There’s lots to do on Easter weekend; Cuenca fights for LP gas storage tanks; Int’l airline ticket prices head lower; Food donations poison 17 in Alausí

Apr 8, 2023 | 13 comments

Lunes, 7/4/2023

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Un abanico de atractivos en feriado de Semana Santa (A range of attractions for the Easter holiday) – Even though getting to Cuenca is difficult for tourists, there are still many things to do if you’re here with the main attractions being gastronomía típica <have you had your fanesca yet?>, history, art, and nature. <And of course, shopping.>

1. Art:
The Archdiocese of Cuenca is presenting the ‘Semana Santa’ show of religious art at the Museo de la Catedral Vieja this weekend, 9-14:00. Straw weavers are showing their creations in the entrance atrium on Luis Cordero.
‘Medicina Transposicional,’ a show by artist Julio Mosquera will be at el Salón del Pueblo (Sucre y Benigno Malo) mañana (sábado) from 9-18:00.

The airline industry welcomed the government’s announcement of lower taxes on international flight tickets.

2. Archeology:
The Complejo Cultural Pumapungo in Cuenca will be open hoy, mañana y el domingo from 10-16:00.
Archeological attractions in Cojitamo, 20 km. from Cuenca; and Ingapirca, 75 km. away, will be open from miércoles a domingo from 9-16:30.

3. La gastronomía de todas las latitudes (Gastronomy from all latitudes) – The mercados have traditional comida típica including fanesca ($3-$3.50) as well as motepillo, papas con cuero (potatoes with leather/skin) <the name of that dish puts me in mind of Charlie Chaplin stewing his shoes>, cuy, hornado (chancho) and llapingachos. They are open today through domingo. Trout is a specialty in the Cajas, bread baked in wood fired ovens in the rural parishes of Paccha and Nulti, and chicken soup in other parishes. Sweets are also an option, and even though it’s not Corpus Cristi yet, you can get them from Ruth Palacios who has been making them for 50 years on Convención del 45.

4. Un corredor de miradores – Turi is the emblematic, most visited balcony for Cuenca. It was recently restored and includes a glass bridge <another bridge to nowhere, but the getting to nowhere and back without a panic attack is what the attraction is all about.> There is also another viewpoint at Ictocruz. Other places to enjoy the view are El Calvario and the Cerro Monjas.

5. El vínculo con la naturaleza – Besides the Cajas, you can enjoy naure at the cerro Pachamama in Llacao Parish with its trails. <I think there’s a section of the Inca Highway there, too.> The cerro Guagualzhumi is another attractive trail in Paccha for intrepid andinistas. <Does intrepid imply that your training which involves raising and lowering the Lazyboy foot rest won’t be enough to get you to the hilltop?> You can also see El Plateado with paleontological and cultural riches with caves and rocks.

Agenda –
Hoy hasta el domingo – Expoferia Artesanal – 8:30, Plaza de El Otorongo
Sábado, 8/4:
10:30 – Hilando sueños (Spinning dreams) – Show and runway fashion show – Antigua Escuela Central (Gran Colombia y Benigno Malo).
14:00 – Concurso – Cuenca paints its history – Puento Roto.
14:30 – National Wooden Car Contest – Calle Larga y Benigno Malo.
16:00 – II Carrera de Autos Locos (2nd Crazy Car contest) – Calle Larga y Bajada de Todos Santos <Wipe out!>
10-14:00 – 1st anniversary of Galería OFF – 10 de Agosto y Federico Proaño.
Domingo, 9/4:
17:30 – Exposición de arte – IdiomART Casa Creativa – La Mar 14-25 y Estévez de Toral
Sábado y Domingo – 10-14:00 – Mural de tierra (Earth mural, a new piece which opened ayer.) – Museo de Arte Moderno.

Titular –

Reflexión en días santos (Reflection on holy days) – Each person lives Holy Week in their own way, whether at church, at home, or at the table in front of a delicious bowl of fanesca <I did it my way – in front of a bowl of delicious fancesca at the home of friends.> For Efrén Vallejo Picón and his wife, Holy Week has been spent building the Easter equivalent of a Christmas pesebre. The couple started escenificar (staging – your word for the day) the Last Supper, death, and resurrection of Jesus during the pandemic. This year, thanks to a motor, they added some moving parts. Their house is in the community of Sitincay in the Déleg canton, about 40 min. away from Cuenca on the vía Ricaurte-La Raya. You can call 099 610 8726 to visit.

Informe –

Exigen que esferas de GLP sigan en Austro (Demand that LPG spheres remain in Austro) – A request for signatures showed up on the Change.org platform, an international social activism site, to support keeping the LPG spheres at the Terminal de Challuabamba, north of Cuenca. These 2 large tanks (average capacity 3,600 tons) were installed as part of the Poliducto Pascuales-Cuenca project and EP Petroecuador is looking to move them to the Terminal El Corrillo in Guayas since they were built on top of land that is currently full of cracks and underground water which could provoke a collapse.

Teresa Bermeo who started the Change.org petition, said that bad roads are isolating us from the rest of the country with no solution in sight. The spheres store LPG arriving in a pipeline from the Terminal El Chorrillo which guarantees the supply of propane without regard to road conditions or road blockages in the case of political protests.

The spheres operated between 2016 and 2018 when they were shut down, and propane delivery returned to being trucked in tankers overland. Bermeo said that dismantling, transporting and reinstalling the spheres would cost $20 million which could be used to find a new location in Cuenca or Azuay. Fernando Cordero, an ex-mayor of Cuenca and ex-president of the Asamblea Nacional, asked if that $20 million could be used to treat the underground streams an stabilize the soil without dismantling the spheres. If that isn’t possible, then more suitable land should be found in Déleg or Azogues which are jurisdictions through which the pipeline passes. Diana Pesántez, an Azuay assemblywoman also thought the spheres should be reinstalled in Azuay or the southern region so that there wouldn’t be a shortage in case of a strike or natural disaster. <Assuming that the natural disaster doesn’t affect the pipeline.> She said she is looking for legal measures that would force the suspension of the plans to move the spheres to the coast. Legislators from the south are preparing a statement.

Empresarial –

Tasas más bajas en boletos aéreos (Lower airline ticket rates) – The Government announced the reduction of 2 taxes that affect international flights starting on 1/6/2023. The Eco Delta tax is for Ecuadorians traveling abroad, and the Ecuador Potencia Turística is for foreigners traveling to Ecuador. The Minister of Tourism, Niels Olsen, explained that before these reductions, Ecuador was the most expensive country in the Americas and after 1/6, it will be one of the most competitive. The Eco Delta tax will be 5% of the net value of the air ticket, maxing out at $50 which is the amount of the current tax regardless of the cost of the ticket. The Potencia Turística tax will also be 5% of the net value of the air ticket, maxing out at $10 which is the amount of the current tax regardless of the cost of the ticket. The taxes will apply to the international airports of Quito and Guayaquil, but will not apply to international charter flights where the Eco Delta tax is $60.

Ahorro en pasajes (Savings on airfare) – Following is a list of flights and prices for purchase of an adult ticket, 1 month in advance.

Nacional –

Donaciones provocaron intoxicaciones en Alausí (Donations caused intoxications/poisonings in Alausí) – 17 people in Alausí were intoxicated/poisoned after eating prepared food that had been donated. <I hope it wasn’t gallons of potato salad prepared by gringos with the best intentions but zero knowledge of food safety.> This has obligated the Ministerio de Salud to put donations through a hygiene and nutrition control. <If it’s green and fuzzy, they throw it out.> Meanwhile, the search for victims was suspended ayer since ojos de agua (water eyes) were found at the top of the landslide and could put rescuers in danger.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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