fish and flowers grew by 9% and 3% respectively. China was the main destination for non-oil/mining exports. EU accounted for 66% of the value of non-oil/mining exports.

En Azuay, 91% de la población ya fue censada (91% of the population in Azuay has already counted in census) – The 2022 census is entering its 3d phase which will run from el 19-30/12. Phases 1 and 2 were the on-line census and the in-person census. The 3d phase is to interview people who were not reached in the 1st two phases. Workers said that they had problems getting access to multi-family units. If you haven’t seen a census worker yet, you can call 072 883090. The on-line platform at has been reactivated. One interviewee said she was surprised by some of the questions which included a question about cooking fuel: gas, electricity, wood or other. Another was if the household had cats or dogs, and another asked if the interviewee was sexually or romantically attracted to women, men, women and men or other? <I wonder how the census worker would have reacted to an answer of sheep and goats or vacuum cleaner nozzles, but only when the vacuum is sucking.>

Extranjeros cuativados por las tradiciones cuencanas (Foreigners captivated by Cuenca’s traditions) – For Joseph Kennedy, Christmas here is very different from Christmas in Great Britain, his country of origen. This last week, he and Ana Herington and Alexander Wojcik who played Santa Claus, helped a charitable organization at a Christmas reunion with 130 seniors. They also gave presents to 110 children. On the night of 25/12 they will travel to the Amazon and give school supplies, tablets, and computers to the Kuankus community. On el 31/12, he will be a judge for the monigores contest in Limón Indanza. He is taking part in the tradition of solidarity which is fostered in Ecuador.

Another group of foreigners are musician and sculptor Peter and Sally Dudar from Los Ángeles who don’t promote solidarity just in diciembre. They distribute fruit to people who are too poor to buy food at the Parque Calderón and on the Escalinatas daily. Peter remarked that Christmas should be on all days. Apart from these acts of solidarity, the foreigners are captivated by Ecuadorian customs such as the religious parades, the Nochebuena supper, Christmas bags, costumes, masses, monigotes and more.

Romanian Mihaela Badin, said the celebrations with the fiestas such as the Pase del Niño attracted her attention when she first moved here. She said Navidad or the Fin de Año are not celebrated in Europe as they are celebrated here. As spectators of the traditions of Ecuador, people of solidarity, or participants in the activities of diciembre, once foreigners become residents in Cuenca, they wind up integrating into the customs of Cuencanos. <The culture here is addictive, isn’t it.>

Nacional – 

Las denuncias por “vacunas” superan las 4,500 en 2022 (“Vaccine” complaints exceed 4,500 in 2022) – To prevent the crime of extortion, known as “vacunas” (vaccinations), the Policía Nacional has rolled out a compaign called “Di Alto a las Extorsión, No Pagues, Denuncia” (Stop Extortion, Don’t Pay, Speak Up). There are phone lines for victims of “vacunas” to call: 1800 EXTORSION (398677466) 1800DELITO (335486). According to Juan Zapata, Interior Minister, so far this year the police have received over 4,500 complaints related to “vacunas” which are demanded by criminal gangs for protection, mostly from business owners, and under threat of damage. He said there are a lot of people who don’t complain for fear of revealing their identity. He said that 1,105 of the complaints have been resolved and those responsible have been sanctioned.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –



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