Entrevista al Alcalde del Cantón Salinas, Sr Daniel Cisneros
Salinas, the recognized # 1 coastal tourist destination of Ecuador par excellence, both for Ecuadorians and for the growing wave of retired immigrants, adventurers, temporary visitors, and foreign and Ecuadorian investors.
A warm and sunny October afternoon, we met with the recently elected Mayor of Salinas, to learn a little about the highest local authority, its management, the projects that he has been developing with his team, as well as the level of openness from the current management to the development of attractions for national and international private capital, and the vision for this beautiful canton privileged by its tourist attraction, at a time when its present is being strongly and positively impacted by the ambitious international tourism campaign led to out by the national government.
Noelia Roldan: Tell us how your political career began, and your career until your current position as mayor.
Daniel Cisneros: my pre-political background begins with my family, who had shrimp, that is to say, he was exporting shrimp, he had a laboratory and an exporter. After the crisis of the year 2000 my father goes outside the country. In that year I graduate from college, and I go to the US to study and then come back a few years later. Upon arrival I take care of my family’s business, obviously, and eventually rent them because it was no longer a profitable business and could be rented easily. Then I began to devote myself a lot to social work. I worked for 5 years as a volunteer in an organization, where we were able to reach agreements with the United Nations, with the European Union, with the International Plan. We generated resources for the province, we helped more than 500 children at the provincial level,
After all the work we did, they met us in the province and I threw myself for assembly. I was an assembly member for 5 months, I present two bills, I am co-participant in the Life Cycle Code, and we work in nine commissions of the National Assembly of which two are permanent, seven are occasional. We work with the topic of childhood and adolescence, obviously the Life Cycle Code at least for me is a structure about everything I saw in organizations, social development, and the two bills were the Law of Communes and territory, that is to say my province is communal in 95% of its territory, especially in the north zone, and of the coast inwards, so we developed this project.
We also promoted the Fisheries Law, which helps fishermen with insurance, a planning that has now been taken into account to the point that the government began to finance insurance, the issue of chips on boats has been followed, and Other benefits for fishermen. From there in the Assembly they asked us to leave the Assembly and enter the mayor’s office and it went very well, to the point that we won with 52% and the next candidate after us took out only 14%, so it was three to one, and there we started working on the project of the new boardwalk, with the Espol (Polytechnic School of the Coast) we are working on the planning of the project to see how we finance it.
We hope that the National Government can help us with financing since it is an emblematic and highly expensive project. Obviously we seek to have a convention center, in that we seek to attract private capital that finances the project and especially in the tourism issue to develop it to the fullest with the government that is in fact already investing in the fishing issue, that is, articulate these works emblematic so that they also invest in tourism. Recall that my Canton is one of the largest ports in the country, two of the ten largest ports in the country are in the Salinas Canton. That generates a lot of income on the issue of fishing too.
NR: What is your vision regarding Salinas? And how do you plan to carry it out?
DC: We are forming with the other municipalities the Commonwealth, the Tourism consortium, that is, to aim to have a complementary development between the three cantons, so that we can provide the quality and warmth of service to the people who visit us. I also want to emphasize a very particular point. Our province is a young province that is barely seven years old. That, the previous administrations did not consider for the development of joint work, because each administration worked very independently.
We have the vision of the three mayors (of the three cantons that make up the Province of Santa Elena). We are carrying forward not only the commonwealth of solid waste -which the State Bank is coming this Monday to see how it advances to target its financing- also the Commonwealth of Tourism, that of Transit, that of Camal, that is, we have the opening of the mayors, to work together in the development of our province as such. Obviously our Canton Salinas is only part of this province, but it is the most emblematic in terms of tourism so we want to articulate efforts to create events and opportunities, although we know we have debts, we have 25-year-old problems that are only being solved with the time course because it is the inheritance of the previous administrations. Same,
NR: What kind of initiatives is the GAD working to generate more interest in Salinas from private capital, whether national or international?
DC: The Ministry of Tourism is mapping the canton, that is, it is considering certain areas to promote investment, that is, for investments of more than US $ 100 million. Obviously they are processes that are not generated in one or two or three years, but extend over time. With the diagnosis and planning these tourist areas will be regenerated and the opportunities to do business will obviously be generated with some type of tax exemption, to help capital investment, so that the investment generates work, generates wealth and So you can develop the city.
NR: How do you publicly communicate the opportunities to invest in the Salinas canton?
DC: As we are an administration still very new, there are things that we are still structuring behind closed doors because we are still in the transition of – like who says – changing the house. Considering the state in which this Canton was, concrete changes are already seen, for example a new house (municipal building) is already seen, we are with equipment and technology at last, we have vehicles for the exclusive use of the Municipality. Obviously small planning and structuring that can still be done indoors, in the house. Gradually when we are doing works, we will be starting to upload works, some asphalted roads, to start socializing and other projects. They will obviously be the big projects that aim to create development and work.
NR: Do you consider that the Salinas Canton has logistic and economic support from the National Government?
DC: Yes, from the National Government, from the Provincial Government, from the parish boards … here there are no colors of shirts or political flags, here we are all Santa Elena, we are all Salinas and we seek to generate development. We are one province and that helps us a lot. Of course we are in particular a Canton, but only in the context of three cantons that we seek to articulate to point to a united growth.
NR: How would you like to see Salinas by the time you finish your management, that is, assuming that you will finish your management at the end of this five-year period?
DC: Well, at some point our management will end, but we seek to leave positions, planned and structured change processes so that, even if the next administration had another trend or political affiliation, another belief, it already has a structure and a Planning to continue. That whoever comes after us, despite not being related to us, know that the course is forward, and continue the growth generated. That is why we are focused on laying these foundations and foundations and that the positive processes of change that cost us so much and that are implemented for the benefit of the people are not modified.
You can review all the relevant information of the Canton Salinas, with photo gallery, achievements, works and projects, by accessing the decentralized Autonomous Government of Canton Salinas website.
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