Valentine’s flower exports set a new record; Cañaris celebrate Carnaval with Taita Apu and universal deities; National Assembly will add more members

Feb 13, 2024 | 0 comments

Lunes, 12/2/2024

Hola, Todos –

Titular –

Ecuador tendrá 151 asambleístas (Ecuador will have 151 assembly members) – In the next general election on el 9/2/2025, The number of asambleístas voters need to select will rise from 137 to 151. The number of assembly members is defined by the last census. Until 2023, the number was based on the 2010 population of a little over 14,000,000. The new number will be based on the 17,000,000 inhabitants in the 2022 census. The Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) started the process of defining the number of assembly members based on article 150 of the Códico de la Democracia. This provides for 15 national asambleístas, 2 for each province or metropolitan district and one for every 200,000 population or fraction over 150,000.

Taita Apu is the most popular character in the Carnaval fiestas of many, including in Cañari Province, north of Cuenca. Carnaval activities continue on Tuesday throughout Ecuador. (El Mercurio)

With the current population, the number of national asambleístas remains at 15 with provincial legislators increasing to 130, and the overseas representatives remaining at 6. Azuay gains 1 seat from 5 to 6. Other increases are Esmeraldas, 4 to 5; Guayas, 20 to 24; Manabí, 9 to 10; Morona Santiago, 2 to 3; Metropolitan District of Quito, 13 to 15; the rest of Pichincha, 3 to 4; Santa Elena, 2 to 4; y Tungurahua, 4 to 5.

Actualidad –

El misticismo del Taita Apu o Taita Carnaval (The mysticism of Taita Apu or Taita Carnaval) – The Taita Carnaval is the most popular character in the Carnaval fiestas. You will see him everywhere in the celebrations. But he was originally known in the cañari culture as Taita Apu, which means father of the mountain or spirit of the mountain in Quichua. Pedro Solano, founder of the Taita Carnaval in the Tucayta indigenous organization and director of the Quilloac community in Cañar, described the Taita. He is a person intimately related to the spirituality of the people, and his appearance represents abundance and good luck. He also announces the beginning of Lalay Raymi which is now known as Carnaval. As such, he was the main character and not a person of that community. He represented the most spiritually gifted and skilled. His clothing represented the highest level with condor feathers, a wide brimmed hat, and musical instruments. He should know 26 songs of sung myths. The 26 poems are sung only at this time.

The Cañari tradition calls for the Taita to visit families and acquaintances house by house which took 2 whole nights. No one knew where he came from, hence his mystique. All the families in the communities that the Taita visited would agree to work throughout the year and the thing they should strive for was to live in harmony at that time. They would also prepare a banquet on the noche de lunes or martes of Lalay Raymi or Carnaval for the Taita Apu. No one knew when he would arrive, but the fruit, grain, cuy and chicha should be ready along with 4 lit candles which represented the Chacana or Andean Cross.

Popular belief was that those who received the Taita properly would have a fruitful year, their animals wouldn’t die, the family would live in harmony and the community would be at peace. However, if the family isn’t in harmony and didn’t prepare the food with love, Yarkay, the character opposite of the Taita Apu would arrive and the family’s animals would die and the community and family would live in disharmony. It isn’t necessary to prepare a lot of food, but to share it with good will. The food itself varies with products from the Coast, Mountain and Oriente such as potatoes, ocas, pears, reina claudia, apples, peaches, sugar cane, yuca and more which generate unity and harmony among communities.

Sincretismo cultural (Cultural syncretism) – According to research by the Museo Pumapungo, the Taita Apu is the most spiritually gifted in the community. There is also a link between the Carnaval celebration and Pawcar Raymi. The Spanish conquest used the ancestral celebration and tied it with Carnaval even though it is celebrated on el 21/3. The Taita Apu is the one who allows a connection with all the worlds and it is possible that he has contact with universal deities and is linked with the 4 elements of water, earth, fire, and air.

Region –

De El Mercurio del sábado, 10/2 (1 article):
Flores llegan a sus destinos para festejar San Valentín (Flowers arrive at their destinations to celebrate Valentine’s Day) – The Grupo LATAM, through its air freight subsidiaries, has closed an historic St. Valentine’s season. It led the transport of flowers in the region with about 15,000 tons exported in only 21 days from Ecuador and Colombia, increasing by by 36% the amount moved in 2023. In response to the high demand, the airline increased the frequency of flights originating in Ecuador and Colombia. A total of 575 million stems were exported, the equivalent of one flower for every inhabitant of the US, Colombia, Ecuador and France combined. <I guess I’d better go out and claim my flower.>

Nacional –

Un mayor gasto en personal (Higher personnel expenses) – Henry Kronfle, Assembly president, said that the 2024 budget for the Assembly is $50 million, which he hopes to reduce by 20%. However, this does not include the personnel for each legislator that is required by law, which consists of 2 advisors and 2 assistants. The budget for each legislator is about $20,000 which includes salaries, travel, per diem, contracts for consulting services, and a residence voucher for asambleístas from other provinces which rises to $1,200. <Can you imagine a residence voucher of $1,200 in Washington, DC? It might pay for a fleabag motel room that 3-4 legislators would have to share.> The monthly expenses for the current legislators is $2,740,000 and will rise to $3,020,000.

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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