Coronavirus pandemic exposes inequality in Ecuador’s Guayaquil (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - When Victoria Sanchez and her mother, Eufemia Nicolaza Sanches Pin, showed up at their local public hospital in Ecuador's Guayaquil for Sanches Pin's weekly dialysis treatment last month, hospital staff refused to let the mother, a diabetic, in because she had a runny nose. Hospital staff worried it could be COVID-19 and …

The hidden toll of lockdown on rainforests (BBC Future Planet)

QUITO, ECUADOR -  You might be forgiven for thinking that the global lockdown measures keeping us all at home can only have been good for the environment. Pollution in cities has decreased, wild animals have increasingly been spotted entering urban areas, and many new cycle lanes have opened up worldwide. But in the world’s tropical …

Visions of a Crisis: Difficult days in Ecuador (Literary Review of Canada)

QUITO, ECUADOR - The first time I cried was Saturday, March 21. It was a beautiful morning, and I was sitting at my window, staring at the sun-kissed Andes Mountains around Quito. But I couldn’t hear cars honking on my normally bustling street. There were no car alarms, either. The furniture store next door wasn’t blasting reggaeton …

U.S. allies, encouraged by Washington, said goodbye to their Cuban doctors. As coronavirus surges, some are arguing for their return. (Washington Post)

[Co-written with Anthony Faiola] The doctors and nurses began boarding planes late last year, Cuban professionals who had come to aid Ecuador’s health-care system, their time cut short by a government that no longer wanted them. Ecuador is one of a handful of U.S. allies that fell in step with the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on Cuba, …

Indigenous race into Ecuador’s Amazon to escape coronavirus (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Nemonte Nenquimo, an Indigenous Waorani leader from Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, watched as her Indigenous colleagues, family and friends rushed back to their territory this past week, attempting to escape the threat of the coronavirus engulfing the region. Some travelled by car or bus, others flew by charter plane or travelled by boat …

Ecuador’s vanishing jaguars: the big cat vital to rainforest survival (The Guardian)

QUITO, ECUADOR -  Across the American continent, from the north of Mexico to Argentina, the jaguar has long been revered for its strength and power. But in some parts of Ecuador, the largest cat in South America is increasingly at risk as roads, mining and agriculture take over the rainforests. The loss of habitat is …

Ecuador: Protesters cautiously optimistic after deal with gov’t (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Jose Pilataxi danced around a fire in the centre of the Ecuadorian capital Quito on Sunday night, celebrating with thousands of other protesters the cancelation of an austerity package that sparked violent protests across the country for 11 days and brought the economy to a standstill. "I'm very very happy for the …

Ecuador’s indigenous people are leading the anti-government protests. They have a record of ousting presidents. (Washington Post)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Juan Oshcu traveled more than six hours from his rural farm, walking and hitching rides, to reach the Ecuadoran capital. For three nights, he’s slept on wooden benches in one of the city’s cultural centers, a temporary base for the thousands of indigenous protesters who have arrived here this week. “We have …

Ecuador unrest: What led to the mass protests? (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Mass anti-government protests have paralysed Ecuadoran transportation and other services for more than a week. Protesters are angry over President Lenin Moreno's decision to cut decades-old fuel subsidies and implement tax and labour reforms. "The people, united, will never be defeated," demonstrators chanted as they briefly breached a security line and entered …