According to Douglas Griffiths, U.S. Consul General to Ecuador, cooperation between the U.S. and Ecuador is stronger than it has been in years. In an hour-long meeting with U.S. citizens living in Cuenca, Thursday, Sept. 25, Griffiths said that despite political differences with the government of Rafael Correa, the U.S. enjoys a strong working relationship with Ecuador in such areas as education, community assistance and drug interdiction. "The United States has enjoyed a good relations with Ecuador for almost 200 years and we expect this to continue," said Griffiths.
The meeting at the Abraham Lincoln Center included a PowerPoint presentation of services available to U.S. citizens living in Ecuador by the U.S. embassy and consulate. "One of our most important functions is to help U.S. citizens in Ecuador," Griffiths said. "We offer a wide range of services and we want you to know where to go for assistance if you need it." Information about absentee voting in the November U.S. presidential election was also provided.
Following the presentation, Griffiths answered questions from the audience of about 60, on such issues as the U.S. visa process for Ecuadorians, trade agreements, post-9/11 security and Peace Corps training.
The meeting was hosted by Abraham Lincoln Center director, Richard Boroto. Boroto first came to Ecuador in the mid-1960s with the U.S. Peace Corps, married a Cuencana, and never left. Boroto works with the U.S. consulate providing help and information to U.S. citizens in the Cuenca area. He invited members of the audience to contact him with consulate-related questions and to take advantage of Abraham Lincoln's bi-lingual library.
U.S. citizens living in Ecuador can find information about absentee voting on the internet at www.fvap.gov. Information about general assistance provided by the consultate is available at email@example.com.
Photo: Consul General Douglas Griffiths at the Thursday, Sept. 25 meeting in Cuenca