Students tell how they escaped Russian bombing and why they studied in Ukraine; IESS scam is explained; Turi tourist overlook project reroutes traffic
Hola, Todos –
Urge el bacheado (Urgent pothole patching) – Polvo y lodo en calles de Cuenca (Dust and mud in Cuenca’s streets) You don’t need to go far to see problems with roads in Cuenca. People are complaining about dust when it’s dry, mud when it’s raining, and about potholes all the time. The city is investing over $100 million in public works this year including parks, construction of a mercado, bridges, an interchange on Av. de las Américas, and recapping and paving roads. Mauricio Ochoa, secretary of Infrastructure said there is $11 budgeted for repaving of 38.5 km. of roads including Av. de Las Américas, González Suárez, Hurtado de Mendoza, Guapondélig and more. $27 million has been budgeted for paving of 27 km. new roads in the urban parishes of Machángara, Yanuncay, San Sebastián, Bellavista, Sucre, Monay, El Batán and others. Cuenca has about 1200 km of roads and about 350 km. of these are gravel and dirt.
Ecuatoriana que estaba en Ucrania llegó a Cuenca (Ecuadorian woman who was in Ukraine arrived in Cuenca) – Katerine Gómez Reyes arrived back in Cuenca last Friday night. She was studying English prior to starting classes in language at the VN Karazin Kharkiv National University when the Russian bombing of the 2nd largest city in Ukraine started. She left her apartment in Járkov, Ukraine el domingo, 27/2 when the attacks intensified. She went to the train station, but was unable to board, and went back the next day and was able to get to Lviv, close to the Slovakian and Polish borders. She rented a taxi with 4 other Ecuadorians she had met to take them to the Slovakian border where they stayed in below freezing temperatures until daybreak.
From there they went to the migration area and were allowed to proceed to the capital, Bratislava, where they met with authorities from the Ecuadorian consulate. <You permanent residents out there from the US – if you were in that situation, would your 1st choice be to go to the Ecuadorian or US consulate?> The consulate provided them with a hotel and food and they got tickets for another city also near the border. They arrived last Wed. and were in a hotel with other Ecuadorians who were going to Hungary. Finally they boarded a flight to Poland, and after a stop in Spain, flew to the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito where they were met by Ecuadorian authorities. She said that where she was living, she could hear the explosions from the advancing Russians. <I’ll never complain about fireworks again.>
Posibilidades (Possibilities) – Juan Carlos Medina has a degree in International Studies and advises students who want to enter universities in Europe and the US. He explained that Ecuador is the South American country with the most students in Ukraine, followed by Brasil, Colombia, Perú, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. <Only left out Venezuela and the Guayanas> He said Ukraine is attractive because it is cheaper than Ecuador. A semester costs between $400-$600, and masters program costs less than $5,000. He said that in Ecuador a kilo of beef or pork costs between $5-6 while it is somewhere over $1 in Ukraine. Chicken costs less than $.80 per kilo. A furnished suite with all the basic services starts at $200. Plus the education is high quality, students can practice in labs, there are well prepared tutors all the time, and courses are current with certifications. <Seems like until the Russians screwed things up, it could have been a good place to retire – at least a cheap place to retire. I can see the International Living hype – start your own sunflower farm.>
CNE aplica cambios de domicilio (CNE applies address changes) – The CNE is deploying mobile brigades so people can change their voting addresses before the 5/2/2023 elections. CNE technicians were in Dug Dug and Guarainac in the Paute canton today to accept address change applications. With this information, the CNE can plan new electoral zones so voters can go to polling places closer to their homes. The objective of creating new zones is to reduce absenteeism. <So if you’ve moved since the last time you voted, now might be a good time to register a change of address, or to register if you are now eligible to vote and want to exercise your civic duty.>
Desde hoy se cierra el tránsito vehicular al mirador de Turi (From today, vehicular traffic to the Turi viewpoint will be closed) – From hoy to el 217, vehicular traffic to Turi will be closed to renovate the tourist lookout. The project will include repaving of the main road and areas around the church. The alternate route is to take the extension of 12 de Octubre <or for the fit and ambitious, to walk>. The San Pedro and Agua Santa bus lines will take the Av. 12 de Octubre redondel to the UPC which is 100 m. from the central plaza. The cost of the project will be $1,260,103.76.
“Existe un perjuicio para Seguro Social de USD 3 millones” (“There is a loss to Social Security of USD 3 million”) – Carolina Moreano, the attorney general for the IESS, was interviewed about new irregularities which were reported to the Fiscalía (AG) by the IESS. Between 10/2021 and 1/2022, 116 complaints were sent. Most of them had to do with the public purchasing system. Moreano estimated that at a national level, IESS lost about $3 million when business was steered to certain providers, employers collected IESS contributions from employees and never paid them into the system, and manipulation of the information system. <Seems like it never ends.>
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –