What is happening with BilDev Tours and the situation in Ecuador? Update August 2023
Hello World! I am Luis Velazquez. I am a National Tour Guide in Ecuador. If it is the first time you're here, then this is BilDev Tours’ channel. BilDev Tour’s is a tour operator located in Ecuador and our focus is to promote Ecuador to the world and that includes Ecuadorians as well. However this video is not about tourism, this video is not about promotion, this video is not about business. This video is about something else, something that many of you may have been wondering lately, and about an event that happened recently, or well many events that have been happening.
First thing, those of you who have been to the channel previously, you already know that through this window here that YouTube offers me, I have tried to show you Ecuador. What I have also showed you or spoke about things that happen locally. Either protests or political events and to reduce that on this channel I opened another Channel, and the link to that channel I will leave it on the description, however many of you are new so I just will make this video here for those of you who would like to know about this part of Ecuador. Remember to subscribe to the other channel because
I do plan to post more videos there, especially in with my personal opinions. On this channel I try to be as non-biased as possible. That's the idea of BilDev Tour’s, because I want you to have a general idea of Ecuador, the nature, culture, but also in the demographic aspect: about what people here are what people here see the world like, and this video is a little bit about that. First of all I need to let you know about what has
been happening with me because it's been three months without posting a video. That's a lot of time, and I appreciate you who are here, who have stayed here and keep watching the channel, the new people who have arrived, and many because of the Visa video. That was the last video that I posted here I will try to add more shorts, but you know I like to post long videos where I explain things in detail and I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, for a lot of things, and that's what delays me even more, because it takes a lot of time to edit. However, I have other things to do. YouTube doesn't really pay me anything for this, I don't have the requirements for getting any credit for, I mean not direct credit at least, no direct payments for YouTube, because I need to have at least 4 000 hours of play in my videos during the last 365 days. I don't even have 2 000.
Hopefully in the future I will, hopefully in the future I will monetize this channel because my idea is to show you Ecuador to be able to speak about Ecuador, so that you learn more a lot and that that pays, that YouTube gives a payment and that also I can save time to not work in other things but work on the videos, and also pay an editor for that. But that will come eventually, I won't surrender so someday it will happen. Anyways, I've been working on the Visas of course that's something I am doing, I haven't stopped doing. I'm also a certified translator, so I've
been working with the translations, a little bit of interpretation, but mainly translations, in different aspects: for people coming here who need their documents in English to be used here in Ecuador for different processes, but I am also doing translations for people of Ecuador who want to emigrate to leave this country. So I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The other thing, which is the reason why BilDev Tours is BilDev Tours is tourism. However these days I haven't worked as much as I would like to with tourism, for many reasons. Well, finally the… well no. two more reasons why I haven't posted any video lately:
one is because I am taking a course -un curso- of National Tour Guide specialized in Heritage: cultural natural heritage. I am a national tour guide, however there are different types of licenses. My license is of National Tour guide so I you can tell I know the basics of tourism in Ecuador, but I'm getting or I'm working on getting a specialization for knowing about the cultural natural heritage of the country. I know of course, especially about the cultural heritage, those of you who are here since a while you know that, but at natural heritage I’m terrible at this. I've been improving, classes are really hard I have to read a lot I have to explore
a lot, and well those are the advantages or disadvantages of living in a biodiverse country. Ecuador is one of the 17 Mega diverse countries in the world and actually is the smallest one, which means that we have a lot of species here. Because we have different environments. We are in the equator of the planet, we have the Amazon to one side and to the other side the ocean, and well, the Andes in the middle, and of course the Galapagos, however Galapagos is another world and I haven't even gotten yet to know the Galapagos. Hopefully soon, hopefully not that later, that much later, and the final thing which is the main thing, and yes, it would be the most important, it is because I have just become a father! I've been working hard in the things that give me money, like right now, which are, visas, translation, a little bit of Tourism, but that has left me without time. My baby was expected to be born in two weeks… … Well I am recording from BilDev Tours’ office, which is the dream we have been building since over a little bit over one year ago. Well someone just came in, so I’m sorry, I lost what I was saying for a moment. But well, I was talking about the most important event that
has happened recently my baby, my baby's birth. We were expecting him to be born by late August, but it happened earlier, and well that's life, the Miracle of Life. Everything is good. So far so good with the baby, in case you wonder. Thank you for those of you who have sent me messages through other means as well, and who have been following up. By the way, that's why during this week I have been very very delayed in emails. I haven't
answered emails like from the last four days because of this and I will use today's -August 11-Friday holiday, but I will use this weekend to catch up with that. Send emails, that's, if you need to ask me something, feel free do it or you can enter through the website bildevtours.com and you will find a form. Send your message with your email address and we will contact you if you want us to advise you when the website is fully ready, when we have the tours there, or when we release a Blog. Please also enter the website, leave your email address your name,
and say please add me to the newsletter. That's what has been happening with my life. I've been working on BilDev Tours, on other things: studying, developing myself in knowledge, culturally, to provide a better service, to provide the best of what I can regarding Ecuador. To provide the content best and of course to my family the best, and that's why I'm making this video, to let you know that I simply haven't, I have not left, I am doing this and I am committed to this, and I will continue doing this until I can. That's for the personal part. Thank you very much, I really appreciate that you're watching this video. But maybe you want to know
more about the situation in Ecuador. Please subscribe to the other channel: “Luis of Ecuador”. I will be making more videos there and I plan during this Sunday, it is Sunday the 13th. There will be a debate of the candidates for the presidential, for the president's position, for the office, and I will do a live stream talking about the debate live, so that we can, I will inform you who is who, what they will be talking about, what they will be saying at that moment, and we will have some highlights.
So, if you're interested about living in Ecuador, or you're already living in Ecuador and would like to know about the politics and what's happening, well, then stay tuned to that other channel where I will do this live stream. Here on BilDev Tours’ Channel I will do the first live stream once I reach the 1.5K -1500 subscribers-, maybe in one month, we'll see. I have a lot of videos, I have like 12 videos in a row to edit,
but I'm not producing the income to separate some for making videos or for paying an editor, and that's why, as I told you before, I would like that YouTube pays itself, that YouTube generates some income that I can use for, to hire an Editor, so for the moment that's not possible, and I don't have enough time for that. I need to put my effort in the things that give me cash at this moment. So well, many of you or some of you, may have heard about the situation in the country, about what happened two weeks ago with the mayor of Manta: Agustin Intriago. He was killed. And what happened this week, just two days ago or two nights ago, which is the murder of Fernando Villavicencio, presidential candidate. He was one of the top candidates. I mean he could have been the next president. He was in the second place in
some of the polls, very serious polls, and yeah, he did have a chance to become the next president. Now because of the situation of drug dealers, gangs, Mexican narcos and the Ecuadorian narcos and Colombian narcos, everything that is happening here in Ecuador, and this guy was facing them. He said “I'm not afraid.” “I'm protected by people.” “I don't even have a bullet vest.” A kevlar, I don't know how you say it in English: “chaleco”.
“I'm not afraid”. But this is what happened, well it's a series of events, he was saying “I'm not afraid”. He wasn't with the private guards and the police that were guarding him were very very badly prepared to even say that that's very suspicious. But if you live in Ecuador, you know that many of the people in the police are not getting good training, that the management is very very bad, so we don't even, we don't even know. Hopefully we will know. At this moment there are six people arrested for this murder one of the main people involved, he was injured, that same evening of the event, and then when he was taken to the Attorney General's office, he died because of this injury.
This is very weird because he had to be taken to the hospital, and not to the Attorney General's office directly. But there are many things to be investigated here. These other six people that were arrested, they are not Ecuadorians, they were hired from overseas. Well, now the president Lasso asked for help to the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigations of the United States of America, to help in the investigation about this. Also for people here to believe in the results of the investigation because there is so much corruption that people here won't believe too much what the local authorities will say. About the candidate, may he rest in peace: “Que descanse en paz” as we say in Spanish. He was not my favorite, I have to tell you that, but I don't think he was a bad guy. I think he was honest, he was not my favorite because I
don't think he was the best qualified for the position, but I think that he was a an honest guy or a clear guy about what he wanted to do, and well this is a consequence of that. What happened, the thing is that in Ecuador the violence has been increasing exponentially in the last two years. In Cuenca where I am the situation is way different than, in Guayaquil or Esmeraldas, for example, where the crime is at a top leve. Here I can record on the streets. Here we have tourism, we can go out at night, without really being concerned. And many many things that in other
cities are like something, that is, almost a “ROB ME”-thing, here you can do them. You can go out on the streets, take pictures with cameras, photos, I mean, normal things. In Loja the situation is even calmer. In Loja is perhaps the calmest city in the country now. I just, I'm telling you this because you know I'm honest. That's what you can see in all of my videos, and I wanted to make an appearance, a report, to tell you that BilDev Tours has not disappeared. I'm not stopping making videos because of the situation. I'm not making videos
just because I don't have time. I would like to have more time, but I will continue to do the videos. I haven't launched the Safety and Security video of 2023 yet because I haven't had time, because I recorded it, but since I recorded it several months ago, I have to make updates as I record, and I will record it again, or I will record some parts again to make an update. I'm reading your comments. Please feel free to comment because I read the comments. I have many videos to edit that I have already recorded about Cuenca, about life here, about culture. About the legal aspects… well the last update has just been about the extension of the tourism visa and I have to make a special video about that. It's something of about three weeks ago,
so many things are still being clarified. Next week I will post that video because it's only for the extension of the tourist visa. If you are an American, or Canadian, European citizen, for example, you come here with a tourist visa of 90 days. I mean, a permit, you just show your passport at Customs when you arrive in the airport in Ecuador. They will stamp it and “Welcome to Ecuador”. You will have 90 days to be here but if you would like to stay longer,
you can extend that. The process for the extension has changed a little bit, so if you watch videos that are over one month ago, or posts about how to make the extensions that are over one month ago, then that's dated, because the situation is now different. Fee is the same, it's around $155, but the process is a little bit different. Okay, again feel free to write me about, just say hello, just to ask something about visas, and I will send you the information, or about tourism. I will be updating here about the situation with the elections, with the Safety and Security. If
you want to plan a trip for tourism now, you can do so, no problem. If you are just planning to go to Galapagos, then plan to go to Galapagos. Galapagos is very far from Mainland. That's another thing, nothing really happens there. And they seize sometimes bad ships there. but not
something like you have violence in the islands. That doesn't happen. Feel free to go to Galapagos, to plan there. And about plan to come to Mainland, I will tell you plan. Read the travel advisories: “UK travel advisory”. Look on Google like this: “DOS USA travel advisory Ecuador” and you will find the information of the government of the United States about coming to Ecuador. You can plan to come to Ecuador because most of the country is safe. Certain areas are restricted. I wouldn't recommend you to go at all at at this moment to Esmeraldas,
or to go to the Northwest, Northeastern areas. Well Northeast is Esmeraldas, uhm, Northwest, sorry Northwest, and Northeast is the Amazon area bordering with Colombia and Peru, except for Yasuni (and Cuyabeno) and you go there with a hired tour, with a purchased tour that organizes everything and it's pretty safe. You will go to the Yasuni, Amazon rainforest, to a protected area. Nothing will happen there. Cuenca, you can come to Cuenca. I will show you videos, recent videos about people coming to Cuenca. Also I will try on Instagram to show you from the street how the life is here. Quito Historic District, you plan with local guides there, and if you don't want to come with guides, you can still come to Quito, but you have to increase your caution. And of course if you
are planning now, it's not because you're coming next week, I would recommend you to come after the elections. That is, well, the first round will be August 20, and then the second round will be by October, if I'm not mistaken, or September, yeah, so you can plan for winter or late fall. Situation here is good in general. I'm talking about the Andes Cuenca, Quito, Ambato, Riobamba.
Maybe the train of Alausi will be soon reactivated. This month they said that on August 30, that's August 31. Let's see. I will let you know about that if that happens. I will go to record in Alausi. I have already spoken with people there. It's a beautiful area. It's a magic area of the Andes. If you have heard about the train of Devil's nose, well, we'll know about that soon. From Cuenca is not that far -“not that far”- I'm talking about three hours, three hours and a half. There are many things here to see. Well, I think
that's all for now. We will be communicating. I will be posting videos with concrete information or addition… because that delays me. I don't like to post (incomplete videos)… I have already tried to record another communication like this but I didn't like how it ended up, so I didn't post it. And I'm posting this now. Hopefully you like it, you comment. Let me know in your comments that
you're watching this, and that I'm not just making this for nothing. Please also that helps the channel and the famous YouTube algorithm so that it can be recommended to more and more people. See you in the next adventure! Please stay tuned. Don't get lost, “No se pierdan”, as we say in Spanish. And see you in the next adventure. Thank you very much! Bye bye!