Two die in bus accidents; City park maintenance explained; Residents complain about Santa Isabel mine; Indigenous saddlebags celebrated in Saraguro
Hola, Todos –
Emprendedores exhiben sus productos en feria (Entrepreneurs showcase their products at fair) – Entrepreneurs from Azuay and Cañar, who won Misión Ecuador scholarships, are showing their products at a fair on the grounds of the Oro Verde Hotel, Cuenca. The exhibits are products in foods, footwear, textiles, technology, beverages, hotel, tourism and other industries. Within this family event, are a show of collectors’ motorcycles, live music, a patio de comidas (food court), and a pet area with a costume contest and adoptions. El 1/12, will be the Día de Respnsabilidad Social with various assistance centers helping to create a vision of social responsibility in the entrepreneurs. <Now that’s something multinational corporations need to seriously act on. I’m still waiting for customers to rise up with their “pitchforks and torches” or at least a universal boycott of any non-local business. Imagine if no one ordered anything from Amazon for one week?> There will be a closing ceremony that night.
Al rescate de la alforja (To the rescue of the saddlebag) – The 2nd festival de la Alforja was celebrated in the parque de Las Culturas in Saraguro, in Loja province on Sunday. The festival featured alforjas which are two bags of colorful cloth joined by a band the width of the bags, and worn over the shoulder. It is not used much any more, and the festival was to conserve and recover traditions of this area. Older Saragurans <in their 70’s> recalled the alforja being part of what they wore every day. The bags were used to carry things from the campo to market, and later to bring shopping back home from the market. Other people used it to carry seed to the fields for planting. Bags can cost from $15 to over $100, the more expensive ones being made from leather and used on bicycles, motorcycles, and pack animals. Personal versions carried by people have a capacity of about 20#. <So when you are you going to replace the backpack or SuperMaxi bags with an alforja? They look very practical, and if you wore one on each shoulder you could carry the makings of a whole Thanksgiving dinner in one trip.> Traditionally, this was a gift given to newlyweds by the parents. The husband would receive an arado (plow) and the wife an alforja, representing the strength in work, and the union the couple should have between them to face adversities.
Estado de áreas verdes en Cuenca (Condition of green areas in Cuenca) – Maintenance of green spaces in Cuenca falls under the purview of the Empresa Municipal de Aseo Cuenca (EMAC-EP) and includes parks, planting and median strips. Some sectors show care and constant maintenance. In others, the residents are asking for attention for the “espacios olvidados” (forgotten spaces). EMAC said that the maintenance is divided into 4 zones: 3 urban and 1 rural. The frequencies for cutting depend on the time of year, type of space and growth habits of the plants. Sidewalk planting strips and medians are cut every 30 days in winter and every 45 days in summer. <But which winter and summer? Northern hemisphere seasons or local climate seasons?> Neighborhood parks get cut every 30 days in winter and every 35 days in summer. Urban parks such as parque de La Madre get cut every 30 days all year around. There is a schedule for maintenance and according to EMAC, there have not been any delays. There are a total of 160 people contracted to do this work, and are responsible for maintaining city owned spaces open to the public and with recreational (such as parks) or decorative characteristics (such as medians, gardens and roundabouts). If there are spaces conforming to the above characteristics that need attention, report it to EMAC which will inspect the space, and if it conforms, will put it onto the maintenance schedule.
Buses interprovinciales involucrados en acidentes (Interprovincial buses involved in accidents) – Early yesterday morning, two interprovincial buses were involved in 2 fatal accidents. The more recent occured at 8:05 on the vía Azogues-Biblián when a cooperativa Jahuay bus hit a Chevy Luv and a Suzuki car leaving 1 dead and 2 injured. One woman was presumed to have been thrown from the pickup and died, and the two people who were extracted from the Suzuki were taken to a hospital. Both the pickup and bus drivers fled the scene. The other fatal accident early Sunday morning was on the vía Riobamba-Pallatanga in Chimborazo. A cooperative Santa bus hit a parked trailer. The assistant died. <Since there haven’t been many bus accident stories recently, maybe it’s time for another round of safety training? Or did the drivers just forget how to drive during the lockdowns?>
Deslizamiento en la Cuenca-Loja (Basin-Loja landslide <This new translation program also has its problems> Cuenca-Loja landslide.) – There was a landslide Sunday on the vía Cuenca-La Jarata-Loja with material blocking the road near the Santiago parish in Loja. MTOP immediately deployed personnel and machinery to clear the road which connects Azuay and Loja. Authorities are recommending caution since the rains are causing problems on the roads.
Minería incomoda a los poblados del cantón Santa Isabel (Mining bothers people in Santa Isabel canton) – A new mining company is mining aggregates and stone along the banks of the río Rircay causing more complaints from neighbors of the lower zone of Santa Isabel canton. They are putting up with noncompliance with laws, damage to roads, and security problems. A delegation headed by Santa Isabel councilwoman Anabel Lalvay and representatives of at least 6 other sectors, visited El Mercurio to publicize the problems, and to demand that the process of public notice and consultation be complied with according to law.
Mario Ruiz, of Lacay Alto said that the roads used by the dumptrucks taking the material from the river to the Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje highway are not designed to support the loads of up to 30 tons, nor are they wide enough. When they pass each other on the shoulders, they damage potable water and irrigation pipes. Kleber Aucay, of the Los Pueres sector, said that the trucks do not respect the law regulating hours they can operate. He also complained about the daily pollution from dust, damage to the river banks from dredging, and the effects on tourism. The towns do not have the staff to monitor or enforce the laws regulating the mining activities.
“Pasaporte covid”: Suiza (“Covid Passport: Switzerland) – The Swiss passed a referendum that allows the government to impose a covid passport for citizens who want to participate in certain services or enter locations such as indoor dining, movie houses, mass, a show, or sporting events with more than 1,000 people. <Coming soon to Ecuador? On the heels of the Omicron variant?>
And that’s all for today so hasta ? –
Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.