We have two reports of shipments from Panama to Guayaquil (see link)
, with quite a bit of description of the customs clearance process in Ecuador. Dag Jenssen did the shipment by air, but did check on sea freight, and has a possible suggestion re Panalpina.
Continuing down to Ryan Wagner and Dan Koengeter's account of sea shipment on the same route, they used Pacific Agentship Panama (also called Ecuadorian Line) in Mar/April 2000, and contact details are listed.
If you have no shortage of time, then that will definitely help. And if your friends speak Spanish, they should be able to ease the process considerably.
Good luck, and please let us know how you go.
"It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You've got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses."
'One world, two wheels'
[This message has been edited by Susan (edited 08 December 2002).]