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I went to the US Consulate today to get a document notarized. I was there at 1:30 when the doors opened. I, a few other North Americans, and a large group of Ecuadorians was brusquely ushered in by a large female security guard, whose most threatening line was “I want to see those cell phones turned off!”

Once inside, a young Ecuadorian guard took all our cell phones and other electronic devices. Surprisingly, my digital camera slipped by. Makes no sense to me, but it did.

Being nearly first in line, I quickly put in my request and sat down to wait. Thirty minutes, forty minutes passed. I couldn’t help but hearing all the stories at the windows, as everything was broadcast over the microphones used to speak through the heavy glass. An American getting married in Ecuador. A man whose US passport had his name misspelled, and he needed it fixed right away since a number of documents would depend on it. An Ecuadorian woman who had since become a US citizen, had requested visas for her parents, and the Embassy had no record of her ever having left Ecuador or living in the US.

It was nearing 3 pm and still no document. I went to inquire and the lady told me they were done and would be issued shortly. My name came up in just a few minutes and I left.

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Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>

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