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July 9, 2015

Enhancements to Consular Services in Quito and Guayaquil

The Consular Section of the Embassy in Quito and the US General Consulate in Guayaquil, in order to enhance our customer’s experience, have made several improvements to our processes.  These include expanding the interview waiver program for non-immigrant visas, and offering a more efficient process.  As of July 6:

Applicant will not be required to be present for an interview or be fingerprinted, if they fulfill the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be physically present in Ecuador to take advantage of these programs.
  • All children under 14 years old who are applying for first time and whose parents have currently valid visas for five years;
  • Applicants 80 years old and above;
  • Applicants renewing tourist visas issued in Ecuador with the maximum validity of 5 years that have expired less than 48 months ago.

Visa applicants, who are physically in the country, renewing a non-tourist visas granted in Ecuador that have expired less than 12 months ago, need to verify on the following link  to see if they need to be present for an interview.

Applicants who qualify for the interview waiver program must visit, answer the questions and follow the instructions to send their application packages by DHL to the Consular Section of Quito or Guayaquil, according to their preference. There is no need to schedule an appointment to drop off  the application packages.

Additional information about the requirements for the interview waiver program can be found at An online questionnaire will guide applicants through the process.

Passports will be returned to applicants by DHL, as is the current practice.

April 23, 2015

Coast Guard crews drop medical supplies to injured crewmembers

A Coast Guard aircrew dropped medical supplies to a Colombian fishing vessel 900 miles northwest of Galapagos Island, Sunday, responding to a request by Ecuadorian authorities.

At approximately 10 p.m., Saturday, Coast Guard 11th District watchstanders received a call from personnel aboard the fishing vessel Sea Gem, a Colombian-flagged purse seiner, requesting medical supplies for two injured crewmembers aboard. The operator of the vessel reported they were conducting routine fishing operations in air and on water when their helicopter’s cabin caught on fire. The helicopter crew conducted an emergency landing in the water and was recovered by the fishing vessel. The two distressed members suffered severe burns, and the crew administered first aid.

A Coast Guard flight surgeon was consulted and recommended an airdrop of medical supplies and advised the patients receive high-level care as soon as they arrive to shore.

At approximately 7 a.m., Sunday, a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, flew from Costa Rica to the fishing vessel and successfully dropped two units of medical supplies, provided by the Red Cross, by parachute to personnel aboard the Sea Gem at approximately 11:40 p.m.

The operator of the Sea Gem will maintained communication with the Coast Guard until it pulled into port in the Galapagos Islands. 

"This case is a classic example of the Coast Guard's amazing flexibility and rapid cross-agency partnering," said Capt. Rich Lorenzen, commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. "A C-130 aircrew deployed to Central America in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South, seamlessly switches from law enforcement to Search and Rescue, to air drop critical medical gear. It doesn't get any better than that - great teamwork and execution by all involved."

April 13, 2015

A Visit to Imbabura strengthens cultural ties and supports English learning

Last Thursday and Friday, Ambassador Adam Namm visited Cotacachi and Ibarra to participate in various activities that strengthen cultural ties between the United States and Ecuador.

Ambassador Namm attended the graduation ceremony of 36 students in the College Horizons microscholarship program and offered his best wishes to 52 students selected to participate in the upcoming class of this English program. College Horizons targets low-income students. In Imbabura, the program is carried out in various cities in cooperation with la Universidad Técnica del Norte.

In his speech, Ambassador Namm congratulated the students for completing two years of English classes and cultural activities, such as camping. “I want to congratulate you and assure you that the future will offer you many opportunities not only to practice what you have learned, but also to reach newer and higher goals.”

The Ambassador also had the opportunity to meet with Pablo Jurado, the Prefect, and with the Mayor of Ibarra, Álvaro Castillo, to discuss topics of common interest. They discussed collaboration in cultural and environmental programs and technical cooperation. As part of the visit, the Embassy delegation met with participants in projects with refugees and vulnerable communities that receive support from the United States Government, in collaboration with local municipalities and various NGOs.

Finally, with the goal to build the relationship between Ecuadorians and Americans, Ambassador Namm met with American citizens living in Cotacachi.


March 29, 2015

American Spiritual Ensemble

Sponsored by the US Embassy and the Teatro Nacional Sucre Foundation, the American Spiritual Ensemble will perform at the Sacred Music Festival in Quito and Chota Valley.

The American Spiritual Ensemble will begin their visit to Ecuador with a performance at the Chota Coliseum on March 29 at 3:30pm. On March 31, they will host a workshop in Quito for music students in the Teatro Variedades at 11:00am.  The concerts in Quito will be on April 1 in the La Merced Church and April 2 in the Teatro Nacional Sucre at 7:30pm.  All of the workshops and concerts are free and open to the public.

Since its founding in 1995, the American Spiritual Ensemble has captivated audiences in its home country, Spain, Ireland, Poland, China, Ecuador, and Brazil. This group brings together various talented vocalists from the United States, including members of the New York Metropolitan Opera, Broadway singers, and notable music professors from prestigious American universities. 

The Spirituals are folk songs that originated with African slaves, who brought their songs, rhythms, and harmony to Christian songs they learned in the North America. Today, the Spirituals are sung to bring joy, strengthen faith, and create a sense of community.

March 6, 2015

American Corner

On March 6, the US Embassy opened to the public the renovated American Corner in the Children’s Room at the “Gonzalez Suárez” Municipal Library in the Metropolitan Cultural Center. The remodeling project, which was supported by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, redesigned the space and added new book collections and presentation equipment.

“The renovation and additional resources at the American Corner allows us to reaffirm our commitment to foster cultural exchange between the two countries. This commitment was established through an agreement between the Diplomatic Mission and the Quito Metropolitan District Municipality since February 2010,” affirmed Robert McInturff, the Cultural Attaché at the Embassy.


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