Editor's note: This is the third part of Crave's four-part series on Ecuador's attempt to become Latin America's hub for science, technology, and innovation. Read part 1, "Plotting the next Silicon Valley -- you'll never guess where," and part 2, "New Silicon Valley in the Andes: Promise and paradox."
QUITO, Ecuador--Right now, I'm one of the final things standing between Ramiro Moncayo and a vacation he's been waiting to take for years. It's just a few days before Christmas, and needless to say, he is very excited about the couple of days he is about to spend with his family on a holiday getaway.
Moncayo is the project manager for Yachay, the ambitious planned city that the equally ambitious government of Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa has been trying to shove into existence for a few years now.
Since taking office just a half decade ago and with the help of a fountain of oil revenues, Correa and company have modernized the nation's highways, created the third-fastest growing economy in Latin America, and more than tripled the number of Ecuadorian citizens connected to the Internet, according to the president's office.
Next up on the industrialization to-do list: Ecuador plans to create the first top-tier research university in Latin America and surround it with all the facilities and human capital needed to make this developing nation, which is roughly the size of the state of Colorado, a global player in science, technology, and innovation. (There is, however, some reason for skepticism, as I mention in part 2 of the series.) … Read more