Tourism-related businesses face bankruptcy as gov’t reactivates some tours; Beware of car thieves; Public offices reopen with limited staff

Jun 30, 2020 | 9 comments

Lunes, 29/6/2020

Hola, Todos –
Actividades –

Otras cosas –

Titular – Urge reactivar turismo (It is urgent to reactivate tourism) – Cuenca started a pilot project, #ElPrimerTuristaSoyYo, with the goal of promoting tourism, one of the most badly affected sectors during the pandemic. Cuenca has 300 lodging businesses of which about 20-25% have closed. In Azuay, there are about 3,200 businesses such as bars, restaurants, and tourist agencies with at least 60% on verge of bankruptcy. The sector employs about 8,800 workers, and from 35-40% of them have lost their jobs.

The project includes tours of the rural areas of Cuenca. Este sábado there were bike tours. One was through different green areas of the city that started at parque El Paraíso and ended at parque De La Madre. Another started at the Parque Lineal del río Yanuncay and ended in the Plaza Central in Sayausí where the bikers were received by a rural tourism group. They participated in an ancestral ceremony, and were cleansed and healed with products courtesy of la pacha mama (Madre Tierra, Mother Earth). They also visited an agro-ecological farm in Bellavista where they learned about daily activities on the farm and watched a plowman plowing with a yunta (yoke – your word for the day. Now you know what La Yunta Restaurant is named for.) and two oxen. They visited Blanca Quichimbo and saw her market garden with vegetables and medicinal plants. The tour finished with a visit to a weaving workshop using lambswool.
Go to for more information. So far there are 287 proprietors of food, drinks, lodging, and travel agencies who have committed to apply biosecurity protocols. <As long as it isn’t Trump’s no-mask protocol.>

Face-to-face service returns to public offices but safety measures will apply. (El Comercio)

Face to face service at public entities – After 104 days, 300,000 bureaucrats returned to work in person. In Cuenca, public entities are working with 30% and 50% of their employees on site.

Centros de Revisión Técnica Vehicular (CRTV) – The more populated cantons in Azuay are speeding up the implementation of Vehicle Inspection Centers. They had committed they would finish the processes this year. Santa Isabel, Girón, Paute and Gualaceo are all at different stages of completion ranging from plans and financing to 50% completion of the building in Santa Isabel.

Telecommunications – According to Luis Guillermo Rodríguez, Zone 6 director for the Agencia de Control y Regulación de Telecomunicaciones (Arcotel), telecommunications service providers are obligated to respect the rights of their clients which includes functioning customer attention centers. Arcotel is the regulatory agency which controls telecommunications services such as land line phones, mobile phones, internet access, radio, and broadcast and paid TV. If you need help or service, go to comunicació or call 1800-557-567 from 8-17:00, or go to the office at Luis Cordero y Héroes de Verdeloma. <Now more good stuff for you statistics junkies.> Nationally, there are 15,330,886 active mobile lines <That’s almost one phone per person. Seems like the only people who don’t have cell phones are babies who haven’t learned to talk yet.> Internet subscribers in Azuay number 306,683; Cañar has 27,577: El Oro – 70,727; Loja – 54,758; Morona Santiago – 11,212; and Zamora Chinchipe – 7,656. There are 335,196 land line subscribers with the following providers: ETAPA – 134,302, CNT EP – 190,486, SETEL S.Z. – 9.227, and CLARO 1,181. <You’re an oldtimer if you remember Porta.>

Robberies – Car accessory thieves are busy at all times of day and night. Most of the robberies are in Totoracocha and a large part of the North District. The thieves have been taking the electronic “brains,” music systems, tachometers, radios, a side view mirror control and spare tire. Police recommend not leaving anything of value in sight, and parking in secured lots.

New transit monitoring station – Response by the Agentes Civiles de Tránsito (ACT) to a traffic accident or infraction in El Centro has been reduced from 13 to 6 minutes. The traffic monitoring and control station was remodeled by EMOV EP with all the bells and whistles. It has a video wall with 12 – 55″ screens that cover the 45 surveillance cameras in the Centro Histórico. It can also track buses and agency vehicles by satellite. The system includes bodycams, GPS, panic buttons, inside and outside cameras for patrol cars, and mobile recorders for each agent. <But I’d guess that the cameras would catch more citizens beating up cops than police brutality.>

IVA collections down – El Circulo de Economía de Guayaquil got data from the SRI and announced that the Impuesto al Valor Agregado (IVA) collected between enero y mayo, 2020, fell about 18% compared to the same period in 2019. In 2019, the amount collected was $2,853 million which was reduced to $2,328 million this year.

Del periodico de viernes –

Amaru – The Amaru Zoo is selling masks and visors to raise money to feed the animals. Their Salvaje line of visors that cost $4.00, features animals such as the jaguar, lion, and bear. <I’ll take the bear since I already have my own spectacles.> They also have a Combo Animal for $15.00 that includes a mask, visor and cap with a panther, lion, jaguar or tiger. Go to to order and have it delivered to your house.

Internacional –

Cuba – It’s been 20 years since the return of Elián González, the niño balsero (raft boy), to Cuba. He was the center of an enconada (bitter/inflamed – our word for the day) family, legal and political dispute after he was rescued from a shipwreck of a craft heading to the US from Cuba. <I’m sure you all remember the fight to keep him in the US or return him to Cuba.> He is now a 26 year old industrial engineer and about to be a father of a daughter who will be named Eliz after his mother, Elizabeth, who died in the attempt to get to the US.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –



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