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Ecuador News

Population tops 17 million, Cuenca holidays are 4-day weekend, School social media ban

Ecuador’s population tops 17 million

Ecuador’s population has topped 17 million for the first time, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC). The latest population report, showing the country with 17,096,789 legal residents, was released on Thursday. INEC also reports that Guayas Province continues to lead all provinces in population, with 3.6 million while Pichincha has 2.5 million.

Government makes it a four-day Cuenca holiday weekend
Cuenca holiday banners on Simon Bolivar.

Ecuador’s ministry of tourism has declared Thursday, November 1 a national holiday to create a four-day weekend around Cuenca’s independence holiday and the Day of the Dead. The move was required since Cuenca’s independence, November 3, falls on a Saturday this year. The ministry reports that the combination of the Day of the Dead and the Cuenca holiday is traditionally the the second most popular travel holiday of the year for Ecuadorians, after Christmas.

Ministry of Ecuador bans use of social media

The Ministry of Ecuador doesn’t want students and teachers to communicate through social media. In an email — which the ministry says is an acceptable form of communications — the ministry said that social media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are prone to abusive behavior and can distract students from school work. “We want to establish a system free of the negative consequences that are well documented with social media,” the ministry said. It added that face-to-face classroom communication is strongly preferred but if out-of-class interaction is necessary it should be conducted via email.

The ministry message went on to detail dozens of cases of “harassment” through social media reported by public school officials in 2018.