40 minutes | May 12, 2015
Holistic Health Network & Expo
Robert Higgins and Greg Medeiros from The Holistic Health Network will be the featured guests on Monday’s “Ecuador At Your Service” radio show . The duo will talk about holistic health in general in Ecuador, their Holistic Health Mission, the upcoming Holistic Health Expo – happening at Cuenca’s Chamber of Commerce on May 14 from 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM – and an upcoming two-day Holistic Health Symposium next January. They also discuss the launch of The Cuenca Guide to Holistic Health and their revamped website: www.CuencaHolisticHealth.com
47 minutes | May 5, 2015
The Security Implications for Colombia in the event of a Peace Agreement with Guerrillas
This week we sit down once again with British Risk Management Consultant Ben Hockman (first interviewed on 1/9/14 http://goo.gl/xJG1ue) here in Bogota and discuss the implications for security in Colombia should a peace agreement be reached with the FARC guerrillas. We explore the significance of the recent spate of bombs placed by the country's second guerrilla group, the ELN, in Bogota, the support networks that both guerrillas retain in urban areas, the possibility of a bilateral ceasefire now since the dialogues with the FARC have been on-going since November 2012. Of course, no discussion of this nature would be complete without addressing the savage attack on a military outfit in the southwestern department of Cauca by the FARC two weeks ago that left 11 soldiers dead and placed the dialogues under severe strain and led to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to lift the suspension of aerial bombing on the FARC. Does the guerrilla group actually want peace? And finally, if a peace agreement is reached, how is Colombia prepared for a post conflict period. We discuss what took place after Guatemala's peace accords and the fallout from these poorly executed negotiations.
45 minutes | Apr 29, 2015
Why to Not Move Back From Costa Rica
This Week in Costa Rica will feature each week a news portion in which Dan and Rico (qCostaRica) will talk about the happenings in and around the land of "Pura Vida". With over 30 years of living in Costa Rica between the two it give a unique insight into life in CR.Rico from QCostaRica joins us to address various topics going on in and around Costa Rica:1. Volcanoes & Closing Costa Rica Airports2. Excessive Noice From Vehicles in Costa Rica3. Finding the Pura Vida Princess4. Bringing Back the Corporate Tax in Costa RicaThis is followed by Dan and Rico talking about reasons why we live in Costa Rica and what keeps us from going back to our home countries. Finally we have our Property of the Week, 4 story ocean view house with architecture based on an airplane.
41 minutes | Apr 28, 2015
Featuring Rocio Illescas of CETAP Lucy
Rocio Illescas, founder of CETAP Lucy, a rural-based program in Chilcapampa, outside the city of Cuenca will be the featured guest on Monday’s “Ecuador At Your Service” radio show. CETAP Lucy provides a pre-school and after-school experience for disadvantaged children She is joined by Frances Augusta Hogg, an author and serial volunteer who is helping Rocio to expand this incredible program. Rocio talks about her time as a missionary in Bergamo, Italy and in Kenya where she learned Swahili; her work in Ecuador’s jungle region; and her subsequent opening of CETAP Lucy following a dream. She also explains some of the activities at the facility that include providing professional therapy for the families of students several of whom have physical or mental limitations, and homework help to improve young people’s chances at success. Frances talks about her deep involvement with CETAP, the importance of this program and how it is helping to break the cycle of poverty for some of its participants, the joy of volunteerism and how listeners can be involved. She also discusses how individuals and organizations like Helping Kids in Ecuador and Hearts of Gold are helping CETAP Lucy to expand their important work.
49 minutes | Apr 27, 2015
The truth about being an Entrepreneur in Colombia with Alex Torrenegra of Bunny Inc
The other day I was able to interview a hot-shot Colombian start-up entrepreneur Alex Torrenegra over the phone to San Francisco. I had been alerted to Torrenegra’s existence through a Wall Street Journal piece and then a startlingly and refreshing article he has written on his website (Read: It’s Difficult to innovate in Colombia, Especially when the Government does more harm than Good.). At the end we discussed the fact that Colombia should be attempting and striving to create its own “Arepa Valley” and not mimic poorly the actual Silicon Valley. And he’s right, but then Torrenegra is a shining example of a new and refreshingly altruistic generation of social entrepreneurs, just read the tagline on his website:Working on enabling humankind to reach its full Potential. We also talk this week about the Bogota Book Fair and launching our book "Was Gabo an Irishman? Tales from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Colombia" and how you can win a copy.
38 minutes | Apr 21, 2015
Makin’ Bacon with Sandy Kraft
Sandy Kraft, co-owner of Carolina Smokehouse, will be the featured guest on this week's “Ecuador At Your Service” radio show. Sandy talks about how she and her husband David got into making their famous “bacon in paradise” in Cuenca, what smoking meats entail, the other products they make including sausage, pancetta, meatballs and more, and the Kickstarter campaign … they are launching to raise money to grow their business. The show also delves in the challenges and excitement of starting a new small business or cottage industry and offers tips on getting started in making a little money by following your own passion in Ecuador.
45 minutes | Apr 21, 2015
The Importance of 9 April in Colombia
Far be it for me to be facetious and announce that the most important event in my life has taken place on April 9 2015, that of the birth of my son. It's just that he was born on an incredibly poignant day in Colombian history, something which we explore to greater depths on today's show for April 9 1948 is a day that lives long in infamy as the date upon which Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitan was assassinated in downtown Bogota. The resulting violence which razed much of the centre of the city to the ground is now known as the Bogotazo. But, rather than simply dwelling on this historically important date, we also take a look today - since it is so fresh in my mind given that I have survived of late regarding the birth of my son James - at the realities of the healthcare system in Colombia and what you might require as an expat here in the country with regards to your health insurance. It is complex and at times very unpleasant and incredibly costly so pay attention!
40 minutes | Apr 20, 2015
Author Stephanie Slavin on Ecuador At Your Service
This week’s “Ecuador At Your Service” radio show features an interview with Stephanie Slavin, author of the new book Smashing Through the Roadblocks in the Highways of your Mind. Stephanie talks about her 20+ years as a transformational coach; the life lessons she has learned from mentors, through coaching clients, and through her own personal awareness journey; and how these experiences led her to write her new book that examines how to reclaim your life with the Law of Attraction. The easy-to-read 60-minute book, which provides simple techniques, tools and strategies to unlock the power of the Law of Attraction, will show you how to stop falling down the rabbit hole of fear, doubt and worry. The real-life stories and list of 10 ways to break a negative mindset can help you discover how to live a life of True Wealth—money, health, and happiness. This book is the first in a series of four. It costs less than a latte and takes just an hour to read! Get it now at http://budurl.com/AMZNSmash (Don’t have an e-book reader? You can download one for free at http://Calibre-e-book.com ). Stephanie’s Audio Book is available for purchase April 20 and a Workbook on the law of attraction are also available at www.StephanieSlavin.com/home.html
30 minutes | Apr 7, 2015
How Business Has Changed in Costa Rica Over the Past 20 Years
This Week in Costa Rica will feature each week a news portion in which Dan and Rico (qCostaRica) will talk about the happenings in and around the land of "Pura Vida". With over 30 years of living in Costa Rica between the two it give a unique insight into life in CR.Rico from QCostaRica joins us to address various topics going on in and around Costa Rica as we begin or recovery from Semana Santa in Costa Rica:1. Drunk Driving During Easter Week in Costa Rica2. Rocking Chair Trailer Costa Rica3. Corruption in Costa Rica4. Use of Drones in Costa Rica & New Regulations This is followed by Dan and Rico talking about what it is like doing business in Costa Rica and how it has changed over the past 20 years. Trying to answer the question "Why is it so hard to do business in Costa Rica?".Finally we have our Property of the Week, a horse ranch just outside of Jaco on the Central Pacific of Costa Rica.
46 minutes | Apr 7, 2015
The Colombian Legal System with Beverley Caddigan
I don't believe I've ever met anyone from Newfoundland before so imagine my delight at getting to chat to Newfoundland native Beverley Caddigan here in Bogota! An expert in the Canadian legal system we discuss some of the differences between laws in her homeland and in Canada. Find out what brought Beverly here to Colombia and learn all about her business here (www.beverleycaddigan.com/). Beverley worked for years as an advoctae and as an adjudicator with the provincial government in Ontario, Canada. In her tenure in this system she became an expert in many facets and apsects of law. If you are thinking of coming to Colombia, if you plan on working here, this is an episode to tune into as you'll want to hear all about the legal system, the reliability of contracts and the miasmi which is known as "la tertulia".
36 minutes | Apr 6, 2015
“ECUADOR AT YOUR SERVICE” RADIO SHOW INTERVIEWS THE ARCHBISHOP OF CUENCA ABOUT NEW TOURIST CAMPAIGN TO SAVE THE BLUE DOMES
On Monday’s “Ecuador At Your Service” radio show, Ashley and Michel are honored to be interviewing the Archbishop of Cuenca, Ecuador, Monsignor Luis Gerardo Cabera. The interview discusses the new tourism campaign, sponsored by The Archdiocesan House of Cuenca and the Hotel Association of Azuay -- “Ruta Corazon de Cuenca (“Heart of Cuenca Route”) -- that kicked off on April 1st. The campaign is aimed at raising critical funding to repair the city’s most recognizable sight– the blue domes of the Cathedral of the Immaculate (the “New Cathedral.”) The Monsignor will talk about the cultural and religious significance of the Cathedral, and will also tell listeners about their fundraising campaign that takes visitors on a tour of religious iconic buildings and sites in Cuenca, including the Episcopal House, the Old Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Immaculate, and the gardens of the San Luis seminary. A visit to the catacombs of the Old Cathedral and 300 crypts of the New Cathedral, as well as to the terraces of the Cathedral of the Immaculate, (for those who can climb the155 steps) is also included. The cost of the tour is $5.00 and tickets can be purchased at the Curia of Cuenca. Students trained in English and other languages will be guides for this tour. In addition, the Archbishop gives us a sneak peak into the Ministry of Tourism’s SELFIE campaign—through its brand Travels First Ecuador --- that invites locals and tourists to take a a selfie with the Cathedral of the Immaculate’s blue domes in the background to win exciting prizes. To enter, go to
44 minutes | Apr 1, 2015
The Legend of El Dorado with Dave Proctor
This week we discuss the new project being launched by Mancunian Dave Proctor who has been based - working as a teacher - in Cali for six years. When Proctor is not introducing the delights and cultural magnificence that is the English pub quiz to the sometimes confused yet good folk of Cali (where's the salsa dancing?), playing cricket for the Cali cricket team or playing in a football league he's planning a new mountain bike route across Colombia. This is the Legend of El Dorado (www.legendofeldorado.com) and the idea is to revolutionize the mountain biking calendar in Colombia. This eight stage race will begin in Zipaquira (home to the world famous Salt Cathedral) and then continue down the Magdalena River Valley through Guaduas before then making a huge ascent over the Nevado de Ruiz volcano and then down through the city of Manizales and taking in the national heritage town of Salamina before ending near to Medellin. How about that for a cross country mountain bike adventure across Colombia? For more info about Dave Proctor and his projects check out his blog:
39 minutes | Mar 31, 2015
Premier Real Estate Developer Juan Heredia
On this week’s “Ecuador At Your Service” radio show, Juan Heredia, premier real estate developer and celebrated downtown Cuenca restoration expert, talks about his team’s newest project – Casa del Ciprés – a 22 unit property that is now available for pre-sales. Casa del Ciprés is located on the Tomebamba River, just three blocks from the famed Parque Calderon. Juan’s modern housing developments in El Centro have been featured in The New York Times, the London Financial Times and local style magazines including Rivista Vistazo & Casas. Juan also discusses his viewpoints of real estate investments in downtown Cuenca and how to purchase a pre-construction property. Look for full information on this exciting project on the Ecuador At Your Service website (http://ecuadoratyourservice.com).
47 minutes | Mar 26, 2015
Learning How To Do Business in Costa Rica
This Week in Costa Rica will feature each week a news portion in which Dan and Rico (qCostaRica) will talk about the happenings in and around the land of "Pura Vida". With over 30 years of living in Costa Rica between the two it give a unique insight into life in CR.Rico from QCostaRica joins us to address various topics going on in and around Costa Rica, including a look at changes at the Costa Rica airports:1. Costa Rica's Departure Tax Included in Flight Costs2. Currency Exchange at the Costa Rica Airport3. Recope Retirement Benefits4. ICE Using All "Green" Power5. Florida Bebidas Recycling Program in Costa Rica6. Mac and Cheese Recall at Pricesmart This is followed by Dan and Rico talking about doing business in Costa Rica and what they have both learned from their experiences. Finally we have our Property of the Week, a 4 story ocean view home overlooking Jaco and the Pacific Ocean.
55 minutes | Mar 25, 2015
Down The Drain, Into The Sewer? Or Real Survival?
Today's show is simply the nuts and bolts of truly understanding how you are going to still be alive 5-10 years from now. Without understanding this information, there is a 99% chance you will not make it - (read: you'll be dead.) It is your choice whether you take the time to listen to today's show. But with 1,440 minutes in a day, the information provided in these 55 minutes just may be the difference between life and death. Your life or death.
42 minutes | Mar 25, 2015
An interview with Sarah Hanen Bauer of Colectivo Madre Tierra
On this week's show, Michel and Ashley interview Sarah Hanen Bauer, the Intercultural Exchange Coordinator at Colectivo Madre Tierra ( www.colectivomadretierra.com.) Sarah talks about coming to Ecuador as a single parent and the educational and cultural opportunities -- both pros and cons -- that she has observed for expat kids moving to Ecuador. She also gives useful advice for parents in terms of expectations when bringing young children to a foreign country. In addition, Sarah reveals some news about exciting upcoming events including Colectivo Madre Tierra's official book launch and documentary premier of their project "A Journey Through the Living Memory of Otorongo" highlighting Cuenca's community Otorongo Mosaic art project. The book also includes interviews, stories and poems from elders in Cuenca. At the book launch, the premier of a documentary short film “Ancestral Technology in Today’s World” produced and directed by ORN's own "Ecuador At Your Service" radio co-host and founder of Ecua Productions, Ashley Rogers, will also occur. The film will be available to watch on Youtube and also on Ecua Productions website:
46 minutes | Mar 24, 2015
Fatalism and Poverty in Cali with Marie Quinney
This week I am thrilled to have anglo french citizen Marie Quinney on the show live from the southern economic hub of Cali talking to us about finding a job down in her city, working and living there and indeed her thesis on the issue of "Fatalism and Povery in Cali" while studying at the London School of Economics. We'll discuss the class system and segregation in Colombia, how she conducted her research and interviews and how her life is developing in Cali and how she came to be in this city. What is most exciting is that Marie is an academic who is determined to shirk away from the sugarcoated blogs about parties, attractive women, sun and salsa and write, from her educated perspective, about life in Colombia. Check out her ruminations here: http://honestlycali.weebly.com/ Also, she is leading a funding drive to enable her partner Juan Felipe to be able to go and study at Cambridge University for an MPhil in Neuroscience focusing on addicition. Get involved people! http://www.gofundme.com/ly22b4
55 minutes | Mar 18, 2015
Violence, Karma, and You
When you hear the word "violence", what comes to your mind? When you hear the word "karma", what do you think it means? When you hear the word "you", what do you think about yourself? When you put all three words together, "Violence, Karma, and You", from now on, you will think about today's show. And for many of you, this will be a transformational point in your life. Join host Blake Sawyer and have an epiphany today. You will never be the same.
35 minutes | Mar 17, 2015
Erupting Volcanoes & Taxes; Just Another Week in Costa Rica
This Week in Costa Rica will feature each week a news portion in which Dan and Rico (qCostaRica) will talk about the happenings in and around the land of "Pura Vida". With over 30 years of living in Costa Rica between the two it give a unique insight into life in CR.Rico from QCostaRica joins us to address various topics going on in and around Costa Rica, including the Turrialba Volcano eruption last week.1.Eruption of the Turrialba Volcano2. Taxes on Electricity in Costa Rica3. Costa Rica No Longer a Tax Haven4. Marrying a Minor in Costa RicaThis is followed by our Property of the Week, your chance to own your own business in Costa Rica, a beach front bar & restaurant on the Pacific Ocean
45 minutes | Mar 17, 2015
Transitional Justice in Colombia
In the light of recent events and announcements made by both the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian Government regarding the on-going peace process, we have taken the time to discuss the significance of Transitional Justice here in Colombia. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced the suspension of all military bombing raids on FARC rebel camps last week. This was the most recent declaration that has gone a long way to securing an atmosphere of trust between the two sides. Remember, just a week ago, the announcement was that of FARC guerrillas working alongide official military in aiding the eradication of landmines in Colombia. These are major steps forward and so we discuss the repercussions and importance of the peace dialogues and the real meaning of transitional justice. Also on another note, something which has been dominating the headlines has been the government's complete capitulation to the yellow taxi unions in Bogota by outlawing the private online taxi service of Uber and UberX. We talk about what this means for the city's beleaguered consumers and our right of choice in the matter. Don't forget! March 17 is our to chance to protest on what is no being called a: "No Taxi Day" to promote the right to choice and to fair competition.