Renovation work picks up in El Centro; Women in Pucará create milk and cheese coop; Older adults go back to school; Road repairs to begin in El Valle
Hola, Todos –
Nuevos rostros del patrimonio (New faces of heritage) – 2021 was a year of recuperation for the private construction sector dedicated to patrimonial residences in Cuenca. According to data from the Dirección Municipal de Áreas Históricas, 144 projects were approved, fewer than before the pandemic when an average of about 200 were approved each year. More than the economic recovery of construction, the projects will help the general economy with the addition of new commercial spaces. The historic homes being improved have two basic characteristics – the maintenance of the ground floors for commercial spaces, and the development of apartments on the upper floors, This is a signal of improvements in the livability of the Centro Histórico which, over the years, had become to be seen as not a place to live. <Things circling back around – how many of you have friends who have pointed out buildings in El Centro to you and said “That used to be my grandparents’ house”?>
Besides private investment, public funding is also necessary for economic development. The Direccón de Áreas Históricas has done studies on the Casa del Migrante (Luis Cordero between Jarmillo y Calle Larga), Casa Rodríguez y Casa Donoso (both in El Vado), and has awarded a contract for studies on the Casa Primavera (av. 1° de Mayo) <Congratulate me – I finally found the ° symbol – by accident but at least I remembered where I found it.> The city has started work on the Casa de la Mujer which should be opened el 8/3, and the Unidad Educativa Francisco Febres Cordero.
Vialidad, prioridad para el Valle (Roads, a priority for el Valle) – The vía Monay-El Despacho-El Valle which is in bad condition, will be worked on in the first quarter of this year. Along a 3.1 km. stretch of road, drivers need to make dangerous maneuvers to avoid falling into potholes. <The Cuenca slalom – you’ve all seen it – an abrupt zig and zag around a pothole or manhole.> The road has become an alternative to the main road; it was never meant to carry the amount of traffic that currently uses it; and it lacks gutters, drains, curbs, signage, and lighting.
Cartoon for the day – The image is of a sad looking Old Man 2021 and the New Year baby 2022. The baby is saying to the old man, “traje uvas” (I brought grapes) and holding up a bunch of covid viruses.
La educación semipresencial (Blended education) – Semipresencial (Part time attendance) education in Sucumbíos was the result of a long fight for the right to an education for adults who either never entered the educational system or never finished. These adults had different economic and social reasons. Some had to assume work or family responsibilities at an early age. According to 2010 census data, of the 7 million people older than 26, 8% responded they had no education at all, with 60% of them women. Another 38% got primary level education, and 2% had completed basic level education. A 31 year old student in Sucumbíos, Yamira, is studying at a semipresencial high school in order to learn more Spanish. Her native language is paicoca. Other ancestral nationalities in the region are Aí Cofán, Siona, and Amazonian Kichwa.
In Sucumbíos, the Unidad Educativa Fiscocomisional Juan Ramón Jiménez Herrera was formed to respond to the high levels of illiteracy. The purpose was to bring education to people in rural areas and is structured with one main school and 23 extensions in the different cantons. Students take classes in their houses or face-to-face 2 days a week, 8 hours a day which allows them to work during the week and study nights and weekends.
Mujeres cumplen sueño de inaugurar planta de quesos (Women fulfill dream of inaugurating cheese plant) – An association composed mainly of women from the Pucará canton accomplished their dream of having an income to maintain their households through a milk processing plant and sales of their “Pelincay” cheese. <To remember the brand, remind yourself is sounds like a “pelican” – and the pelican is carrying a wheel of cheese in its pouch.>
The “9 de Marzo” association started about 2 years ago when the Covid pandemic started. Dairy cows were always the main income for the people in the area and cheese was made by hand until the milk processing plant opened. The plant will really be able to take off when a commercial electric meter and service are installed to run the machinery. The association will then be able to process 2,000 liters of milk per day into 600 pounds of cheese. Of the 50 participants in the project, there are 38 women and 12 men. Currently, 2 association members work in the plant making the cheese and receiving milk from the rest of the members, and this number will increase once the electric meter is installed and depending on demand.
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –
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 (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.