Friday, August 30, 2013

How's noise concerns from barking dogs /etc. in Ecuador?

How's noise concerns from barking dogs /etc. in Ecuador?
This question was asked today on one of the many EC forums & groups, and I got carried away with a reply.

And it dawned on me, as long as I did'nt use the posters name that asked the question, maybe I could copy & paste my own content and share it here on my blog, so here goes:

Jour-Ja: I was Quito, in the La Mariscal - GringoLandia district for 6 months, rather loud WED thru SAT, they try to close the clubs at 2am FRI & SAT but it takes an hr or 2 to disband the partyers.

I was 2 yrs at AV America & Moñasca near Cinemark Mall in an a
verage EC working mans neighborhood on a dead end street, was'nt that bad on noise.

..and for the last 2.5 yrs in Northern Suburbs between Pomasqui & San Antonio - Middle of the World w/ intermittent dogs barking - roosters crowing -

- my gas trucks on this route run mid day M-F but I got one wild card that likes to sneak in at about 7am on SAT's sometimes, and the junk man - metal recycling guy w/ mega PA system: "compre metales"!!! None of that really bothers me much now after 5yrs of acclimation / adjustment - 17 SEP 2008 (pic below of little girl & her Mom on top of the scrap truck)
(It never bothered me much anyways, it's just the way it is, for now, if you get out and rip n roar good during the day, you will sleep at night, but change is coming on the horizon, lil by lil)

..but, we all in EC may very well miss the truck honking of a $2.75 per 32.84 Lbs = 14.9 kgs, if the EC Govt. indeed mandates total electric after the 8 or so power dams come online 2015 -16?

I will tell yah one fellar that don't hear nothing at night - thats the gas man, can you imagine the stress of driving around any town in EC in traffic & Ecua driving habits w/ enough explosives to level a city block, and lugging them tanks around from sun up to sun down, thats one wore out dude - sawing logs blissfully at Knight!
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I do a lot of reblogging that is sometimes missed or not thought well of on a lot of the various EC forums & blogs and repost it here. But will make a conscious effort to try to do more of my own original content. 
Thanks for dropping by for a visit, 
Come See Us in EC!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nearly 20 % Of Scientists Contemplate Moving Overseas Due In Part To Sequestration

Nearly 20 Percent Of Scientists Contemplate Moving Overseas Due In Part To Sequestration

HuffPolitics Blog - Posted:   |  Updated: 08/29/2013 2:52 pm EDT


WASHINGTON -- New data compiled by a coalition of top scientific and medical research groups show that a large majority of scientists are receiving less federal help than they were three years ago, despite spending far more time writing grants in search of it. Nearly one-fifth of scientists are considering going overseas to continue their research because of the poor funding climate in America.
The study, which was spearheaded by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and will be formally released next week, is the latest to highlight the extent to which years of stagnant or declining budgets, made worse by sequestration, have damaged the world of science.
More than 3,700 scientists from all 50 states participated in the study, offering online responses in June and July 2013. They offered sobering assessments of the state of their profession. Eighty percent said they were spending more of their time writing grants now than in 2010, while 67 percent said they were receiving less grant money now than they were back then. Only two percent of respondents said they had received money from their employers -- predominantly academic institutions -- to make up for the loss of federal funds.
The drying up of resources has had a damaging effect on the research being conducted, forcing scientists to curtail their projects or trim their staffs.
According to the survey, 68 percent of respondents said they do not have the funds to expand their research operations; 55 percent said they have a colleague who has lost a job or expects to soon; and 18 percent of respondents said they were considering continuing their careers in another country....read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/29/sequestration-scientists_n_3825128.html
Comments by Jour-Ja: they could be moving because they are about half smart?

GT: More drugs require prescriptions / Colombian border remains closed

More drugs require prescriptions-
In an effort to control future flu outbreaks, the Ecuador health ministry has mandated that more than 250 medications currently available over the counter, be prescribed only by doctors.

The medications include a variety of cold remedies, analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs. According to the ministry, the goal of the order is to prevent outbreaks of H1N1 influenza. The medications named in the order mask flu sypmptons, it says, by providing reflief of symptons and could delay a flu diagnosis.

The Independent Pharmacy Federation says that the order puts an unnecessary burden on the country’s pharmacies and says that millions of dollars of medications are stuck in warehouses.

Pharmacies were notified two months ago about the pending rule and most have voluntarily complied. Carlos Reyes , president of the federation says that sales are down significantly in pharmacies nation-wide.

In addition to controlling flu outbreaks, the health ministry says that it is also concerned about self-medication in general, saying that many citizens rely too heavily on over-the-counter medications and should be visiting doctors first.


Talks begin but Colombian border remains closed-
The Colombian government has offered concessions to small-scale farmers on strike for more than a week. Talks with some of the protesters are underway in several areas of the country but little progress has been reported.

Meanwhile, the country's borders with Ecuador and Venezuela remain effectively closed.
Farmers say the government's agricultural and trade policies are driving them into bankruptcy.

Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said that new government measures, including better prices for products and more access to loans should ease pressures. Other framer demands, such as ending the free trade agreement with the U.S. and other countries are not on the table, according to Cardenas, although he said the government would offer more protection for products affected by the agreements.

Cardenas said he is hopeful that an agreement to end the strike can be reached soon. "We believe that the conditions exist for the strike to be lifted and for the highways to be unblocked," said Cardenas.

Some of protests have turned violent as food deliveries has been disrupted due to road blocks on key access routes to cities and towns.

Farmers have been destroying their produce and throwing it into the streets.

 One hundred Cuenca taxi cabs will be among the first in Ecuador to be equipped with new safey equipment. According to the National Traffic Agency (NTA), the equipment consists of a video camera, voice recorder, gps system, emergency button and a small computer.

Installation of the new equipment will begin next week.

The NTA says the equipment will eventually be installed in 38,000 taxis and 17,000 buses nationwide at a cost of $95 million, which will initially be paid by the government. Cuenca has 3,600 taxis, almost 10% of country's total.

The security systems, actívated when the taxi or bus engine is turned on, has a direct connection to the ECU-911 emergency system. If the driver hits the emergency button, an alert is sounded and police will be called. The video cameras and voice recorders will provide information that can be used in court in case of an assualt.


Beginning in 2015, the NTA will charge a monthly fee of $3 per taxi or bus to maintain the system. Photo caption: Taxis outside the Cuenca bus station; photo credit: El Tiempo

...read more: http://www.cuencahighlife.com/post/2013/08/28/ECUADOR-DIGEST3cbr3eCountrye28099s-taxis-and-buses-to-get-security-equipment3b-Government-bans-250-over-the-counter-medications3b-Strike-continues-in-Colombia.aspx
Comment by Journeymanjack: The above 1990 Nissan Sentra is the typical Taxi & Private Car of EC..as back in the States Taxis & LEO prefer the roomy Ford Crown Victoria. The nissan sentras are assembled in Colombia and cost about $14,000. The body style has stayed the same since 1990, even a 2013 looks like the one in the above photo. 
 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Privacy Gone on Offshore Assets - James Hall – August 28, 2013

Privacy Gone on Offshore Assets by James Hall – August 28, 2013

When struggling consumers hear about offshore banking, they naturally think such assets only apply to the rich. Secret bank accounts issued in the name of a confidential number, often portrayed in mystery movies, are less prevalent than a stake in an oversea property estate. Cash in a financial institution is an easy reporting task for foreign banks.

 Although, most Americans do not possess such wealth, many do have an interest in real property or chattel ownership in portable entities that are outside the physical soil of the country. Even if you are not one of these fortunate beneficiaries, the principle behind the (FATCA) statue can certainly apply a broad interpretation domestically....

•FATCA focuses on reporting:
•By U.S. taxpayers about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets
•By foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest
•The objective of FATCA is the reporting of foreign financial assets; withholding is the cost of not reporting. Notice 2013-43 revises the implementation timeline and provides additional guidance
Clarification for individual’s states:
Taxpayers with a total value of specified foreign financial assets below a certain threshold do not have to file Form 8938
If the total value is at or below $50,000 at the end of the tax year, there is no reporting requirement for the year, unless the total value was more than $75,000 at any time during the tax year....
offshoreaccount.jpg
Make no mistake about the implications of tracking down the last penny of treasure. The Caribbean buccaneers stole pieces of eight from the colonial empires who promoted the slave trade. Today the practice of trading on the flesh of labor is substituted with the taxation on the "financial assets" of the incarnated serfs that need to pay tribute to their feudal lord.

"The IRS anticipates issuing regulations that will require a domestic entity (corporations, partnerships, trusts, or estates) to file Form 8938 if the entity is formed or used to hold specified foreign financial assets and the total asset value exceeds the appropriate reporting threshold."...



....If FATCA is merely a legitimate cooperative coordination, many people would eagerly support closing the door on the wealth sheltering hidden assets in foreign depositories. However, the encompassing scope of defining financial assets to be whatever serves the interests of the taxman, should disturb every citizen.
Recollect how different our lives are today from a century ago before the Revenue Act of 1913. The past century has assaulted privacy rights to the point that the average person simply accepts that the government is acting properly. When filling out Form 8938 becomes routine, the surrender of what is left of your meager fortune is sealed. The greed of the real pirates never ends. James Hall – August 28, 2013 http://www.batr.org/negotium/082813.html


Ecuador: parents return to U.S., son still missing, believed to have been kidnapped

via Nicholas Crowder: http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/ecuador-parents-return-to-u-s-son-still-missing-believed-to-have-been-kidnapped/29361/

Posted on August 28, 2013 • Filed under: Crime, Ecuador, TRAVEL
newsok.com reported that August Reiger went missing June 16 while hiking with his family in Ecuador. His parents have returned home to Oklahoma City without knowing what has happened to him. Chris and Randa Reiger came home from Ecuador without their son, August.



More than two months after the 18-year-old valedictorian went missing while on vacation, his parents made the agonizing decision to return to Oklahoma City without knowing their son’s fate, said Christi Reiger, August’s aunt. “I’m sure it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do in their lives,” Christi Reiger said. “It’s hard to imagine leaving your child somewhere not knowing if they are safe.” Read Article: http://newsok.com/missing-oklahoma-city-valedictorians-parents-return-from-ecuador-without-their-son/article/3876613

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Security Message for U.S. Citizens – U.S. Embassy Quito-Potential Protests in Quito- August 27, 2013

Security Message for U.S. Citizens – U.S. Embassy Quito-Potential Protests in Quito- August 27, 2013

The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises U.S. citizens visiting or living in Ecuador that protests may occur in Quito or other locales on August 27.  Some news sources have reported that indigenous groups in Ecuador are calling for protests on August 27.

 Though there are varying accounts regarding the time, location and magnitude of the protest, a number of reports cite Quito’s Arbolito Park and the Presidential Palace as potential zones for protest activity, and a march between the two locations is possible.
 While there are no specific threats to safety and security, public protests always carry a risk for conflict.  The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to exercise caution and to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations.

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 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 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 inter-city 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, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 232-1152 for after-hours emergencies.

You may also follow the activities of the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador through the Embassy website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. http://ecuador.usembassy.gov/

Monday, August 26, 2013

ECUADOR NEWS MAGAZINE: Just 6 hours to start a company in Ecuador

ECUADOR NEWS MAGAZINE: Just 6 hours to start a company in Ecuador: Ecuador news magazine - Quito, August 26 (Andes).- Currently, to set up a company in Ecuador takes between 35 and 55 days, unlike other countries in the region such as Uruguay and Chile in which a company can be set up in a week.

This gap is due to the amount of bureaucratic procedures to be completed. President Rafael Correa said that he is in a fight against procedures in which they “make up” obstacles. “We are going to simplify things, change the view”, he said.

Among 174 countries, Ecuador is in the 169th position in terms of obstacles to set up a company. Nearly 30% of GDP per capita is used in legal fees, i.e. USD $1,600. Likewise, a minimum capital is required to set up a company.

There are 13 steps to set up a company. Besides, the cost for the time spent in these procedures amounts to USD $67 million per year. “It’s not only the payment of rates, fees, legal fees, but also the cost to time wasted”, said the President.

With the Government’s proposal, the procedures to set up a company will be reduced to the point that all may be completed in six hours and on-line. “The thirteen (13) steps will be reduced to one in a single stop. The USD$ 800 minimum capital requirement will be brought down to USD $0”, he said.



 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Colombia Nationwide Strike Against 'Free Trade,' Privatization, Poverty

Colombia Nationwide Strike Against 'Free Trade,' Privatization, Poverty

Ignored by English-language media, rural uprisings spread across industries as hundreds of thousands protest US-backed govt

- Sarah Lazare, staff writer
Protests in Sincelejo (Photo: Marcha Patriotica)A nationwide strike in Colombia—which started as a rural peasant uprising and spread to miners, teachers, medical professionals, truckers, and students—reached its 7th day Sunday as at least 200,000 people blocked roads and launched protests against a U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and devastating policies of poverty and privatization pushed by US-backed right-wing President Juan Manuel Santos......

...
Meanwhile, the Colombian government is handing out sweetheart deals to international mining companies while creating bans and roadblocks for Colombian miners. Likewise, the government is giving multinational food corporations access to land earmarked for poor Colombians. Healthcare workers are fighting a broad range of reforms aimed at gutting and privatizing Colombia's healthcare system. Truckers are demanding an end to low wages and high gas prices.
"This is the third or fourth large-scale non-military rural uprising this year," Martin told Common Dreams.
Colombian workers organizing to improve their lives are met with an onslaught of state violence: Colombia is the deadliest country in the world for union activists, according to the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, and 37 activists were murdered in Colombia in the 1st half of 2013 alone, leading news weekly Semana reports.
Santos, who says he refuses to negotiate while the strikes are taking place, has so far been unsuccessful in his efforts to quell the swelling protests that are paralyzing much of the country, particularly in rural areas.
"[W]e just want solutions to our problems,” Javier Correa Velez, the head of a coffee-growers association called Dignidad Cafetera, told the Miami Herald. “The strike is simply a symptom of an illness that the entire agriculture sector is suffering from.”
(Photo: Twitter/@zonacero)https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/25?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
JourneymanJack Comments: This could make for an uptick in Refugees & Immigration from COL to EC....
.

Why Are So Many People Choosing To Leave The United States Permanently?

The Economic Collapse By Michael Snyder, on August 11th, 2013- 

Have things gotten so bad that it is time to leave the United States for good?  That is a question that a lot of Americans are dealing with these days, and an increasing number of them are choosing to leave the country of their birth permanently.  Some are doing it for tax reasons, some are doing it because they believe the future is brighter elsewhere, and others are doing it because they are very distressed about the direction that America is heading and they don't see any hope for a turnaround any time soon...

....Yes, life in America is definitely going to be extremely challenging in the years ahead, but the grass is not always greener on the other side of the planet either.
There are a whole host of things to consider before you make a permanent move to another country.  The following is an extended excerpt from one of my previous articles...
*****
The following are 10 questions to ask yourself before you decide to move to another country...
Do You Speak The Language?  If Not, How Will You Function?
If you do not speak the language of the country that you are moving to, that can create a huge problem.  Just going to the store and buying some food will become a challenge.  Every interaction that you have with anyone in that society will be strained, and your ability to integrate into the culture around you will be greatly limited.
How Will You Make A Living?
Unless you are independently wealthy, you will need to make money.  In a foreign nation, it may be very difficult for you to find a job - especially one that pays as much as you are accustomed to making in the United States.
Will You Be Okay Without Your Family And Friends?
Being thousands of miles away from all of your family and friends can be extremely difficult.  Will you be okay without them?  And it can be difficult to survive in a foreign culture without any kind of a support system.  Sometimes the people that most successfully move out of the country are those that do it as part of a larger group.
Have You Factored In Weather Patterns And Geological Instability?
As the globe becomes increasingly unstable, weather patterns and natural disasters are going to become a bigger factor in deciding where to live.  For example, right now India is suffering through the worst drought that it has experienced in nearly 50 years.  It would be very difficult to thrive in the middle of such an environment.
Many of those that are encouraging people to "escape from America" are pointing to Chile as an ideal place to relocate to.  But there are thousands of significant earthquakes in Chile each year, and the entire nation lies directly along the "Ring of Fire" which is becoming increasingly unstable.  That is something to keep in mind.
What Will You Do For Medical Care?
If you or someone in your family had a serious medical problem in the United States, you would know what to do.  Yes, our health care system is incredibly messed up, but at least you would know that you could get the care that you needed if an emergency arose.  Would the same be true in a foreign nation?
Are You Moving Into A High Crime Area?
Yes, crime is definitely on the rise in the United States.  But in other areas where many preppers are moving to, crime is even worse.  Mexico and certain areas of Central America are two examples of this.  And in many foreign nations, the police are far more corrupt than they generally are in the United States.
In addition, many other nations have far stricter gun laws than the United States does, so your ability to defend your family may be greatly restricted.
So will your family truly be safe in the nation that you plan to take them to?
Are You Prepared For "Culture Shock"?
Moving to another country can be like moving to a different planet.  After all, they don't call it "culture shock" for nothing.
If you do move to another country, you may quickly find that thousands of little things that you once took for granted in the U.S. are now very different.
And there is a very good chance that many of the "amenities" that you are accustomed to in the U.S. will not be available in a foreign nation and that your standard of living will go down.
So if you are thinking of moving somewhere else, you may want to visit first just to get an idea of what life would be like if you made the move.
What Freedoms and Liberties Will You Lose By Moving?
Yes, our liberties and our freedoms are being rapidly eroded in the United States.  But in many other nations around the world things are much worse.  You may find that there is no such thing as "freedom of speech" or "freedom of religion" in the country that you have decided to move to.
Is There A Possibility That The Country You Plan To Escape To Could Be Involved In A War At Some Point?
We are moving into a time of great geopolitical instability.  If you move right into the middle of a future war zone, you might really regret it.  If you do plan to move, try to find a country that is likely to avoid war for the foreseeable future.
When The Global Economy Collapses, Will You And Your Family Be Okay For Food?
What good will it be to leave the United States if you and your family run out of food?
Today, we are on the verge of a major global food crisis.  Global food reserves are at their lowest level in nearly 40 years, and shifting global weather patterns are certainly not helping things.
And the global elite are rapidly getting more control over the global food supply.  Today, between 75 and 90 percent of all international trade in grain is controlled by just four gigantic multinational food corporations.
*****
Leaving the United States permanently and setting up a new life in another country can be done, but it isn't for the faint of heart.  It takes planning, preparation and lots of hard work.
However, there are lots of people that have done it successfully, including quite a number of people that I know personally.
In the end, you have got to make the decision that is right for you and your family.  Don't let anyone else tell you what to do.
For many, staying in the United States and preparing for the tough years that are coming is the best choice.  For others, getting out of the United States and heading for greener pastures is the right choice. What about you? What is your choice? http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/why-are-so-many-people-choosing-to-leave-the-united-states-permanently

 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

“long form” applicants for US passports 12 AUG 2013

After a year-long “review,” the White House on August 12, 2013, approved the State Department’s proposed new “long form” questionnaires for some (unspecified) subset of applicants for US passports.

In approving these forms, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ignored overwhelming public outrage at these questionnaires.
The most reasonable inference is that the new forms are designed to be impossible to complete, so as to provide a pretext to deny you a passport if the State Department doesn’t like your looks (or your opinions, or whatever)...read more: http://www.consumertraveler.com/today/white-house-approves-new-long-forms-for-some-passport-applicants/

White House approves new “long forms” for some passport applicants

by Edward Hasbrouck on August 22, 2013
passport
After a year-long “review,” the White House on August 12, 2013, approved the State Department’s proposed new “long form” questionnaires for some (unspecified) subset of applicants for US passports.
In approving these forms, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ignored overwhelming public outrage at these questionnaires.

The forms include such questions as:
  • List all your parent(s) residences one year before your birth.
  • Parent(s) place of employment at the time of your birth (Dates of employment, Name of employer, Address of employer).
  • Did your mother receive medical care while pregnant with you and/or up to one year after your birth? (Name of hospital or other facility, Address, Name of Doctor, Approximate dates of appointments).
  • Please provide the names (as well as address and phone number, if available) of persons present at your birth such as medical personnel, family members, etc.
  • Please list any schools, day care centers, or developmental programs you attended from birth to age 18 in or outside of the United States.
  • Please list all of your permanent residences inside and outside of the United States starting with your birth until age 18.
- See more at: http://www.consumertraveler.com/today/white-house-approves-new-long-forms-for-some-passport-applicants/#sthash.5660Njdg.dpuf

White House approves new “long forms” for some passport applicants

by Edward Hasbrouck on August 22, 2013
passport
After a year-long “review,” the White House on August 12, 2013, approved the State Department’s proposed new “long form” questionnaires for some (unspecified) subset of applicants for US passports.
In approving these forms, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ignored overwhelming public outrage at these questionnaires.

The forms include such questions as:
  • List all your parent(s) residences one year before your birth.
  • Parent(s) place of employment at the time of your birth (Dates of employment, Name of employer, Address of employer).
  • Did your mother receive medical care while pregnant with you and/or up to one year after your birth? (Name of hospital or other facility, Address, Name of Doctor, Approximate dates of appointments).
  • Please provide the names (as well as address and phone number, if available) of persons present at your birth such as medical personnel, family members, etc.
  • Please list any schools, day care centers, or developmental programs you attended from birth to age 18 in or outside of the United States.
  • Please list all of your permanent residences inside and outside of the United States starting with your birth until age 18.
- See more at: http://www.consumertraveler.com/today/white-house-approves-new-long-forms-for-some-passport-applicants/#sthash.5660Njdg.dpuf

Gringo Tree- Saturday August 24, 2013- Is Correa Turning Right?

Although he claims to be a socialist, Ecuador president Rafael Correa increasingly defies the standard political labels. Many of his opponents claim his tendencies in recent months have been decidedly to the right.

Loyalists of President Rafael Correa’s “Citizens’ Revolution” have had to face some jarring decisions since he took office for a third time on May 24. In June, a phone call from Joe Biden, America’s vice-president, sufficed for him to leave Edward Snowden, an ex-CIA whistleblower, at a Moscow airport instead of offering asylum. He has switched from opposing to advocating free-trade talks with the European Union. His government has made it harder for people to obtain asylum. That has irked human-rights groups, which have also blasted his Putinesque decision to vet non-governmental organizations....read more: http://www.cuencahighlife.com/post/2013/08/24/Rafael-Correas-politics-baffle-the-pundits3b-widely-seen-as-a-socialist-many-see-a-sharp-turn-to-the-right.aspx

Thursday, August 15, 2013

AHHH CUENCA!!: Return to Baños - Part IV of IV

AHHH CUENCA!!: Return to Baños - Part IV of IV: As I said when I last signed off, I headed back to Cuenca (from Baños) via a different route than that I had driven so many times before.   This time, it was along the edges of the Amazon.  I had NO clue what the route might be like.  It was a brand-spankin new adventure.
This leg was a bit of a rarity in that so much of my driving here in EC is in the Andes mountains, which means curve after curve after CURVE!!!  Now I was in the flatlands and I could make good speed.  Or so I thought.
This went on for what seemed like infinity.  However, the views were stunning.   The long, wide lake formed by the Paute Dam was beautiful.   Finally, after winding, and swerving, and passing, and dust, and mud, and racing dumptrucks, I arrived in familiar territory, the town of Paute....about 40 minutes outside Cuenca.  Home was in sight.  I drove past the point on the autopista where my car broke down the last time I returned from a trip to Baños and figured it was all a success.  Dog-tired and my head spinning, I got home about 7pm.
Here's some statistics:
  • Kms driven = 1229 (780 miles)
  • Total cost of the 4-day trip = $283, which included:
    • $60 hotel room for 3 nights
    • $60 gas
    • $16 breakfasts
    • $25 lunches
    • $30 dinners
    • $14 snacks
    • $3 spa pools
    • $20 massage
    • $20 detox treatments (2)
    • $35 train ticket
Enjoy the photos!

PS....Thank you Mary for sharing with me the keyboard tricks for making Spanish puñctuation.

Dano- http://www.danoinec.blogspot.com/

Take care of the environment, don't throw garbage.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

U.S. Relations with Ecuador, Analysis, July 2013


Posted on August 15, 2013 • Filed under: Ecuador, Politics, United States
ONE BOOK THAT SHOULD BE READ BY EVERY EXPAT OR FUTURE EXPAT IN ECUADOR
CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Ecuador: Political and Economic Conditions
and U.S. Relations
June S. Beittel
Analyst in Latin American Affairs
July 3, 2013
Congressional Research Service
7-5700
www.crs.gov

Ecuador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
Congressional Research Service
1
The United States has traditionally had close relations with Ecuador, yet tensions in the
U.S.-Ecuador relationship have surfaced in recent years as the left leaning government of
President Rafael Correa (2007-present) has objected to U.S. influence in the region which
it has labeled “imperialist.” Nevertheless, the United States is Ecuador’s largest trade partner and
has extended trade preferences to Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) since
the legislation’s enactment in 1991. The ATPA provides unilateral preferential access to the U.S.
market for certain products in order to reduce dependence on the illegal drug trade, although the
Correa government in late June 2013 “renounced” its participation in the program. For additional
information on the consideration of trade preferences for Ecuador under the Andean Trade
Preferences Act by the 113th Congress, see CRS Report RS22548,
ATPA Renewal: Background....http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/u-s-relations-with-ecuador-analysis-july-2013/29194/

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tip for exploratory trip to Ecuador before living or retiring there-

Tip for exploratory trip to Ecuador before living or retiring there-

Posted on August 13, 2013 • Filed under: Ecuador, TRAVEL
As the author of “100 things to consider before moving or retiring in Ecuador“, I am always looking at new aspects on how a potential expatriate might make a better informed decision about living in Ecuador.
A number of those that decide to live in Ecuador basically just “jump in” and they are off on the adventure. Primarily this group has used many of the resources on the internet and read a few books. Another group of expatriates have the financial ability or interest in doing what is called the famed “exploratory trip” that you see mentioned in so many of the expatriate forums. The exploratory trip is highly recommended and one should spend as much time in the country as possible in order to gauge whether or not it is the best decision for you....http://latinamericacurrentevents.com/tip-for-exploratory-trip-to-ecuador-before-living-or-retiring-there/29183/
  
100 Points to Consider Before Moving or Retiring in Ecuador - 
You Tube:
Published on May 14, 2013
Ecuador is now a major destination for expatriates. Now, Nicholas Crowder the author of "Culture Shock! Ecuador" is releasing a new book specifically designed for anyone considering a move or retirement to Ecuador.
 Most expatriates are not prepared for such an intricate and complex culture. "100 points to consider before moving or retiring in Ecuador" provides a detailed examination of critical factors one needs to anaylze before moving to Ecuador.
Furthermore, if you are already residing there, this new book will provide you deep insight into Ecuadorian culture and mindset.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON KINDLE: http://www.amazon.com/Points-Consider-Retiring-Ecuador-ebook/dp/B00DZTZ4HC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374256381&sr=1-1&keywords=100+Points+to+Consider+Before+Moving+or+Retiring+in+Ecuador

Life in Ecuador - The Middle of the World: Find friends in Ecuador with InterNations.

Life in Ecuador - The Middle of the World: Find friends in Ecuador with InterNations.: Coming to a new country by yourself can be a downright daunting experience.  Remember that Doors song "When your Strange"?  That i...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ecuador to Compensate Exporters Hurt by End of U.S. Trade Preferences-

The Wall Street Journal - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 As of 3:36 PM EDT
 
    By Mercedes Alvaro 
 
QUITO, Ecuador--Ecuador's National Assembly approved a law late Tuesday to compensate exporters affected by the expiration of the U.S.-Andean Trade Preferences and Drug Eradication Act, or Atpdea.
The law was approved with 103 votes in favor and only one against. It will compensate exporters with about $23 million a year.

The law allows for the giving of tax-credit certificates to companies affected by the removal of the preferences. The certificates can be used to pay taxes or some debts with state-owned banks.
The government of President Rafael Correa has said that the impact of losing the preferences will be $23 million a year, while Ecuadorean exporters put the number at $26 million.

The Atpdea provides duty-free access to some U.S. imports from Ecuador. It originally was created to help four Andean countries in their efforts to fight drug production and trafficking, but currently Ecuador is the only remaining beneficiary of the preferences.

The Atpdea benefits expire Wednesday, and the application of tariffs for Ecuadorean products will start on Thursday.

The U.S. is Ecuador's top trade partner. Last year, the Andean country's exports to the U.S. totaled about $10.62 billion, which represents 45% of the country's total exports.

Last year Ecuador exported about $242 million under the Andean trade preferences to the U.S., 23% of the country's non-oil exports, including canned tuna, flowers and broccoli.

These three products accounted for about 90% of the Ecuadorean exports under the Atpdea.
According to the Ecuadorian Exporters Federation, known as Fedexpor, about 250 products and more than 200 companies will be affected by the loss of the preferences.
Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20130731-715304.html

Ecuador, the main destination for Colombian refugees-

A total of 99% of the 55,327 individuals with refugee status in Ecuador are Colombian.

By Lissette Condo for Infosurhoy.com - 01/08/2013


    Access to decent housing is one of the biggest problems faced by refugees, who comprise 10% of the population in Lago Agrio, a municipality in the northeastern Ecuadoran province of Sucumbíos, 569 kilometers from the border with Colombia. (Courtesy V. Rodas/ACNUR-UNHCR)
Access to decent housing is one of the biggest problems faced by refugees, who comprise 10% of the population in Lago Agrio, a municipality in the northeastern Ecuadoran province of Sucumbíos, 569 kilometers from the border with Colombia. (Courtesy V. Rodas/ACNUR-UNHCR)
GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – His accent gives him away.
After 12 years in a foreign country, his Colombian identity remains firmly intact.
“It’s been nearly 13 years under the shadow of silence,” said Ramón, 52, who declined to provide his last name for safety reasons.
To live in freedom, he had to leave his native land and immigrate to Ecuador.....
... Of that total, at least 99% are Colombians, with the rest from the Middle East.....
Read more: http://infosurhoy.com/cocoon/saii/xhtml/en_GB/features/saii/features/main/2013/08/01/feature-01

TIPUTINI RIVER, Ecuador - An experiment in Amazon conservation faces economic reality-

Miami Herald >  News >  Americas> ECUADOR - Posted on Saturday, 08.03.13
ead more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/03/3541557/an-experiment-in-amazon-conservation.html#storylink=cpy
 

BY JIM WYSS - jwyss@MiamiHerald.com


 ...The mysteries of this forest, which scientists like Coley are still discovering, could be at risk after this South American nation quietly began considering pulling the plug on one of the most innovative and ambitious conservation plans ever attempted.
The Yasuní-ITT Initiative was designed to leave more than 846 million barrels of crude oil untouched, in perpetuity, beneath Yasuní National Park — rioting with unknown species and tribes living in voluntary isolation.
In exchange, the government asked the world to cover just half of the crude’s $7.2 billion market price.
Environmental groups praised the plan as a novel way to slash greenhouse gases. In 2010, the United Nations threw its support behind the project, setting up a trust fund to receive and manage donations. There were hopes that crowd-sourcing conservation might be a model for other developing nations.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/03/3541557/an-experiment-in-amazon-conservation.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/03/3541557_p3/an-experiment-in-amazon-conservation.html#storylink=cpy

  ....In the balance is one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. The ITT block is among the most isolated areas of Yasuní National Park, a 2.4 million-acre U.N. biosphere reserve, which holds about one-third of all of the Amazon’s amphibian species, even though it represents just a small fraction of the total area. In any given two-and-a-half acre plot of the Yasuní — roughly the size of a soccer pitch — there are more species of trees than in the United States and Canada combined.
“As a biologist, nothing makes me more awestruck than to work in an incredibly diverse and pristine area where every day you discover something that you couldn’t even imagine or anticipate,” Coley said. Read more:  http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/03/3541557/an-experiment-in-amazon-conservation.html

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/03/3541557/an-experiment-in-amazon-conservation.html#storylink=cpy

ECUADOR NEWS MAGAZINE: 100 million dollar investment for Manta

ECUADOR NEWS MAGAZINE: 100 million dollar investment for Manta: Ecuador news magazine - Quito, August 2 (Andes).- The port of Manta, in the province of Manabí, will receive a 100-million dollar investment...private contributions for 30 million, as part of a special development project, reported the Port Authority....

Rodolfo Cano, port manager, explained that the development project, approved by the Ministry of Transportation – which encompasses 70 million dollars intended for physical infrastructure and 30 million dollars for equipment – will be allocated to a private operator who wins the international competition for said assignment, expected to take place this year.

The project encompasses the expansion of the international pier from 200 to 550 meters in length and a yard for 300 thousand containers on the East side of the Port. Cano estimated that it will be completed by 2015.

Manta will be the only multi-purpose, deep water port in the country, with the capacity to cater to the line of business of car importers, wholesalers, container carriers, and fisheries.....