Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Ecuador $6.4 M Face lift

Ecuador $6.4 M Face lift

A company in New York, MCSquared, has received a contract from the Ecuadorian government, to help improve the image of Ecuador.
The cost of this contract is said to be $6.4 million, which will be used by this company to improve the image of Ecuador, to attract more income from tourists, and also  promote the resources that are on offer.
As we have seen in the last year, Ecuador has been increasing its prominence in the EU, signing contracts with Spain.
Ecuador, for now, is a resource- rich country. Extraction of these resources has left many scars not only on the countryside but with the international community, the long and protracted court case with the oil refining giant, Chevron.
This has left a bad taste with many corporations, and with the labour laws in  Ecuador, have combined to make this a very difficult place to set up a business.
With price controls being introduced on over 800 pharmaceuticals, and the restrictions on the imports on many luxury items, have also added to this difficulty.
This PR company will have its work cut out for it.

Ecuador's newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Sandra Naranjo,
is leading the way in the fight to gain a bigger share of the international tourist market.
Last year, just over 1.1 million international visitors made Ecuador their choice to spend vacation dollars.
With the help of this company, The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador is hoping that this will increase to 1.6 million by the end of this year. 
 These two companies are both based in New York. Ecuador is providing a substantial amount of money to show the world that this is a great place to come and visit on one hand, and on the other  hand, selling of the resources to the rest of the world.

Now there is a nasty word, but it has come to be known as the death blow for many jobs in the U.S.
This week I learned that companies in Mexico are now outsourcing work, for the very same reason that it was outsourced in the U.S.
The reason is that the company can make more money for less work and stress. Just 20 years ago Mexico was in the same position, and took on work that would feed their workers.
Recently there has been a lot of talk by the Ecuadorian government to produce more products here, and this will keep people employed and help balance the  import and export of trade.
But Ecuador has just placed an order with a company in India for the supply of 40 thousand body armor vests for the police force. Apparently, the ones they have now are not good enough.
Talk about a global economy .

Yasuni National Park

The Yasuni National Park, just two weeks after permits were issued to drill, has become the area of  an oil spill in the amount of 660,000 gallons.
This spill has contaminated drinking water and placed many dangerous effects on the indigenous people, wild life, and agriculture.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Man that is Remembered

Simón Bolívar

Simón Bolívar was a Venezuelan military leader who was instrumental in the revolutions against the Spanish empire.

July 24, 1783
December 17, 1830

Simón Bolívar was a South American soldier who was instrumental in the continent's revolutions against the Spanish empire. Born into wealth, Bolívar was sent to Spain for his education, soon deciding to immerse himself in the political sphere in Europe. After France invaded Spain in 1808, he became involved in the resistance movement and played a key role in the Spanish American fight for independence. In 1825, the "Republic of Bolivia" was created in honor of the inspirational leader, hailed by many as El Libertador (The Liberator). He died on December 17, 1830 in Colombia.

Early Life
Simón José Antonio de la Santísma Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios was born on July 24, 1783 in Caracas, New Granada (now Venezuela). Bolívar was born into a prosperous family who took their money from rich gold and copper mines they owned in Venezuela. Young Bolívar moved to Spain in 1799 after the deaths of his parents. In Spain, he continued his education, begun in Venezuela with tutors, and married María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alaysa in 1802. When the young couple returned to Venezuela to visit in 1803, however, María Teresa sickened and died of yellow fever.

'El Libertador'
After her death, Bólivar returned to Europe and kept company with Napoleon. Bolívar returned to Venezuela in 1807. When Napoleon named Joseph Bonaparte King of Spain and its colonies, which included Venezuela, Bolívar joined the resistance movement. The resistance group based in Caracas gained independence in 1810, and Bolívar traveled to Britain on a diplomatic mission. The fight for control of Caracas, Venezuela and most of South American continued on back home.
Finally, Bolívar returned to Venezuela and began a campaign to wrest control of that country from the Spanish. He and his followers invaded Venezuela on May 14, 1813; this marked the beginning of his "Compana Admirable" (Admirable Campaign), which resulted in the formation of the Venezuelan Second Republic later that year. Bolívar was hailed as El Libertador (The Liberator), though civil war soon erupted in the republic, forcing him to flee to Jamaica and seek foreign aid. There he wrote his famous "Letter From Jamaica," detailing his vision of a South American republic with a parliamentary setup modeled after England and a life-long president. His idea of being a nation's chief who could not be removed from power would be heavily critiqued by other leaders and intellectuals. 
Gaining support from Haiti, Bolívar returned to his home continent and became involved in a number of military battles, eventually able to claim several territories. 1821 saw the creation of the Gran Colombia, under Bolívar's leadership. This federation included much of what is now Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador. Further maneuvers saw him named Dictator of Peru in 1824, followed by the creation of Bolivia in 1825.

Later Years, Death and Legacy
Bolívar had succeeded in uniting much of South America in a federation free from Spanish control, but the government was fragile. Despite his desire to create a union of states similar to that which created the United States of America, Bolívar faced opposition from internal factions throughout the huge Gran Colombia, with there being a push to form single nations. As a temporary measure, Bolívar declared himself dictator in 1828, though in September of the same year he escaped an assassination attempt with aid from his mistress and fellow revolutionary Manuela Sáenz. He resigned this post in 1830 and made plans to sail for exile in Europe. On December 17, 1830, however, Simón Bolívar died in Santa Marta, Colombia, after a battle with what may have been tuberculosis.

Today, Bolívar's legacy can be seen in the multitude of statues and plaza squares bearing his likeness throughout South and North America. Several cities and towns throughout the United States are named in his honor and statues and roads bearing his name can be found in a variety of international locales, including Egypt, Australia and Turkey.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Upgrade to the Malecon

Upgrade to the Malecon

Not sure if people think about what is going on in the background, but here on the malecon it will make things look very different.
The street lighting is being upgraded to LED lighting.
Lower maintenance, lower power consumption, lasts longer than the incandescent or sodium lights they are replacing.
So next time you are walking along the malecon, look up and see the new technology at work for your community.

Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru

What have these countries got in common?
They all now have free trade agreements with the European Union.
The world's largest trading block, and for Ecuador that is big, because the EU is the largest buyer of Ecuadorian exports, except for oil, totaling in 2013, $3 billion.
Here is an example of what EU's consumers want to buy: its cut flowers, coffee, cocoa, tropical fruit juice, and bananas.
Because of this pact agreement, it means that the EU has a market for cars manufactured there and luxury goods, such as alcoholic beverages.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Ecuador targets 1,400

Ecuador targets 1,400

Rural communities, small towns, cities and in between have been targeted to receive information centers.
These centers will provide educators, computers, printers, projectors and study rooms that will assist these communities to take advantage of the internet and technology.
To date 489 of these centers  have been placed into service and have received over 2 million visitors and users,a good example of bringing technology to the people.
On that subject, here in Salinas, we have free WiFi for all; the service is limited, but available to all. 

Petro Ecuador 

The biggest refinery in Ecuador, located in Quito, will be closed for maintenance over the next 14 months. A spokesman said that the plant will close by sections and fully close for just 45 days.
No mention was made of whether or not the supply of petrol and diesel will be affected.

Franklin D. Roosevelt had it, so did Venezuela’s Hugo 

Chávez and so does Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. What is it?

Rafael Correa, current President of Ecuador, could be the next leader to take advantage of never being out of a job. This question is being considered by the constitutional court in Ecuador.

Missing Oklahoma City man August Reiger sparks sightings in Ecuador

The search for August Reiger, who disappeared nearly a year ago while visiting Ecuador, continues. Two possible sightings have been reported to Ecuadorean law enforcement recently.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: May 9, 2014
The possibility that someone has recently seen a missing Oklahoma City man in Ecuador, where he vanished while vacationing with his family over a year ago, delivered a dose of hope to those trying to find him.
Two possible sightings reported to Ecuadorean law enforcement renew the possibility that August Reiger is alive. Reiger, now 19, went missing June 16,  2013 while hiking in Banos — a resort town considered safe for tourists — with his parents and younger brother, setting off an international effort to find him.
The teen’s father, Chris Reiger, confirmed at least two possible sightings have been reported in the past week, but he said there’s no way to know for sure the person seen was his son.
“We certainly haven’t given up hope that he’s going to be found, no doubt about that,” Chris Reiger said Thursday. “We still think he will be.”
August Reiger graduated as a valedictorian from Classen School of Advanced Studies in May 2013 and was planning to attend the University of Oklahoma.
During the summer trip, the family went hiking and August Reiger got a few minutes ahead of the others. He did not turn up at the family’s meeting spot and didn’t return to the hotel.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Cause for concern?

Cause for concern?

The party that is running Ecuador at the moment has pushed ahead last week with a plan to keep the current president in power.
Gabriela Ribadeneira, the current Congressional leader, has submitted  a plan to allow indefinite re-election of the current president.
This package has to be reviewed within 45 days by the constitutional court, who will then decide if this package should be submitted to a national referendum or if it can be decided by the legislature. 
The ruling party at this time has enough votes to get this passed.
President Correa has stated publicly that he supports this move, but would not take advantage of this potential change in the law.
Tucked away in this piece of legislation are two other parts that have not been given the same amount of coverage.
Reducing the age of a candidate that can run for the office of President, if passed, will be reduced from the age of 35 to the age of 30.
Again, if this piece of legislation comes to pass, there is another line that has not been brought out into the light, and that is that the president can use the military to deal with internal security.

The line

The line that you do not want to be in, the line shown below, is a line of vehicles waiting to be tested for the matricula.
As the transito office closed the day before, the line for the next day was forming. There are people who for a fee will hold your place in the line; the fee can be anything from $10 to $30.00.
Just before the office opened on this day, the count of vehicles was at 200. In this line are the people that have left it to the last minute, and those that are just there to get it over with.
As the line started to move, the third person in line was told that they will have to come back, never mind that they had slept in their car overnight.
The reason given by the transito was that this is the last day of the month, and you have all of July to get it tested.
Whether you know it or not, the way that a vehicle is shown due to be tested is marked by the last number on the license plate, 1-12 for the 12 months of the year.
The person who was number three was able to get his vehicle through the inspection after he made a donation to the person on the gate.

As I watched the inspection taking place, I was amazed at how the inspections were carried out, basically if the tires are OK, then it passed. As you can see from one of the images, a truck with no right rear lights passed!!!!

Looking down the road with no end in sight.

This truck passed the inspection even though it had no lights on the rear right side of the vehicle

Here we see a transito officer checking documents.

Down 12%

Over the last seven years the level of poverty has been reduced by 12%.
This information was released by the National Secretary of Planning  and Development.
The reason for the dramatic decrease can be attributed to the political process that has prioritized investment in social and productive sectors of the country.
In a statement last week, Pabel Muñoz said that hospitals, health centers, schools and roads have been targeted with 15% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) .  "Clearly public policy has provided a significant boost".

Pabel Muñoz, National Secretary of Planning  and Development

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Clean Up

The clean up

It looks like the money has kicked in from the canton of Santa Elana.
Because the streets are looking much cleaner, and the sites which have been used for dumping of garbage have been cleaned up and graded over with soil.
The local people near the dump sites are now keeping an eye open and have been asked to report violators.

This area was covered in garbage up to 2 m high

A clean street

This was a dumping place for a lot of garden waste, now cleaned up

Water and the use of it

The struggle by the indigenous people in the south of Ecuador, have won a major victory this last week.
The national assembly were force into a vote, due to the actions of the indigenous people, marches and protests highlighted their sovereignty on the water that comes  their lands.
This came about because more and more water was being diverted to the oil industry, and the primary use of water in that area has in the past been for the use by the people and the production of food.
In recent months this was reversed and the people and food production has suffered, to the needs of extracting oil.
Known as the water law, the national assembly voted on the use of water from that area.
 President of the Assembly Gabriela Rivadeneira, closed the debate and a vote was taken.

The vote was 103 votes in favor, 21 against and 6 abstentions.

The law states that the use of water should
First be used for human consumption.

Second, used for irrigation, and third for food production.

This has brought a change that will improve water management, conservation and sustainability of a resource that has long been taken for granted.  

This week

A visit from the President to the gas terminal here on the coast of Santa Elana

With the project costing $571 million, it is expected that Spring Moneverde, the name given to the site will service ships able to handle up to 75,000 tonnes, and they will be come a common sight.
The terminal Chorrillo which is a storage area can store up to 33,000 metric tons of LPG in 4 tanks.
In addition to the above storage there are 16 more tanks that can hold 16 tons per tank.
This area is  not only for the  export LPG, but provides a filling station for domestic tanks        (15 kg) and commercial tanks (45 kg).

This project has from the beginning provided employment and will continue to do so, a security force and a number of skilled and semi skilled jobs which are well paid and provide a continued  income for the local community. 

Empowering Women

Empowering women, I worked there I know what a difference this can make to communities.