Bridging International understanding between South and North America
Welcome to our website ! Our vision is to inspire & promote international understanding through education and cultural exchange between South America - Ecuador and the rest of the world. To help people rediscover life with purpose, integrity and compassion, benefit from our experiences, and acquire knowledge for living in harmony in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. To share our "life changing adventure experiences" with family and friends worldwide. We have consolidated a wealth of the best resources on Ecuador, along with travel journals and photos. Our hope is that you will find this a valuable, user friendly resource network, which enriches your life, enables you to learn, challenges your thinking, and empowers you to discover and undertake your own new experiences and adventures.
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We welcome your feedback, questions and suggestions and hope that you return often.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Pachamama - Mother Nature
Ecuador's worst drought in 45 years has caused the government to force restrictions on electric power use. Officials have started a series of country-wide electrical blackouts aimed at reducing consumption by 10%. Most of this country's energy is hydro-electric generated and water levels at the large generating station on the Paute River are approaching historic lows. Perhaps the expected El Nino rainfall will now even be welcomed.
Esteban Albornoz, Ecuador's Energy Minister, said that the drought is affecting all of northwest South America and that power and water shortages in Colombia and Venezuela are more serious than those in Ecuador. In Venezuela, where blackouts have lasted for as long as 24 hours, there have been violent protests in several cities.
Society is rapidly adjusting their daily routines as these blackouts could potentially last for months, and will continue until the water shortage changes. Candles, battery lights, and generator sales are soaring and inventories rapidly depleting.
With the daily blackouts occurring in Bahia de Caraquez between 3:00 p:m and 6:00 p:m daily, and several additional occurrences during the early evening hours, life takes on some interesting dimensions. Retail and food service locations continue operations relatively uninterrupted. Cash register receipts are now hand scrawled, and you may have a salesperson accompany you with a flashlight into the store's dark corners. Fuel service stations, banks, medical clinics, cyber cafes, and a growing number of small businesses now employ a stand alone gas generator during the blackouts. Condominium and apartment dwellers with the nicer views are in new " physical conditioning mode " using the stairs in the absence of functioning elevators. Refrigeration, television, internet accessibility, & communication are interrupted. Residences are also without running water during this period as most water is pumped from their local water storage cisterns. Typical Ecuadorian homes also have very few windows - due to the proximity of neighbouring buildings, or where potentially open to a view they opted to minimize any heat transfer from direct sunshine. To our Canadian & South American family & friends and international visitors please be patient if our communication is less timely - we are reading a new novel or having an additional siesta ! Once again pause for thought on the more simple lives of our forefathers, and how dependent our society has become on electricity - yes even in the developing countries.
Unemployment was already very high in the coastal regions ( official 14.8 % however we believe practically it is much higher ), now we see growing crowds gathering in the streets to socialize and pass the afternoon blackout periods.
An excellent bestselling, thought provoking book is " Confessions of an Economic Hit Man " by John Perkins. " Economic hit men are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They encourage world leaders to become part of a vast network that promotes U.S. commercial interests. In the end, those leaders become ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their future continued loyalty. Drawing on them to satisfy political, economic, or military needs. In turn they are provided with upgraded or desperately needed infrastructure. Disguised as foreign aid they funnel money into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few very wealthy people.
Ecuador a prime victim, was loaned billions of dollars three decades ago for projects and infrastructure that would help its richest families. Today over 50 % of the national budget is required to pay the interest on the debt instead of helping millions of its citizens who are officially classified as dangerously impoverished. In the past three decades as a result of this " economic help " Ecuador's official poverty level grew from 50 % to 70 % , and unemployment has risen by 55 % .
We North Americans really don't know much about the rest of the world ! People are starving and we are worried about oil for our cars. Babies are dying of thirst and we are searching the fashion magazines for the latest trends. We shut our ears to the voices of those who are crying for help, and label them radicals or Communists.
The book aims to increase awareness of our economic exploitation and insatiable appetite for the world's resources. While a few swim in riches, the majority drown in poverty, pollution, and violence. We need to alter our global course towards compassion, democracy, and social justice for all. We must open our hearts to the poor and downtrodden, instead of driving them further into poverty and servitude.
The book is dedicated to two of John's former clients, Jaime Roldos- President of Ecuador and Omar Torrijos- President of Panama, both met calculated deaths from opposing the global empire. "
John Perkins has established a world wide grass roots movement of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds dedicated to shifting consciousness and promoting sustainable lifestyles for the individual and global community. The objective of inspiring earth-honoring changes in consciousness is accomplished through programs that educate and foster environmental and social balance. Dream Change was originated to encourage new ways of living.
Currently the movie " CRUDE " also documents the rainforest destruction, and collapse of indigenous cultures in the Amazon basin due to the oil companies practices. For more information :
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