Monthly Archives: June 2012

Green Progress: Environmental development in Ecuador

Granito de arena, it is a new movement created by a great local Ecuadorian, check their site, it is in Spanish. But I am sure they will be able to provide any information in English.

All this takes places by one of the greatest locations that Ecuador has to offer, the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. You could help out with their great commitment of helping the less fortunate and to improve their social equality in Ecuador, and at the same time you will be helping them on their humongous task of creating a friendly environmental culture of a CLEANER WORLD..

Their commitment is part of the SEA CHANGE IN CONSERVATION,

http://blog.conservation.org/2012/03/a-sea-change-in-ocean-conservation/

Thanks once again for your interest in such a wonderful country ECUADOR, your heaven for retirement or a new prosperous life…

Ecuador Sports – Not on the confort zone! War Race event.

Ecuador Sports - Not on the confort zone! War Race event.

Life can be so interesting overseas. Here you have great outdoors if you are on the daring side, or just maybe be part of the show as collaborator, there is a lot of action taking place in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Every day we get more adepts to serious sport activities, just take a look a these pictures taken on location last Sunday at a race event.

There is ‘green’ to be made on Green Business opportunities in Ecuador.

Aren´t we all concern about climate change, the energy crisis, the increasing pollution of the air and seas, and the failure of the Copenhagen summit on climate change of 2009. Ecuador is just catching up with this global trend, providing a unique opportunity for investors looking for both profit and meaningful investments for solving current global issues.

Ecuador harbors an incredible range of landscapes, despite its relatively small size, Ecuador has nearly twice as many birds as the continental United States. The country also harbors more plant species than all of North America. Although protected areas cover more than 18% of the country, they don’t provide sufficient protection for all of Ecuador’s biological richness.

Due to its social-economical burden, big issues such as energy efficiency, alternative fuels, agricultural efficiency, wind, solar, tidal/wave and nuclear energy, energy storage, waste disposal and recycling; among many others are rarely watch for. All of these opportunities in the Green Business areas are an open door to any ground breaking ideas that could address environmental issues at first.

I am adding an important excerpt from this interesting article for you to read. What a great initiative from a group of more than 30 CEOs and political leaders from the Latin America region; it will show the growing interest on the region progressing green .

Spreading the Gospel of Green Business to Latin America

Read more: http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/11/16/spreading-the-gospel-of-green-business-to-latin-america/?s_intc=topstories#ixzz1wxYlAPhM

The region has something else too—amazing biodiversity. From the immense Amazon basin to the utterly unique Galapagos Islands, Latin America still possesses some of the world’s most impact and important forests, wetlands and wildlife left on the planet. The question going forward will be whether the region can grow rapidly—and allowing millions of people to rise out of poverty—without destroying that natural heritage. One glimpse of China, where economic growth has been accompanied by environmental destruction, shows what can happen if things go wrong.

That’s what makes a new initiative spearheaded by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) so valuable. The environmental group has convened the Latin American Conservation Council, a group of more than 30 CEOs and political leaders from around the region that will collaborate on some of the region’s pressing environmental problems: water security, food security and infrastructure development. The idea is simple: help the region grow the right way, and protect biodiversity and ecosystem services now instead of cleaning up later. “This is the right time for this idea,” says Mark Tercek, TNC’s president and CEO.

The council is co-chaired by Warburg Pincus managing director Alain Belda, a Brazilian, and Hank Paulson, the former Treasury Secretary, Goldman Sachs CEO and a longtime conservationist. Paulson, who helped put together a similar group in Asia in the 1990s with Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, says there’s a dawning awareness among Latin American executives that business has little choice but to grow green. “They know that we need nature more than nature needs us,” he told me today. “There’s never been a group like this coming together before.”

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Local Artist @ Playas, province of Guayas, Pacific Ocean

 

Transportation services available between Quito and Cuenca, Ecuador

I have tried to find a van/car service between Quito and Cuenca, I did not have any luck with that. There is such a service between Guayaquil and Cuenca, here is their info in case you ever need it: http://www.operazuaytur.com/  , from users reference their service seems to be great.

I love driving in the highlands, but I would not suggest renting a car. The roads are great, but the driving experience is something else, roads and drivers in Ecuador are on the aggressive side, so you better get familiarize before you attempt to drive in Ecuador especially at the mountains sites.  

Now, if you would like to have a great sightseeing experience you could try to use the local bus service, you will have to go to the Bus Terminal located in the south end of Quito, purchase a ticket on a walk-in bases, and travel the same day.

The ride could take like 10 to 12 hrs, there is no special bus operator to recommend, you just have to follow your own good perception, and check which one seems to be well establish at the terminal. Some bus companies are Panamericana, Trans Esmeraldas and Flota Imbabura. One way ticket could be around $ 10 US. Best time to travel will be during the day.

You will have watch out for your safety, pack values to carry with you on the bus, and do not accept anything from strangers, specially hand outs on the street, foreigners are always an easy target, just keep an open eye of your surroundings as you would do in any foreign land.

To me the best option to get from Quito to Cuenca it is to fly,  www.lan.com is the most trusted airline, on their website you could purchase online and will not have problems along the way, the prices are pretty much standard for airline tickets if you compare with local airline carriers. This option will provide you with the greatest view of the hall canyon seeing from the air, the volcanoes of the Andes. I would say it is the best over view you could ever get of the Andes Mountain on any of the airlines routes in the country.

One last option will be, and if your budget allows it, to hire a Guide + vehicle to take you on the road trip from Quito to Cuenca. Since it is a long distance, 442 Kms + weather conditions may vary; it can become quite expensive, maybe over $ 200 US…

Must travelers look into flying to Quito as your first entry into Ecuador; always look for Guayaquil as an alternative since it is the largest, most commercial and the first port of entry of the country, so you will have a lot more options and cheaper ones to move around the country.

Here I will leave you with some inside views of this paradise name Ecuador,

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This maybe an interesting option to travel around Ecuador, here you could check the options they offer…

https://www.facebook.com/EcuadorFreedomBikeRental

Get the most out of your trip to Ecuador with a scooter, motorcycle or mountain bike rental from the experts located in Quito, Ecuador…

and some useful links to search for local travel information, not all of them are available in English.

http://ecuador.travel/

http://www.getquitoecuador.com/quito-transport/quito-bus-landtransport.html

http://patomiller.wordpress.com/2007/05/02/transporte-interprovincial-intercantonal-e-interparroquial/

Ex-Patriot Act to respond to Facebook’s Saverin’s Tax ‘Scheme’

Of course all of this was unnoticed until all the hype of the Facebook IPO which brought Eduardo Saverim back into the spotlight, two US Democrats stepped in to propose a new, draconian tax law to capitalize on the mania.

Extract from ABC News

At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act to respond directly to Saverin’s move, which they dub a “scheme” that would “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

The senators will call Saverin’s move an “outrage” and will outline their plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country. Their proposal would also impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on the capital gains of anybody who renounces their U.S. citizenship.

Find the hall article here:   http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/senators-to-unveil-the-ex-patriot-act-to-respond-to-facebooks-saverins-tax-scheme/

What this story really means to expats?

According to current regulations, a US citizen regarded as a covered individual who renounces citizenship pays an exit tax that treats his currently-owned stock holdings (and virtually all personal assets for that matter) as if they’d all been sold on the day of expatriation.

In addition to the capital gains levied on everything you own, US Senator Chuck Schumer (D) of New York and Senator Bob Casey (D) of Pennsylvania want to penalize expats who’ve renounced citizenship by taxing all future capital gains earned in the US at 30%.

What all these means to an expat with a net worth of $2 million or greater (or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 per year over the last five years) will be impose a 30% tax on the capital gains applied to them “no matter where he or she resides.” It will also backdate 10 years.

I will say that´s pretty heavy and against freedom, they want to tax you if you ever acquired or had the fortune of being born with US citizenship no mattering how long you live outside the country.

These conditions could get worse in the future like in Argentina, their citizens are not allowed to take out anything but a small bit of cash to travel with.

Assuming the nonsense being spouted by the two Democratic senators from New York and Pennsylvania actually does get passed, it’s likely going to make the search for foreign asset diversification that much more difficult.

There are still options and you would be wise if you consider establishing your residence in another country, investing in properties or moving your money overseas as away to store some value. Even though it will be getting more difficult for Americans to do so, there are still some places like South America, Ecuador that still has potential. You will be able to get some cash outside that can’t be immediately seized without following well-established international legal procedures.

Whichever plans you decide to follow do not delay and be sure to actually do it. I could not comment on the latest attempt by the US authorities, just that if you think it maybe your case, there are many ways to get an account here in Ecuador, let me know if you need more details…. Just get moving!Image

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