Real estate market remains lethargic, Cuenca weather is changing study shows, City museums colidate, Poor English proficiency, Stolen artwork

Jan 1, 2020 | 27 comments

Martes, 31/12/2019

Hola, Todos –

Feliz Año Nuevo!
Actividades –

Nada, nada, nada. <Besides jumping over burning dummies stuffed with fireworks or sawdust (which are illegal to sell) and insuring you won’t have any more kids.>

Otras cosas –

Titular – Alegría para recibir al 2020 (Joy to receive 2020) – Lots of people are at the beach for the holidays where there are more events and attract tourists. The president of the Azuay Tourism Chamber said hotel occupancy rates in Cuenca reached only 30% yesterday. This is considered low compared with 40-50% in past years.

Crowded beaches mean it must be the holidays.

Stolen art – A painting by Argentinean-Ecuadorian artist Ariel Dawi was stolen yesterday while it was on display at the Salón del Pueblo of the CCE. It was cut from its frame around mid-day. A man entered the gallery and asked to use the bathroom, cut the canvas out, hid the painting and left. The artist said he hoped that this incident would encourage the institution to put security into its budget. The painting is of the Colegio Benigno Malo in its urban landscape. If someone wants to sell it to you, or if you see it, report it.

Weather – Studies show that weather in Cuenca is changing. <Cuencanos who didn’t have anything to do with any study will tell you the same thing.> In the past years there has been rain outside the rainy season, and higher temperatures for longer periods. Part of these changes was attributed to climate change. The researchers said that the city urgently needs to take this into account and prepare in all areas and make adaptations so the population won’t be affected by climate climate. <Good luck with that. Man doesn’t stand much of a chance in a fight where Mother Nature is trying to reach a new equilibrium. Maybe one that doesn’t include our pesky species.> They also reminded people not to confuse climate change with daily, weekly, monthly and annual variations in rainfall, heat, cold, etc.

Municipal paperwork – Some municipal services will be suspended due to the end of the year. The dirección de Control Urbano (city planning?) will reopen el 2/1/2020 a las 8:00. On line payments will reopen el 1/1 a las 8:00. Vehicle taxes will not be collected until 13/1 a las 8:00 which conforms to the national schedule for matriculation (registration) of your car. The Sistema Cuenca DOC for doing paperwork on-line will also reopen el 1/1 a las 8:00. Property tax payments and other city taxes can be made at the Tesorería Municipal (Sucre y Benigno Malo) starting mañana. If you pay within the first 15 days, you get a 10% discount.

Museums – Adriana Tamariz, director of Culture of the city, was interviewed about plans for 2020. She said that the ex-Escuela Central will become the main library for the city and include the Daniel Córdova Toral library. The Manuela Sáenz library which specializes in Símon Bolívar will be relocated from the Quinta Bolívar, and the Antonio Lloret collection will stay where it is at the ex-Escuela Central.

The Dirección de Cultura will be moved from the ex-escuela to historic houses on El Vado, the Casa de la Lira will be for a museum and music project which will tell the story of the El Vado community. 5 historic houses will each have its own specialty. Some debts to artists will also be paid off.

Real estate – The president of the Asociación de Corredores de Bienes Raices (ACBIR – Association of Real Estate Brokers) said that the real estate market decelarated by 15% last year in both sales and rentals. He said there were more transactions for homes costing between $85,000-$95,000 due to new banco de IESS (BIESS) mortgages with a 5.99% interest rate. He also reported a scarcity of houses in the $60-70,000 range in Cuenca which are the ones eligible for Vivienda de Interés Público and Vivienda de Interés Social loans.

English proficiency – According to the international business, EF Education First, Ecuador is number 81 out of the 100 non-English speaking countries evaluated for levels of English. <The US is number 48 for English proficiency. As in “Him and I went to the game.”> Ecuador’s national score of 46.57 was the worst in Latin America. Quito scored 51.13 and Cuenca 50.31. <International Living never said anything about this in all their puffery about moving to Cuenca.>

Shampoo – A group of women in Parcoloma in the Tarqui parish is making shampoo from local plants such as nettle, rosemary, walnuts, aloe and santa maría which grow on the properties of the women in the group or in the wild. The shampoo prevents hair loss and strengthens the scalp. The process takes from experience of their ancestors who had huge heads of hair that they cared for using only local medicinal plants. To order, call (07) 244 0098 to 244.0102 or 099 214 8441. <If my line is busy, I’m trying to call these ladies.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne
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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. The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.

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