San Blas and San Sebastián parks to get upgrades; Cuenca ranks high for health care; IESS hospital reactivates hydrotherapy; Chile mourns for Piñera
Hola, Todos –
Un nuevo espacio para los amantes de las orquídeas (A new space for orchid lovers) – Ecuagenera has opened a new million-dollar showroom at Gonzalo Cordero Dávila y Federico Proaño to display its dozens of species of orchids and tropical plants. Although it has a showroom at parque Iberia, this new one is much larger with an ample parking lot. In addition to being able to admire and buy plants, you can get advice and the things needed to care for the different species.
Starting today is an open house with discounts on the products. This will run until el 14/2 with hours from 9-19:00. Once the opening of this new showroom is completed, José Portilla, the president of Ecuagenera will go back to research, describing and reproducing new species. Another open house will be held from el 22/2 to el 3/3 at the Uzhupud Garden with discounts from 20-50%. If you are interested in their work and knowing what species the business has, go to https://www.ecuagenera.com. <I wonder if Ecuagenera is bigger than Rod McLellan’s Acres of Orchids used to be. Ecuagenera does have the advantage of being in the middle of orchid country.>
Veto presidencial ante negativa del alza de IVA (Presidential veto of VAT hike denial) – See Wednesday’s article in CHL for story.
Los parques San Blas y San Sebastián serán intervenidos (Interventions at San Blas and San Sebastián parks) – People who work in the area around San Blas and San Sebastián parks are complaining about the poor condition of the parks including the park furniture and protecciones (protections – fences?). Alejandra Anderson who works in a restaurant at San Blas said that the benches are destroyed, and indigents and alcoholics are using them to sleep and drink under cardboard covers.
The Empresa Pública Municipal de Aseo de Cuenca (EMAC EP – the garbage company) is responsible for maintaining the 275 urban parks. María Caridad Vásquez, manager of EMAC EP, said that there is a new process to contract for park rehabilitation in the Portal de Compras Públicas (Public Purchasing Portal) after a previous contracting process last year failed due to documentation issues. The work will be renovation of both parks, especially the furniture and protection. The fountain at San Sebastián is not part of the work since a structural study needs to be done since there are serious leaks. <The perennial problem with just about any built structure in Cuenca. If not this rain, then the next one.> Once the contract is awarded, the work will take about 90 days. There are currently improvements to the Luis Cordero and de La Madre parks underway to replace furniture and the childrens’ play structures. That work started in enero and will finish in marzo.
De El Mercurio del martes, 6/2 (3 articles):
Salud: Cuenca destaca a nivel mundial (Health: Cuenca stands out worldwide) – The RankingRoyals organization, one of the largest platforms of statistics in the world published a list of the 40 cities with the best health care. Rankings ranged from a high of 86.4 down to 76.6 with Cuenca occupying 8th place with 82.1. Higher rankings went to Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Gold Coast in Australia, Chiang Mai in Thailand, Trondheim in Norway, Seoul in S. Korea, and Glasgow, Scotland. Cuenca ranked above the 3 US cities that made the list – Cleveland (79.8), Minneapolis (78.5) and Baltimore (77.3), as well as the Canadian cities of Hamilton (78.8) and Edmonton (77.7.
Patricio Medina, a member of the Asociación Ecuatoriana de Agencias de Viajes y Tour Operadores said that this high ranking should be taken advantage of for tourism to Cuenca. From 2010, Cuenca started to be known for health tourism due to its medical infrastructure, quality services and highly trained professionals. In a catalogue of cosmetic surgeons, there were Cuencanan doctors high on the list so foreigners started to come to Cuenca for procedures. Medina also said that there are addiction rehab centers which are a model for the rest of the country and are attractive for patients seeking these treatments. <Seems like there are plenty of gringos here who ought to be seeking these treatments.> In 2007, Cuenca was recognized by the World Health Organization as a healthy city. <I know for some of you, a WHO recognition is about as valuable as one from the Snake Oil Manufacturers Association.>
Patricio Serrano, a doctor and specialist in healthcare management, said that one of the factors that makes Cuenca a health tourism destination is its modern infrastructure. There are hospital complexes <that seem to keep growing>, with the largest being the public hospitals, with the latest equipment and high levels of professionals who have trained in the best universities in the world. Complex surgical procedures have been performed here including heart operations and organ transplants. <I wonder how long it will take for the narco-traffickers to branch out into organ harvesting? Some well-off gringos walking around with some poor Ecuadorian’s corneas, kidneys, liver, etc. Maybe I’ve just been reading too many medical thrillers.>
Lucía Aguilar, a doctor and researcher into development of medical services, thought much of the development of health in Cuenca is due to the high quality of universities. Cuenca has one of the best medical faculties in Latin America. She thought the tourism and hotel sectors have a field they can take advantage of to make Cuenca one of the main distinations in the world for health.
Fuertes lluvias seguirán y hay que estar alertas (Heavy rains to continue and be on alert) – The Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (INAMHI) is forecasting that intense rains and storms will continue in the interandean alley where Azuay and Cuenca are located. The rain will be concentrated in Cuenca, Santa Isabel, Pucará y Ponce Enríquez. There will be the possiblity of rivers overflowing and landslides onto roads. ETAPA said that there have been problems with blocked drains in 15 sectors. These include parque Jacaranda, Atahualpa y Altiplano, Pumapungo, Max Uhle y Ricardo Palma, Pintag y av. González Suárez, camino a Mayancela, Luis Moreno Mora y Roberto Crespo Toral, De los Cerezos y Hortensias, redondel de Mollobamba, Miguel León y av. De Las Américs, Constancio Vigil y Pumapungo, y de los Cañaris y Viracochabamba.
En el hospital del IESS reactivan hidroterapia (IESS hospital reactivates hydrotherapy) – The Hospital “José Carrasco Arteaga” (IESS) reopened its hydrotherapy pool which is part of the Unidad de Terapia Física y Rehabilitación. The purpose is to improve attention to patients needing physical therapy and who have been going to private locations.
Funeral de Estado y duelo nacional para Piñera (State funeral and national mourning for Piñera) – Sebastián Piñera, who was president of Chile twice in 2010 and 2018, was killed in a helicopter accident el martes. He was flying the helicopter when it fell into Lago Ranco shortly after takeoff in unfavorable weather. 3 passengers, including a minor, escaped, but Piñera was trapped by his seat belt.
Piñera was a commercial engineer who studied at Harvard <the university of choice for future presidents?>, and one of the weatlthiest businessmen in Chile. Forbes Chile reported that he and his family occupied 5th place in wealth with a fortune of $2.9 billion.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –