Tuesday, 26 March 2013

April is Earth month

Now that we live in Ecuador, conservation and the environment are words that are not used in the same sentence very often. 
Here we have artificial prices for petrol (gasoline) and diesel. There are no controls on emissions, either, from combustion or industry. For the most part, there is no potable water; yet, we enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
As this country pours money into education, health care, and infrastructure, what lags behind is the need for standards, quality of life standards. These would include the protection of habitat, safe drinking water, air quality, stopping deforestation, renewable energy, safe treatment of sewage, and fishery protection, to name a few. Do not let it be just one day or one week a year! Help where you can.

Here in Salinas, we have a modern water park that, before we got here, was closed due to an accident and, for whatever reason, has not been able to reopen.
Well, on a recent visit to Salinas, the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, met with the Mayor of Salinas, Paul Borbor. The water park was included on the agenda of the meeting. During the meeting, the president asked why there is a water park just three blocks from the ocean? The president then went on to say that the park should be demolished, and the area be redeveloped to provide work and income for the city.
So here, it is just a month later, and the water park is in the process of being taken apart. What will replace it, we do not know at this time. Here are some images of the water park taken just before it was due to be demolished. Pictures taken by Mary Kelly.

Going back to the earth month theme, I found this video that sort of puts you into the mode of the month.  Right click on the link below and open the URL. I got a laugh. Enjoy!

This Month

March 26
March 26, 1979 - The Camp David Accord ended 30 years of warfare between Israel and Egypt. Prime Minster Menachem Begin of Israel and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the treaty of mutual recognition and peace, fostered by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
March 26, 1992 - Soviet Cosmonaut Serge Krikalev returned to a new country (Russia) after spending 313 days on board the Mir Space Station. During his stay in space, the Soviet Union (USSR) collapsed and became the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Birthday - American playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) was born in Columbus, Mississippi. His works featured Southern settings and include: The Glass MenagerieNight of the Iguana, and two Pulitzer Prize winning plays, A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
March 27
March 27, 1977 - The worst accident in the history of civil aviation occurred as two Boeing 747 jets collided on the ground in the Canary Islands, resulting in 570 deaths.
March 28
March 28, 1979 - Near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident occurred in which uranium in the reactor core overheated due to the failure of a cooling valve. A pressure relief valve then stuck causing the water level to plummet, threatening a catastrophic nuclear meltdown. The accident resulted in the release of radioactive steam into the atmosphere, and created a storm of controversy over the necessity and safety of nuclear power plants.
March 29
March 29, 1979 - In the U.S. Congress, the House Select Committee on Assassinations released its final report regarding the killings of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy.
Birthday - John Tyler (1790-1862) the 10th U.S. President was born in Charles City County, Virginia. He became president upon the death of William H. Harrison and served from 1841 to 1845. In 1861, Tyler was elected to the Confederate Congress, but died before being seated.
March 30
March 30, 1981 - Newly elected President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest while walking toward his limousine in Washington, D.C., following a speech inside a hotel. The president was then rushed into surgery to remove a 22-caliber bullet from his left lung. "I should have ducked," Reagan joked. Three others were also hit including Reagan's Press Secretary, James Brady, who was shot in the forehead but survived. The president soon recovered from the surgery and returned to his duties.
Birthday - Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was born in Groot Zundert, Holland. He was a Postimpressionist painter, generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt. During his short (10-year) painting career he produced over 800 oil paintings and 700 drawings, but sold only one during his lifetime. In 1987, the sale of his painting Irises brought $53.9 million, the highest price ever paid for a work of art up to that time. During his life, Van Gogh suffered from despair and bouts of mental illness, at one point cutting off part of his own left ear. He committed suicide in 1890 by gunshot.
March 31
March 31, 1933 - The Civilian Conservation Corps, the CCC, was founded. Unemployed men and youths were organized into quasi-military formations and worked outdoors in national parks and forests.
March 31, 1968 - President Lyndon Johnson made a surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election as a result of the Vietnam conflict.
March 31, 1991 - The Soviet Republic of Georgia, birthplace of Josef Stalin, voted to declare its independence from Soviet Russia, after similar votes by Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Following the vote in Georgia, Russian troops were dispatched from Moscow under a state of emergency.
Birthday - Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was born in Rohrau, Austria. Considered the father of the symphony and the string quartet, his works include 107 symphonies, 50 divertimenti, 84 string quartets, 58 piano sonatas, and 13 masses. Based in Vienna, Mozart was his friend and Beethoven was a pupil.
Birthday - Boxing champion Jack Johnson (1878-1946) was born in Galveston, Texas. He was the first African American to win the heavyweight boxing title.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

What to do Where to Go?

 The First  Art & Design Bazaar. 

 See you at Sin Bar San Lorenzo  March 29th-30th  5 pm til Midnight

Where creativity, originality, and like minded people will be showing their skills and ingenuity for your pleasure.

This will be the first art and design bazaar were everything produced is original by artisans, crafters, painters, musicians and more.

Some of the participants are listed below:

Danza: Veronica Moreira (Gye) (Centro de danza Amaru-danza tribal)
Performance: Susy Murrieta (Gye) (
Body Painting: Fabrizio Vasquez (Fabo) (Santa Cruz-Galapagos)
Fotography: Cesar Franco and Xavier Lazo (Gye)
Digital Photo: Chema Gonzalez
Poetry: Marcela Noriega (Gye) y Cristofer Gonzalez (Salinas)
Surf Art: Mitimiti de Raphael y Joaquim Ampuero (Playas)
Documentary: Jodie Maccintosh (Salinas)
Apart from the designers exhibitions of clothing, shoes, accesories, jewerly, lamps, furnitures, art object,chocolate, etc
Like: Milwa (UIO)Reciclarte (UIO), Caramel, Dennise Ortega,Paola Godoy, Pili Colas,Nuditos y trapitos,Ile Miranda, Pacari, Alfredo BoloƱa,Herbert Santis,etc

Check out the event on Facebook, here is the link below.

Friday March 29th:
8:00 pm: Sebastian Romano (Blues)
10:00pm: Fabrikante (pedal electronic and goutural)

Saturday March 30th:
8:00 pm Cocktel de pastillas (rock instrumental)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdICbfyac2g
Natta Cassette y los Monkey Pupets (Gye y Uio) https://www.facebook.com/MonkeyPuppetsEC?fref=ts

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Coming Soon

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

Here a year and still loving it!

Images taken while walking around

Coming in for a fill up

"How are you doing, Bert?" "OK, Fred."

Where is that delivery boy?

I have my eye on you!!!

Blog Pageviews by Countries     


Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States
United Kingdom

Above is a snap shot from the blog to give you an idea of where the hits are coming from. It changes from day to day, but as you can see, interest is spread far and wide.

We are one year here! 

We came here a year ago, and I have been producing the blog since then, detailing many of the events that have shaped our stay here. We have made many friends, and lost a few.
We have seen a sharp increase in the number of people coming here to see if this is a place that they would like to retire to.

This increase can be attributed to a number of factors, but it seems that the majority of people have been  swayed by the bombardment of ads on the internet by companies that in some way would profit from the promotion of Ecuador as a retirement haven.
As you can see by the above snapshot, there is interest from around the world. That apart, we have been able to blend in and enjoy the country we now call home.
Now that we have traveled through all of the seasons, our next year will be very different. Our first year was spent settling in, getting to know our neighbors, and learning customs and the language. 

We arrived here when it was wet, and it is wet again. Having a home here is no different from the country we came from. There is always maintenance to be carried out. Part of blending in with the local community is that you get to know where things are and how to get things done.
Where we came from, the internet and the yellow pages covered most of what you needed to know to find a product or a service. Here, a small number of businesses take advantage of the internet, and there are no yellow pages. So it comes down to personal and community knowledge. You know somebody that knows somebody who can provide that service or make a repair that needs to be done.
There are frustrations living here that to outsiders are hampering the development of the country. But in reality that is how things are done here. And just because we are here will not make change happen any faster. Embrace the country you now call home; and remember, the country you came from is not perfect.

Sin Bar

Art: love it, hate it. What is art? Everybody has their own idea of what art is. Sin Bar is hosting an exhibition of art and music this month, March 29th and 30th, starting at 17:00 hrs.(5PM)
So get yourself down there and support your local artists. You may be surprised to see the amount of talent out there.

Where we live, we have a great cinema. They get all the new titles, and for the most part, they are in English with Spanish subtitles. Such a deal when they have two for one; it works out to just $2.00 each. 

There is a magazine that I read and it is available on the internet. So if you enjoy the back story of the film industry, then this magazine can certainly put you there. Below is the link. Enjoy!



March 15, 44 B.C. - Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Senate chamber in Rome by Brutus and fellow conspirators. After first trying to defend himself against the murderous onslaught, Caesar saw Brutus with a knife and asked "Et tu, Brute?" (You too, Brutus?) Caesar then gave up the struggle and was stabbed to death.
Birthday - Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) the 7th U.S. President was born in a log cabin in Waxhaw, South Carolina. As a boy he volunteered to serve in the American Revolution. Captured by the British, he refused an order to clean an officer's boots and was slashed by his sword. Jackson later gained fame as a hero during the War of 1812. In politics he helped form the new Democratic Party and became the first man from an impoverished background to be elected President, serving from 1829 to 1837.
March 16
March 16, 1968 - During the Vietnam War, the My Lai Massacre occurred as American soldiers of Charlie Company murdered 504 Vietnamese men, women, and children. Twenty-five U.S. Army officers were later charged with complicity in the massacre and subsequent cover-up, but only one was convicted, and later pardoned by President Richard Nixon.
March 16, 1968 - New York Senator Robert Kennedy announced his intention to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Birthday - James Madison (1751-1836) the 4th U.S. President was born in Port Conway, Virginia. He played an important role in the formation of the new U.S. Constitution following the American Revolutionary War. During the War of 1812, President Madison was forced to flee Washington, D.C,. while the British attacked and burned the White House and other important public buildings.
March 17
March 17th - Celebrated as Saint Patrick's Day commemorating the patron saint of Ireland.
March 17, 1776 - Early in the American Revolutionary War the British completed their evacuation of Boston following a successful siege conducted by Patriots. The event is still commemorated in Boston as Evacuation Day.
Birthday - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney (1777-1864) was born in Calvert County, Maryland. He became the 5th Chief Justice in 1836, best known for the Dred Scott decision.
March 18
March 18, 1974 - The five-month-old Arab oil embargo against the U.S. was lifted. The embargo was in retaliation for American support of Israel during the Yom Kipper War of 1973 in which Egypt and Syria suffered a crushing defeat. In the U.S., the resulting embargo had caused long lines at gas stations as prices soared 300 percent amid shortages and a government ban on Sunday gas sales.
Birthday - Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) the 22nd and 24th U.S. president was born in Caldwell, New Jersey. He was the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms and was also the only president to be married in the White House.
March 19
March 19, 2003 - The United States launched an attack against Iraq to topple dictator Saddam Hussein from power. The attack commenced with aerial strikes against military sites, followed the next day by an invasion of southern Iraq by U.S. and British ground troops. The troops made rapid progress northward and conquered the country's capital, Baghdad, just 21 days later, ending the rule of Saddam.
Birthday - William Bradford (1589-1657) was born in Yorkshire, England. He sailed aboard theMayflower during its 66-day voyage from Plymouth, England to Massachusetts in 1620. The small ship carried over 100 passengers and a crew of 30. It was originally bound for Virginia but landed far north on Cape Cod. The Mayflower Compact was then drawn up as a form of government. Bradford became the first governor of the new Plymouth Colony, serving a total of 30 years, and was largely responsible for its success.
Birthday - Explorer and medical missionary David Livingstone (1813-1873) was born in Blantyre, Scotland. He arrived at Cape Town, Africa, in 1841 and began extensive missionary explorations, often traveling into areas that had never seen a white man. In his later years, he sought the source of the Nile River. He also became the subject of the famous search by news correspondent Henry Stanley who located him in 1871 near Lake Tanganyika in Africa after a difficult search and simply asked, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"
Birthday - Wyatt Earp (1848-1929) was born in Monmouth, Illinois. He became a legendary figure in the Wild West as a lawman and gunfighter, best known for the shootout at the O.K. Corral in 1881, in which the Earp brothers (Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan) fought and defeated the Ike Clanton gang.
Birthday - American politician William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) was born in Salem, Illinois. He was defeated three times as a candidate for the presidency. He advocated a "free silver" monetary standard through unlimited coinage of silver rather than the gold standard. During a speech at the 1896 Democratic convention he electrified the delegates, stating, "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!" In 1925, he was the successful prosecutor in the Scopes 'monkey' trial in which a teacher was convicted of violating Tennessee's Anti-Evolution Bill forbidding the teaching of the theory of evolution. However, he died just 5 days after the verdict.
March 20, 1995 - A nerve gas attack occurred on the Tokyo subway system during rush hour resulting in 12 persons killed and 5,000 injured. Japanese authorities later arrest the leader and members of a Japanese religious cult suspected in the attack.
Birthday - American psychologist B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He pioneered theories of behaviorism and developed the Skinner box, a controlled environment for studying behavior.
March 21
March 21, 1918 - During World War I, the Second Battle of the Somme began as German General Erich von Ludendorff launched an all-out drive to win the war. The battle began with a five-hour artillery barrage followed by a rush of German troops. The offensive lasted until April 6th and resulted in the Germans gaining about 35 miles of territory. Allied and German casualty figures for both battles approached 500,000.
March 21, 1943 - A suicide/assassination plot by German Army officers against Hitler failed as the conspirators were unable to locate a short fuse for the bomb which was to be carried in the coat pocket of General von Gersdorff to ceremonies Hitler was attending.
Birthday - Organist and composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was born in Eissenach, Germany. His output included thousands of compositions, many used in churches. Among his best known works; The Brandenburg Concertos for orchestra, The Well-Tempered Clavier for keyboard, the St. John and St. Matthew passions, and the Mass in B Minor.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast



Just 28 Km. east of Cuenca and a world apart.
The roads out of Cuenca are wide and modern, but very quickly narrow to a single lane and steep sides of bare rock and lush vegetation.
Passing over small, fast, running rivers and streams, the air is clear and crisp, as we get closer to Gualaceo. The architecture of Cuenca is left behind, and we move into buildings that remind me of Austria and northern Italy.
 As we approach the city, I see that it is placed in a valley that has a single river running into it. The steep sides have buildings clinging onto the hillsides, and the valley fades away between two mountains. There were no low clouds or haze from pollution obstructing my view. I can see how the city has grown, from the main road that cuts through the heart of the old city. To one side, the river forms a natural barrier; on the other side, the sprawl is halted by the steep terrain.
The hostal we stayed in was in the center by the mercado where they had general food, meat, and fruit vendors. Also, this is where you can go for your breakfast and lunch. They have delicious local food that I had not experienced in other parts of Ecuador.
The hostal was nice- the room was on the third floor; it had a double bed, shower, toilet and a TV. No heating, but for $15.00 a night, what can you expect? It has been a year or more since I have needed to have a blanket to keep me warm.
As we arrived in the late afternoon, we checked in and then went driving around to get a feel for the place. We found some very nice picnic places set up by the river. The river, we were told, has boats on it, and they have swimming contests in the high season. This was difficult to see as the water was moving very fast, and it is very cold.
Back up to the main square where, during the day, they have a very busy market. For now, it is night time and the square takes on a very different mantle. This is where young and old couples are walking and talking, enjoying the evening. There is a church in the center and the square in front of it that has a fountain as the centerpiece. On the walkway around it, there are blue LED lights set in to the pavement. I found this to be a very relaxing place.
As the night moved on, hunger is nipping at us. We went to a restaurant that is owned and run by a friend. The El Portal is just a few blocks from the church. The place is small; just 10 tables, and all the cooking is done on a range outside the front door. As we are introduced to Pancho, the owner, we are seated and brought a warm drink that is red in color. It is a local drink called horchata, which tastes very good. The menu consisted  of three choices: beef, pork, or chicken. It was 8 o'clock and the place was empty. I was not sure if this is normal. I was told that here, people do not start to eat out until after 9 .
Pork was what I asked for; it came with rice, salad, beans and what looked like white corn(we had this same corn with the drink) and you get a sauce and salt. This same corn is used to make pancakes that are served for breakfast.
As we ate and talked, the restaurant filled. I became very tired as the conversation was in Spanish only, so my brain was working overtime to keep up. I excused myself and went back to the hostal and bed.
After a good sleep, I was up and out by 06.00. The effects of altitude were still a factor, but at least I did not have to breathe in the polluted air of Cuenca.
I went across the street to the Mercado, watching the movements of the vendors and people making their way to work, stopping off to have breakfast and read the newspaper. Back in San Francisco, Calif., when people stopped for their breakfast, the absence of a newspaper was replaced with an Iphone, Ipad or some other electronic device to get the news.
Here and throughout South America, cell phones are and have made a big difference to the landscape of communication; but newspapers rule, and they have book shops,also.
So, as I stood back and watched for a time, I found that one side was for hot food and the other side was for cold drinks. So I approached and, in my best Spanish, I asked for pancakes and coffee with milk. The lady said $0.80, and I had my breakfast.
The pancakes are made from ground white corn formed into a pancake and placed onto a hot plate. You can cover them with marmalade or syrup, and they are tasty and filling, washed down with a large cup of coffee. It was good.
The meal last night was enormous and I was not able to finish it all, but the cost for all of that food was only $2.50. For some reason, the food in this area is very cheap. Petrol and diesel prices are no different from the coast.
As my companions were still sleeping, I wanted to look around and get a feel for the place. The temperature is cool but not cold; heavy clouds cover the sky. As I walk around, many people are polite and bid me good morning. I am not sure if this is normal or because I am the only white person around. I am sure that this place receives many visitors.
The narrow streets cobbled and clean, the sidewalks clean and well maintained convey pedestrian and vehicle traffic alike. Because of the streets' construction, a one -way system has been imposed on all vehicles, which makes it much safer for the pedestrians.
As I make my way to the open market, a throng of people has erupted.  This was a tranquil place last night, and now it has been transformed into a hub of commerce.
Fruits, vegetables, shoes, clothes, livestock, etc. all for sale. One thing that I have noticed is that all the stalls are run by the women. The men fill the stands and do the humping, but the women are in charge of the money.
About this time, I get a call from my companions that they are ready to have breakfast.
After I have a second breakfast, we move out and, with the help of Pancho, who lives here, we are taken around to all the sites. Now, most of the things I was taken to are not in any tour guide, and I was thankful for that. But we did make it to the weavers' shop and factory. What a treat!
Here they have a water park, two spas, picnic areas, shoe shops, food markets, traditional clothes and much more. You will have to come here to check out what they have for you, because I was taken well off the tourist path. I encourage you to try and do the same. Enjoy the slide show.

This Month

March 9, 1864 - Ulysses S. Grant was commissioned as a Lieutenant General and became commander of the Union armies.
Birthday - Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) was born in Florence, Italy. He explored South America and the Amazon River, believing he had discovered a new continent. In 1507, a German mapmaker first referred to the lands discovered in the New World as America.
Birthday - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968) was born in Gzhatsk, Russia. On April 12, 1961, he became the first human in space, orbiting in a capsule 187 miles above the Earth's surface in a flight lasting 108 minutes. His space flight caused a worldwide sensation and marked the beginning of the space race as the U.S. worked to catch up to the Russians and launch an American into space. President John F. Kennedy later asserted the U.S. would land a man on the moon before the end of the 1960's.
March 10, 1862 - The first issue of U.S. government paper money occurred as $5, $10 and $20 bills began circulation.
March 10, 1880 - The Salvation Army was founded in the United States. The social service organization was first founded in England by William Booth and operates today in 90 countries.
Birthday - Politician and playwright Claire Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was born in New York City. She served in the House of Representatives from 1943 to 1947 and then became the first woman appointed as U.S. ambassador to a major country (Italy).
March 11
March 11, 1918 - The 'Spanish' influenza first reached America as 107 soldiers become sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. One quarter of the U.S. population eventually became ill from the deadly virus, resulting in 500,000 deaths. The death toll worldwide approached 22 million by the end of 1920.
March 11, 1941 - During World War II, the Lend-Lease program began allowing Britain to receive American weapons, machines, raw materials, training and repair services. Ships, planes, guns and shells, along with food, clothing and metals went to the embattled British while American warships began patrolling the North Atlantic and U.S troops were stationed in Greenland and Iceland. "We must be the great arsenal of democracy," President Roosevelt declared concerning the fight against Hitler's Germany. The initial appropriation was $7 Billion, but by 1946 the figure reached $50 Billion in aid from the U.S. to its Allies.
Birthday - British prime minster and statesman Harold Wilson (1916-1995) was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. As a young boy he once posed for a photo in front of 10 Downing Street, the residence he occupied 40 years later as head of the Labour government.
March 12
March 12, 1609 - The island of Bermuda was colonized by the British after a ship on its way to Virginia was wrecked on the reefs.
March 12, 1888 - The Great Blizzard of '88 struck the northeastern U.S. The storm lasted 36 hours with snowfall totaling over 40 inches in New York City where over 400 persons died from the surprise storm.
March 12, 1938 - Nazis invaded Austria, then absorbed the country into Hitler's Reich.
March 12, 1994 - The Church of England ordained 32 women as its first female priests. In protest, 700 male clergy members and thousands of church members left the church and joined the Roman Catholic Church which does not allow women priests.
March 12, 1999 - Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic became full-fledged members of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) less than ten years after exchanging communist rule for democracy and ending their Cold War military alliances with Soviet Russia.
Birthday - The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) was born in Salonika, Greece. Following World War I, he led the Turkish revolution and became Turkey's first president.
March 13
March 13, 1943 - A plot to kill Hitler by German army officers failed as a bomb planted aboard his plane failed to explode due to a faulty detonator.
Birthday - Scientist and clergyman Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) was born in Yorkshire, England. He discovered oxygen and advanced the religious theory of Unitarianism.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

This last Weekend

Did you enjoy this last weekend I did and here are a few images to show what I was doing.
We had a lot of this over the wekend



If you know what they are leave a comment, and here is a clue right now they are all over the place

At the Armada base Miss Ecuador pageant

At the Armada base Miss Ecuador pageant

At the Armada base Miss Ecuador pageant

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Learn Spanish in Salinas

Speaking Spanish in Ecuador
This is the view from the class room

If you are one of the lucky ones to have been able to move here and retire or come here to start a business, then I am sure that you will have noticed that there is one requirement that you need to meet for a successful transition.
It is the need to communicate, and communicate in a language that is not necessarily your first language.
Navigating your way around with pigeon Spanish is frustrating. You get in a taxi, you tell the driver where you want to go and start going in the wrong direction, or a simple question from the cashier in the store is met with  the jaw drop.
When you were back in the country you came from, you had no problem giving or taking directions, asking the time, reading a menu, calling a business for hours of operation and location.
There are many ways to learn a different language. One way is in the work place. Where I worked before coming here, the company employed many people from Latin America. I was able to communicate my needs in the work place. Now that is fine, but when we went out for lunch or dinner I was lost because I did not learn conversational Spanish. There were other languages that were used in the work place, such as Tagalog and Cantonese.
As I have said in past blogs, never say 'si' if you are not completely sure of what you are saying 'si' to.
It just so happens that there are good ways to learn Spanish. Some can learn from a book and some can learn from software packages. Some can learn from total immersion, or you can learn using some of all of the above ways.

Small class size

Here in Salinas, we have a young man and his wife that are well suited and able to help you

Mike and Raquel provide services that are complementary to your moving here and would help your transition.
Raquel provides translation of documents from Spanish to English and English to Spanish. This service is essential to a speedy title transfer or a document that is needed to obtain your cedula.
Raquel also can work with you in providing resettlement services. To name a few: telephone connection, continued service of electricity and water, property tax payments, opening a bank account, getting internet service and cell phone service, Visa and cedula requirements; whatever you need to help you settle into your new home and Spanish is required.

Mike is a teacher, but not just any teacher. With 10 years' experience in teaching and having studied at San Diego State University, this fellow possesses the credentials to not only teach Spanish but to immerse you in the language.

Mike provides a balanced approach to the learning of a language, in that he works with small groups, and the passion that he puts into his class is palpable.
We all can benefit from knowledge; but, if you are thinking of staying here in Ecuador and would like to improve or take it to the next step of learning Spanish, then you will not go wrong by picking up the phone and calling.

Mike at work teaching Spanish
Here is the contact information:

 Cell phone:  0999916483

Magic Jack:  # 858 2223028

Email:  mcandra@me.com

There is a web site, but it is under construction at the moment.  

This month

March 4, 1681 - King Charles II of England granted a huge tract of land in the New World to William Penn to settle an outstanding debt. The area later became Pennsylvania.
March 4, 1789 - The first meeting of the new Congress under the new U.S. Constitution took place in New York City.
March 4, 1830 - Former President John Quincy Adams returned to Congress as a representative from Massachusetts. He was the first ex-president ever to return to the House and served eight consecutive terms.
March 4, 1933 - Newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office and delivered his first inaugural address attempting to restore public confidence during the Great Depression, stating, "Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself..." His cabinet appointments included the first woman to a Cabinet post, Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins.
Birthday - Revolutionary war hero Casimir Pulaski (1747-1779) was born in Poland. Before aiding in the American Revolution, he was a military leader in Poland's struggle against Imperial Russia. He joined the Americans in 1777 and fought alongside General Washington at Brandywine, then served at Germantown and Valley Forge. He was mortally wounded during a heroic charge in the Siege of Savannah, Georgia.
Birthday - American football legend Knute Rockne (1888-1931) was born in Voss, Norway. He coached the Notre Dame Football team for 13 seasons, amassing an overall record of 105 wins, 12 losses and 5 ties. He became famous for his locker room pep talks and the saying, "Win one for the Gipper." He was killed in an airplane crash on March 31, 1931, in Kansas.
March 5, 1770 - The Boston Massacre occurred as a group of rowdy Americans harassed British soldiers who then opened fire, killing five and injuring six. The first man killed was Crispus Attucks, an African American. British Captain Thomas Preston and eight of his men were arrested and charged with murder. Their trial took place in October, with colonial lawyer John Adams defending the British. Captain Preston and six of his men were acquitted. Two others were found guilty of manslaughter, branded, then released.
March 5, 1868 - The U.S. Senate convened as a court to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson during impeachment proceedings. The House of Representatives had already voted to impeach the President. The vote followed bitter opposition by the Radical Republicans in Congress to Johnson's reconstruction policies in the South. However, the effort to remove him failed in the Senate by just one vote and he remained in office.
March 5, 1933 - Amid a steadily worsening economic situation, newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed a four-day "Bank Holiday" to stop panic withdrawals by the public and the possible collapse of the American banking system.
March 5, 1946 - The "Iron Curtain" speech was delivered by Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Churchill used the term to describe the boundary in Europe between free countries of the West and nations of Eastern Europe under Soviet Russia's control.
March 6
March 6, 1836 - Fort Alamo fell to Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna. The Mexicans had begun the siege of the Texas fort on February 23rd, ending it with the killing of the last defender. "Remember the Alamo" became a rallying cry for Texans who went on to defeat Santa Anna in the Battle of San Jacinto in April.
Birthday - Renaissance genius Michelangelo (1475-1564) was born in Caprese, Italy. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, poet and visionary best known for his fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and his sculptures David and The Pieta.
March 7
Birthday - Stephen Hopkins (1707-1785) was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the state's colonial governor and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
March 8
March 8, 1863 - During the American Civil War, Confederate Colonel John Mosby, leader of Mosby's Rangers, captured Union General E.H. Stoughton at his headquarters in Fairfax County Courthouse, Virginia.