Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstration / Travel Alert

Demonstration / Travel Alert – U.S. Mission, Ecuador – October 8, 2019

The U.S. Mission has received notification that road blockades continue in cities and towns throughout the country as part of ongoing demonstrations.

The Embassy continues to receive reports of demonstrations and road blockades in cities and towns throughout the country.  There are reports of pockets of violence associated with these demonstrations.  Travel may be seriously disrupted during this time.  The government relocated from Quito to Guayaquil until further notice.

Indigenous groups, workers unions, social organizations, and some transportation groups have called for a national strike on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.  This action will likely involve marches near the historic center of Quito around the presidential palace.  A counter-protest has been called in downtown Guayaquil for October 9.  Protests may also take place in other cities and towns across the country.

** Given current conditions, all U.S. Mission personnel are restricted from travel within and between cities and provinces until further notice.  This includes both travel by air and road.  For Embassy Quito personnel, travel is restricted to within the greater Quito metropolitan area (defined as Quito and Cumbaya).  For U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil personnel, travel is restricted to within the city of Guayaquil.  Travel to the Galapagos Islands, as well as intracountry airline connectors associated with international air-travel, is still permitted.  The travel of U.S. government personnel not already in-country is being reconsidered. **

** We urge all U.S. citizens to consider their safety foremost and to not travel within and between cities and provinces.  We also urge U.S. citizens to ensure they have adequate supplies of water, food, and fuel. **

U.S. citizens should actively monitor the situation via public media until the demonstrations conclude and remain vigilant to demonstrations in other areas.  ECU911 provides nationwide updates at https://www.ecu911.gob.ec/consulta-de-vias/.  Agencia Metropolitana de Transito provides updates via Twitter.  Follow @AMTQuito or search #AMTInforma on Twitter.  To continue to receive important safety information about conditions in Ecuador, register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at: https://step.state.gov/step/.

Flights may continue to be cancelled in and out of Quito as a result of the disruptions to access roads.  Roads to the Mariscal Sucre International Airport of Quito have experienced blockages.  Use best judgment and caution if you are traveling to the airport and closely monitor road closures.  If you have a scheduled flight, contact the airline directly for additional information.  You may also monitor flight information on the Quito airport website.  Note, however, that flights may be cancelled close to departure time.

Actions to Take

  • Do not travel within and between cities and provinces.
  • Avoid demonstration areas.
  • Monitor local media for updates on road closures and flight cancellations.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Ensure adequate supplies of water, food, and fuel.