Cuenca News

The ‘real’ economic refugees, Russian circus, Holiday crafts fairs, New beer in town, Venezuelan dysfunction

Miércoles, 9/8/2017

Hola, Todos –

Pagina cultural –

Wednesday’s agenda event –

Día de la Cultura – The Museo Pumapungo will present community micro-businesses from Morona Santiago and Cotopaxi. <If you paid the slightest attention to your Lonely Planet guide, you should know that these are provinces.> The visit from the director of the Museo El Vaticano has been changed to Thursday.

Filmes (films) – A film cycle started Wednesday at the Centro Cultural La Guarida (Mariscal La Mar y Luis Pauta). The opening film will be “Todo sobre me madre” (All about my mother), by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. <Again, a reminder that if information is missing – in this case the time – it’s because it’s not in the article or I can’t find where it’s buried. If you’re interested you’ll have to do your own legwork.> Cost: $1.00.

Upcoming and ongoing agenda events –

Danza y performance – El Frente de Mujeres Defensoras de la Pachamama and the Natura Insurrecta-Azuay Collective will hold a dance-performance workshop from 14-18/8 titled, “Cuerpos y Páramos en Resistencia” (Bodies and Páramos in Resistence) from 9:30-12:30 and 14:30-17:30 in the Auditorio del Museo del Monasterio de las Conceptas. There will be a public presentation of “Por nuestros Páramos Libres de Minería” (For our Paramos Free of Mining) on 18/8. (Your word for the day is “libre” – free. It is not to be confused with “gratis” which also means free. The first is free in the sense of liberty and the second is free in the sense of not paying. I imagine since you are already “libre,” at least in theory, your greater interest is in things that are “gratis.”)

Articles about –

Oral history project – A young writer, Agustín Molina, is gathering oral traditions from the 21 rural parishes in Cuenca. 2 to 4 “ancianos” (old folks) <I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am officially old, but I’m not anciano yet.>, sages, and bearers of history are interviewed in the local library. So far, Molina has visited Sayausí, Santa Ana y Baños. The project will end 17/10.

CCE – The activities hoy for the Día de la Cultura at the CCE include live entertainment at 10:00 with “El Loco” by Francisco Aguirre, urban musicians, crafts, live painting by Kléber Moscoso, and a space for ancestral knowledge. At 16:00 there was a performance of “Bambatal, que error tan animal” (Bambatal, what an animal error) for children in the vestibule of the theater. A 18:00, the Banda Ciudadana and the Danza Andina Contemporánea Dance Troupe will perform in Calle Pres. Córdova y Luis Cordero. At 19:00, there will be a Sesión Solemne with city and provincial officials and an award ceremony for contributors to culture and Azuay followed by projection of “Filminuto” on the CCE rooftop terrace.

Exhibición – “Anecdotario Visual,” a show of paintings by James Pilco opened yesterday. His large scale works are of children and memories from the 50’s to the 80’s and are painted in tones of black, white and sepia like old photos.

Feria – The “Macanas, Queso y Chocolate” (Ikats, Cheese and Chocolate) fair will run from hoy hasta (until – another word to memorize) sábado from 9-19:00. The two part fair includes a show and sale at the plazoleta de la UNE (Pres. Córdova y Borrero) and training seminars about community business and tourism projects. <I can hear some of you already – “If they want to attract tourists, they’re going to have to learn English.” Why not Chinese?>

Otras cosas –

Titular – Ofertas y exigencias ante alza de pasajes (Offers and demands on fare hikes) –

Feriado – There will be lots of alternatives for activities during the holiday. There was a concert in Sígsig Wednesday a las 20:00; and mañana starting at 9:00, the Calle de la Artista on Sucre y Benigno Malo will have the 5th Sombrero Festival. Get information about the 4 Rutas (routes) from the iTur offices on Sucre across from Parque Calderón or the Museo de la Ciudad (Gran Colombia y Benigno Malo). The routes are museums, bread, French, and San Joaquín. Pakaríñan Expeditions has tours to Azuay, Cañar, Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. Guayaquil is the main market for tourists coming to Cuenca. Before every holiday, the Tourism Foundation promotes a schedule of events on Facebook and Twitter, and hands out flyers to people coming into the city. <I bet you could get a flyer at the Terminal Terrestre.>

Child killed by father – An 11 month old girl was killed by her father. He was drunk and wanted to attack his wife who had the baby in her arms and he stabbed the baby. Police arrested him and the Judicial Unit ordered prison while the Prosecutor formulates charges.

Feminicide – The citizens’ collective Geografía Crítica, presented a map of feminicides in Ecuador with statistics showing a violent assassination of a woman every 50 hours in the country. The map covered the period from 1/1 to 2/8. The collective pointed out that this gender violence continues with impunity and that there should be a committment by society for prevention, attention, protection, access to justice and reparation of victims’ rights.

Economic refugees – Thousands of Venezuelans are leaving their country and crossing Ecuador into Perú and Chile for work. A technician in Hygiene and Industrial Security said that he earned 500,000 bolívares, a salary double the basic salary, but the “canasta básica” (basic basket – of living expenses) is 1,300,000 bolívares, and his salary basically covered a few days of food. A teacher and his wife were headed to Perú hoping to find work. He said Ecuador wasn’t an option to stay given what he had heard about negative attitudes towards Venezuelans. <And now you know what a REAL economic refugee is. A technical level, full time worker who runs out of food money by the first week of the month.>

Colegio Benigno Malo – The school, built in 1923, badly needs restoration.

San Francisco Plaza – <This is also a civics lesson on a public works project.> The award for the remodeling contract to the Consorcio Plaza San Francisco was announced in the Portal de Compras Públicas (Public Purchasing Portal) yesterday. The director, José Alfredo Jiménez, said that publishing and signing the contract could occur this week. <With viernes a holiday?> At signing, the contractor will need to present a completion bond and one for “good use of the deposit.” These bonds are usually issued by an insurance company. The contractor also has environmental impacts and archeological studies to consider. There is an archeolologist on the project. Articles 54 and 67 of the Culture Law says that any prehispanic or colonial material on or under the ground is the property of the Republic and not to be destroyed.  The city has already been working on the project. It has removed trash and the paving stones, and demolished all the structures except the bathrooms.

Asambleas ciudadanas (more civics) – The city is working to improve its methodology for citizens’ assemblies where residents of the 15 urban parishes can meet to talk about city services with road construction and maintenance, basic services such as water and sewer, and park building as the most asked for. A pilot program has been developed for Totoracocha, Yanuncay, San Sebastián y el Vecino. The first phase will be election of a citizen’s board. The second will be meetings from 11-15/9 for the parishes to prioritize what projects they want to see done in 2018.

Historic house destroyed – The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the destruction of a patrimonial house at Fernando de Aragón y Calle del Retorno. The penalty can be 1-3 years in jail. <That’s taking historic preservation seriously.>

Business page –

New beer – Cervecería Nacional y Club Premium presented a new beer, Club Premium Trigo (Wheat) in a limited edition. <I guess this won’t be for the gluten intolerant.>

Amenidades –

Circus – “El Circo Niños de Oro de Rusia” (The Golden Boys Circus of Russia) will be at the Teatro Pumapungo on viernes, 1/9; sábado, 2/9; and domingo, 3/9. An accompanying photo is of a flyer for their Quito performance, but it does say get tickets from ecu-ticket.

Internacional –

Venezuela – The newly assembled Asamblea Nacional Constituyente took decisions to cancel or take over institutions not allied with the Government such as the Attorney General and Parliament. The Poder Electoral, accused of serving the government, published a list of the parties that could participate in the next elections. Opposition MUD could not field candidates in some important states. The 500 member assembly has the power to refound the country, draw up a new constitution, and with no other public power that can oppose it. <Can you draw the parallels with the situation up north? Very scary.>

And that´s all for today so Hasta Mañana –

Jeanne

  • StillWatching

    “Feminicide – The citizens’ collective Geografía Crítica, presented a map of feminicides in Ecuador with statistics showing a violent assassination of a woman every 50 hours in the country. The map covered the period from 1/1 to 2/8. The collective pointed out that this gender violence continues with impunity and that there should be a commitment by society for prevention, attention, protection, access to justice and reparation of victims’ rights.”

    This can’t possibly be true. I know because every newbie here tells me (while they’re still in the honeymoon phase of their “guestship” in Ecuador) the following things.

    1. “But the people are SO nice…”
    2. “But this is a Catholic country and that kind of thing couldn’t possibly happen here…”
    3. “But Ecuador is such a family oriented place…”
    4. “But we mustn’t speak out about such things because we’re guests here and it’s their country so we have to remain silent.

  • Dogoslave

    The comment about EC having a “negative attitude” towards Venezuelans struck me as odd. If true, what’s the cause?

    • fredtover

      It is because like Mexicans in the USA they are taking jobs from Ecuadorians. They are willing to work harder for less money!

      • Dogoslave

        Not sure if that’s the whole reason. Lot’s of educated, experienced refugees leaving VE and EC doesn’t want to get in on the “brain drain”? The vast majority of Mexicans entering the US don’t have the same skill set as those leaving VE.

        • guest

          Dogoslave, I don’t see a difference. I see both as people that are searching for a place to live in peace and be able to survive.

    • Karen Lynn Kennedy

      There is some negative attitude going on…I am hosting a Venezuelan at the moment and she was rejected from several possible jobs on that basis, and the excuse from the possible employers was that “Venezuelans demand too much and have bad attitudes”…based on a few that insisted on “better conditions” in spite of not yet having legal papers in the country…it is odd that solidarity is hard to come by.

  • Frank Penny

    Why is today, “Miercoles, 9/8/2016?” at the top of the article?

    • Sara

      The article was posted yesterday, Miércoles, 9/8/2016. Check the date line. What’s your point?

      • StillWatching

        Once again, Sara, it is 2017, not 2016.

  • guest

    Great progress at San Francisco Plaza has already taken place! It has only taken 40 years to remove the piss-whole on the corner, you know, the one where you have to hold your breath until you have passed way beyond. Yes, that one.
    They have broken ground and so far there are only a few that have been charged with ripping off the city.