Students build new house for poor family, Cuenca pipeline needs work, Economy was stagnant in 2019, Tram PR campaign reactivated

Dec 24, 2019 | 3 comments

Martes, 24/12/2019

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Cine – “Jumanji, el siguiente nivel” will open mañana in Ecuadorian theaters.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Pase del Niño es el símbolo de Navidad (Pase del Niño is the Christmas symbol) – Last night, there was the ceremony of changing the padrinazgo (godfathership – I’m making up the word since I can’t think of one in English) of the Niño Viajero from the army to the police. Other godparents are the merchants in the mercado 10 de Agosto and the Hogar Miguel León. To be a godfather is an honor, a grace, and a blessing.

The Pase del Niño parade was Tuesday.

Terminal de Challuabamba – A new review by the Comptroller’s Office showed that two recommendations it made in 2017 and 2018 for the safety of the terminal for the Pascuales-Cuenca pipeline have not been completed. Between 2017 & 2018, cracks, fissures, and slides were found in the floors of the facility and in the surrounding slopes. The terminal was built by Odebrecht which has been questioned about corruption. <So not only did they “buy” the project, but they screwed up the construction.> The project which was supposed to be finished in 9/2015 wasn’t delivered until 12/2016; and the $250 million cost ballooned to $623 million.

El Niño Viajero was the center of attention Monday night and Tuesday.

After finding the damage, the government issued an emergency declaration for the Poliducto Pascuales-Cuenca which carries gas and diesel 250 km. from the Terminal Pascuales near the coast to Challuabamba, and LPG (propane) from the El Chorrillo terminal. All these products are stored at the Terminal de Challuabamba which needs to be secure to avoid accidents and pollution. The Comptroller’s Office found that EP Petroecuador didn’t provide proper monitoring of the project or evaluation of the state of the installation. <As in no soils testing, or better yet, a geological report?>

Saguran Youtubers – <Do I need to tell you that none of them looks a day over 20 even given that Ecuadorians look younger than they are?> A group of young people is filming stories about life in Saraguro. Nancy Risol has 1,071,868 subscribers and 2.19 million followers; Ashuquito,who is now 8 years old, has 600,000 followers. He works with a team of 12 people who each earns a basic salary from earnings from publicidad pautada (scheduled advertising).

New house for poor family – Architecture students at the U. of Cuenca built a new house for a family of 9 who had been living in a shack built from sticks, boards, and scraps of corrugated zinc. They were living on dirt floors in an area of 9 sq. meters <95 sq. feet – I bet a lot of you have bathrooms bigger than that.> When it rained, the floor under their mattresses turned to mud.

The idea came up last year when the city gave the Facultad de Arquitectura (School of Architecture) a list of families who had land but no house. The families were visited to decide which was in greatest need. The interviewers were struck by a 9 year old who needed to work. The child had lost all faith in humanity and life. When asked if he’d like to live in a house, he replied that it would be impossible given the money he earned.
The students and professors then started their work. They designed a house with 3 bedrooms, living, dining, kitchen and bath which cost about $18,000. <This is for those of you who wonder how much it costs to build a house. You’d need to scale it up to meet Northamerican expectations.> 20 businesses were asked for donations of materials, and 6 responded. The project is going to be repeated next year with the same businesses donating construction materials. If you are interested in participating, go to the U. of Cuenca to get more information.

Tranvía – The Unidad Ejecutora del Proyecto Tranvía (UEPT – Tranvía Project Executing Unit) reactivated its campaign to inform drivers, users, and pedestrians about the road signage for the system. The information will be spread via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, including images, illustrations, recommendations, and brief explanations about the signs. <Once again, technology has left me standing in the dust, and I’m going to have to rely on that absolutely reliable gringo gossip network to find out what the signals mean. So once the tram starts running, I might be writing about my own accident with the Tranvía.>

Economy – Ecuador will close the year with its economy estancada (stagnant). According to the Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), Ecuador’s GDP contracted in 2019 by -.2% compared to a growth of 1.4% in 2018. The figures from the IMF were even more desalentadores (discouraging – your word for the day) with a contraction of -.5% when its previous predictions were for a .4% growth. Reasons included less investment by both private and public sectors, less consumer spending, unemployment and a fear of both investing and buying. The protests from 3-13/10 also had a negative impact. The international situation such as trade tensions, less demand, and a decrease in the price of oil also contributed to the economic contraction.

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne

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