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The Curious Case of $2 Bills in Ecuador

This story first appeared in The Billfold and has been featured by Public Radio International’s The World, The John Batchelor Show and The New York Times.


It’s my last night in Ecuador and I’m leaving a bar with some friends when one of the bartenders runs out after us.

“Are you the guy who exchanges $2 bills?”


He pulls out a ten. “I’ll take five.”

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Ecuador launches new digital currency – but most residents know little about it

Bill passed last July gives Central Bank authority to create digital dollars, but opinions divided along party lines amid concerns of a presidential power grab

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Sometimes I Get Arrested

I’ve published accounts of three different arrests, on three different continents, in three different publications. That seems worth celebrating.

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My First Revolution

By April 19th the city was in open rebellion, tear gas filled the air but everyone knew who was winning. On the 20th the protesters occupied every major government building and had effectively taken control of the city. The President fled and we danced in the streets all night. We won.

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It took me a long time to realize that I will always be an American. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I can never change where I am from.

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Dialogue excerpt from Illegal (my book-in-progress)

This is an excerpt from my book-in-progress. I am describing some volunteer work I did in Ecuador.   All the children knew I was different, but some couldn’t quite grasp the concept. “Are you going to your country now?” one boy asked when I walked my bike out of the building, getting ready to leave

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The Hypocrisy of Rafael Correa (VIDEO)

Full disclosure: I was deported from Ecuador shortly after Rafeal Correa was elected president and have been following his political career closely ever since. I also met him when he was president-elect. Last week Ecuador’s president, Rafeal Correa, was once more in the news for his courageous aid of a whistleblower. With the help of

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