Ph: 098-41-95-156(Ec) / email:

- March 2012 -

  • March 11th, DOGS poisoned all over Vilcabamba and surroundings

People report having their dogs poisoned today, this is lasting since years in Vilcabamba...Who does it? Who orders it?....THIS HAS TO STOP!


  • March 8th, Attack of 2 Canadian tourists while visiting Mandango in Vilcabamba, FACTS AND WARNING OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT!

On Thursday, 8 March, on Mandango mountain, two Canadian tourists, one male and one female, suffered a brutal attack by three individuals who were heavily armed with a machete and a gun.

Upon hearing of this, we rushed up the Mandango: the local government, the teniente político, the prosecutor’s representative, the National Police, and some fellow townspeople with the intention of helping in the rescue. We arrived on time and were able to save the tourists from the aggressors, although the young woman was taken to Loja as she had suffered blows and was wounded—she is doing well at this time.

Our intention is to reach all citizens, residents and tourists of Vilcabamba with some precautionary measures to be taken prior to climbing Mandango or going to other tourist attractions:

Visit Mandango only when accompanied by a Native Guide.

Do not carry money, documents, etc.

Always inform the authorities of the places you will be visiting.

Register with the Vilcabamba Tourist Information Center.

As the authorities of this Parroquia, we ask you for your help to avoid these mishaps.

In the same manner we ask for your trust since we are doing whatever is humanly possible to locate these thugs and imprison them, thereby guaranteeing the security of the community and tourists alike.

The hotel that does not warn its guests of these provisions shall be held directly responsible for whatever might happen in regards to the integrity and security of its guests.

Caring for the community, its residents and tourists.

Adalber Gaona Gahona

President of the local govt. (Vilcabamba is a parish of the Loja canton).

Articles in International press since then:


  • March 4th and 5th 2012  VILCABAMBATV working for Filming of German TV  ("Galileo" show)



- February 2012 -

  • TAME Flights Announces $69 Roundtrip

    The company Ecuadorian Military Air Transport (TAME) announced that all its destinations, both domestic and international, will be worth $ 69 roundtrip.

    Jorge Paez, head of marketing, TAME, explained that the offer applies for the 50 years of the company.
    Hence, Paez assure you that this is not related to the criticisms made ​​by the president, Rafael Correa, to raise the cost of the tickets. During the string of Saturday, 21 January, Correa threatened to take away the three aircraft delivered by the Government for keeping the rise in prices of the tickets.
    Paez stated that "the promotion price includes taxes, but you have to pay fuel surcharge and airport charges at international departures." "The promotion is valid for 10,000 seats available or until March 31," he said.
    The measure applies to all routes, ie nationwide: Galapagos, Cuenca, Loja, Manta, Santa Rosa, Esmeraldas, El Coca, Lago Agrio, Guayaquil and Quito, while international destinations are: Cali, Panama and Havana.


- October & November 2011 -

  • Cuenca, November 18th 2011 - In the morning, walking in the downtown of Cuenca , people looking at the sky...Orbs or UFOS were floating in the sky, about 7 of them...




  • Quito, 12 de noviembre de 2011, REGISTRO CIVIL / About the new Cedula...

"Ante inquietudes de los usuarios, en varias Agencias Provinciales de Registro Civil, relativas a que la cédula convencional (de fondo blanco y cubierta con mica) dejaría de tener vigencia en el 2012, la Dirección General de Registro Civil quiere desmentir categóricamente dicho rumor por ser absolutamente falso.
La validez del documento de identidad al que nos referimos, está registrada en la misma cédula y el propio usuario la conoce y puede consultar.
Únicamente perderá valor y deberá renovarse si el documento está deteriorado, caducado, con información desactualizada o se manifiesta en la cédula que es válida "hasta la muerte del titular".
El rumor también manifiesta que en caso de no renovarse el documento, por el actual que contiene un chip, el ciudadano se haría a creedor a una fuerte multa. Otra información equivocada, por las razones ya señaladas.
El rumor que hoy queda desmentido, había ocasionado una innecesaria congestión en las agencias y que los ciudadanos madruguen innecesariamente."


"Given concerns of users, several Provincial Civil Registry Agency, on the conventional card (white background covered with mica) cease to have effect in 2012, the Civil Registration Department wants to categorically deny the rumor to be absolutely false.
The validity of the identity to which we refer, is registered in the same card and the user knows and can see.
Only lose value and must be renewed if the document is damaged, expired or outdated information appears on the card that is good "until the death of owner."
The rumor also states that if the document is not renewed by the current containing a chip, the citizen would be subject to a heavy fine. Another wrong information, for the reasons already stated.
The rumor today is belied, had caused an unnecessary congestion in the agencies and citizens to get up early unnecessarily."



       What the new cedula looks like: Nueva Cédula

Requirements for foreigners:

1/ Certificado de permanencia legal o registro de extranjeros expedida por la Dirección de Extranjería del Ministerio de Gobierno.

2/ Passport with Visa

3/ Censo Actualizado

4/ Cédula anterior

(5/) In case of lost or robbed cedula, you must present the police report of loss.



  • News flash: Oct 31, 2011 "permiso de movilizacion"
Starting on Monday (Oct 31, 2011) if you are moving your household belongings from one house to another in Ecuador using your or a hired truck you will need a permit from the Policia Nacional to do so. It is called a "permiso de movilizacion"
This means more paperwork, (having to go personally to the Police, standing in line, getting photocopies of cedula, truck registration and possibly pay a fee) and you get a piece of paper authorizing you to pile your stuff into the truck and take it somewhere else. If you don't have the permit the truck will be retained for investigations and then ... (?)
The logic for this is to prevent the high rate of household goods burglaries, where they break and enter your house and move all your stuff out to a truck in minutes. This on its face seems logical, but again, it is an intrusion on personal freedoms, in order to combat crime. Plus I wonder if the street cops could identify a fake photoshopped document. I mean the thieves can be clever.


- September 2011 -

  • September 22nd 2011 Nathalie Duffau and receive award, 1rst Prize of Touristic Journalism in FITE 2011





  • September 9th 2011 Anonymous letter about foreign investors in Vilcabamba...


"The youth organization of the 18 districts of the parish of Free Vilca called Vilcabamba, whose names are anonymous, today, presented by the resounding rejection flyers to the excessive entry of foreign investors.

The message was disseminated through volatile sheets spread over the early morning hours by different households in the central part of the parish of Vilcabamba.

According to the group, the protest group was formed in several meetings of local youth belonging to the neighborhoods of the parish who have been analyzing the social problems facing the site.

"By means of retaliation can not give our names, we are a young group whose members belong to 18 districts of the parish and our desire is to stop some of this abuse that exists in our land, and that the authorities take a hand in the issue thanks for your cooperation" were the statements by email.

The passive protest aims to know and claim an undue rise in the land and lead to sustainable development reconciled to the descendants of the inhabitants of the valley of longevity."




- July 2011 -

  • July 29th 2011 Passing away of Brian O'Leary...Our condolences go to his wife, children and friends.





  • April 20th 2011 Passing away of Jose Poma (the Shoe Shine Boy we sponsored for a year and a half). The cause of his death is malign tumor in the nose due to sniffing glue...This death has broken our hearts...We wish him a nice return to the Creator. To see Jose's story go to "Friends of".





- April 2011 -

  • April 9th 2011 mentioned as one of the window for Medical Tourism in Cuenca promoting top doctors through video interviews (see those in section "Cuenca Videos")


  • April 8th 2011 Catamayo airport will be closed from January 2012 for 6 months and 12.9 Million will be invested



- March 2011 -

  • March 16th 2011 Closure of airport of Catamayo in July 2011 for ONE year (see April 8th revision of dates)


A short notice to anyone planning on coming to Vilcabamba after July 2011 – the link below is in Spanish for those who can read it.

The nearest airport to Vilcabamba (Catamayo) will be closed from about July 2011 for one year or so, as a result of the runway needing a substantial upgrade.

This will make it more difficult or time-consuming to reach Vilcabamba, as you will need to travel overland from the next nearest airport, which is Cuenca. This overland trip is usually about 4 hours or so to Loja, which itself is then an hour by bus to Vilcabamba.



  • March 11th 2011 Immediate Tsunami Warning


A massive magnitude 8.9 earthquake rocked the Japan coast on Friday,triggering tsunami warnings for twenty countries, including the coast of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. NOAA alerts indicate that the tsunami could reach Ecuador late afternoon to early evening on Friday. Action should be taken to protect life and property. A tsunami is a series of long ocean waves. Each individual wave crest can last 5 to 15 minutes or more and extensively flood coastal areas. The danger can continue for many hours after the initial wave as subsequent waves arrive. Tsunami wave heights cannot be predicted and the first wave may not be the
largest. All shores are at risk no matter which direction they face.

The Galapagos Islands may be especially vulnerable to large waves.
Extremely strong and unusual currents can accompany a tsunami. Debris picked up and carried by a tsunami amplifies its destructive power.
Simultaneous high tides or high surge can significantly increase the
tsunami hazard. Press reports note that President Correa has declared a state of exception/emergency and the coastal region may be subject to evacuation today.

Americans living near or visiting the coastal areas of Ecuador and the
Galapagos islands should monitor tsunami warnings on  and,  as well as local news


- January 2011 -

  • January 10th  2011 - Ecuador Offers Amnesty to Immigrants who Report Police Corruption Written by  InSight


Ecuador Offers Amnesty to Immigrants who Report Police Corruption

In what is both an unorthodox anti-corruption effort and an unusual political appeal to Ecuador's immigrant community, Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has offered citizenship to undocumented immigrants living in the country who give information to officials about corrupt police officers.
According to the Spanish news agency EFE, Correa provided a telephone hotline at a press conference on Saturday so that foreigners living in the country illegally can report extortion by local authorities. Citing a concern for corruption in his country, Correa told reporters that he had heard "reports of police officers who extort money from the 'undocumented'. There are districts where they locate foreigners who are illegally in the country and instead of following the established procedure, ask for money or other collateral.”

The president went on to offer citizenship as a reward to those who give information that leads to the apprehension of police officers who use such methods, saying “If we help you punish those bad elements of the police, we’ll give you papers, because you are contributing to the work of the national government."

The announcement is the latest development in Ecuador’s historically lax immigration policies, which until September of 2010 granted “universal citizenship” to those seeking to live in the country. According to the Washington, DC-based Institute for Policy Studies, Ecuador’s approach to immigration makes it a prime midpoint for human trafficking networks seeking access to the United States.




  • January 17th  2011 - Robberies go on in Vilcabamba region...


Latest attempts and actual robberies:

1. attempt: early hours of this morning, at Shawn's in Vilcabamba centro. Got up in his pj's to follow man/men who were marauding in the property in the dark. He/they got away.

2. robbery: yesterday, afternoon in daylight, at Alan & Lorita and Antonio & Marli in El Carmen neighborhood of Malacatos/Landangui. They all went to a meeting/party at 1 p.m. When they returned at 6 p.m. found they had been robbed. They are pretty sure they know the perpetrator(s). Police is investigating. Their 2 dogs were found poisoned and passed away.

It seems that this happens in waves...sort of just at the time we are beginning to let down our guard, bam! they strike. Let's keep vigilant.


- December 2010 -

  • December 9th 2010 - Ecuavisa TV reports on Raw food in Vilcabamba...









- November 2010 -

Confusion continues to reign regarding the rules for Sunday´s national census, in part because Ecuador´s census officials are still tinkering with the details.

Ecuador´s rule that requires citizens, residents and visitors to remain in their homes and hotels during the count is common practice in Latin America as well as in countries in Asia and Africa. Government officials say it is necessary in countries without extensive computer data bases that contain information about citizens, such as in the U.S. and most European countries. They also say the process is cheaper and more efficient than taking months to count all heads. On the question of inconvenience, they point out that the census happens only once in 10 years. 

Argentina´s census, which has rules similar to Ecuador´s, made the news in October when international news crews came to the country to cover the death of former president Nestor Kirchner. When they arrived at the Buenos Aires airport, reporters were told to go directly to their hotels and stay there until the conclusion of the census. The biggest complaint by foreigners regarded the prohibition of purchase and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Ecuador has similar rules including a three-day prohibition of alcohol sales.

The following is the Ecuadorian census office's official statement about the census. It was issued Nov. 19. Other advisories, in English, can be found on the U.S. and British Ecuador embassy websites.

The Ecuadorian National Institute of Statistic and Census is organizing the Population and Housing Census 2010. It will take place on November 28th. The census will start at 7:00 am and will finish at 5:00 pm all across the Ecuadorian territory.

We are asking all residents and visitors to stay in their homes and hotels the whole day of November 28th , from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm, in order to achieve a successful census process. We are thankful you for your comprehension.

The census is a traditional survey that happens every ten years in Ecuador. The information to be requested is totally confidential therefore people shouldn’t be worried about it. We also inform that all kind of shops (supermarkets, groceries stores, department stores, etc.) will be closed during the census until 5:00 pm. Nevertheless, hospitals, health centers, police service sand hotels will be opened normally.

We remind people that all kind of transportation by air, by land or by sea is suspended during the census timeframe (28th November), the only exceptions are the international flights and the foreign passengers who are flying from Ecuador continent to Galapagos Island.

The Population and Housing Census has only a statistics purpose. We remind you that it is technical and legally impossible to use this information for taxes, legal investigations or military recruitment. Despite of your migration condition, everybody who sleeps in Ecuadorian territory during the night of November 27th to November 28th will be counted in the census.

The 2010 Ecuadorian´s census will be on 28th November for the urban areas and since 28th November to 5th December for the rural areas. Three important operating will be managed: the individual housing operating is the biggest part of census; the second one is the survey in collective places like jail, convent or monastery; and, the last one is the homelessness census population that will be on the night of 27th November.

Passengers who are flying this day:
In the airport case, we are granting buses, van and a taxi services with the legal permission to transit. Hotels are taking care of their passengers’ transportation.

If a passenger comes to Ecuador with a tour arrangement or a travel agency, the transportation to hotel or ship will be covered by the travel agency.

If a passenger comes by himself (it means without a hotel reservation or travel agency), the passenger should help us and stay at the airport until 5:00 pm or take one of the legally allowed taxis to move to the place he decides either in Quito or Guayaquil.

We inform you that food services in the airport and hotels will be operating normally.

Residents who live in Ecuador:
It is important to remind you that you should only be asked questions that are on the census form.
If you want you can check the questions on our web site:

We would also like to remind people that on the Census questionnaire WE DON’T ASK:

• The Passport or ID number.
• How much and What kind of property or assets do you have
• If you want to share your house
• Your migration situation
• The house owner’s name
• Any personal details: salary, bank account, credit card number, password, or phone number.
• Finally, you shouldn’t sign any papers for the Ecuadorian Census.

For the Diplomatic Corps:
The Diplomatic Corps of each embassy has a special status. For this reason the diplomatic staff will not be part of the Ecuadorian census in terms of inquiries; however we request them to help us and don´t move during the census day. If somebody needs more information about this matter, please contact your embassy.

We would like to remind you that the information is: “confidential, and consequently we cannot publish any individual information by any means; we cannot use the information with the aim of taxes, military recruitment or legally investigation, and in general, for any other no statistical or data bases census. We can only publish the global statistics results and report paper for the data census bases,” according to draft 21 in the Statistic Ecuadorian Law.

The Ecuadorian National Institute of Statistic and Census (INEC) complies with his duty announcing and informing people about the statistic diffusion for any policies Ecuadorian might need. For more information you can call to 1800 080808, or check:



- October 2010 -

  • October 13th 2010 - After another intent of robbery on October 12th, locals have pursued the robber up to the local police station...Related on National TVs...Vilcabamba people are determined to end criminality, GO GUYS!
  • Newspaper LA HORA relates the incident:


"The story is that around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, there was an attempt to break into the humble home of an elderly person.
(The seventeen barrios of Vilcabamba are organized into citizen patrols because they are fed up with the robberies of the last two months. They are on duty from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.)
When the guys on duty that night saw this, they fired into the air repeatedly as the law allows citizen patrols to do, the would-be robber started running, the patrollers stopped at the dwelling and saw that a dog was killed, and the locks broken in the attempt to break-in; as the guy kept running to get away, the patrollers shot repeatedly again, and one of those shots hit him in the arm. He then ran into the police station seeking protection saying that the people tried to kill him. The members of this citizen patrol say they only tried to scare him.
At this point the people of Vilcabamba upset because the police are protecting the 'bad-guy', try to break in to the station to 'give him what he deserves'.  His name is Carlos Eduardo Sanchez Chiriboga, 33 y.o., door-to-door salesman, lives in Loja. The people accused him of trying to steal the gas tanks.
A contingent of 25 uniformed and armed men, 10 motorcycles and one bus, arrived as support for the police. They took the 'bad-guy' to Loja at 10:45 a.m.

The teniente politico asked for increased police presence here.
The people announced the use of a strong hand in future break-ins or attempts to steal anything.
The 'bad guy' is in jail and was sentenced to 'preventive detention', and will fulfill his term in the Loja Rehab Center."




  • October 12th 2010 - After many robberies, assaults and rapes in Vilcabamba, the locals have started to react...and talk on National TV...



  • October 7th 2010 - finds its email published on VISTAZO...Click on cover to read the article...



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