Bananas are the most important export commodity for Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize, and they're one of the top three exports in Colombia, the Philippines, Guatemala, Honduras, and Cameroon. The global banana industry, once bountiful with the popular fruits, is now in jeopardy. The... [More]

By Nathan Gill Ecuador’s National Assembly approved a new law today that allows the government to create its own parallel currency for use in local transactions as the government struggles to meet spending commitments. Congress voted 91-22 to approve President Rafael Correa’s p... [More]

After announcing that it would begin charging a $42 tax on small packages shipped from overseas, the government is sending mixed messages about exemptions of the tax. The tax would affect shipments of less than four kilos, part of the country's 4x4 package plan (four kilos with a value of l... [More]

China is making a strong move to bolster its rapidly expanding influence in Latin America as with President Xi Jinping continues his visits to countries in the region. On Monday night, Xi arrived in Havana on the last leg of his marathon trip, following a visit to Caracas, where he established ... [More]

Claiming that new Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera was breaking a campaign promise to reroute the tram outside the historic district, 20 Calle Gran Colombia business owners protested lane closure for construction work. It turns out, however, that the closure isn't for the tram afterall. City ... [More]

By Anne Z. Cooke A pint-sized dish of cevichocho, served on the street in Otavalo, sparked an aha! moment that caught me unawares. By the time the three of us parked near the town’s famous craft market, lunch time had come and gone. Heading down the block we passed a group of teenagers... [More]

In the wake of the World Cup, just when interest in football is at a fevered pitch, the Ecuadorian Football Players’ Association is calling a strike to collect back pay. According to association vice president Edwin Tenorio, the strike begins at midnight on Wednesday. Tenorio says that the ... [More]

According to Human Rights Watch, more than a 100 countries impose restrictions on Internet use, particularly on blogs and such social media outlets as Twitter and Facebook. The restrictions, they say, are almost always politically motivated and more countries appear ready to add their own restrict... [More]

Although President Rafael Correa says Ecuador would never enter into free trade agreements with other countries, opposition politicians say the agreement reached Thursday with the European Union looks a lot like the one the EU signed six years ago with Peru and Colombia. Ecuador refused to part... [More]

By Margaret Zeigler and Ginya Truitt Nakata Population growth and dramatic diet changes are placing agriculture and the natural resource base under great stress worldwide. As the largest net food exporting region on the planet, Latin America and the Caribbean appears poised to play a critica... [More]

By Ramiro Crespo   A year after Ecuador passed its controversial media law, the Ley Orgánica de Comunicación (LOC), most of the fears that it provoked as a potential instrument of repression have come true. Freedom House, a U.S. non-governmental organization that supports ... [More]

Ecuador, the world’s top banana exporter, and the European Union reached a long-delayed trade agreement, the Ecuadorian Minister of Trade Francisco Rivadeneira said on Thursday.   “Ecuador has completed negotiations with the European Union to join the Multilateral Trade Agreemen... [More]

By Ana Veciana Suarez Rolando Gutierrez grew up in Miami, but he knew he wanted to eventually move to a quieter, more affordable place where he could live comfortably on his City of Miami police sergeant pension. After a few trips to Central America, he found his retirement nirvana in a tiny to... [More]

Following last week’s announcement that Cuenca’s tram project is five to six months behind schedule, Mayor Marcelo Cabrera says that the number of workers on the project will be increased and work hours will be extended in an effort to make up lost time. Cabrera blames the delays on... [More]

By Nicole Akoukou Thompson Dead Guatemalan women are being dumped in alleyways, dropped by the roadside, and deserted in parks, bodies bound by trash bags, plastic blankets, or left bare for the world to see, abandoned by the wayside like discarded trash. Guatemala and some other Latin Ameri... [More]

By Robert Wood America is a great land and lures immigrants worldwide, yet record numbers of U.S. citizens and permanent residents are giving up their citizenship or residency. For all the immigrant arrivals the trickle the other direction is increasing. The number is still small, with the &ldq... [More]

Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera described the first two months of his administration last week, saying that the tram project and taxi meter issues have dominated his agenda. Cabrera said that final tram construction details will worked out after a team from UNESCO visits Cuenca at the end of July ... [More]

Although the overall crime rate in Cuenca has dropped some 30% since 2008, street crime remains a danger, particularly for tourists and foreign residents. According to national police, Cuenca's crime rate, which is already second lowest among Ecuadorian cities with populations of 100,000... [More]

By Jim Wyss It’s the year 2043 and this burgeoning city of 100,000 is a high-tech Mecca. Using rare plants from the Amazon, university researchers have cured many diseases; factories churn out nano-sponges that soak up oil spills around the world; local software designers are the envy of ... [More]

Acknowledging consumer confusion, the government is stepping up its campagin to encourage Ecuadorians to switch from gas to electric cooktops. The Ministry of Energy is posting graphics on its website showing the energy savings of cooking with electricity instead of gas. The problem, some say, ... [More]

By Ben Casselman In 1994, California Governor Pete Wilson aired television ads showing people scrambling across the Mexican border near San Diego. “The rules are being broken,” a narrator intoned. “Pete Wilson has had the courage to say enough is enough.” Wilson, who at... [More]

By Lance Brashear In 1802 German explorer Alexander von Humbolt, in a visit to Ecuador´s Sierra, coined a phrase that is now part of the tourism vocabulary for mainland Ecuador: Avenue of the Volcanoes.   The term is self-explanatory if you simply look at a map or take a drive s... [More]

Cuenca’s tram project is six months behind schedule according to the construction project manager. “The project started late and has fallen further behind because of work stoppages,” says José Marchan. Marchan says he is considering two options to correct the problem: ... [More]

By Jim Wyss Franklin D. Roosevelt had it, so did Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and so does Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. Could Ecuador’s Rafael Correa be the next president to win the right to consecutive and indefinite reelection? That’s the question the country’... [More]

By Michael Corkery As government regulators crack down on the financing of terrorists and drug traffickers, many big banks are abandoning the business of transferring money from the United States to other countries, moves that are expected to reverse years of declines in the cost of immigrants ... [More]