Ecuador Situation Analysis

UPDATE 10/4/2010: The crisis in Ecuador has passed and the finger pointing has started was it a coup attempt or was it just a group of unorganized police upset at a new law which cut their benefits.  The bottom line is that things are back to normal in Ecuador and even during the crisis the most noticiable effects were fewer people outdoors as the were inside watching the developments on TV throughout most of Ecuador.

Original Update below:

As it's one of our most popular destinations in Latin America, AmeriSpan is following the news in Ecuador closely.  So far, we feel that the reports in the media don't quite match what is happening on the ground. In other words, the reports tend to make things seem worse than they are.  This is somewhat being fanned by President Rafael Correa's fiery personality.

We have been in touch with our contacts in Ecuador and this is what we have learned:

  • The protests are mainly the police protesting a new law which will result in a cut to their benefits. This was not an organized countrywide coup attempt with the military backing. 
  • The protests are mainly at police headquarters, stations and academies and are not wide spread. For instance, our contacts in Cuenca informed us that all was quiet there and classes were held as normal.
  • International flights had been canceled earlier today in Quito and Guayaquil, mainly because police handle customs & immigration. Domestic flights have supposedly continued to fly.  As of 20:00 EST, the Quito airport is open again to international flights.

Our Analysis

In the 17 years that AmeriSpan has been sending students to Ecuador, we have seen several coups where the President has been forced from the office. We have even seen one week where Ecuador had 3 different Presidents.  It is important to note that this is NOT like these past cases because President Correa has an approval rating of 50% or more Ecuadorians and the military is backing President Correa.  Also in the past Coups and coup attempts that we have witnessed in Ecuador and other Latin American countries, there was not widespread bloodshed and our participants were more or less unaffected.

As of September 30th, our opinion is that participants should NOT postpone or cut short Ecuador study abroad programs.  However, AmeriSpan never wants financial considerations to factor into your individual decisions and with this in mind we are doing the following:

  1. Any fees related to postponing or changing your program will be waived if you are scheduled to start an Ecuador program before October 20, 2010.
  2. If you are currently participating on a program in Ecuador and want to leave early, we will refund you for any unused time or transfer those fees to another AmeriSpan program.

For additional information, we recommend: – an excellent source of worldwide information

US State Dept Ecuador News

BBC Coments from locals


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