Strategic workers vaccinated; Hundreds sleep outside waiting for passports; An expat’s program connects families, friends; School reopenings planned

Jun 4, 2021 | 2 comments

Jueves, 3/6/2021

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

El RotoFest trae un edición “atemporal” este 2021 (The RotoFest brings a “timeless” edition this 2021) – After skipping last year, the 15th festival of electronic and independent music will be held virtually during the last 2 weekends in julio, 2021. Performances will be on Facebook, Youtube and the RotoFest web page, and retransmitted on El Mercurio platforms. Alternative rock will be el sábado, 17 & el domingo 18/7 a las 15:00. Electronic music with 6 DJs will be el 24 & 25/7 a las 15:00. The music sessions were recorded at 10 different tourist locations in Azuay. There will also be connected events from 8-16/7, mostly at the Museo de Arte Moderno.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Indignanate e inhumano (Outraged and inhuman) – On el noche de martes (Tuesday night <but you regular readers should all know these words by now>) there were close to 250 people outside the Registro Civil in the parque Luis Cordero sleeping on the streets and sidewalks. One group consisted of a 78 year old woman and her 2 grandsons from Riobamba in Chimborazo. The two children need passports to go to the US to join their mother. They were told it was easier to get a passport in Cuenca because everything was full in Riobamba. Another person in the line said he needed to get a passport so he could register his masters degree from Spain and apply to be a professor. The registro hours are from lunes a viernes from 7:00 a 19:00, los sábados from 7-19:00, and los domingos from 7-15:00. Before noviembre de 2020, the office issued between 160 & 180 passports a day. Currently it is issuing almost 700 for all of the south with 350 for Cuenca alone. There are some travel agencies who offer help in getting passports, especially to Mexico. <I wonder if that´s a job old gringos could apply for – staying in line for a travel agency. Kind of like an outdoor, overnight Walmart greeter job. I hope none of you needs to renew your cedula right now.>

A crowd sleeps on the sidewalk outside the Civil Registry office waiting to apply for passports. (El Mercurio)

Dulces de Corpus tienen historia y mantenadoras (Corpus sweets have history and maintainers) – The traditon of making Corpus sweets dates back to the Colonial epoch when cloistered nuns gave sweets to those who came to adore the Blessed Sacrament during the Corpus Christi celebrations. Later, noble families adopted the custom of giving sweets as presents to their relatives. <That’s not the story I heard from my Spanish teacher.> Many of the candymakers are carrying on a family tradition passed down from grandparents.

Cecilia Orellana has been making candy for 51 years and has a store at calle Miguel Vélez y Vicente León where she will be selling her Corpus candies and taking phone orders for deliveries. One basic characteristic of the candies is that they are colored from the fruit used with no artificial dyes. The combination of the basic flavorings gives the candies their particular flavor. María Isabel Carchi, owner of Dulces Doña María on calle Galápagos y av. Loja said some of the candies have ancestral connotations. The arepas de maiz are called “pucañahui” in quichua which means “cachete rosado” (pink cheek) and the rosquitas are called cusquingas or doraditos (golden). This year you can get your sugar fix at PRAC (Bolívar y Huayna Cápac) or Cemuart (General Torres across from the SF Plaza).

A “sectores estratégicos” se vacuna e entegran veeduría (“Strategic sectors” are vaccinated and oversight is integrated) – 46 journalists from different communications media were scheduled to be vaccinated today as one of the strategic sectors. In Cuenca, an oversight group, “Veeduría por la vida” was formed with social leaders, barrio representatives, migrants and citizens of different sectors who delivered a public manifest to call for clear and concise information about the the current state of the disease and the degree of impact on the population. It also denounced the disorder in the planning and managing of the health crisis. <I think they’d have had a lot more to denounce if they’d been living in the US last year.>

App acerca a familiares y amigos (App brings family and friends closer) – Buddy Circle is an app that allows daily contact between a circle of friends and family. Designed by North American Bill Dick, it was conceived with the thought of singles and seniors without family close by. The app allows the user to pick an hour to check in each day. If the user does not check in, the sytem will call at intervals of 30 minutes. If there is no response after 3 tries, it alerts your contacts of a possible problem and your location on a map.

Regreso a las aulas será voluntario desde el lunes (Return to classtooms will be voluntary after Monday) – President Lasso, by decree, passed the “Plan Nacional de Desarrollo Educativo.” The plan has 5 axis which will start with a progressive and voluntary return of students to classrooms. To date, 15,135 schools have presented plans with 5,089 involving blended in person and distance plans. The Ministerio de Educación has approved 1,301 plans for schools to return to in person classes el 7/6. In Cuenca, only the Colegio Alemán has permission for in person classes starting el 10/6. The Ministry as also asked the COE to allow high school graduations in open air spaces at the end of julio for the Sierra-Amazonia schools.

The first of the 5 axis is “Encontrémonos” (Let’s meet) which has the objective of evaluating students to diagnose their educational level and mental health. Unicef estimated that 90,000 students quit their studies during the pandemic. Locations will be set up in the parishes. <At polling stations? If it works for vaccines, why not student evaluations.> The second axis, “Todos” has the goal of reopening 900 rural schools. 1,500 schools which served rural communities were closed between 2013 and 2016 without justification. The 3d axis will allow more autonomy in the content schools teach, especially for private and fiscomisionales schools. The MInistry will work with 28 publishers of educational books in Ecuador. This axis will also promote flexible and innovative ideas related to teaching at a distance or partly face-to-face. The 4th axis, “Fuertes” (Powerful) has to deal with the teachers and the 5th, “Excelencia Educativa” is in the technological and pedagogical area to emphasize media literacy and the “digital citizen” for both students and teachers. <Lasso is definitely organized – he seems to like bullet points with names.>

Un adulto mayor de 91 años busca a sus familiares (91 year old senior looking for his family) – Jacinto Bermeo Guachichullca is a native of Guayas and his identity has been confirmed, but he has family in Cuenca, and he came to look for them. He was found disoriented and wandering around the Totoracocha sector where citizens took him to the Unidad de Policía Comunitaria in the area for help. MIES is coordinating with the Centro del Adulto Mayor to evaluate him and see if he can stay in the Hogar Miguel León. Buachichullca only knows that he has a family member named Rosa Guamán who lives in Milchichig. He arrived in Cuenca by bus last martes with the goal of meeting family members. If you have any information, call 099 308 8509.

Deteriorada vía Barabón-Chaucha (Barabón-Chaucha road deteriorated) – The vía San Joaquín-Soldados-Chaucha was damaged during the flooding last month. <This is the road that continues along the río Yanuncay after the Cuenca Tenis y Golf Club.> One lane of the narrow road in Barabón was washed out. After Sustag, the road is gravel and full of potholes. People had blocked drainage ditches with debris which caused water to flow over the road. Repairs are complicated by split jurisdictions with the part of the road from San Joaquín to Sustag in Cuenca, and from Sustag west under provincial responsibility. Because of the widespread flood damage, machinery is also tied up on other repairs and less available.

Derrumbe en Molleturo (Landslide in Molleturo) – Due to the strong winter, there have been frequent slides on the vía Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme. The last rockslide was el noche del pasado martes at km. 49 which blocked traffic. Equipment from the Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas cleared one lane, but authorities are recommending not driving at night.

Nombran a ministro de Energía (Minister of Energy appointed) – Pres. Lasso appointed Juan Carlos Bermeo Calderón as ministrer of Energía y Recursos Naturales no Renovables. Bermeo was vice minister of Hidrocarburos and manager of Petroamazonas, posts he resigned from in noviembre, 2020. <Let’s hope he doesn’t do anything that would cause him to join previous energy ministers who have “retired” in Miami.>

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.