Thursday, 21 November 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

New Terminal, New Airport

It has been on the books to open for some time but when it did there was much surprise
The Salinas bus terminal is now closed and the thriving business area around the old bus terminal is just a corner three blocks from the beach, the vendors that hawked there wares there have had to move on to other areas.

The old bus station above and the new bus station below.

Clean new concourse 

Entrance to the where you board the buses 

Buses waiting to fill a bay

Buses in the bays dropping off and pickling up passengers 

Local transport can take you from the Bus terminal to Salinas by taxi or bus.
The number 13 bus will take you to and from  Salinas to the terminal.
A taxi from the terminal to Salinas will cost you $5.00

First adds for the now open Salinas Airport

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The tower San Lorenzo

The tower San Lorenzo

There could be one coming your way

The tower San Lorenzo

Spring tides San Lorenzo

Spring tides San Lorenzo

Here are some questions and answers that my be of help to you if 

you are thinking of living in Ecuador

Answers provided by the Cuenca immigration office

Q. Police report requirements - If a US state has a state police entity, will a report issued by that entity for the past 5 years duly executed, notarized and apostilled be acceptable, or is the requirement now a standard FBI Criminal background check?
A: If you have a state criminal background check, apostilled, it's completely acceptable.
Q. Applying for visa and residency - I am considering applying for a visa and residency in Ecuador. However, my wife, whom I'm separated from, has no interest in moving with me. I have not started any divorce proceedings and don't plan to in the short term. My question is: are there any problems with applying and receiving a visa and residency without any involvement with my estranged wife?
A: There is not a problem to apply for a residency if you are separated from your wife, but you have to still bring your marriage certificate for the cedula:
Q. Proof of income - My husband is deceased and my 15 year old son and I are now in Ecuador. We receive survivor social security benefits and I, being the legal guardian of my son, am responsible for overseeing the benefits he receives. The total of the benefits we both receive is more than the required amount for a pensioner's visa and we have the legalized document from the Ecuadorian Consulate in the US that verifies our combined income. Will this be accepted by the Ministry here in Cuenca?
A: The pension has to be for a lifetime, so when your son will be 18 years old, unless he will receive his own minimum required pension and you will still receive the minimum required income (presently $800 per month), it won't be acceptable. Please be aware that if your personal lifetime income presently exceeds $900 per month ($800 for yourself and $100 for your son) you may qualify for a pensioner's visa and your son may qualify as your dependent.
Q. I understand that during the first two years of a residency visa we can leave Ecuador for 90 days each year. I want to confirm that the time starts the day we get our cedula. Or, does the time start the day we receive our residency visa? Also, if we use 60 days the first year, does the extra 30 days roll over into the second year?
A: The time starts once you get the visa, not the cedula, and the remaining days don't roll over for the second year.
Q. I would like clarification regarding how long a resident visa holder may be gone from Ecuador in the third and subsequent years; 18 months, but over what time period? Can I travel for 18 months, return for a month and leave again? Or is there a limit on the 18 months?
A: Beginning the third year you can leave the country for 18 months, you may travel for 18 months, return for a month and leave again without a problem.
Q. I heard that the CD that is used to obtain a residency visa is no longer needed to remain on deposit after 2 years. I heard that after 2 years we could cash in the CD. Is this true, or must the CD remain for the entire time we have the visa?
A: The CD always has to be in the custody of Banco Central for the entire time that you have the visa: It's not true what you heard.
Q: If I have a CD based visa and change banks. Is there a simple procedure to use the new CD in place of the original one, or do I have to start the entire visa process over again with new, apostilled paperwork?
A: If you have an investor's visa based on a CD, and you decide to change the bank, you have to start again, the whole process, for getting a visa, and bring all apostilled papers from the US again.
Q: Criminal background check: How long is it good for and does the time run from the date of the report or the date of the apostille?
A: The criminal background check is valid for a period of 180 days and starts to count from the date of the report, not the apostle.


Q: Can the financial institution for the $25K CD in Guayaquil now be changed? They wouldn't let me change it last time, unlike in Cuenca:
A: You can change for another financial institution. If you decide to change, you have to start the whole process again.
Q: Can visa based on a CD and obtained in Guayaquil and all the administration involved upon renewal, be transferred to Cuenca? I'd prefer not to make repeated trips to Guayaquil to renew the CD.
A: You cannot transfer your visa to Cuenca: You must go to Guayaquil to renew your CD. Unfortunately you must remain with the office where you started your visa process. However, if the applicant does move the CD to another bank, and therefore starts the process over, he may then start the new process in Cuenca. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Manos a La Obra

Manos a La Obra

Above are images of William and his family, this young man had a grasp on life that most of us would find uncanny, this young man new his life was to be short, but the time he had was spent loved by his family and the community that supported  them through this hard time.
Today I had mixed feelings when I received the phone call to tell me that William had passed away.
The mixed feelings were that I knew that he was in pain and in our small way we tried to ease the pain by providing a better home for him and his family to live in.
 His pain is no more but the pain will live on through what remains of his family, the comfort is that he believed that the place he is to go to is better than the one he was in.
William, a young life that has moved on.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Living the Life Ecuador Coast

Foods of Ecuador
In Galapagos

On my recent travels, I was asked to take part in a young chef's competition that had chefs from all of the cantons of Ecuador.
The top four chefs from Ecuador were there to judge the presentation, quality, taste, and the origin of the food from that area.
The young chefs are in school and not only
 are they representing their school but their home district as well.
Unbeknown to me, when I arrived, I had been volunteered to help with the judging of the food. This was a task that I was unprepared for, but I rose to the challenge.
The challenge was not the tasting of the food, but indeed the knowledge of the food for a particular area; for this, I had to wing it.
Armed with a pencil and a list of areas that were to be scored on, I went on with the four judges and looked at the food, asked questions about the food and tasted the food. After 19 tables of food, I was glad that they offered bread and water to clear the pallet. We all retired to a table and added up the scores, then we each came up with a winner. By some strange quirk, we all agreed on the same winner, Canton of Guayas. This is where it was to end, but I was so impressed with another entry, that I asked if we could make an honorable mention for the canton of Pichincha. The judges got up and went over to their table and came back and agreed that they could do that, so we had two winners that  night.

Did you know this 

Hedy Lamarr

Invention of Spread Spectrum Technology

Hedy Lamarr
Although better known for her Silver Screen exploits, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications following her emigration to the United States. The international beauty icon, along with co-inventor George Anthiel, developed a "Secret Communications System" to help combat the Nazis in World War II. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code to prevent classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel.
Lamarr and Anthiel received a patent in 1941, but the enormous significance of their invention was not realized until decades later. It was first implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently emerged in numerous military applications. But most importantly, the "spread spectrum" technology that Lamarr helped to invent would galvanize the digital communications boom, forming the technical backbone that makes cellular phones, fax machines and other wireless operations possible.
As is the case with many of the famous women inventors, Lamarr received very little recognition of her innovative talent at the time, but recently she has been showered with praise for her groundbreaking invention. In 1997, she and George Anthiel were honored with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award. And later in the same year, Lamarr became the first female recipient of the BULBIE™ Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award, a prestigious lifetime accomplishment prize for inventors that is dubbed "The Oscar™ of Inventing."
Proving she was much more than just another pretty face, Lamarr shattered stereotypes and earned a place among the 20th century's most important women inventors. She truly was a visionary whose technological acumen was far ahead of its time.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Living the life Ecuador Coast

The Galapagos Dance adventure 

The Zafreros Dance Group enjoying the Galapagos

Halloween on the Malecon

Witch's Brew at Smokin'

Marcia as "I Dream of Jeannie" giving out candy to passing children

Crowd on Malecon checking out costumes

Larry,Terry,Evelyn,Joan, and Mary at Smokin' celebrating Halloween

Larry telling Vic,"Such a cute hat!"

Monica consoling Joan because she did not get enough candy.

"The cookie monster stole my candy!"says Joan with Monica looking on.

Marcia getting a kick out of the children

Marcia with Freddie Krueger(Edison Salinas) and his daughter