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Ecuador’s Minister of Interior to meet with U.S. Officials to discuss Public Safety and Anti-Drug Trafficking Progress and Initiatives

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Minister Jose Serrano will also present on Ecuador’s new management models, innovative use of technology, and public policies at the Wilson Center on January 30, 2015

Washington, D.C. (January 27, 2015) – Ecuador’s Minister of Interior Dr. José Serrano will conduct meetings with representatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on January 29, 2015 to discuss Ecuador’s security initiatives, including its recent successes in combating drug trafficking and violent crime, as well as progress in U.S.-Ecuador security relations and their importance for the region at large.

Minister Serrano’s visit seeks to broaden U.S.-Ecuador cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, public safety, and organized crime – one of the biggest threats to security in the region. Since 2009, Ecuador has invested more than $2.5 billion in security, including $539 million last year alone. These investments translated into police training and better equipment for the armed forces, including planes, helicopters, and submarine refurbishment.

In 2014, Ecuador dismantled 496 drug trafficking organizations and 24 organized crime organizations. Although Ecuador is not a significant producer of drugs, it has consistently increased prevention and control efforts against illegal trafficking due to being located between two of the largest producing countries in the world.

In 2014, according to the Gallup’s Law and Order Index for Security in Latin America, Ecuador obtained 63 points out of 100 – marking a 14 point improvement from previous years. Out of the 21 countries included in the report, Nicaragua, Panamá, and Chile lead the region followed by Ecuador and Uruguay.

The Andean country also ranks among the top 10 most successful countries in the fight against drugs according to the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC). The UNODC also ranks Ecuador 4th in maritime drug seizures.

Minister Serrano will present on Ecuador’s public safety strategy at the “Innovations in Citizen Security in Ecuador” event, co-sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank, on Friday, January 30th at the Wilson Center at 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The event will feature a discussion on Ecuador’s recent developments in citizen security—new management models, innovative use of technology, and new public policies.


Monday, July 7th, 2014

La Embajada de Ecuador en Estados Unidos en su misión de apoyar la atracción de inversión extranjera al Ecuador anuncia el lanzamiento de la convocatoria dirigida a empresas Ecuatorianas interesadas en recibir inversión extranjera con el objetivo de internacionalizar o expandir sus operaciones.

La convocatoria nace de un esfuerzo conjunto con la IXEL Global y la Alianza para el Emprendimiento e Innovación, que es una red de actores públicos y privados que buscan construir un mejor Ecuador en base al Emprendimiento e Innovación y cuyos miembros son: AESOFT, Asociación Ecuatoriana de Jóvenes Emprendedores, Auconsis, Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina – CAF, Cámara de Comercio de Guayaquil, CAMECOL, CARANA Ecuador, CONQUITO, CONGOPE, Corporación Favorita, Corporación GPF, Consejo de Cámaras, CRISFE, HUMBOLDT MANAGEMENT, IEPI, Grupo KFC, KOOM, Losning Solutions, MIPRO, Nutrivital, Teojama Comercial, PACO, Play & Build, RIPCONCIV, SEDEI, SDR Lawyers, Startups and Ventures, Banco Solidario, TEVCOL, Transfuel, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Saltiveri Ogilvy y YACHAY.

La convocatoria está dirigida a empresas Ecuatorianas legalmente constituidas y pertenecientes a los sectores de software y tecnología, energía renovable, turismo y agroindustria.

Los ganadores de la convocatoria tendrán la oportunidad de presentar sus empresas ante una red de inversionistas ángeles en la Embajada de Ecuador en Washington D.C, y como parte de su premio, tendrán acceso a asesoría personalizada que los apoyará en su preparación previa su presentación en Estados Unidos. Adicionalmente tendrán la oportunidad de participar en una misión empresarial en Estados Unidos, en la cual podrán mantener reuniones con actores empresariales de su interés.

La convocatoria estará abierta hasta el 14 de julio del 2014. Pueden ingresar su aplicación en el siguiente link:

Promoting Ecuador Through the Arts

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Esau Chauca, a Human resources Specialist and Executive Director of the Ayazama Ecuadorian Cultural Center in New York, arrived to the United States when he was only 5-years-old. Like many immigrants, Esau had to quickly adapt to the lifestyle and language of a new country, which created a disconnect from his native Ecuador.

After getting introduced to the founder of the Ayazamana Ballet, they partnered together to launch the Ayazamana Ecuadorian Cultural Center – a place where people from all backgrounds learn about Ecuadorian traditions through the art of dance and vocal lessons.

Ayazamana, or rest of soul in the Kichwa language, is what attracts people to learning more about the Ecuadorian culture says Esau. “Many of our ancestral traditions help people find themselves in the vast space called universe. These traditions also give people a greater meaning to our interaction with nature and the world in general.”

The Ayazamana Cultural Center’s mission is to promote Ecuadorian culture and educate the community about Ecuadorian customs and traditions through the arts.

At the cultural center, kids and adults get introduced to the basics of singing, before introducing them to traditional Ecuadorian and contemporary Spanish music. The Ayazamana Dance Group is perhaps the cultural center’s best-known performance, performing traditional dances from different regions of Ecuador. The fundamental goal of the Ayazamana Dance Group is to allow the community to have greater access to Ecuadorian culture through dance, so that the public can appreciate the richness and diversity that exists in Ecuador.

The dance group performs throughout the year in different types of venues such as theaters, libraries, government institutions, museums, universities, and parades.”

“Through the cultural center, I have met many people who have motivated me and inspired me to share the Ecuadorian culture with others through the services we provide.”

Esau says his experience at the cultural center is not limited to managing the organization. He finds the most motivation interacting with other people who share his passion for Ecuadorian culture and values.

“Being part of this project has given me the opportunity to understand and embrace what it means to be Ecuadorian and to feel proud about it.”

Helen Arteaga—Healthier Communities, Better Communities For All!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Helen Arteaga is the director of Plaza del Sol Family Health Center in Corona, Queens. Born in New York to Ecuadorian parents, Helen was raised in Ecuador until age 12.

She spent her teenage years working alongside her dad as he struggled to advocate for the Corona community and assist residents to seek amnesty during the Reagan years. Helen often felt as if her home was an immigration office given the number of individuals her family helped.

“My culture became stronger,” says Helen. “Seeing how my father helped his community made it very clear that nothing was impossible for the Hispanic community of Corona if we stayed united.”

In the late 80s and early 90s, AIDS was taking a toll among Hispanics in the United States. During this time, Helen saw the injustices endured by the Hispanic community when seeking healthcare in an area where not many medical providers spoke Spanish and translators were not available at local clinics and hospitals. Many were undocumented and were unaware of Medicaid or other programs that could help them receive the care they needed.

After the death of her father, she set out to build a health center that would provide quality healthcare to the residents of her beloved Corona. Growing up, Helen knew instinctively, from her own experience, that Corona lacked healthcare resources and that many of the residents did not have access to affordable healthcare.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from New York University and a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University, Helen partnered with Urban Health Plan, Inc. to open Plaza del Sol. The center, which cares for all residents of Corona, opened in 2009 and has provided healthcare to more than 22,000 patients since opening.

“It is invaluable to have someone who can explain things to you in Spanish when you go to the doctor’s office in a place like Corona, Queens—where there is a large Spanish-dominant community,” said Helen.

Plaza Del Sol is changing the face of healthcare in Corona. Eighty percent of their pediatric patients are vaccinated, 60 percent of patients are screened for cancer, and 100 percent of pregnant mothers have carried their children full-term. But at Plaza Del Sol, it is more than just caring for the wellbeing of the individual. Plaza del Sol also provides social support to help many cope with the challenges of becoming Americanized and they also offer programs for youth including homework help and mentoring. Recently, it opened a community garden to help patients learn about eating healthy.

“I can say that the Corona community is healthier because of Plaza del Sol,” said Helen. “You can see it. You see fewer kids missing school and fewer parents missing work because fewer children are sick. The patients are dreaming more. If you are healthy, anything is possible. You can work harder and you can study harder. A healthy community is a better community for all us.”

Helen has been honored by numerous community based organizations. In 2010, she was one of 31 women selected by the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues to be featured in “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen,” a series highlighting women who made a difference in their communities. She also received the Community Impact Award, Humanitarian Award and City of New York American Dreamer Award.

Helen Arteaga—¡Comunidades Saludables, Mejores Comunidades Para Todos!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Helen Arteaga, directora del Centro de Salud Plaza del Sol en Corona, Queens, nació en Nueva York de padres ecuatorianos. Sin embargo, se crió en Ecuador hasta los 12 años de edad.

Pasó su adolescencia trabajando junto a su padre, mientras el se esforzaba para abogar por la comunidad de Corona y ayudar a los otros residentes a solicitar la amnistía durante los años de administración Reagan. Helen a menudo sentía como si su casa era una oficina de inmigración, dado el número de individuos a los que su familia ayudaba.

“Mi cultura se hizo más fuerte”, dice Helen. “Al ver cómo mi padre ayudó a su comunidad dejó muy en claro que nada era imposible para la comunidad hispana de Corona si nos manteníamos unidos.”

Entre los años 80 y 90, el SIDA estaba causando estragos en la comunidad hispana de los Estados Unidos. Durante este tiempo, Helen vio a los hispanos tropezar con varias injusticias, así como no conseguir servicios médicos apropiados por falta de personas que supieran hablar español y la escasez de traductores en clínicas y hospitales locales.

Tras la muerte de su padre, ella se propuso construir un centro de salud que proporcionara atención médica de calidad a los residentes de Corona. Helen sabía por instinto, y por su propia experiencia, que Corona carecía de los recursos sanitarios y que muchos de los residentes no tenían acceso a cuidados de salud accesibles.

Luego de obtener su titulo universitario en química de la Universidad de Nueva York (NYU, por sus siglas en inglés), y su maestría en administración pública de la Universidad de Columbia, Helen se asoció con Urban Health Plan, Inc. para abrir Plaza del Sol. El centro dirigido por Helen, ha logrado atender a más de 22,000 pacientes que abrió sus puertas en el 2009.

“Es indispensable tener a una persona quien pueda explicarte las cosas en Español cuando vas a una oficina de un doctor en un lugar como Corona, Queens—donde la comunidad predominantemente de habla español ”, aseguró Helen.

Plaza Del Sol está cambiando la cara de los servicios médicos en Corona. El 80% de sus pacientes pediátricos son vacunados, el 60% de los pacientes son examinados para detectar el cáncer, y el 100 % de las mujeres embarazadas han logrado concebir con éxito.

Pero en la Plaza del Sol, se provee mas que el cuidado medico del individuo. Plaza del Sol también proporciona apoyo social para ayudar a muchos a hacer frente a los retos de americanizarse y también ofrece programas para los jóvenes, incluyendo ayuda con la tarea y tutorías. Recientemente, se abrió un jardín de la comunidad para ayudar a los pacientes a aprender acerca de la alimentación saludable.

En el año 2010, Helen fue una de 31 mujeres seleccionadas por el New York City Commission on Women’s Issues para ser parte de la edición de “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen”, una serie de historias que destacan a las mujeres que han hecho un impacto en sus comunidades. Además, recibió un premio de Impacto Comunitario, un premio de Humanitaria y el New York American Dreamer Award.