Johan Klok

    50 new trees and plants for the Botanical Garden of Cuenca

    During a delivery ceremony last Friday, "Viveros del Austro" donated 50 vegetal species from five continents to the Botanical Garden of Cuenca.

    The donated trees and plants have been planted on the edge of the Botanical Garden that faces Av. 24 de Mayo. Once fully grown, this vegetation forms a natural noise barrier.

    Among the donated species are cedars from Europe, alders, willows, hornbeam, maples, and elms. The species have already undergone a long adaptation process in Cuenca. This adaptation process was not successful for all plants. Various maples, firs, and spruces did not survive. Other species, like the cedars, have slow growth and won't get as high as in their original habitat.

    Johan Klok

    Heritage buildings in Cuenca are a burden to their owners

    There are about 3,400 heritage buildings in the Historic Center of Cuenca. The owners of heritage buildings have to obligation to keep their heritage buildings in good conditions. El Mercurio reports that this makes these houses a burden for their owners.

    High costs but no government support

    • Maintaining a heritage building can cost up to 50% more than maintaining a modern building.
    • The materials with which many heritage buiildings were constructed, are complicated to obtain. Examples of thes these building materials are adobe, stones, clay, reed, tiles, plaster, brass, marble, wood, etc.
    • There is no financial support from the government to help private owners to preserve heritages.


    • Owners who don't maintain their heritage buildings can be sent to jail for one to three years, according to article 237 of the criminal code (COIP).
    • The Municipality of Cuenca has sent notifications to the owners of 170 neglected heritage buildings to warn them that they mustcomply with the national and local rules, which means that they must maintain their heritage buildings and prevent further destruction.
    • 145 of these 170 buildings are in a bad state and 21 are in ruins. The remaining four buildings have been classified as unfinished.

    Johan Klok

    Ecuadorian Salary Examples

    Ecuadorian salary examples from the website Ofertas y Empleos. The minimum salary in Ecuador is USD 425 per month in 2022 but about half of the population doesn't have a formal job and earns considerably less.

    Johan Klok

    English proficiency: Ecuador ranks 82 out of 111 countries

    In the 2022 EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI (pdf)), Ecuador ranks 82 out of 111 countries with 466 points out of 700. The country with the best results is the Netherlands (661 points).

    The top four provinces in Ecuador:

    1. Guayas (502 points out of 700)
    2. Tungurahua (492 points)
    3. Pichincha (482 points)
    4. Azuay (477 points)

    The top four cities in Ecuador:

    1. Guayaquil (518)
    2. Ambato (497)
    3. Quito (495)
    4. Cuenca (477)

    Per gender in Ecuador:

    • Men: 511
    • Women: 495

    Ranking in Latin America (see also the added image):

    1. Argentina (662)
    2. Costa Rica (636)
    3. Cuba (636)
    4. Paraguay (626)
    5. Bolivia (626)
    6. Chile (624)
    7. Honduras (622)
    8. Uruguay (621)
    9. El Salvador (619)
    10. Peru (517)
    11. Dominican Republic (514)
    12. Brazil (505)
    13. Guatemala (505)
    14. Nicaragua (499)
    15. Venezuela (492)
    16. Panama (482)
    17. Colombia (477)
    18. Ecuador (466)
    19. Mexico (447)
    20. Haiti (421)

    Johan Klok

    Cuenca crime update: "Cuenca suffers from an onslaught of crime"

    Newspaper El Mercurio has published an article about the current situation in Cuenca regarding crime.

    Key points from the article:

    • Several police stations in Cuenca are barricaded with metal fences to prevent attacks.
    • There is fear and uncertainty among the inhabitants.
    • Last week, hitmen on motorcycles shot at three people in a car. Two of the victims are in a hospital with a reserved prognosis. One of the victims has been sentenced for the crime of robbery in Guayaquil.
    • Last week, A 25-year-old woman was murdered. The presumed murderer was her cohabitant and has been arrested by the police.
    • There was also a kidnapping, but no information about this kidnapping is known other than the arrival of police officers of the Anti-Kidnapping and Extortion Unit to carry out an operation.
    • There are daily robberies of people, homes, businesses, motorcycles and car accessories.
    • The province of Azuay has recently got 160 new police officers. There are now 1,856 police officers working in Azuay.
    • 180 police officers do investigative and intelligence work.
    • The aim is to incorporate 1,000 new police officers in Azuay within the next three years.
    • Street operations have been intensified with the support of the army.
    • In several areas in the Cuenca urban area, inhabitants organize nightly surveillance tours to prevent crime.

    Johan Klok

    Only invoices of less than USD 50 can be issued without the buyer's data

    The SRI has lowered the limit of invoices that can be issued as 'consumidor final' from USD 200 to USD 50. This means that buyers need to provide their ID number (or tax number) when the invoice is USD 50 or higher.

    Johan Klok

    An Ecuadorian chef’s eco-regenerative cuisine comes to Quito

    Surface Magazine mentions Foresta, which is Rodrigo Pacheco’s new restaurant in Quito. Rodrigo Pacheco was a participant in Netflix’s Final Table and is the owner of the restaurant Bocavaldivia on the coast in the province of Manabí. See Surface Magazine to read more.

    Johan Klok

    Public prosecutor murdered in Babahoyo

    Public prosecutor Federico Estrella was murdered in Babahoyo on the evening of August 15, 2022. Hitmen shot six bullet at him when he returned home after working at a university. He died in a hospital. Estrella was working on drug related cases as public prosecutor.