Before fall 2011, you could give your lawyer your docs and she/he would do everything for you, pretty much without your presence. Not so since the fall of 2011. Now it is "TRAMITE PERSONAL", meaning that no tramitadoras/ros, including lawyers can obtain or submit docs for you without your presence (or power of attorney).
The personnel at public offices (Registro Civil, Extranjeria, etc), including bosses, are almost completely changed. There were waves of layoffs in October-November 2011. A few thousand people were replaced in public offices and now it is mainly young faces with a better attitude (if this is possible in Ecuador) and better customer service and better organization of these services.
They (Extranjeria) have a website now with the requirements for some types of visa. http://www.mmrree.gob.ec/eng/services/visas.asp
They are trying to re-design the system for people to do it themselves and to get rid of corruption and faulty visas.
P.S. This is personal expierience and observations of my friend who knows Spanish well and doesn't need a costly translator and helper to do her "tramites".
We have a 2 bedroom, 1 bath totally remodeled
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Anti-noise windows in both bedrooms
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