Information & Guidance for Coastal Living At It's Finest


February 19, 2018


Health insurance will be mandatory for all tourists arriving in Ecuador as of May 1, 2018, postpone until August 6, 2018.
Ecuador postpones six months new health insurance requirement for foreign visitors and tourists
Ecuador, Ecuador Emergency, Ecuador Travel, Latin America Health
The requirement of having health insurance for visitors to Ecuador was postponed for six months. The obligation of private or public health insurance for foreign tourists entering Ecuador will not be effective as of February 1, 2018, but will take effect in six months. Through an official communications, the Ministry of Tourism informs that the health insurance requirement for the time of permanence for foreign persons will be required once 180 days are counted as of February 6, 2018, that is to say the August 6 of this year. The statement adds, in addition, that health insurance will guarantee your stay. “It will position Ecuador as a true tourist power, with the necessary conditions for world travelers who want to enjoy our attractions”. The willingness to demand health insurance is framed in the Organic Law of Human Mobility , which provides that every person entering the country “must have a public or private health insurance for the time of their stay in Ecuador, except the people who are mobilized in the zones of border integration, as foreseen in the international instruments ratified by Ecuador “. The regulation of the Law was based on the decree No. 111 that was published on August 3, 2017 to be effective as of February 2018, but now after the expiration of the Ministry of Tourism was postponed for six months. This requirement is defined in article 53, numeral 7 of the Organic Law of Human Mobility. In addition, Article 56 specifies the tourist status of the visitor and the obligations that must be met in case of prolonging their stay in the country. 

Visitors have a number of options to contract health insurance
1. Travel agency. Advises to buy the insurance at the same time as the air ticket.
2. Insurance companies. There is service in offices or islands at airports and the visitor can acquire it upon arrival.
3. Search the internet. If the tourist does not like the above options, Barreiro says that tourists can make their own consultation or buy from the country of origin.
4. Explain that some tourists already have some plan that includes insurance for international travel.


Ecuador: Preparations Advance for Referendum on Feb. 4th

Ecuadorian authorities began on Friday the distribution of the ballots that will be used on February 4 in the referendum that the government of Lenin Moreno put forth on constitutional, economic and environmental issues.

The consultation asks Ecuadorians seven questions:

1) Do you agree with the amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, so that it sanctions all persons convicted of acts of corruption with their inability to participate in the political life of the country, and with the loss of their property?

2) Do you agree to guarantee the principle of alternation to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador so that all the authorities of popular election can be re-elected once for the same office, recovering the mandate of the Constitution of Montecristi and nullifying the indefinite re-election approved by amendment by the National Assembly on December 3, 2015?

3) Do you agree to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador to restructure the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, as well as to terminate the constitutional term of its current members, and that the Council that transitorily assumes its functions has power to evaluate the performance of the authorities whose designation corresponds to him, being able, if the case, to anticipate the termination of his periods?

4) Do you agree to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador so that they never prescribe sexual crimes against children and adolescents?

5) Do you agree to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador so that metallic mining in all its stages, in protected areas, intangible zones and urban centers, is banned without exception?

6) Do you agree with the repeal of the Organic Law to avoid speculation on the value of land and taxation, known as the “Capital Gains Law” ?

7) Do you agree to increase the intangible zone by at least 50,000 hectares and reduce the area of ??oil exploitation authorized by the National Assembly in the Yasuní National Park from 1,030 hectares to 300 hectares?

Former president Rafael Correa is the main driver of the “No” vote to the consultation and even returned from Belgium, where he now resides, to Ecuador to campaign. The current president Lenin Moreno heads the “Yes” campaign.

The differences between Correa and Moreno are of part of the strong internal dispute in the governing Alianza País (AP) movement, whose members are divided between those who support Moreno and those who support Correa.

For the transfer of the ballots, the National Electoral Council of Ecuador mobilized 33,000 soldiers, who will then be in charge of guarding the votes cast.

April 20th, 2017

Mall Del Pacifico (opened April 2017)

With a total construction area of 120 thousand square meters (m2), Mall Del Pacifico will be one of Ecuador's five largest malls.

It will even be larger than the San Marino Shopping in Quito, which has an area of 90,000 square meters, and the Quicentros Mall, which has an area of 93 thousand m2.

The infrastructure will have seven floors distributed between three basement floors, two commercial floors, and two floors of offices that will be located on the 3rd and 4th floors.
The new shopping center will feature approximately 200 businesses and 7,000 m2 of offices. In addition there will be 1,500 parking spaces.
Megamaxi, MegaKywi, De Praty, TGI Fridays, Cinemark, Mc Donalds, MyFlower, RadioShack, TodoHogar, Tommy, Zara, Cajun & TacoBell, Play Zone, Playful, ETA fashion.
The main store in the mall will be MEGAMAXI (have to enter the mall to grocery shop, parking deck level). 
In the food court of the Mall a giant screen was installed so that the attendants observe schedules like a game of soccer.
The place has capacity for 1,500 people, and will attend about 30 fast food places.
The will have six cinemas but will not be operational on April 20, but days later.
The cinemas will have six rooms with a capacity for 1,200 people. In the smallest room will enter 180 users, and 300 in the largest.

In the underground parking lot there is room for 1,500 vehicles. The access and exit will be by the avenue Malecón.
In the front of the shopping center will be the Tohallí Plaza, a public space for people to sit.
On the right side, diagonal to KFC, is a block of 1,800 square meters where several medical offices will operate. According to the administration, they will be in charge of the San Francisco University of Quito, which will hire doctors from Manabitas.

In addition, a seven-story hotel will have 126 rooms and a front pool overlooking Malecón Avenue and El Murciélago beach.
At a press conference last Wednesday, it was reported that the hotel will not open on April 20, as the work is still in columns. This process is expected to be completed by the end of May, so that the hotel is ready in December.

For some entrepreneurs, the Mall represents one of the most important private investments in the history of Manabí.
In fact, it is the largest shopping center in the province.
According to the calculations of DK Management, since its construction it has employed to more than 2 thousand people.

The mall will operate 365 days a year. A day before, on the night of April 19, there will be an official ceremony to inaugurate it with the presence of local, provincial and possibly national authorities. The morning of the 20th the public can attend.
In order to avoid vehicular congestion, in the Mall was conditioned a way for the vehicles that will enter and leave the parking lot. And from the back was rebuilt a four-lane street to speed the circulation.

Manta Super Kywi Store
Kywi will occupy all the space left by Supermaxi, TODO Hogar & Juguetón in Manicentro Shopping Center, Flavio Reyes & Avenida 24.
Supermaxi, TODO Hogar & Juguetón have/will relocate to the Mall of the Pacífico. Mall of the Pacífico opens
April 20th
Kywi is already in Portoviejo. It will now be in Manta as Super Kywi, because it will be twice as big as the one in the capital.
Super Kywi is scheduled to open in about 2 months.

Taxi Service Manta, EC "Uber"? :) ~ March 14, 2017
Starting Wednesday, March 15, citizens will be able to access the taxi service from a cellular phone application.

This service is promoted by the Federation of Cooperated Taxis of Manta, and starts with the units of the Cooperativa Terminal Marítimo, then will be replicated in other cooperatives, said Francisco Cañarte, leader of the organization.
The leader explained that the application will be free and is called Mantaxi. Users can download it from the Play Store, which comes with smartphones.
He added that the application, when selecting the taxi service, will immediately give you the real-time location of the transport unit. It will also show the photograph of the driver and taxi owner, as well as the names and numbers of taxi. He indicated that, in addition to passenger safety, the response time of the service, which will be no more than five minutes, stands out. This service is also offered for purchases and orders, he noted. There is no additional charge.

March 14, this service was launched through stickers on taxis and banners, which will be placed in hotels and other places with greater concentration of public.

Presidential Election Runoff ~ March 2017
April ~ Presidential Election
April 2nd, Ecuador will hold another presidential election between Lenin Moreno and opponent Guillermo Lasso.

Lenin Moreno, ALIANZA PAIS 35
Guillermo Lasso, CREO-SUMA 21

To win a candidate needed at least 51% of the votes.
Sunday, April 2, 2017, the second round of elections
AND, another weekend with no alcohol sales
Friday 12pm - Monday 12pm
Lenin Moreno
Jorge Glas
Guillermo Lasso
Andrés Páez
21 - CREO-SUMA Party

Ecuador sets presidential vote for February 2017

Reported By
Latin America Current News & Events
February 18, 2016
Quito (AFP) - Ecuador will hold presidential polls a year from now in February 2017, electoral authorities said Thursday, but leftist President Rafael Correa will not run for re-election to lead the slowing South American economy.
"The first round of the election will be on Sunday February 19, 2017," with a run-off vote if necessary on April 2, said Diego Tello, a senior official in the National Electoral Council.
Voters will be called to elect a president and vice-president as well as 137 deputies to the National Assembly legislature, currently controlled by Correa's side.
In power since 2007, the socialist Correa, 52, is barred from running in next year's election. But the assembly in December passed a constitutional amendment that could allow him to become a candidate again in 2021.
In next year's vote his Alianza Pais group must choose another candidate to defend the government's record in an economic climate that has worsened due to falling oil prices.

La Marea News
November 10, 2015

President Correa visit to Manta to celebrate the anniversary of Manta 93 years.

President Rafael Correa took part in an afternoon session celebrating 93 years of Manta, where he defended the construction of the Pacific Refinery.
During his speech, the president said that the work "will fuel self-sufficient, will mean a structural change in the economy."
Correa added that the Pacific Refinery is "necessary work" for the province and the country.
The project of the Pacific Refinery, located in El Aromo was started in July 2008, when the presidents Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) and the late Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) signed as witnesses honor the charter of the mixed economy company between Petroecuador and Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

Mayor Jorge Zambrano spoke on joint venture projects that have been developed so far in his administration, investment works in parishes and Torqui, Eloy Alfaro, Manta and rural areas; construction of new works as Los Esteros market, which should start in "the coming days"; among other topics.

The pipeline will cost $9.8 million more
Aqueduct to supply water to the Pacific Refinery will be in March 2016 and will cost $9.8 million dollars.

The work should be completed in August next year. According to information issued by the Communication Department of the Pacific Refinery, the deadline was extended by seven months since the signing of a final contract, through which the flow rate of 5,500 cubic meters per hour (m3 / h) increased to 6,600 m3 / h.

This work is the second step of the Pacific Refinery (RDP).
The first was the preparation of the land where the refinery site which covers an area of ​​500 hectares will be built.
This pipeline will transport raw water for the oil refining process in El Aromo.
The pipeline runs 93 kilometers from the dam La Esperanza, in the canton Bolivar to Rio Manta-El Aromo, border between Montecristi and Manta.
The route of the pipeline involves Bolivar Tosagua, Rocafuerte, Jaramijó, Montecristi and Manta cantons.

The pipe was imported from China.
The construction of this work is handled by the Brazilian company Odebrecht. The original contract stipulated 20-month term.
The initial amount of the contract was $259.9 million. There was an increase in the cost of the work is $9.8 million, according to official information from the refinery.
It was reported that the progress of the work as of September 2015 is 80.5%.
At present there are 21 work fronts, involving about 1,300 people, both in the pumping station at the site La Esperanza and in the 93 km route of the pipeline, he explained.
To date, the Odebrecht construction company maintains one of the two armed camps in Manta and Montecristi to store pipeline aqueduct. Only it is operating the camp Paola Sector, which provides the pipe work fronts in the territory of Montecristi to El Aromo.
The passage of the pipeline, especially in the stretch of the Manta-Rocafuerte route, generated the destruction of trees, which, according to environmentalists as Tito Erazo to date have not been replaced. Erazo rejected the negative impact that represented the destruction of vegetation for wildlife habitat.
On this subject the refinery said that within the Environmental Management Plan Project states: "After the intervention, if necessary and only be applicable where, restoration techniques that encourage natural regeneration of existing habitat is used has no worked, giving priority to areas of high and medium biotic sensitivity where there is natural vegetation cover".
It was also noted that at the time is running reshaping the Right of Way (ROW), which involves extending the topsoil own terrain along the route, which will benefit the natural vegetation.
So far Odebrecht has made severance payments in the amount of $2,550,640.54. This step of the pipe of the aqueduct in various sectors of the province, according to information provided by the refinery.
Jesus Ormaza, inhabitant of site Caimito of Calceta Quiroga Parish, said he received the payment from the company for the installation of pipelines on their property.
Also Tito Faubla received the payment in two parts, one at the beginning of the placement of the pipes was a year ago, and another couple of months as 70 meters tubes pass through his land.
Bitar said Chafic 650 meters length of these pipes pass through their property located in Quiroga, and they paid what was offered, but is concerned about the construction of a channel that is in his estate, which has been closed by a neighbor, and fears that with the arrival of El Niño mother pipe can collapse, since the channel is several meters away and this would be a serious danger, he said.
"Hopefully the Senagua will solve this, because Odebrecht built near the canal and will have to open for venting the water," he said.
The citizen Mario Velez is also quiet for the payment it received from the company, and contends that that party has itself been responsible, he said.
The water storage capacity of the dam La Esperanza is 450,000 cubic meters.
It is from this capture storage the Refinery 6,600 cubic meters per hour to operate the petrochemical complex in El Aromo, as well as to deliver flow to the area of ​​influence as Manta, Montecristi and Jaramijó are.
Each city should start building their own infrastructure for drinking water, according to the initial agreement.
In the case of Montecristi, the mayor of Canton, Ricardo Quijije, announced that they are ending the studies for the water treatment system which will deliver raw water from the Refinery. "We have to hurry to buy time credit in the negotiations for this plant, considering that next March will be ready the aqueduct," said Quijije.
According to the refinery, the idea is to wait for petrochemical complex into the next phase of implementation.
The rural communes of Manta in particular are already benefiting from the delivery of drinking water to be in the area of ​​influence of the project Refinery, whose infrastructure has been financed entirely by the refinery, the water is obtained locally.
The service will improve with the "raw" water comes through a delivery point that is located in the La Paola of Montecristi.
The municipality will handle and distribute potable water to rural and other urban development sectors, he added.
The project financing arrangements Refinery currently handled at government level. 1,200 million has been invested in the refinery project that runs in El Aromo. According to recent statements by Bismarck Andrade manager if the financing is obtained refinery should be operational "by 2018".

President Correa apologized for delays in seaport
President Rafael Correa apologized to Manta for the delay in the construction of deep water dock.

"I would like to offer apologies for the delay in carrying deep-water project. I know we've delayed because they have made mistakes and boycott this project. But the day is near when projecting Manta fully with its enormous economic potential, "Correa said.
Correa said that in a few days will ensure the modernization and development of the port with a public-private partnership.
"We will receive and evaluate in detail the private initiative of the Chilean company Agunsa group of shipping companies with a presence in 22 countries, the proposal suggests an investment of approximately $164 million divided into two phases," said the president
According to Correa, the project was awarded with the Chilean company would run in April and would begin work in June.
In its first phase it will invest $60 million for a period of twelve months, and $104 million in the second phase.
The company proposes to dredge the dock and develop an equipment infrastructure, Correa said.
This work is sponsored by the Government should start in October next year. At that time it was reported that in Brazil there was a bank credit of $170 million for its implementation.

On Eloy Alfaro airport, Correa recalled that it invested $12 million in its modernization, so now seeks international companies to operate from the city.
Mayor Jorge Zambrano reiterated the importance to Manta Airport offers international flights.
The mayor in his speech said that in the coming days will begin construction market and Los Esteros 2016 will work with the $44 million dollar loan from the World Bank in sewage and drinking water.
With this, Zambrano said, the city will receive water 24 hours.
A loan from the State Bank to update the land registry and another to locate archaeological pieces in the Museum Cancebí: In session two agreements were also signed.
U.S. Mission Ecuador
Message for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Citizen Services ONLY by Appointment
November 6, 2015

In order to more efficiently and effectively serve our U.S. citizen population, beginning on Monday, November 9, 2015, the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Quito will no longer provide non-emergency services to U.S. citizens on a walk-in basis.  Only U.S. citizens with an appointment for a specific service, or those coming for passport pickup, Consular Reports of Death Abroad, or Federal Benefits services during the hours detailed on our website will be admitted to the Consular Section.  All non-emergency inquiries must be submitted via email.  We will respond to non-emergency email inquiries within three business days.  Emergencies are defined as involving the arrest, injury, serious illness, or death of an U.S. citizen.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ecuador enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Ecuador.  For additional information, please refer to our “Traveler’s Checklist” page.  Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.
Contact information:
U.S. Embassy Quito
Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro.  
Phone (593-2) 398-5000
U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Avenida Jose Rodriguez Bonin and Calle Santa Ana, San Eduardo
Phone (593-4) 371-7000
Dialing instructions within Ecuador:
·        Within the same city and from a land line use the last seven digits.  
·        For calls from a mobile phone and for intercity telephone calls add the city code preceded by a 0.  
Dialing instructions from the United States:
·        Add the 011 prefix for an international long distance line.  
For after-hours emergencies, call the phone numbers listed above for assistance.
U.S. Mission Ecuador
Message for U.S. Citizens
No Appointment Needed for Adult Passport Renewals
March 17, 2015

Providing excellent customer service is one of the goals of U.S. Mission Ecuador Consular Sections. Effective immediately, no appointment is necessary at the U.S. Embassy in Quito or the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil for adult passport renewals adhering to certain criteria. Passport applications that do not adhere to this criteria will not be accepted without an appointment.
You are eligible to renew your passport without an interview and without an appointment if your most recent U.S. passport:
- Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application;
- Was issued when you were age 16 or older;
- Has a 10 year validity;
- Was issued within the last 15 years; and
- Was issued in your current name, or you can provide legal documentation to show the name change, even a minor change.
All of the above MUST be true, or you cannot use this service. If you qualify to renew your passport without an interview, you do not need an appointment. Simply drop off the required documents and pay the fee at any Mission Ecuador Consular Section during the following days and times:

U.S. Embassy Quito
Monday or Wednesday between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Tuesday or Wednesday between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

We do not accept passport renewals by mail. See below for locations and contact information. See the U.S. Embassy Quito and U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil websites for holiday closure dates.
Required documents:
- Completed application form DS-82;
- Your most recent passport and one photocopy of the biographic data page;
- One passport sized photo
Payment- Pay the renewal fee when you drop off your application.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ecuador enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Ecuador. For additional information, please refer to our “Traveler’s Checklist” page. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.

Contact information:

U.S. Embassy Quito
Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro.
Phone (593-2) 398-5000

U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Avenida Jose Rodriguez Bonin and Calle Santa Ana, San Eduardo
Phone (593-4) 371-7000

Dialing instructions within Ecuador:
· Within the same city and from a land line use the last seven digits.
· For calls from a mobile phone and for intercity telephone calls add the city code preceded by a 0.
Dialing instructions from the United States:
· Add the 011 prefix for an international long distance line.
For after-hours emergencies, call the phone numbers listed above for assistance.

Ecuador Fixed Tariff Import Safeguard 2,800 Products
Reported By
La Marea
March 7, 2015

The Government of Ecuador announced fixing a general safeguard tariff (customs duty) on imports of 2,800 products, for a period of 15 months, in order to protect their balance of payments.

In addition, the Ecuadorian government ratified the elimination of the safeguards imposed on Colombia and Peru since early this year, then assumed to counteract the effect on the national economy of currency devaluations operated in those neighboring countries.

Minister of Foreign Trade, Diego Aulestia, said yesterday at a press conference that both the general safeguard as the elimination of Colombia and Peru set to take effect from next Wednesday.
This said, a delegation of safeguarding attached to both partners for other general type, for everyone, which will affect about 2,800 products, representing between 32 and 33 percent of total foreign purchases .
He said the government has seen the need to make these decisions for the "difficult" environment facing the national economy, fully dollarized since 2000 and beaten by the sharp drop in oil prices, the main export of the country as well as the appreciation of the dollar.
He said that the general safeguard BOP, which is "fully compatible" with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), exclude medicines, raw materials and essential capital goods, but affect mainly goods consumption.
The general safeguard involves a tariff surcharge of 5 percent for capital goods and "non-essential", from 15 percent to goods "mean sensitivity" to national production and 25 percent tires, ceramic raw materials parts TVs and motorcycles.
It also includes a surtax of 45 percent for imports of final consumption as televisions and motorcycles.
Aulestia said the aim of the measure is to "minimize the impact on the national productive" and stressed that the implementation of the measure came after a "fruitful dialogue open, frank and" business chambers.
"In fact, nearly 68 percent of imports from Ecuador are not considered within this tariff safeguard measure BOP" he said.
The minister said that "the universe over which hits the safeguard measure is an amount close to 8,500 million dollars" in imports, which aspires to decrease this item in the range of 2.200 million.
Moreover, Aulestia explained that Ecuador will present the measure before the Andean Community and the WTO as "necessary" because the country "faces a difficult external environment" for this year.
He recalled that the WTO has not yet ruled on the measure implemented by Ecuador, but said that according to the mechanism of agency procedures, the country has one month to communicate its decision.
Also the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should decide this issue, the minister added after returning to justify the measure due to a difficult external environment for the country, especially by the fall in oil prices and the appreciation of the dollar.
Parallel to the safeguard measures, the Government has made efforts to improve its exports, sobe all those different from oil sales, which is the main item of income of the country, Aulestia said.
He stressed that in this context, the "non-oil" Ecuadorian exports grew between 2007 and 2014 at 140 percent, thanks to the impetus given by the Executive to the sector and will strengthen this year. EFE

March 3, 2015
U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador
Message for U.S. Citizens
Filing 2014 U.S. Taxes
March 2, 2015

Who Must File?

All U.S. citizens and resident aliens must file a U.S. individual income tax return, even if they permanently live outside the United States and may not owe any tax because of income exclusion or tax credit.

When is the 2014 Federal Tax Return Due?

Due date for Form 1040: April 15, 2015

· An automatic extension to June 15, 2015, is granted for taxpayers living outside the United States and Puerto Rico. No form is required; write "Taxpayer Resident Abroad" at the top of your tax return.
o Caution: This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment. If you owe any taxes, you're required to pay by April 15, 2015. Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment is made after this date.
· To request an additional extension to October 15, 2015, use Form 4868.
o Caution: This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment. If you owe any taxes, you're required to pay by April 15, 2015. Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment make after this date.
· Other extensions may be available on

Can I Mail My Return and Payment?

You can mail your tax return and payment using the postal service or approved private delivery services. A list of approved delivery services is available on If you mail a return from outside the United States, the date of filing is the postmark date. However, if you mail a payment, separately or with your return, your payment is not considered received until the date of actual receipt. U.S. embassies and consulates cannot mail tax returns on behalf of U.S. taxpayers living abroad.

Can I Electronically File My Return?

You can prepare and e-file your income tax return, in many cases for free. Participating software companies make their products available through the IRS. E-File options are listed on

What Forms May I Need?

· 1040, U.S Individual Income Tax Return
o Instructions to Form 1040
o 1116, Foreign Tax Credit
o 2013 Instructions to Form 1116 – 2014 instructions will be available soon, please check on
· 2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return (for U.S. citizens and residents abroad)
o 2350 in Spanish
· 2555, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
o Instructions to Form 2555
· 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
o Instructions to Form 2555-EZ
· 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
o 4868 in Spanish
· 8802, Application for United States Residency Certificate
o Instructions to Form 8802
· 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets,
o Instructions to Form 8938
· 14653, Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the United States for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures

How Do I Pay My Taxes?

You must pay your taxes in U.S. dollars.

· Direct pay. You can pay online with a direct transfer from your U.S. bank account using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or by a U.S. debit or credit card. You can also pay by phone using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by a U.S. debit or credit card.

· Foreign wire transfers. If you have a U.S. bank account, you can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. If you do not have a U.S. bank account, ask whether your financial institution has a U.S. affiliate that can help you make same-day wire transfers.

· Foreign electronic payments. International taxpayers who do not have a U.S. bank account may transfer funds from their foreign bank account directly to the IRS for payment of their tax liabilities.

Other Reporting?

You also may have to file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), by June 30, 2015.

Does the IRS Provide Help in Other Languages?

The IRS provides tax information in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Go to and use the drop down box under "Languages" on the upper right corner to select your language.

Where Can I Get Help?

Contact the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by phone or fax. The International Call Center is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Tel: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)
Fax: 267-941-1055
You may also contact the IRS office in London, Paris, or Frankfurt. For addresses and telephone numbers, contact my local office internationally.

I Received a Notice from the IRS – What Do I Do?

If you receive a notice from the IRS and need to contact the IRS, call the number listed on the notice or the International Taxpayer Service Call Center (see above).

Where Can I Get More Information?

For information on the IRS website about international taxpayers,see this page.
For general information about international taxpayers, see Publication 54, "Taxation of U.S. Citizens and Residents Abroad."
For information on the Affordable Care Act and taxpayers outside the United States, see Publication 5187, "Health Care Law."

I Haven't Filed All My Tax Returns – What Can I Do?

If you have not filed all the returns required of you and want to catch up on your filing obligations, see this announcement: IRS makes changes to offshore-programs.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ecuador enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Ecuador. For additional information, please refer to our “Traveler’s Checklist” page. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.

Contact information:

U.S. Embassy Quito
Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro.
Phone (593-2) 398-5000

U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Avenida Jose Rodriguez Bonin and Calle Santa Ana, San Eduardo
Phone (593-4) 371-7000

February 23th, 2015

Reported By LaMarea

Manta Beaches
Dogs may continue entering the city beaches, with certain regulations, according to a municipal proposal.
These standards are being analyzed and will be approved on an ordinance that is pending in the town, said Andrea Zambrano, Director of Tourism.
The official said that pet owners must carry bags to collect the feces of their dogs, otherwise they will be fined. The penalty is not yet defined.
For this he will make an awareness campaign involving the foundations and other institutions related to animals.
Zambrano said that another issue will regulate the entry of dogs without their respective dog leash. "They take their pets with rope or something similar cannot run loose," said the official.
To comply with these rules will be inspectors who monitor the beaches. At the moment there are three beach Fledermaus, two in Tarquí and one in San Mateo.
In Manta there are 12 beaches between urban and rural.
A Mirian Palma, who has a dog, the rule seems good because it ensures that the culprits are not the dogs but their owners do not collect feces. "It's good to be a punishment, it seems better than not to let them enter," he said.
Juan Párraga, tourist, said that if a control is necessary because it has happened to him when he goes jogging sometimes the dogs followed. "I think the idea is good, it is good that the city establish standards to be met," he said.

Ecuador's financial dependence on China is about to get $5.3bn worse.
Reported By World News

The South American nation, whose finances are being squeezed by the ongoing slump in crude prices, said on Tuesday that it has secured a 30-year contingent credit line of $5.3bn from China's Eximbank at a 2 per cent interest rate, writes the FT's Andes Correspondent, Andres Schipani.
Until its return to the markets last June, Ecuador has been largely cut off from international borrowing since it voluntarily defaulted on $3.2bn of foreign debt six years ago.
So the latest agreement with China should give the Andean country some shelter from the dramatic collapse in global oil prices over the past four months. (Remember, crude accounts for more than 50 per cent of the country's exports.)
However critics warned that the agreement would also add to the Opec country's dependence on China.
According to estimates put out last year by Grupo Spurrier, a think-tank, Ecuador is thought to have received some $12bn in financing from China since 2009, with some of the loans backed by oil.
To put that number into context, that's the equivalent of 12.7 per cent of the Opec country's GDP in 2013.
Ecuador said the new financing - part of the $10bn earmarked by Chinese President Xin Jinping during the Brics summit last year for projects in Latin America - would be used for "mobility and social projects".
Eximbank for its part is no stranger to Ecuador, having previously invested in hydroelectric and mining projects in the country.
Below is a handy rundown put together last year by LatAm Confidential, a Financial Times research service, of Chinese investments in Ecuador.

Ecuador Cuts Fiscal Budget for 2015 by 4%

By Latin America News
January 5th, 2015

Finance Minister Says Cut Won’t Affect Economic Growth, Domestic Consumption and Employment

QUITO—Ecuador said Monday it has cut its fiscal budget for 2015 by about 4% and set it at $34.9 billion, due to the fall in oil prices, its main source of revenue.
In a news release, Finance Minister Fausto Herrera said that following the sharp drop in oil prices, the government took the decision to cut $839.8 million in investment expenditures and $580 million in current spending.
Ecuador's finance minister, Fausto Herrera, said in a statement that the fiscal budget cut for 2015 won’t economic growth, domestic consumption and employment. ENLARGE
Ecuador's finance minister, Fausto Herrera, said in a statement that the fiscal budget cut for 2015 won’t economic growth, domestic consumption and employment. Photo: Reuters.
According to the statement, the cut will affect projects “related to imports that can be deferred to the following years but will not affect economic growth, domestic consumption and employment.”
Last November Ecuador’s National Assembly approved a fiscal budget of $36.3 billion for 2015. The current law allows the executive branch to make cuts of up to 15%.
Mr. Herrera said that 2015 will be difficult amid an unfavorable international economic situation, but that Ecuador will continue with projects considered strategic and will implement countercyclical measures. He didn’t provide further details.
Mr. Herrera is part of a delegation that will join President Rafael Correa on an official visit to China, where financing agreements are expected to be signed.
Since 2008 when Ecuador defaulted on about $3.2 billion in global bonds, China has been the main lender to the Andean Country.
Ecuador, the smallest-member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has budgeted an average oil price of $79.70 per barrel for 2015, but in the last weeks of 2014 its crude oil has sold at levels of about $60 per barrel, according to traders.
During the administration of President Correa, who took office in 2007, the country’s growth has been based on strong public spending, driven by high oil prices as well as increased tax collections.
The country’s economy is expected to expand by 4% in 2014 and a similar level is forecast for this year.

Dump the Dollar, Says Ecuadorean President
Latin America News
Published 17 December 2014
President Rafael Correa says the U.S. dollar is the “exact opposite” of what Ecuador needs.
Ecuador’s use of the U.S. dollar is hurting the country’s economic growth, President Rafael Correa warned Monday.
“Dollarization was a bad decision,” Correa said.
The president said that in the face of low oil prices, Ecuador would benefit from control of its own currency.
Ecuador is the smallest member of OPEC. Under Correa, the Ecuadorean government has increasingly invested oil revenues in social services and economic development.
However, with oil prices slumping, Correa says Ecuador needs a flexible currency now more than ever. He argued that by using the dollar, Ecuador is “doing exactly the opposite of what (it) must do to address the looming scenario.”
“In these difficult times we will see just how important it is to have a national currency,” he added.
Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar in 2000 after the value of its former currency nosedived in 1999.
Correa has long warned the continued use of the dollar is holding back the economy, once describing it as a “straight jacket.”
In July, Ecuadorean legislators approved a law paving the way for the use of a parallel electronic currency for domestic use.

U.S. Embassy Awareness Warning
December 13, 2014

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that the Regional Security Office has received a number of recent reports regarding the use of the drug Scopolamine to facilitate robberies and in the furtherance of other crimes. This drug can render a victim unconscious for 24 hours or more, but the initial effect is to render a person complacent and unaware of their surroundings. In large doses, as in a recent case in Guayaquil, it can cause respiratory failure and death. It is often administered in liquid or powder form in foods and beverages. Scopolamine can also be given in a residue on handouts from street vendors and promoters.
The majority of these incidents occur in night clubs and bars, sometimes men, perceived to be wealthy, are targeted for crimes of opportunity. Other cases involve women victims for the facilitation of sexual assaults. To minimize the chances of becoming a Scopolamine victim, never leave food or beverages unattended, and do not accept food or beverages offered by strangers or new acquaintances. If you are a victim of Scopolamine or other drugs, seek immediate medical attention.
During this holiday season, you should remain particularly vigilant due to a seasonal surge in crime. Additionally, the threat of street crime (e.g. purse snatchings, pickpockets) is high in areas where there are large crowds. U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security during the holiday season.
The Embassy would also like to remind U.S. citizens that both Quito and Guayaquil are rated CRITICAL for crime by the U.S. State Department, which is the highest crime rating.
We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ecuador enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Ecuador. For additional information, please refer to our “Traveler’s Checklist” page. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.

Contact information:
U.S. Embassy Quito
Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro.
Phone (593-2) 398-5000

U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Avenida Jose Rodriguez Bonin and Calle Santa Ana, San Eduardo
Phone (593-4) 371-7000

Dialing instructions within Ecuador:
· Within the same city and from a land line use the last seven digits.
· For calls from a mobile phone and for intercity telephone calls add the city code preceded by a 0.
Dialing instructions from the United States:
· Add the 011 prefix for an international long distance line.

For after-hours emergencies, call the phone numbers listed above for assistance.

Cable UNDERSEA off the coast of Manta, Murciélago


Cable placement off the coast of Manta, Murciélago

November 14, 2014
Manabí News

In late 2015 Ecuador will increase its broadband Internet 60 times more than they currently have.

This was announced by Vice President Jorge Glas, who yesterday inaugurated the start of the laying of underwater cable that connects to Ecuador from Manta with Panama, Colombia, Aruba, Curacao, British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico to the United States.
The ceremony was held at the Port of Manta, where the ship anchored at sea is placing undersea cable from northern Florida in the United States.
The cable has been stretched over a length of 4000 kilometers, from Columbia to Panama will complete the remaining two thousand miles, it was reported.
Glas said the project, which is nearing its final stage will revolutionize connectivity in the country. With this in the most remote corners of the technology will not allow to have 100 megabits per second, in offices, homes, mainly in rural schools and colleges, he said.
Glas highlighted the sponsor of this project, Carlos Pazmino, said the Ecuadorian revolution conceived causing undersea cable connectivity. He is part of Pacific Caribbean Cable Systems (PCCS) which together with Telconet running this project. Tomislav Topic, Telconet president, said the undersea cable has been designed to operate multiple wavelengths of 100 gigabytes. Furthermore it will be the most important Internet content access, as demand grows rapidly throughout the Caribbean, Central America and South America, he said.
He said that Manta will be the backbone of the undersea cable, which will allow you to access ports in strategic areas. Prior to the laying of this cable Manta four kilometers pipes coming from the plant located in the neighborhood Barbasquillo and ending at the beach is tended Fledermaus. In this last tour starts undersea cable to Balboa in Panama.

Town Hall Meeting Thursday November 20, 2014
US Ambassador Adam Namm & U.S. Consular General Patricia Fietz

The Town Hall meeting at the Oro Verde Hotel brought out about 40 Manta/Manabí Expats. It turned out to be a very good meeting and discussion with information received and questions from the expats.
The number #1 information from the U.S. Ambassador was the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil is not closing nor is the US Embassy in Quito. The Consulate is Guayaquil is actually planning to expand their services to include the addition of a U.S. Marines attachment for security.
There are just a few highlights to pass on
· About 30,000 expats currently live in Ecuador
· About 250,000 expats visit Ecuador each year
· About 3,600 U.S. students are studying in Ecuador
· 75-80% of Ecuador’s oil is currently exported to the US to be refined

American Citizens Emergency Phone Number to Consulate General’s Office 24/7
Put in your cell phone 04-371-7010
Because of the seriousness of your situation call this number and when they answer state “I’m an American citizen and need HELP”.
· Arrested
· Serious accident & need help
· An emergency regarding an incident here in Ecuador

For Information on Social Security Direct Deposits
Ecuador, Federal Benefits Unit
American Embassy
Calle 120 Avenida 0
Pavas 1200, San José
Costa Rica
Phone: 506-2519-2228
Fax: 506-291-1032

Click here for information "Social Security Deposits"

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Stay Informed.
Sign up for our free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (formerly known as “Travel Registration” or “Registration with Embassies”) to receive the latest travel updates and information!
Click here for "STEP" Program

U.S. Citizen Services, Consulate General, Guayaquil
Services provided by the consulate general, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Click here for "Consulate General Web Site"

Federal Voting Assistance Program {FVAP}
Voting assistance for Service members, their families and overseas citizens
Click here for information "FVAP"

Filing Taxes While Living Abroad
IRS Information Regarding Filing Taxes when Living Abroad
FBAR - Reporting of Assets living abroad
Click here for information for "Filing Taxes Living Abroad"

IRS Form 8938 - Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets
Click here for "Instructions for IRS Form 8938"

November 14, 2014
Manabí News

In late 2015 Ecuador will increase its broadband Internet 60 times more than they currently have.

This was announced by Vice President Jorge Glas, who yesterday inaugurated the start of the laying of underwater cable that connects to Ecuador from Manta with Panama, Colombia, Aruba, Curacao, British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico to the United States.
The ceremony was held at the Port of Manta, where the ship anchored at sea is placing undersea cable from northern Florida in the United States.
The cable has been stretched over a length of 4000 kilometers, from Columbia to Panama will complete the remaining two thousand miles, it was reported.
Glas said the project, which is nearing its final stage will revolutionize connectivity in the country. With this in the most remote corners of the technology will not allow to have 100 megabits per second, in offices, homes, mainly in rural schools and colleges, he said.
Glas highlighted the sponsor of this project, Carlos Pazmino, said the Ecuadorian revolution conceived causing undersea cable connectivity. He is part of Pacific Caribbean Cable Systems (PCCS) which together with Telconet running this project. Tomislav Topic, Telconet president, said the undersea cable has been designed to operate multiple wavelengths of 100 gigabytes. Furthermore it will be the most important Internet content access, as demand grows rapidly throughout the Caribbean, Central America and South America, he said. He said that Manta will be the backbone of the undersea cable, which will allow you to access ports in strategic areas. Prior to the laying of this cable Manta four kilometers pipes coming from the plant located in the neighborhood Barbasquillo and ending at the beach is tended Fledermaus. In this last tour starts undersea cable to Balboa in Panama.

TAME Airlines
October 23, 2014

Ecuadorian airline TAME made ​​public on Friday (10-17-2014) launched ninth international routes, connecting Quito to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (USA), in a statement the company and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works.
The new route "establishes a bi-national bridge connecting spur tourism, new commercial markets will enhance and improve the quality of transportation of the large Ecuadorean community in the State of Florida and the southeast of the country," says the note.
There will be a flight from Quito to Fort Lauderdale and back Monday to Sunday.
TAME has seventeen domestic and nine international destinations and carries about 6,000 passengers a day thanks to a fleet of twenty aircraft Air Bus, Embraer, ATRs and Kodiak.

Absentee Voting Week is September 29-October 6

Be an Active Voter by taking the necessary steps to vote in the 2014 U.S. elections and participating in Absentee Voting Week!
In many states, the voter registration deadline for the November 2014 elections is October 6. For some voters this might mean their paper voter registration and absentee ballot request must reach their local election officials by October 6. In order to vote in the November 2014 elections, all overseas U.S. citizens need to have completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) in 2014. Whether you are a first-time voter or have already received ballots and voted absentee in past elections, you must complete an FPCA each year to ensure you are able to participate in elections as an overseas absentee voter.
If you have already completed a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)in 2014 and requested electronic delivery of your ballot, you will receive your blank ballot or instructions for how to access your ballot soon if you have not already received it. If you are not sure about the status of your absentee ballot request you should contact your local election officials in the United States or check the status of your registration via your state’s voter registration verification website.
ABSENTEE VOTING WEEK: September 29 – October 6
If you would like to drop off your completed Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot for delivery to the United States via diplomatic pouch free of charge at the U.S. Embassy in Quito or the U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil, we are available Monday-Thursday from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM to accept your post card or ballot for mailing.
Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and colleagues that now is the time to start thinking about overseas voting. Consider posting to your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social media account that you are an active voter and will be dropping off or mailing your Federal Post Card Application or completed ballot. Use #ProudOverseasVoter to help get the word out about voting.
If you have never voted while overseas before, it’s not too late. The process is easy ­-- just follow these steps:
1. Complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted absentee in past elections, complete an FPCA to receive your ballot this fall. It allows you to register to vote and request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (presidential and state primaries, run-off, special, and the November general elections) during the course of the year in which you submit the FPCA. Local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.
The online voting assistant available at is an easy way to complete the FPCA. It will ask you questions specific to your state and tell you if electronic ballot delivery is possible. No matter which state you vote in, we encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Be sure to include your email address to take advantage of electronic delivery. The online voting assistant will generate a printable FPCA, which you can then print and sign.
2. Submit the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)
Options for dropping off an FPCA or ballot in person at:
U.S. Embassy Quito, Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro (next to SOLCA Hospital).
U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil, Calle Santa Ana y Av. Jose Rodriguez Bonin.
If it’s more convenient for you, you can have a friend or family member drop off your FPCA at the U.S. Embassy Quito or U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil on your behalf or you can send your
FPCA or ballot directly to your local election officials via international mail or professional courier service at your own expense.
3. Receive Your Ballot
After submitting your FPCA, most states allow you to confirm online your registration and ballot delivery selection. States are now required to send out ballots 45 days before an election for federal office (President, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives) to any overseas U.S. citizen who has completed an FPCA.
4. Return Your Ballot
As with the FPCA, you can return your voted ballot to your local election officials free of charge via the nearest embassy or consulate or mail it directly at your own expense.
Your Vote Counts
Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline (differs by state).
Be an educated voter. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, and search the Internet to locate articles and information.
To receive information by email about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts ( FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebookand Twitter.
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact
U.S. Embassy Quito at (02-398-5300) or at OR
U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil at (04-371-7000), or at

Posted 4-25-2014

AP News Break: Ecuador Expels US Military Group

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador has ordered all 20 Defense Department employees in the U.S. Embassy's military group to leave the country by month's end, The Associated Press has learned.

The group was ordered to halt operations in Ecuador in a letter dated April 7, said embassy spokesman Jeffrey Weinshenker.
The AP was first alerted to the expulsions by a senior Ecuadorean official who refused to be identified by name due to the information's sensitive nature.
President Rafael Correa had publicly complained in January that Washington had too many military officers in Ecuador, claiming there were 50, and said they had been "infiltrated in all sectors." At the time, he said he planned to order some to leave.
Weinshenker said the military group had 20 Department of Defense employees, not all of them uniformed, and that Washington had provided $7 million in security assistance to Ecuador last year, including technical training for maintaining aircraft and cooperation in combatting drug trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism.
Weinshenker said U.S. military cooperation in Ecuador dates back four decades and that "all the activities we have carried out have had the explicit approval of our Ecuadorean counterparts."
U.S. relations with Ecuador have been strained in recent years, even before Correa provided asylum in 2012 to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose organization published troves of leaked U.S. military documents and diplomatic cables highly embarrassing to Washington.
Correa had previously expelled at least three U.S. diplomats including then-Ambassador Heather Hodges in 2011 in response to a cable divulged by WikiLeaks that suggested Correa was aware of high-level police corruption.
In November, Correa's government said it was asking the U.S. Agency for International Development to end operations in the country, accusing it of backing the opposition.
USAID is to end operations in September when programs it is funding have run their course.
Shortly after first taking office in 2007, Correa purged Ecuador's military of officers deemed to have close relations with U.S. counterparts. He also ended an agreement with Washington that allowed U.S. drug interdiction flights to be based at the Ecuadorean airfield in Manta.
Correa is popular at home for his poverty-fighting programs but widely criticized for stifling civil liberties and using criminal defamation law against journalists.

Associated Press writer Frank Bajak in Lima, Peru, contributed to this report.

Posted 4-23-2014

Tall Ships Sailing into Puerto de Manta
“Sails South” Ecuador/Manabí 2014

May 3rd – 7th, the Tall Ships will arrive in Manta. Seven ships from various countries. The arrival of the sailing ships is part of an activity organized by Argentina, in order to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the victory of the Naval Battle of Montevideo. This will be the first time the Tall Ships will sail into Ecuador/Manta.  The ships will be sailing from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Venezuela.
Saturday May 3rd, 10:30am – Parade & ceremonies with the President of the Republic of National Defense, Minister of Tourism, Port Authority of Manta and Military Officers.
The Sailing International Committee will officially welcome the Tall Ships to the City of Manta at the Port Authority of Manta 12pm.
Admission to ships will be free
Citizens of the general public are invited Sunday May 4th at 11am to the parade of ships along the Malecón and Manta’s party at the Plaza Civic (8pm) where there will be different musical groups, games & fireworks.
Wednesday May 7th, 10am there will be departure ceremonies at the dock of the Port Authority of Manta.
Attending Ceremony:
Officials of Manta & Manabí Province
Officials with the Committee Manabí 2014
Delegates of the Ministry of Tourism
Local Sponsors
Media & General Public
Visiting the Tall Ships:
Saturday May 3rd – 3pm – 6pm
Sunday May 4th – 2pm – 6pm
Monday May 5th – 10am – 6pm
Tuesday May 6th – 10am – 6pm
Web Site:

Ecuador IESS; Board of Directors approve the IESS Resolution 467
Reported by El Comercio
Friday 21st, 2014

The Board of Directors approved the IESS Thursday, March 20, resolution 467 on eliminating the word "mandatory" in the Conditions of Membership for people without dependent or independent.
This new provision states that "they may enroll voluntarily, from the day he made the request, persons with income not dependent or independent, domiciled in Ecuador, filing its notice of entry via the web portal IESS officer "(
The rule was issued on Tuesday, March 18th, Fernando Cordero resigned the presidency of the Board of IESS. The official continued in office since his resignation has not yet been processed by the Executive.
This new regulation supersedes Resolution 464, although Lamb said it was not involved in their repeal.
Through a press release, the IESS explained that the resolution 467 issued the "Regulations of Affiliation of Persons without IESS Dependency Ratio or Independent and Ecuadorian Domiciled Abroad".
Persons wishing to join should meet the following requirements: have citizenship card in case of Ecuadorian affiliation, identity card or refugee card issued in Ecuador for foreigners residing in the country, and not to record or obligations outstanding arrears the IESS.
The bulletin notes that the voluntary member may at any time, submit your Notice of Departure assurance system IESS. And to reactivate your membership, again, you must file your Notice of Entry. These steps are performed in the web portal.
Not materialize payment of contributions within 30 days of the relevant month, ISSE automatically log the output member, who may access the membership again, if not recorded arrears or outstanding obligations to Social Security.
It also indicates that the volunteer affiliate will set the value of the remuneration on which the contribution is calculated. However, the minimum amount for the calculation of the monthly contribution shall not be less than "unified basic salary (USD $340) set by the Ministry of Labor Relations. For part-time affiliate proportional unified basic salary "shall apply.
The total contributions will remain at 20.50% of revenue.
You can enroll on line:

Courtesy GeoCurrents.
March 1, 2014

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa is reconsidering his decision on running for a new presidential term. This comes a week after his political party, Alianza País, suffered defeats in the country’s municipal elections.
Correa and his party, which has a majority in Congress, seem to have decided in favor of a constitutional reform allowing Correa to run – it is widely expected that a motion will be presented in the very near future to eliminate term limits for the president. Gabriela Rivadeneira, president of Ecuador’s congress, has already declared that Alianza País “is discussing and will propose . . . an amendment to the constitution . . . to allow for re-election.”
Correa was first elected in December 2006, and he assumed the presidency on January 15, 2007. His four-year presidential term was supposed to end on January 2011, but his popularity among the citizenry allowed for a new constitution to be passed in 2008 – Ecuadorians approved the new constitution with a 64% support. In April 2009, the country had elections again to have a new president and congress under the new constitution. Correa was easily re-elected with 52%of the vote, while his closest competitor, former president Lucio Gutierrez, came in second with only 28%.
Ecuador essentially went through a “reset” of the presidency: Correa’s presidential term which began in 2009 counts as his first term because of the new constitution, even though he had already ruled for two years before the “reset.” In February 2013, Correa ran again (his first re-election after the new constitution), and easily beat his competitors in the first round with 57% of the vote. Moreover, Correa’s party Alianza Pais won 100 seats of the country’s 137-seat National Assembly.
It is important to highlight that until that point, article 144 of Ecuador’s 2008 constitution mandates that a head of state can only run for one presidential term. Moreover, in 2013, Correa himself declared that he was not interested in running again, so his presidency would have ended in 2017.
The situation changed on February 23 when Ecuador’s municipal elections gave significant victories to opposition parties. Namely, opposition candidates won in the capital Quito as well as Cuenca, and also maintained the control of the country’s second-largest major urban area, Guayaquil.
Speaking about his party’s loss, Correa declared that “what’s happening in Quito is painful and dangerous; I hope I’m wrong.” He also tried to spin the situation explaining that this was a lesson and that he and his party could be “falling sleeping on their laurels.” On the other hand, Ecuadorian analysts highlighted that the municipal elections showed that “Correa is not invincible.”
A week later, on Saturday, March 1, Correa took his party’s loss one step further, as he declared that he was re-assessing his original statement to not run again: “we will not let the international right to take over the government.” He poetically added that he would not allow for “dark skies in the horizon of the Revolutionary Citizenry.”
Correa himself remains vastly popular among the Ecuadorian citizenry and, barring an economic meltdown a la Venezuela, it is safe to say that he will be re-elected in 2017 if the constitutional reform succeeds. But whether it is healthy for a popular leader, in Ecuador or elsewhere, to perpetuate himself (or herself) in power remains highly debatable.
In an interview with the Ecuadorian state-run news agency Andes, congressman Fabian Solano argued that the goal of the amendment is not to maintain a single person in power but rather “to maintain a leadership to consolidate a political project towards a healthy socialism”. He also added “socialists have to be the echo of the people and if the homeland needs him I think that President Correa will listen to the people.”
Correa’s current popularity means that most Ecuadorians would likely vote for him in 2017. That means he will have ruled the country for over 14 years (if he steps down from power in 2021), since his original victory in 2006 — a long time for anyone to be a head of state, especially in Latin America, which has a problematic regional history with leaders who perpetuate themselves in power.
Here’s hoping Correa will be the exception to the rule.

February 23, 2014
Election Results For Manta Mayor

Jorge Zambrano is the new mayor of Manta, reaching 66.308 (52,70%) votes.
Results released by the web site of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Zambrano leaves behind Jaime Estrada, candidate for re-election obtained 49.805 (41.07%) votes.
Zambrano was the previous Mayor of Manta (12 years) getting beat out by Estrada 4 years ago

February 13, 2014
Reported by La Marea

Architects, engineers, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and others will have the opportunity to work in the construction of the shopping center to be constructed in Manta. They may start work in March after the demolition of the sports arena & pool which are located on the Malecón Avenue opposite the Hotel Oro Verde where the new mall will be built. Ricardo Fernández, general manager of the French Riviera, promoter of the project company, indicated that about 1,500 workers of different professions will be need. He said most of the workforce will be local. We will try to staff with workers of Manta and the surrounding areas. If we need someone who comes from the outside we will hire him, Fernandez said. After the demolition we will begin the construction for the new mall. The construction will be 120 thousand square meters of construction with four floors: two underground and two high. It will also have a parking lot for 2,000 vehicles. Fernandez said the work will be completed in 18 months, so expect that in September of 2015 Manta will have a new shopping center. We are studying the area to avoid problems with roads and to eliminate traffic problems.

Panama, Costa Rica or Ecuador
Jan 16, 2014 News Article International Living

Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador offer the most attractive programs in the world for retirees—wooing foreign pensioners with special visas and significant discounts on everything from airfare to health care, reports
Panama comes out on top with the best retiree-incentive program in the world, receiving a perfect score of 100 in the Special Benefits for Retirees category on’s just-released 2014 Global Retirement Index, which ranks and rates the top 24 countries in the world for overseas retirement.
Panama’s Pensionado or Pensioner Program allows any adult, of any age, to apply – provided he or she can prove a monthly income of at least $1,000.
Under its Pensionado Program, Panama offers retirees huge savings, including 50% off closing costs for home loans and entertainment; 15% to 25% off at restaurants; 25% off airline tickets; and 10% to 20% off a wide range of medical expenses.
Panama wins overall in the Index as the best place in the world to retire this year.
“Nearly everything about Panama is convenient, particularly if you’re coming from North America,” says Jennifer Stevens,’s executive editor. “The currency is the dollar, English is widely understood, and the international community is large and welcoming.”
“Plus, no matter what you like to do… loll on the beach, golf a championship green, hike the highlands, join special interest clubs…you’ll be busy here. Unless, of course, you choose not to be. Spend as little—or as much—as you like. A good lifestyle is very affordable,” Stevens says.
Ecuador, which places second in the Index in the Special Benefits for Retirees category, offers retirees similar benefits.
Those in the over-65 discount program are entitled to 50% off public and private transportation within the country, 50% off tickets for all cultural and sporting events, 50% off electric and water bills (below certain usage levels), and reductions in a variety of taxes, including income and sales tax. Residence status also allows for importation of household goods duty-free.
One of the most popular discounts for foreign residents is the 50% airfare reduction for international travel offered by airlines such as Taca, Copa Airlines, and Ecuador’s AeroGal. All three offer flights to the U.S. The discount applies to round-trip tickets purchased in Ecuador for flights originating within the country. The discount is available to all citizens and residents over the age of 65.
The Ciudadano de Oro, or Gold Citizen, retiree program in Costa Rica is available to those over 65. Members get free bus rides and discounts of up to 50% on eyeglasses, medication, clothing, groceries, and more at thousands of participating retailers throughout the country.
Senior citizens and the disabled get head-of-the-line privileges at banks and government offices by law, and the same is usually extended by custom at stores and other businesses.

January 22, 2014
QUITO, Ecuador -
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has told a government newspaper that he doesn't plan to seek another re-election when his term ends in 2017.
The paper El Telégrafo quotes Correa as saying it's dangerous when one person becomes indispensable.
Correa took office in 2007 and won election again in 2009 after a new constitution was adopted. He was re-elected to another four-year term in 2012.
The current constitution allows only one re-election, though last year Correa floated the idea of amending it to allow indefinite re-election. The leftist president has been pouring oil wealth into social programs and maintains high popularity ratings, although human rights groups say he's been eroding civil liberties.
The interview was published Monday and the statements were confirmed by Correa aide Andres Michelena.

12-6- 2013
U.S. Consulate General Moves to its New Location
December 6, 2013

In order to better serve U.S. citizen and Ecuadorian customers, the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil is moving to its new and larger building on Calle Santa Ana and Avenida José Rodriguez Bonín in the San Eduardo neighborhood in Guayaquil.  Full services at the new building will begin on Monday, December 16, 2013. [Note: the San Eduardo neighborhood is located near the Policía Judicial Guayaquil offices (via Portete) and close to Barcelona Stadium and the Vía a la Costa].

As of Monday, December 16, 2013 all U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil transactions will take place in the new building.  The current building on 9 de Octubre and García Moreno will be officially closed on Friday, December 13, 2013.

Please note the official address of the new building:
Calle Santa Ana y Av. José Rodriguez Bonín
Sector: San Eduardo
(Diagonal a la Policía Judicial)

PBX (04) 371-7000

Since 1825 the U.S. government has had a strong consular presence in Ecuador and for over 50 years the Consulate General in Guayaquil has been located on the corner of 9 de Octubre and García Moreno.

Though open for business on December 16, 2013 the inauguration of the new Consulate General will be in February 2014.

For more information please visit us on our Consulate General webpage at:

TAME Ecuador to Start Guayaquil -- New York JFK Service from late-November 2013

TAME Ecuador from 22NOV13 is resuming service to the United States, with 6 weekly Guayaquil -- New York JFK operation on board Airbus A330 aircraft, in all-Economy Class configuration. From 13DEC13, the airline will add 7th weekly service on this route.
EQ550 GYE1415 -- 2035JFK 330 x2
EQ551 JFK2255 -- 0525+1GYE 330 x2


Posted by Latin America Current News/Events

The World Bank has approved a project information document to improve water, sanitation and public transportation services in Ecuador’s Manta city, in Manabí Province

Manta Ecuador: World Bank to loan 115 million dollars in water, sanitation infrastructure

The City of Manta, located in the Province of Manabí, is a medium-sized fast growing port city with fisheries and tourism as its main economic activities. Manta’s road network has a total length of 350 km (217 miles) consisting of 52 km (32 miles) of arterials and collectors, and 298 km (185 miles) of local streets, and is considered to be in regular-good condition, with low levels of congestion. Proactive planning and incentives for both the demand and supply sides may enable planned growth, ensuring that more sustainable transport modes remain available, even as motorization rates and motorcycle ownership increase. Regarding local roads there is still a significant unpaved area, and old areas requiring rehabilitation. Water supply and sanitation services are provided by the municipal water company Empresa Pública Aguas de Manta (EPAM), and current coverage levels are 79 and 64 percent for water supply and sewerage respectively, as the first phase of its Water and Sanitation Master Plan has been finalized.
While Manta potable water production will meet demand for the next few years, the distribution system faces challenges including unserved population, significant areas with aged and ill performing pipes that need rehabilitation, and significant water losses.
Posted 7-9-2013

Motorcycle Ordinance "Flow Of Motorcycle In Manta"

Wednesday 03 July 2013

After two years of coming into force of the Ordinance prohibiting the mobilization of two people on a motorbike, authorities today announced its final application. The municipality of Manta and the police met this morning to report on this case in a press conference. The Ordinance will be socialized from morning with several sectors of the city and on July 16 will be applied. Pablo Aguirre, head of the Manta police command made the announcement. “Insecurity indexes require us to immediately implement the Ordinance,” said Aguirre. Jaime Estrada, Mayor reported that crimes committed with motorcycles have increased in the city in recent weeks. He said that from January to June of last year, the police organization reported 164 crimes committed on a motorcycle, while so far in 2013 the figure rose to 201. Estrada did not specify the kinds of crimes. The Ordinance was established in 2011 with the aim of reducing crimes, which police said were mostly committed by men on motorbikes. Aguirre said that the Ordinance will help to combat insecurity.  
The Ordinance prohibits two people to circulate on a bike within the city. But the police chief says that there will be cases with “flexibility”, such as the movement of a man and a woman on the motorcycle. In this example, according to Aguirre, the police officer will allow the free movement of both persons since, said the official, “they do not represent a danger”.  In other cases, not specified what, the motorcyclist will depend on the perception of the uniformed. “Police will notice to the occupants of the vehicle and if you think that they do not represent a danger will them be circular, otherwise will apply the Ordinance”, said Aguirre. He believes that this action will not trigger in an act of “blackmail” of the uniform toward the rider to avoid sanction. “If this occurs, the citizens should denounce it at the command of the police”, said Aguirre.    David Zambrano, leader of the motorcyclists of Manta, said to be in accordance with the application of the Ordinance although it hopes that such “flexibility” announced by the police, is applied. The Ordinance does not stipulate a monetary fine for offenders.  It only says the bike will be held for 48 hours, and 90 if it is recurring. The three city Commissioners will be responsible for enforcing the Ordinance; Public services, construction and tourism.
Retention of the bike and transfer of the vehicle will be taken to the courtyard of retention of the municipality, space that has not yet been defined. “But could be in the field of the enterprise system of Municipal station regulated (company),” argued Juan Pazos, director of municipal transit.

Posted 3-27-2013

Dengue kills four in Ecuador and 2,854 cases of infection
Reported by Ecuador Current News And Events

March 25, 2013

At least four deaths and 2,854 cases of dengue infection, 18 of them seriously, in Ecuador have been recorded so far this year due to an epidemic that affects 22 of the 24 provinces of the country, said the Ministry of Health Public.
According to the latest epidemiological bulletin, cases rose in the past two weeks, after which until last February 28 there were 1990 people infected by the virus.

The consolidated report explained that in the first 11 weeks of 2013, until March 16 last, four deaths were reported in the provinces of Orellana, Esmeraldas, Manabí and Los Rios.
Also confirmed 2,854 cases of dengue, of which 91.6% (2,614) are dengue without warning signs.
Meanwhile, 222 cases (7.78%) were dengue with warning signs and severe dengue 18 cases (0.63%), considered the highest risk of mortality.
According to the Ministry of Health, the virus affects nearly all provinces of the country, which bear the brunt of a harsh winter (rainy season) since last January.
The rainy season has created favorable conditions for mosquito breeding explosive vector of the disease; the "Aedes aegypti" said epidemiological report.
Dengue is caused by a mosquito that thrives in stagnant water and a number of containers found in the houses.
The ministry of Health said that 69% of dengue cases are recorded on the coast, 23% in East and 8% in the Sierra.
The provinces that reported the highest numbers of cases are the coastal province of Manabí (792), the eastern Sucumbíos (460) Rivers (446) Abroad (308) and Gold (277), the latter located in the coastal Ecuador.
Health authorities have launched a series of actions to prevent the spread of dengue and its transmission is maintained so endemic throughout the year and the epidemic cycles generally match the rainy season.
Dengue in the country appeared in late 1998, since then there have been several progressively epidemic cycles.
According to official figures, in 2012 the dengue left at least 20 dead and more than 12,000 people infected

Posted 3-14-2013

LAN Airlines: Aeropuerto International Eloy Alfaro De Manta & Aeropuerto International Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre De Quito, Tabebela Valley

March 13th, 2013

Flights between Quito & Manta

LAN is the third airline in the city which will operate from Manta to Quito in two daily flights from Monday to Sunday.

Flights from Manta to Quito take off at:  11:20am & 5:40pm.
Flights from Quito to Manta take off at:  09:55am & 4:10pm.

There is at least an hour advance check-in prior to the departure of flights.

LAN will compete with Tame and Aerogal, two companies that provide the service on the same route.


Posted 3-11-2013

As of March 2013, here are a few updates about the progress going on and
coming soon in Manta.

There will be a new mall “Del Pacific Mall” adjacent to the Hotel Oro Verde. There will approximately 200 stores which will include a MegaMaxi and about 1,600 parking spaces. The old coliseum and pool will be demolished, once the new sports complex is completed which is located via San Mato adjacent to the Manta Beach residential complex.

Manta will begin dredging the Puerto de Manta seaport to allow for the new cruise ship docks. Construction is to be completed by 2015.

New construction will begin for a new and improve Malecón located at the round-a-about @ the Manta Yacht Club, the tuna on a stick (expat term) will be replaced with traffic lights in an effort to eliminate the traffic congestion.

In June 2013, new road construction will begin from Jaramijó to Bahia de Caráquez. The Jaramijó stretch will be 4 lanes connected to the airport road construction. Once completed, the trip from Manta to Bahia de Caráquez should only take about 40 minutes.

If you haven’t been to the Aeropuerto International Eloy Alfaro De Manta lately, then you haven’t seen the new face lift. The renovation has created a more spacious and a better functioning airport.

The new Terminal Terrestre de Manta (bus terminal) will be under construction soon. The bus terminal will be located on the way to Aeropuerto International Eloy Alfaro De Manta, Tarqui.
There will be about 54 platforms for arrivals & departures.

The new sport complex, coliseum and pool are just about completed located via San Mato adjacent to the Manta Beach residential complex. This area will also house a new shopping mall on about 3 acres.

The new Montecristi Golf Club & villas. Projected opening in August, September, October, November or December 2013 . The golf club will be open to the public. This will be an 18 + 9 hold course.


Information and pictures were collected from Manta's local news, Facebook and news releases.

Posted 2-27-2013

UPDATE 2-Ecuador's economic growth slows to 5 percent in 2012
Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:02pm EST
* Andean country's economy expanded 8 percent in 2011
    * Growth expected to slow again in 2013
    * Government introduces price controls to tame inflation

    By Alexandra Valencia
    QUITO, Feb 26 (Reuters - USA) - The economy of OPEC's smallest
member, Ecuador, grew 5 percent last year, lower than 8 percent
in 2011, hit by slower expansion in the oil and construction
sectors, official data showed on Tuesday.
    Growth is expected to slow again this year due to global
economic woes and the idling of Ecuador's largest refinery,
which will be partially shut down for several months for an
    Central bank data showed the oil sector expanded 1.9 percent
last year, well below the 4.6 percent growth recorded in 2011.
    The banana, coffee and cocoa sectors contracted 5 percent in
2012 versus a growth of 13.8 percent in 2011 while construction
grew 9.6 percent versus 21.6 percent a year earlier.
    The full-year 2012 GDP growth met the government's target.
    "We grew 5 percent, after expanding 8 percent, that's
fantastic. That shows that the economy is healthy and there are
no signs of imbalances," Finance Minister Patricio Rivera told
    Ecuador received a bump from high crude prices last year as
oil exports increased 6.5 percent in value and 4.5 percent in
volume, the data showed.
    Tax revenues rose 17.8 percent to $11.3 billion, which
allowed leftist President Rafael Correa to spend more on the
poor in the months leading to a presidential election this month
where he won with around 57 percent of the vote.
    "We understand that growth goes hand in hand with (wealth)
redistribution ... We strongly believe in a model of inclusive
growth: redistribution is needed to grow, while growth is needed
to redistribute," Rivera said.
    High state spending is key to Correa's high popularity and
to healthy economic growth in the past three years. However,
Ecuador is highly dependent on oil prices and the economy would
suffer if crude prices were to fall.
    In a bid to diversify the economy, the Correa government has
vowed to attract mining investment and is building hydroelectric
dams that could let the country export energy in the future.
    But he has scared away foreign investors by rewriting
contracts with oil companies to squeeze more revenue out of
them, and with frequent outbursts against capitalism, which he
blames for poverty and inequality in Latin America.
    In an interview with Reuters last week, he ruled out,
however, any major socialist reforms in his new term and said
the country was well placed to attract foreign investment.
    Correa has also vowed to continue spending heavily on
infrastructure in a bid to raise living standards and fight
poverty in his next four years in office.
    Rivera said the government has introduced price controls for
46 products, most of them food items, in a bid to prevent
speculation and tame inflation. Consumer prices rose 4.16
percent in 2012, below the government's 5.14 percent target.
    Correa, 49, blames banks for a hyperinflation and
devaluation in 1999 that forced Ecuador to adopt the dollar as
the national currency the following year and meant thousands of
account holders lost part of their savings.
    He hiked bank taxes in November to finance a raise in a
monthly stipend paid to about 2 million low-income citizens,
including the elderly and single mothers, to $50 from $35.
    The banking chamber said banks will have less money to grant
loans, which could dampen economic growth.
    Correa defaulted on $3.2 billion of foreign bonds in 2008,
even though Ecuador had the funds to comply with debt
obligations. Since then, the country has been very dependent on
Chinese loans for funding.
    Ecuador could consider issuing foreign bonds for the first
time since the default, but only if "yields are low enough to
make them attractive for the government", Rivera said.

Posted 2-24-2013

February 2013 - Post Election Ecuador Media News

Ecuadorians voted on February 17 for president and vice-president, as well as for 137 members of the national assembly; candidates for representative are now drawn from all provinces, whereas before this election, the representatives mostly came from Quito and Guayaquil, and there are six representatives for Ecuadorians who are living overseas.

Ecuadorians also voted for their five Andean Parliament representatives. The Andean Parliament is part of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) which is working  across borders on items like the Andean Passport for citizens of member states and also the implementation of a new unit of virtual currency to facilitate commercial exchange between member countries of CAN called the SUCRE (Sistema Unico de Compensacion Regional. The mechanisms are being structured now so that in the future there may be a move toward a regional currency not dependant on the US dollar. There is no publicized plan to drop the dollar and for now, not enough info is available in Ingles.

The following is translated from El Comercio Newspaper.
Starting the 24th of May 2013, President Correa's party (Alianza PAIS) will have control of two-thirds of the Legislative Assembly, with which the 2008 Constitution itself could be reformed without the need for agreements with the opposition or the need to call for a public referendum.
Reelected President Rafael Correa already has reported an imminent package of reforms to the 2008 Constitution. The announcement was made during correspondence with the press at Carondelet Palace. "We will review the Constitution and make the reforms that we have to," were the words spoken by the President, adding that he aims for institutional improvements for the future of Ecuador. In this context, he mentioned several items which could be the subject of reform in the Constitution. He does not agree with the constitution prohibiting GMOs (live seeds); which he has said a few times over the last year.
[ed note- GMO products are allowed and common in Ecuador and some say that with Ecuador building research facilities like Yachay City of Knowledge in Urcuqui, Ecuador should do research on live GMO's independently of transnational corporations].
Other issues that Correa said might be reviewed are some of the functions of municipal governments, and also some legal wording that allows for indiscriminate use of "Protective Actions" which disrupt the implementation of government policies. Correa also announced that having the legislative majority in the next Assembly it would be possible to approve a series of legal bodies that he considers priorities. Among them, he cited the new Comprehensive Criminal Code, and National Laws on the uses of Land and of Water. Also expected in upcoming sessions is an initiative to facilitate that housewives receive retirement benefits.

Specifically mentioned in interviews as a municipal function to be reevaluated is education, which, as a municipal responsibility led to Ecuador's having dozens of "garage" universities and which also left the rural (indigenous) areas exposed to leadership by unqualified unscrupulous directors and staff and a lot of kids ending up with worthless diplomas.
One reaction by the central government after a child died in a typical indigenous volunteer-run Centro Infantil near Cotacachi was to propose the complete restructuring of infant and child care. Parents who receive government help would be obligated to enroll their children in government centers from the age of two and must also provide proof that the children are "getting medical attention". This also ostensibly to address the high incidence in communities of learning disabilities and malnutrition related disorders both mental and physical.
Three months with so many lame ducks. This week, the 124 Assembly members who were voted out and that will leave office on May 13 returned to work. There are several major laws to be considered soon: the laws of Media Communications, the Law of Land Use and the Law of Control of Water, among others. The media law is ready to be voted on. In July 2012, the Alianza Pais party planned to push for a final vote on this Communications Media Law but an ally backed out who had been expected to give them the necessary 63 votes and without her alliance the move to a final vote was postponed. This law is unlikely to be a brought up again until the newly elected legislators take office. And there is more. Much more change expected - but one law that Cotacachi will find most interesting is the Reformas a la Ley de Inquilinato which should come up for an approval vote soon in the National Assembly.

Some expected reforms to this national-level law are that the municipal governments must control real estate property rental transactions through a specialized office which will set the minimum and maximum rental amount based on the cadastral (tax assessment) valuation, the location and several other characteristics of the property. It will also regulate and register leases and other contracts which nowadays are mostly "informal" and often verbal, making rental agreements transparent (open books) and ensuring that gains are subject to taxation. Similar laws are on the books now, but enforcement is lax without formal complaints.
Another point of interest is that this same office of lease registration, and not the landlord, will be responsible for holding the tenant's security deposit. This amount will be returned to the tenant, when it is verified that the property is turned over to the landlord in good condition, or it could be turned over to the landlord to cover verified damages. Any difference of opinion as to verbal agreements or unclear expectations are to be decided in favor of the tenant - by law. 
The landlord has to justify before the court of Rental Law (Inquilinato) the reasons for asking for an increase in rent. ...the rental law does not permit automatic yearly increases. If the landlord attempts to raise the rent, the renter can appeal to the Juez de Inquilinato (which for now is in Ibarra) and the landlord may even be subject to a fine.
For now a notarized lease is customarily used but it is rare that landlords also register these leases properly. Unfortunately for the landlord, without this registry it is very hard to increase rent or evict a tenant and without at least a notarized lease a tenant could refuse to leave a property for a good while with impunity. A tenant can refuse a rent increase and force a landlord to court and a tenant has certain squatter’s rights also. If the landlord were to try to stop utilities like water or other services the landlord faces stiff penalties. Tenants can find out the legal rental amount for their apartment by asking.

The debates continue this week on the new Civil Code with issues about how the parent's surnames ought to be conferred on a child (both or either or in which order) and whether to allow for a divorce if either party should contest and whether to raise the legal age of marriage up to 16 with parental blessing. For now a girl can get married legally at age twelve. Some changes may seem way over the top and others are long overdue.
Collective news from Ecuador media

Posted 1-21-2013


(Might Consider Flying Into Guayaquil & Bus, Private Driver, Manta Express, Just A Thought)

Officials of Quito’s new international airport are taking a wait-and-see attitude about the possible negative impact on in-country flights when the new facility at Tababela opens February 20.

President of the airport commission, Marco Subía, says it is likely that there will be a “downward trend” in the number of national airline passengers and flights because of transportation problems between the airport and Quito. The Ecuador airline association is also predicting lower traveler numbers after the new airport opens. The most active national routes are Guayaquil, followed by Cuenca and Manta. “It will take several months before we will know the true affect,” said Subía. “We may see a dro
p in passengers at the beginning and then see the number return to the current level later.”

Although the new airport is only 15 miles from Quito, road construction delays mean that the trip to the city can take one-and-a-half to two hours. Taxi fares are expected to be $25 to $30 each way. Airport and national business leaders worry that the extra drive-time and expense will reduce the number of travelers who come to Quito for meetings and then return to Cuenca and Guayaquil in the evening. “It will also be a problem for some international travelers who will need to go into Quito for lodging,” said Subía.

There has been some speculation that more flyers, especially foreign residents, will bypass Quito and opt to take international flights out of Guayaquil.

On the upside, officials expect to see an increase of international flights and announced that Aeroméxico will soon begin operations into Quito. Non-stop service between destinations such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Buenos Aires and Mexico City may be added as well, they say.
National airlines flying in and out of the new airport will include, LAN, AeroGal and Tame. International carriers will be American, Delta, LAN, KLM, Iberia, United Continental, Avianco, Copa, Taca and Aeroméxico.


Posted 1-16-2013

Ecuadorian General Election, 2013
The election campaigns officially launched on January 4 and will end on February 14, as announced by CNE member Juan Pablo Pozo.
Voters will choose the president and vice president of the Republic, as well as national and provincial assembly members, mayors, prefects and other sectional officials.



Posted 1-9-2013


Subject: Message for U.S. Citizens: Update on Civil Registry Marital Status Certification
Message for U.S. Citizens – U.S. Mission Ecuador
Update on Civil Registry Marital Status Certification
January 9, 2013
The Ecuadorian Civil Registry has instituted a new requirement for foreign residents applying for their Ecuadorian national ID cards. This new requirement obliges foreign residents to submit proof of their marital status with their application. Many U.S. citizens in Ecuador have approached the Embassy and Consulate General to request such proof, which we do not provide as the U.S. federal government is unable to verify the marital status of U.S. citizens.
The Civil Registry has informed us that there is no need for U.S. citizens to visit the Embassy or Consulate General to obtain this proof. U.S. citizens who are married, divorced, or widowed should present to the Civil Registry a certified copy of a record of marriage, divorce, or death, with an apostille and a notarized Spanish translation along with their application. In the case of a U.S. citizen who has never been married, the Civil Registry will accept a sworn statement, notarized by an Ecuadorian notary, stating that the American applying for the Ecuadorian ID card is single. U.S. citizens applying for an Ecuadorian ID card do not need to travel to the Embassy or Consulate General to obtain these documents.
This new Civil Registry policy applies nationwide.  U.S. citizens wishing to marry in Ecuador will still be required to obtain a notarized “Certificate of Marriage ability” from the U.S. Consulate General or U.S. Embassy.

Posted 12-20-2012

United States Mission - Ecuador
Message for U.S. Citizens
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
Date of Message: 20 December 2012

We have received inquiries from American citizens residing in Ecuador expressing concerns about the impact that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) may have on them. Under FATCA, U.S. taxpayers holding certain financial assets outside the United States must report those assets to the IRS. In addition, FATCA will also require foreign financial institutions to report directly to the IRS information about certain financial transactions carried out by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. According to IRS public information, implementation of many of FATCA’s provisions related to foreign financial entity reporting requirements has been postponed to January 1, 2014. For authoritative information please refer to the IRS website, found here. Information about the timeline for implementation can be found here.
Americans should also consider consulting with a U.S. tax professional for advice on the effect of this law.
Americans living or traveling in Ecuador are encouraged to enroll with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ecuador through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  
U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Ecuador and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings and Worldwide Caution at the Department's website. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-47471-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-44441-202-501-4444 outside the United States.
The U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil is located at the corner of Avenida 9 de Octubre and Garcia Moreno (near the Hotel Oro Verde). The telephone number for American Citizen Service (ACS) inquiries is (011-593-4) 232-3570 during business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 232-1152 for after-hours emergencies. Appointments for services are available through our website.
The U.S. Embassy in Quito is located at Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro. The telephone number for ACS inquiries is (011 593-2) 398-5000.   Public call-in hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and for after-hours emergencies, contact the Embassy at (011 593-2) 398-5000. Appointments for ACS are available through their website.

Posted 10-13-2012

Passport Center in Manta

Opened July 2, 2012

The opening of this new service joins other services already existing in the Zonal Coordination 4, such as are the apostille, legalization of documents, issuance of non-immigrant visas, censuses, among others, those who benefit are the provinces of Manabí and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas.
Office hours are Monday through Friday from 08:30 to 17:00.
It is located on the Second Avenue, between 12 and 13 streets, Del Bank Building, mezzanines 1 and 2 in the city of Manta.

Posted 10-10-2012

Ecuador, importation rules regarding cell phones
Posted on October 4, 2012 • Filed under: Ecuador, TRAVEL
Message for U.S. Citizens – U.S. Embassy, Quito, Ecuador
Importation of Cell Phones to Ecuador
October 4, 2012

The Committee for External Commerce (Comité de Commercio Exterior) of the Government of Ecuador
recently issued Resolution 67, which limits the number of cellular telephones that an individual can bring into the country when traveling by air or sea. This resolution also prohibits the importation of such devices via international courier service, such as FEDEX or DHL, shipped by land or sea.
Individuals are allowed to enter the country with a personal cellular telephone, plus another new one without having to pay any duties; but, bringing more telecommunications devices beyond those mentioned or for commercial purposes is prohibited. Travelers should be aware that they may be prosecuted under Ecuadorian law for intentionally circumventing this import regulation.
Resolution 67 authorized licensed telecommunications companies to import an established number of cellular telephones through 2014. These are models that range in price and technical capabilities and are available at stores owned and operated by licensed dealers such as Claro, Movistar and CNT dealers.

Posted 9-11-2012

Cell phone numbers will be 10 digits

As of September 30 adds a new digit (9) to the cell, so their current mobile numbers have ten digits from that date Example: 080038305 will change to 0980038305. The measure is part of the National Pan Connectivity was adopted in 2008. The digit will be unique for all users. In this case, the nine (9) will be located after the zero and this will identify a call from a mobile phone.
This measure is intended to alleviate the demand for cell lines that now total 16.2 million to 100 million apliándose new lines. The extra digit is included not only in phones, but those mobile devices that require Internet access, such as tablets or smartphones that require a phone number to access the network. The inclusion of nine also allow geographic area codes that were used to counter the shortage of cell number (02, 04, 06 ...), used exclusively in the fixed telephony service. In this regard, the Plan seeks to increase access to voice services, from 13.3% to 19% nationally.

Posted 8-30-2012


Release Date: 15/08/2012 00:00

This approach should present it to the Full Council to establish legal processes to justify this decision.

This decision was taken after a meeting between Mayor Augusto Barrera, Quiport authorities and Civil Aviation and representatives of chambers of commerce, airlines and transport companies and tourism.

The Mayor welcomed the requirement, after Cumbayá neighborhood leaders, and Puembo Tumbaco, who three months ago called for the declaration of emergency routes between Quito and Tababela, and the requirement of the productive sectors calling for a postponement, arguing the lack of a direct path and bringing increased demand dates Flight.

"We will maintain the date of completion of the works, including the airport, October 12 and the start date of commercial operations will be on February 20," he said.

With this, the mayor said that during that time, between the opening and the start of operations, will be made the transition from the old to the new airport, considering that since October the number of passengers increased by 40 percent, while the output load is 60 percent.

The delay, according to general manager of Tame, Rafael Farias, is related to the high demand dates are December and January, the suggestion was that the opening of the new terminal is once this season.

"We understand the importance of timing and sensitivity Mayor has had to listen to the actors, this is a positive theme, we must focus on the success of this project," he said.

To this argument freight companies joined as Tababela Cargo Center, whose representatives noted that Christmas and New Year 500 trucks used to meet the demand for imports and exports.

Ways lists and works in progress

Secretary of Production and Competitiveness, Edward Dousdebés said the road E-35 and interchanges will be ready.

So, in the E-35 the section that will be enabled from the Y and Tababela Pifo and has six lanes, will be ready on the new date, while for the next month, be ready exchanger in the Las Bathers and Interoceanic Auqui Spring.

He also added that the public should understand that the journey to the airport which took 15 minutes, now will average one-hour trip.

The progress of the new airport at the time is 98 percent, as indicated by the contractors.

Areas that are ready cargo buildings, luggage belts and passenger terminal.

Additionally, the bridges are installed on loading and unloading, while nearing completion catering buildings, Fire Department, Police and the treatment plant waste-water.


Posted 7-19-2012

New Quito International Airport reaches significant milestone with American Airlines inaugural flight

18 Jul, 2012

The development of the new US$460 million Quito International Airport in Ecuador achieved an important milestone on 2 July 2012 with the successful test flight of an American Airlines B757-200 aircraft. Passengers on the short flight from the existing airport to the new airport included Augusto Barrera, Mayor of Quito, as well as members of the project team including Mott MacDonald staff. This flight was the first commercial aircraft to land at the new airport as part of the operational preparations and follows the completion of the airfield in April 2012.

Mott MacDonald has acted as lenders’ engineer1 on the project since 2002, providing a full range of technical and commercial services covering all aspects of the project from airspace, through all aspects of the new and existing airports, to approvals and sign off of operational and construction expenditure. The consultancy is also working with the concessionaire, Quiport2, and the municipality of Quito in the development of travel plans for the new airport.

Positioned 8,500ft above sea level, Quito International Airport will replace the city’s existing Mariscal Sucre International Airport which has no spare capacity and cannot be expanded due to its inner city location and 305m higher altitude.

The new airport, developed as a concession, has a 4.1km runway, making it the longest in Latin America. It will enable direct access to Europe and North America, developing inbound tourism and outbound export opportunities. It has been designed to full international standards and is capable of handling the largest aircraft in the aviation sector. Quito International Airport will also help Ecuador maintain its position as one of the world’s major exporter of roses, with over 19 million being flown per day in the peak season.

Mott MacDonald's project director Chris Chalk said: "This project has produced massive socio-economic benefits to the local community. Over 20 million Ecuadorian construction man hours have helped build the airport and two thirds of all the construction material has been sourced in the country. The airport has so far generated more than US$1 billion of economic activity and is expected to inject over US$200 million annually into the city’s economy."

"Close collaboration between services and suppliers from across the Americas and Europe with those from Ecuador has delivered a first class airport connecting the country to the rest of the world. We are now in the final stages of the project, which has been especially challenging given the logistics of the high Andes. Being part of the development of the original procedures it was particularly pleasing to see the theory turned to practice of the successful test flight with all systems checking out and a very smooth landing," Chris added.

The first trials were successfully completed on 16 July 2012 and substantial completion of the new airport is on schedule to be achieved by October 2012.


Notes for editors

1) The lenders for the project are OPIC, IDB, EDC and USExim.

2) Quiport shareholders comprise Aecon, CCR, ADC and HASDC.

From Quito News Report

Posted 7-5-2012

Cell Phone Rules: July 1, 2012


Ecuador customs officials announced that they would delay enforcing new rules for the importation of cell phones until details of the new plan have been worked out.
The new restrictions, adopted June 15, impose import limits and new taxes on dozens of imports, including cell phones, cars and liquor.

One provision of the new plan, according to Ecuador´s Committee of Foreign Trade (COMEX), was that travelers would no longer be allowed to bring new cell phones into Ecuador that had been purchased outside of the country. COMEX announced that they would work with local cell providers to make it impossible to activate cell phones not purchased in Ecuador.

Since that announcement, COMEX clarified the rules, saying that they would apply only to citizens and residents, not to tourists.
The delay in enforcement of the new rules is indefinite, according to COMEX. In the meantime, old rules, which allow all travelers to bring one new cell phone into the country, are enforce.

Posted 7-5-2012


New government taxes and restrictions on imports will mean higher prices on some items at the check-out counter and leaders of Ecuador´s major business organizations are crying foul.

The measures announced June 15 by the government´s Committee of Foreign Trade (COMEX), mean that prices of imported cars, cell phones, appliances, liquor, electronic equipment and dozens of other items, are headed higher. Although Ecuadorian production minister Santiago Leon says the restrictions were necessary to protect Ecuadorian producers, the environment and the health of Ecuadorians, business leaders say they will only hurt businesses and consumers.

The biggest impact will be felt by buyers of cell phones and cars and trucks. The measures reduce cell phone imports from 3 million to 2 million units per year and imports of new cars and trucks by 30%. The government also announced it will no longer allow cell phones to be mailed into the country and that border and airport police will only allow travelers to bring in cell phones that have been purchased and activated in Ecuador, and say they will work with local carriers to make it impossible to activate cell phones not purchased in Ecuador. Exceptions will be made for cell phone brought in by tourists, a government spokesman says, although these phones will not work in Ecuador.

The additional tax on imported alcohol beverages will be a flat 1% on each bottle with an additional tax of 25 cents applied to each percentage of alcoholic content. In other words, imported rum with an alcohol content of 40% (80 proof) will be taxed an additional $10.

Critics claim that the environmental concern over disposing of hazardous waste, particularly cell phones and other electronic equipment is bogus, since the government has established no disposal or recycling standards.

The real motivation behind the new restrictions, according to some business experts, is the fear that the drop in oil prices will adversely affect government growth plans. Ramiro Crespo, Quito journalist and financial analyst, says that oil revenue, which amounts to 40% of the government budget, will probably keep failing. “The barrel price has dropped below $79; the level budgeted for the year as an average.” As a result, spending by the Correa government, he says, could require high levels of deficit spending.
Crespo and others say the new restrictions will shave about $300 million annually from Ecuador´s trade deficit. They also point out that, unlike most other countries, Ecuador cannot print its own money since it uses the U.S. dollar as its currency.
Cordovez Felipe, president of the Ecuadorian Liquor Association, says that new taxes will increase prices and stimulate the contraband market since the price of alcoholic beverages will be much higher than in neighboring Peru and Colombia. “The government has already doubled the price of liquor in the last five years so this just makes the situation worse. It will hurt businesses and restaurants as well as punish the customer. Look for a lot more bootlegging.”

While acknowledging that the new restrictions will reduce overall imports and help improve the country's trade balance deficit, Leon, emphasized that the primary reason for the Comex actions is to protect the environment and the health of Ecuadorians. "What do you do with old cell phones, computers and cars? The waste is not healthy."

Other imports affected by the new rules include textile products, cameras, computers, televisions, and some cereal and pasta.
The customs police said that they would begin using a more rigorous screening process for travelers entering Ecuador by mid-July.

Posted 6-5-2012

BIG NEWS.........
On May 30, President Raphael Correa issued a presidential decree stating that the Censo will no longer be required of foreigners. It is decree# 1181 and can be found at
As of 30 May 2012, by presidential decree, they will no longer issues the Censo cards. Those who can should get their Cedulas de Extranjero, i.e. those with the series 9 immigrant visas. Those with the series 12 non-immigrant visas, (for example the 12-IX 180-day tourist visas) may have to carry around their passports with the visa stamp, just thinking ????

# 1181

III 1181
X of Article 12 of the Act Extrimjeria, extending effect being due to a ballot
· certified and assessed which method of application and is not obtaining
Article 1. - Delete the document known as a census document
registration of foreigners, the censode debiendoefectuarse aqueJias to
through a 'system of registration. than .5 and perform .. in .. the web portal
Ministry. Relaeiones' Affairs,. G: rade, and that is IntegracionaFmomento
given the vis? the foreign solicitante.Q ..
Section 2. - EI record in the registration system will constitute processed prior to
elextranjero obtain that S \ .1. identity card.

Art:. 3. -. Pulse. in .. or 'out of the country, will not be required previola' presentation the document certifying. the census, being only necessary presentacion of the identity 0 cedulade passport with the relevant visa, as the case.

Art ... .4. - Beginning. dela 'façade. of 'the expedition. This Executive Order, the
expedition · .. and charges. · of. · papei.eta Valar of certified and valued. for
registration of immigrants and nonimmigrants, in covered termincis
the artie April 10 numeral VI Coding Migración Act, 10 effected the
Minister. Relations' Exteriore5,. · Trade and lritegracion; wna time 5e has
6torga'duna v.isa 0 r: 0 ategorfa immigration to the applicant abroad.

Posted 4-5-2012

Disturbing new U.S. law aims to end individual foreign bank accounts
Thanks to my good friend Paul McBride for bringing this latest attack against freedom to my attention. I had posted some time earlier this year about this potential legislation, but was not aware it is now the law of the land. Here is his email from Paul and a copy of the new law in PDF at the end. The law is aimed at foreign bank account holders and those sending money outside the U.S.. This could affect peoples ability to buy homes outside the country. It will certainly affect their ability to have an account offshore. What banks wants to deal with this?
In answer to his question on what I think about this? It sucks!
Sam, in all the controversy surrounding the recently passed health care bill in the U.S., another piece of legislation was pushed through Congress (and signed by the President) that will have a far reaching impact on anyone thinking about buying real estate or investing overseas.
The name of the bill is the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (H.R. 2487) commonly known as the HIRE Act.  This is the jobs incentive bill that was signed by the President on March 18th amid little fanfare.
Relatively small by Washington standards (“just” an $18 billion stimulus package) the bill was drafted to provide incentives to employers to hire more people but contains some very disturbing language concerning the ownership and transference of money to any overseas account.  The truly galling part of the bill is that it attempts to require “foreign financial and non-financial institutions to withhold 30% of payments made to such institutions by U.S. individuals unless such institutions agree to disclose the identity of such individuals and report on the bank transactions”.  Think about this – the U.S. government is attempting to strong arm foreign financial and non-financial institutions (think banks and law firms) to either withhold 30% of the transactions in a U.S. individual’s account (and presumably remit this to the U.S. Treasury) or disclose the account details to the U.S..  The language of the bill addresses both bank accounts and any foreign trusts (ie- Private Interest Foundations).
But what if a foreign, sovereign country has laws against the disclosure of this information?  Well, the bill contemplates this as well.  Here’s the actual language from the bill:
‘‘(F) in any case in which any foreign law would (but
for a waiver described in clause (i)) prevent the reporting
of any information referred to in this subsection or subsection
(c) with respect to any United States account maintained
by such institution—
‘‘(i) to attempt to obtain a valid and effective
waiver of such law from each holder of such account,
‘‘(ii) if a waiver described in clause (i) is not
obtained from each such holder within a reasonable
period of time, to close such account.” (my emphasis)
In other words, under this legislation, a U.S. citizen having an account with a foreign institution will be required to waive the privacy protection afforded by local law.  If they fail to do this, the financial or non-financial institution is required to close the account.
And what information do they want.  Here again is the actual language of the bill:
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The agreement described in subsection
(b) shall require the foreign financial institution to report the
following with respect to each United States account maintained
by such institution:
‘‘(A) The name, address, and TIN of each account holder
which is a specified United States person and, in the case
of any account holder which is a United States owned
foreign entity, the name, address, and TIN of each substantial
United States owner of such entity.
‘‘(B) The account number.
‘‘(C) The account balance or value (determined at such
time and in such manner as the Secretary may provide).
‘‘(D) Except to the extent provided by the Secretary,
the gross receipts and gross withdrawals or payments from
the account (determined for such period and in such
manner as the Secretary may provide).
Keep in mind Sam, this is not proposed legislation.  This is already law.
There is much, much more in this bill.  I’ve attached a PDF file containing the language of the bill.  The important information can be seen if you scroll down to section on page 27 of the bill entitled:
Subtitle A—Foreign Account Tax
As we have suspected for some time, the U.S. government is closing the window for U.S. citizens to protect their assets by moving them offshore.  It won’t be long before it will be punitively expensive to move any amount of money overseas for any purpose.
I haven’t seen this legislation discussed anywhere on the Internet and I think it would be a good story for the blog.  Sadly, America is losing its freedoms and its citizens are standing meekly by while the noose of government control gets tighter and tighter.
Download HIRE Act of 3-18-10

Posted 3-16-2012

Hundreds March in Ecuador for Water Safeguards and Mining Protests

Hundreds of demonstrators – both indigenous people and members of the political opposition – began a two-week march from Ecuador’s southern Amazonian region to Quito on March 8 to protest large-scale mining projects and urge the government to safeguard water sources.
The march, organized by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador, CONAIE), started in El Panguí, in the Amazonian province of Zamora Chinchipe, where the Chinese-owned company Ecuacorriente plans to open the $1.7 billion Mirador copper mine.
About 800 people set out from El Pangui toward Zamora, the provincial capital, and about 400 more joined them along the way, according to Paúl Palacios, director of the province’s environmental office. They expect to arrive in Quito on March 22.
Meanwhile, allies of President Rafael Correa organized a demonstration in support of the government in Quito on March 8. Protest organizers complained that national government officials also refused to grant local buses permission to travel outside their normal routes, making it difficult for the protesters to travel beyond Zamora.
The protesters and local government officials in Zamora worry about possible social, cultural and environmental impacts from the mine, which is located in a mountainous area known as the Cordillera del Cóndor on the Peruvian border. Indigenous groups on the Peruvian side of the Ecuadorian border, not far from Ecuacorriente’s planned Mirador mine, have also been protesting mining companies exploring for gold in the Cordillera del Condor.
That area may have even greater biological diversity than the better-known Yasuní National Park, which has been the focus of an international campaign to stop an oil-drilling project that would affect both biodiversity and several groups of semi-nomadic indigenous people, Palacios said.
One community that included both Shuar people and non-indigenous settlers has been displaced by Ecuacorriente’s Mirador mining project, he said, and provincial government officials worry that the mine will be accompanied by sharp increase in the local population, with a rise in problems such as crime, drug use and prostitution that have accompanied large mining projects in other parts of the region.
The Mirador mine – which will measure more than a mile across and more than half a mile deep – would be Ecuador’s first foray into large-scale mining. President Rafael Correa signed a contract with Ecuacorriente on March 5.
“There has always been very small-scale mining here, but there has never been large-scale mining anywhere in Ecuador,” Palacios said. With the Ecuacorriente contract, the government of President Rafael Correa “plans to usher in large-scale mining, but without a plan for using the resources. We are only a country of raw materials. That does not allow us to overcome our underdevelopment.”
Mining and water issues have been the focus of increasing protest in Latin America in recent years. The march in Ecuador comes a month after small farmers and local government officials from communities in Cajamarca, in northern Peru, marched to Lima, the capital, to protest a large-scale gold mine that was to begin construction in an area of high-mountain lakes and wetlands.
Ecuador’s indigenous movement was a strong political force in the 1990s. Nationwide protests by indigenous organizations led to the fall of the governments of presidents Abdala Bucarám in 1997 and Jamil Mahuad in 2000. The movement was weakened after the collapse of an alliance with former President Lucio Gutiérrez, who was involved in the Mahuad’s ouster and was later elected president 2002.
Indigenous organizations initially supported Correa, who took office in 2007, but political differences also caused that alliance to break down.

Story from Indian Country; Today Media

Posted 2-5-2012

Quito Embassy Report

This report was posted  for U.S. Citizens by the U.S. Embassy, Quito, Ecuador
Wet Season Results in Disease and Road Closures in Coastal Ecuador
February 1, 2012
The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ecuador that, due to stronger-than-anticipated rains in coastal Ecuador over the last few weeks, you should be aware of weather-related hazards currently affecting the Ecuadorian coast.
Reports of Dengue Fever & Malaria in Coastal Ecuador
There have been nearly 300 cases of dengue, including the more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever, in coastal Ecuador since January 1.  The majority of the cases have been located in the provinces of Guayas, Manabi, and Los Rios; cases have also been reported in El Oro and Esmeraldas.  There have been also been six cases of malaria reported in the provinces of Esmeraldas and Los Rios.
Both diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, so whenever possible U.S. citizens in Ecuador should take measures to avoid being bitten.  U.S. citizens living in Ecuador should inspect their properties for standing water, which is where mosquitoes breed.  In the event you development symptoms of dengue (high fever, joint pain, severe headache, and/or rash), you should avoid taking painkillers that contain aspirin and consult with a physician immediately.
The Centers for Disease Control have detailed information about both malaria and dengue on their website, located at and
Road Closures throughout Ecuador
As the wet season begins, all U.S. citizen travelers should be advised of the potential for road closures due to flooding and landslides.  Recently, roads have been severely flooded or damaged near Machala and Loja as a result of heavy rains.  With limited options for alternate routes, the flooding has disrupted travel on the major highway between Guayaquil and Machala for short periods of time.  Damaged secondary roads, particularly in rural areas, may take days or weeks to be repaired.  When traveling by land, all travelers should seek out up-to-date information about the status of roads and bridges from local authorities and/or the Ecuadorian media and be prepared for unexpected delays while traveling.

Posted 1-27-2012



Subjects for admission:
Temporary visitors for lawful purposes: tourism, sports, health, education, science, art or perform commercial transactions not involving the simultaneous import of goods; and their closest relatives within the second degree of consanguinity and first of affinity.

Written request signed by the applicant, addressed to the Ecuadorian Foreign Service Officer serving in the place of residence of the applicant or in his absence, the nearest place explaining reasons and activity.

Application Form with original color passport-size photographs, with white background as posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration.

Passport valid for at least six months and its respective copy.

Copy of round-trip ticket.

The foreigner must demonstrate sufficient funds to stay in the country.

For Protection visas for family members, the marriage and / or birth certificate duly authenticated or apostille must be attached.

Visa Validity:

Minimum ninety-one days, maximum one hundred eighty days in each period of twelve months (non-calendar year), counted from the date of registration at the Directorate of Immigration. Otherwise, the foreigner shall choose another nonimmigrant status, except for the 12-X.


Visa application: $30
Visa: $20
Dependent: $50 each.

Posted 1-13-2012

In San Mateo security plan was launched Spondylus
and San Mateo Residents have more than enough to be happy with the Government, which through the Internal Security Ministry and the Municipality of Manta, the parish authorities chose to launch the national pilot Security "Spondylus" which leads to protect coastal areas UPC police patrols in modern phones, complete with the latest equipment location and supported by police on motorcycles and trucks. "With this we will be able to control robbery, theft, extortions and a series of criminal events that have occurred to the tourists, as well as community members and fishermen who make this a beautiful Ecuador, said Interior Minister Jose Serrano, before handing the keys to the Community Police Units phones, which number about 20, but in San Mateo were 8 and several police vans and motorcycles. The units were implemented by the Ministry of Interior with computers, eagle eyes, lenses infrared, which can locate, view, commenting unscrupulous acts certain citizens to be apprehended by the police, said the Secretary of State. The National Police General Francisco Franco Lopez, said that with will and commitment institutions grow every day, and in compliance with provisions of the Ministry of Interior has articulated Spondylus security plan, covering 417 kilometers of track, with 459 men and women of the National Police, safeguarding the route of Spondylus. To this are added 49 additional vehicles existing in the cantons, 27 and 39 squarions bikes are in different beaches of this route, covering the provinces of Guayas, Santa Elena, Manabi and Esmeraldas. The Mayor Jaime Estrada on interviews with the media reporting is very important that this action undertaken by the National Police with the good work done by the Minister José Serrano. When will this route security for tourists, enhancing tourism development. 10 units will be in the province of Manabi, and new police units and motorized patrols, which made ​​the infrastructure and control panic button will give greater certainty. It is important that tourist facilities are integrated into the system button panic and there is a private sector with greater force to counter crime and provide a security fence to tourists and citizens of our province, said the municipal ombudsmen. At the ceremony were officials of Manabi Governor Susan Dueñas, Mayor Jaime Bonilla Estrada Manta, the Prefect Mariano Zambrano, Director of Operations Marcelo Suarez, Juan Carlos Barragan Provincial Police Commander, Police Commander Carlos Logroño Manta Councillors Veronica Abad and Vitaliana Zambrano and a good number of parishioners of San Mateo , who applauded this act, which was appreciated by the Rector of the College of San Mateo, Stalin Valdivieso.

Posted 1-10-2012


Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.





0.760°S, 80.265°W


27.9 km (17.3 miles)




38 km (23 miles) NNE of Portoviejo, Ecuador
56 km (34 miles) ENE of Manta, Ecuador
95 km (59 miles) WNW of Quevedo, Ecuador
205 km (127 miles) WSW of QUITO, Ecuador

Location Uncertainty

horizontal +/- 16.9 km (10.5 miles); depth +/- 10.3 km (6.4 miles)


NST=101, Nph=102, Dmin=230.4 km, Rmss=1.5 sec, Gp=101°,
M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=6

Posted 11-28-2011

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Consulate General, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Volcano Tungurahua Erupts, Caution Advised when Traveling in the Area
November 28, 2011

The U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil advises U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ecuador that the Tungurahua volcano, located near the tourist community of Baños in central Ecuador, had an eruption on Sunday, November 27, and remains in a state of heightened activity.  Ecuador's Geophysical Institute reports that the volcano continues to discharge lava and boulders up to a kilometer down from the crater, ash has reached three kilometers in altitude, and there have been numerous small earthquakes in the area.  Residents in the immediate area around the volcano are on voluntary evacuation and authorities have closed the Baños-to-Penipe road as a precaution.
Due to the heightened risk, the Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to consider limiting travel to the area until the volcanic activity diminishes.  If you travel to the area around Tungurahua and the town of Baños, familiarize yourself with evacuation plans, monitor news outlets, use good judgment, and take all appropriate safety measures as volcanic conditions can change rapidly.
Past eruptions have affected air travel in Ecuador.  U.S. citizens planning to fly to, from, or within Ecuador should monitor news outlets and have a plan in the event of flight cancellations.
Because Ecuador is in a region of frequent volcano eruptions and earthquakes, U.S. citizens residing in Ecuador  should keep extra food and water at home, and consider purchasing dust masks and heavy gloves to protect hands during ash clean-up.
For more information on current activity, visit the website of the Geophysical Institute which monitors volcanoes and earthquakes.
Americans living or traveling in Ecuador are encouraged to enroll with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ecuador through the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Ecuador and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings and Worldwide Caution at the Department's website. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-47471-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-44441-202-501-4444 outside the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Quito is located at Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro.
*              The telephone number for American Citizen Service (ACS) inquiries is (011 593-2) 398-5000.  Within the same city use the last seven digits. Add the city code for intercity telephone calls.
*              Public call-in hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and Friday 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
*              For after-hours emergencies, contact the Embassy at (011 593-2) 398-5200.
*              Appointments for ACS are available through our website.
The U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil is located at the corner of Avenida 9 de Octubre and Garcia Moreno (near the Hotel Oro Verde).
*              The telephone number for ACS inquiries is (011-593-4) 232-3570 during business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or 232-1152 for after-hours emergencies. 


Earthquake off the coast of ecuador

11-16-2011 @ 8:57pm

August 25, 2011
Message for U.S. Citizens - U.S. Consulate General, Guayaquil, Ecuador
New Visa Registration Rules for Foreigners in Ecuador

The U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil advises U.S. citizens living in Ecuador of recent changes to how foreigners in Ecuador register their visas.

A new "censo card" is now issued for all non-Ecuadorian citizens, immigrants and non-immigrants, who hold a visa issued overseas or in Ecuador, except for those that are in the country for 90 days or less and do not require a visa.  Under this new process, all visa holders will be required to go to the Ecuadorian Bureau of Immigration (Direccion General de Extranjeria) for immigrant visas or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for non-immigrant visas, in order to properly register their visas.

Once the visa is registered, an "orden de censo" will be issued to the applicant.  To obtain this order, all visa holders will have to pay a fee of $4.00 at any branch of Banco Internacional.  The final step is to go to the nearest immigration police office in the capital of your province and present the order and obtain the censo card. 

This registration is indefinite and renewal is only required if travelers switch to another visa category.  Please note that this process also applies to foreigners whose visas were issued abroad. 

Additionally, a new requirement by the Ecuadorian Bureau of Immigration states that all applicants for an immigrant visa (Type 9) to Ecuador, 18 years of age and older, must now obtain a criminal record prior to applying for the visa.  This does not apply to non-immigrant visas.  The report must be issued by the country where the visa applicant resided during the last five years.  Depending on the country where the applicant last resided, criminal records must either be legalized or apostilled.  There is no clear guidance on instances where a person has lived in more than one country in the previous five years.

Finally, the Embassy would like to remind all non-Ecuadorians that Ecuadorian immigration authorities require six months of validity in your passport in order to enter Ecuador.  The rule of six months validity in order to depart Ecuador does not apply to non-nationals who are traveling directly to their home country, with no stopovers. (Example: If a U.S. citizen who does not have double-nationality with Ecuador is traveling back to the U.S. but needs to go to Panama first he/she will be denied if they do not have six months validity.  But if the U.S. citizen is returning directly to the U.S., with no international stopovers, the U.S. citizen will not be denied departure).  According to Ecuadorian immigration authorities, they will enforce this rule. If you need to renew your U.S. passport, you can make an appointment with the Consulate. 

For more information on the new regulations, please visit the website of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The Ecuadorian Bureau of Immigration does not have a website at this time.  You may also want to consult with an Ecuadorian attorney with experience in immigration issues for more assistance.

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