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August 3, 2015

Concerts by award-winning blues guitarist in Riobamba, Guayaquil, and Quito 

The U.S. Embassy in Quito and the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil have publicly invited people to attend to the following free concerts, featuring Chicago blues guitarist Lurrie Bell, sponsored by the Quito Blues Festival 2015, la Casa de la Cultura Núcleo del Chimborazo and el Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano de Guayaquil:

Riobamba: Tuesday, August 4th, 19h00, Alfonso Chávez Theater, la Casa de la Cultura Núcleo del Chimborazo (Rocafuerte y 10 de agosto).

Guayaquil: Wednesday, August 5th, 19h00, Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano (Luis Urdaneta  112 y Gral. Córdova).

Quito - Quito Blues Festival:
-Thursday, August 6th, 19h00, Parque El Arbolito (Av. 6 de Diciembre y Patria).
-Friday, August 7th, 19h00, Parque El Arbolito

Lurrie learned to play guitar at just 5 years old, inspired by his father, the famous harmonica player Carey Bell. He grew up surrounded by Chicago blues legends such as Eddie Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Eddie C. Campblell, Eddie Clearwater, Lovie Lee, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Dawkins, and renowned Muddy Waters.

According to the Boston Globe, Lurrie Bell is "the son of Chicago blues who epitomizes blues culture and is the Windy City’s best guitarist."

He has received several awards throughout his career, including: Best Traditional Blues Album for Chicago Blues: A Living History, The (Revolution Continues) in 2012; 2013 Blues Prix de L'Academie de Jazz de France; Best Guitarist 2014; Best Blues CD of 2014 for "Blues in My Soul"; Best Traditional Blues Male Artist- 2015 Blues Music Awards.


July 28, 2015

Cotopaxi Activity Monitored with Technical Assistance and Support from U.S. Staff

On Monday, July 27, Ambassador Namm visited the monitoring station at the Geophysical Institute of Ecuador to highlight U.S. cooperation with Ecuador in the effort to collect information on seismic and volcanic activity at the Cotopaxi volcano.  The visit underscored recent donations of monitoring equipment and the visits of U.S. expert from the U.S. Geological Society (USGS) to Ecuador under the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) from the Office of U.S. Disaster Assistance at USAID.

The donation came on response to a request from the Ecuadorian Secretariat for Risk Management (SNGR), and included four broadband seismometers with webcams, digital telemetry equipment, and portable instruments for sampling volcanic ash, which were installed in July and are collecting and sending information back to the Geophysical Institute.

The donation is valued at more than $170,000, and was supplemented with technical assistance from a team of four experts from VDAP, including a seismologist, two engineers and one volcanologist. While in the country, the team trained Ecuadorian scientists in how to operate the new equipment, interpret the data collected, and repair existing equipment. These efforts were aimed at improving Lahar monitoring systems for the two primary drainage channels from Cotopaxi to the Pita and Cutuchi rivers.

Ambassador Namm highlighted the benefits of bilateral cooperation and congratulated the technical team from the Geophysical Institute.


July 27, 2015

Team of Climbers Attempt the Climp up Cayambe to Celebrate 25 years since the Enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On Sunday, July 26, a joint team of American and Ecuadorian mountain climbers, both with and without disabilities, attempted to reach the summit of Cayambe to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1980. The climb marked the final challenge for the group after several months of training under the project "Overcoming Barriers: Cayambe Challenge 2015." Unfortunately, due to inclement weather in the area, the team failed to reach the summit. However, each of the climbers pushed themselves to their maximum limits, demonstrating perseverance and true leadership. Team Leader David Krupa said, "Despite unimaginable climatic difficulties, the team went further than we thought possible; and we learned that it is not about reaching the top, but rather the effort and determination we rally along the way."

The U.S. Embassy in Quito sponsored the initiative through a partnership with the "Range of Motion Project" (ROMP). Prior to their climb, U.S. Ambassador Adam Namm congratulated the group for their existing accomplishments, and stressed the importance of continuing to fight for a more inclusive society. "People around the world have the right to legal protection that ensures them equal opportunities and access. I hope you continue to inspire us to break down more walls and overcome obstacles. "

Since 1990, the ADA has guaranteed equal opportunity employment for persons with disabilities, prohibited discrimination in public places, and ensured equal opportunity for public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications in the United States. The law was the first inclusive declaration passed by the U.S. Congress and marked a milestone in the struggle for civil rights for people with disabilities. Since its passage, the legislation has served as a model for establishing similar decrees and practices in other countries.


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.


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