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 …

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: 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 …

Ecuador unrest: Protests erupt for 6th day over fuel subsidy cuts (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Paralysing protests in Ecuador continued on Tuesday over a series of labour and tax reforms and President Lenin Moreno's decision to scrap decades-old fuel subsidies. Thousands of indigenous people who had been marching towards the capital, Quito, descended on the city on Tuesday. Protesters were reportedly able to briefly cross security lines …

In Ecuador, one woman has given shelter to over 8,500 Venezuelans (Al Jazeera)

JUNCAL, ECUADOR - The sun had already set when a group of 10 Venezuelans trickled into Carmen Carcelen's home in northern Ecuador late last month. They joined about 100 others who were already there. Two volunteers immediately invited the new houseguests to put down their tattered suitcases and backpacks, and offered each person a bowl of soup. …

Life on the Amazon oil frontier: From exploration to ecotourism (Mongabay)

LLANCHAMA, ECUADOR - A long passenger boat floats abandoned outside Andres Machoa’s house, along the Tiputini River in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. The community bought the boat more than five years ago when the state-owned oil company, Petroamazonas, moved into the area and promised everyone stable jobs, including as water taxi conductors to transport their staff …