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write4change
30th September 2012, 17:35
Can you live on social security in Equador? And what is the cost of a private room and varius levels. I will give this serious consideration. I am 68 but still consider myself a vital 68.

Arrowwind
30th September 2012, 17:40
So Christine, how much money does it take to survive a year in Eucador, living modestly but also with a car. Can you figure some kind of way to break that down?
Since a monthly wage for a construction worker is $450, can you live well with an income of $800 a month?
Could that $800 include a land payment for about 5 acres? Knowing my mate, he would be more interested in a site close to a community like this. He does not carry the communal DNA that I have. He would have to see it first hand and BELIEVE.

A visa is for 9 months? Would a satellite residence in the USA for returning folks to stay at for the three months be workable... just an appartment or small house somewhere, where paperwork can originate from that could be cooperative for community memebers. just an idea.

Those three months can be very destabilizing for folks who want to put most of their all into a place in Ecuador. Folks like me who are getting by with social security, it would be required for us to return to the USA annually. For every one month we survive on SS here we could go almost 3 months there.

Does anyone have a descent link for the rules and regs on visiting or immigrating to Ecuador?

Christine Breese
30th September 2012, 18:45
Here are some links to places you can get info about residency, ecuador living costs, and even ask questions, etc.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ecuador_expats/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cuenca_ecuador/
http://www.ecuadorforums.com/index.php
http://blog.pro-ecuador.com/
http://cuencahighlife.com/ and get on their email list for Gringo Tree on the left side.

The place I got the most out of was reading people's blogs who live in Ecuador. Just search for them and you will find them. There are a lot of other resources, just google it, but these links are for starters which are forums you can join and ask questions or read what others are saying.

Oh, and don't forget, the Ecuador Consulate nearest you in your country is a good source of info. I found in the USA that the Ecaudorian Consulate in Washington DC was the most helpful. The CA Consulate wasn't that organized or helpful, and there are always girls who answer the phone who don't seem to want to talk to anyone. The Washington DC consulate was much more professional.

Christine Breese
30th September 2012, 19:01
There was a question about getting a car. OK, hereís the lowdown on getting a car and whether it is worth it or not.

As for a car, forget it if you are on a budget. Cars cost two and three times more than in the USA, even beat up old used ones. A 2007 Mazda pickup cost $17,000 here, which in the states is probably worth about $8000. A 1980ís beater can be gotten here for about $5000 (which in the states would go for about $500 or $1000), but be ready to spend all your time under the car fixing it. These are ALWAYS in the shop and you will be constantly haunted by a car that needs fixing all the time. Sometimes the wait for parts can be pretty long too, as most of them have to be imported and they are expensive. They sell the beaters when they are about to need a whole lot of work or someone finally gets tired of fixing it all the time. The car sticker shock here is intense.

You are better off just using public transportation and taxis. Buses cost $.25 (city and short distances) to a few dollars (long distances). Taxis are about $1.50 to $2 anywhere you go in the city. It would take a long time to add up to the price of a car, maybe a lifetime, at those prices.

Also, driving is insane here. They drive really crazy and you have to be super intuitive to avoid accidents. Also, you have to get an Ecuadorian driverís lic and you canít get it if you canít take the exam in Spanish. Personally, I wouldnít recommend anyone getting a car here unless they are immersed in construction like we have been. If you just want a car to go out and get your groceries or go to dinner here and there, forget the car. Itís not worth the headache or the price. Also, you will have to constantly guard the car from theft, as they are a target for that.

We needed a pickup so we can transport all the construction materials to the land every day, but itís a white knuckle ride every time we go to the city. There have been a lot of close calls that were only avoided because Bruce is an incredibly safe and intuitive driver. He literally had to read the minds of the crazy drivers and get out of their way as they do something really fast, wild and stupid. He is constantly watching all the mirrors, not just what is in front of him, and he canít even turn for a moment to say something while in conversation.

Driving is like a video game with constant obstacles like potholes a foot deep, kids with balls, old guys, cows, dogs, chickens, or even big rocks just sitting in the middle of the road for no reason that rolled off the hill. Driving is no walk in the park here. I was so relieved for a couple weeks to enjoy the organized and obstacle free driving we are all so used to in the USA when I visited. I forgot what that was like!

Also, if you donít know the road rules here, which not many of them are obeyed anyway, you can literally get killed doing something you might think is totally logical, but thatís just not the way itís done here. We have a friend who ended up in the hospital with broken bones making a left turn and almost died, totaled his car. A mac truck plowed into him while he as making a left turn. He didnít know that here you have to pull over to the right to make a left turn, wait until the traffic is clear, and then you can make the left. Itís not like in the USA where you hang in the left turn lane with your signal on. It is the not knowing little things like that which can get you killed in a car here.

Also, car rentals are about $250 to $300 per week, so thatís not worth it either, and they really sock it to you if there is even a scratch on the car, which they will always find one even if you didnít put it there. Unless you are embarking on a heavy business endeavor like we were with construction, getting a car is just totally unnecessary and the price and risks arenít worth it. Leave the driving to those who know how to do it here safely and operate with a completely different logic, if you can even call it that.

The good thing about public transportation here is that it will literally go EVERYWHERE! I am amazed at where the buses go. You can get to the most out of the way, Timbuktu kinds of places, you wouldnít believe it. The buses do four wheel drive roads practically and you can get absolutely anywhere you want to go cheap with public transportation. They have the public transportation thing completely wired here because so few of the population have cars here. They go absolutely everywhere.

Also, a driver in a taxi costs around $8 to $10 per hour, so you can get them to take you anywhere you want to go for that price. Itís pretty good.

OK, well, thatís my 2 cents on cars. I'm kinda biased, though, and I prefer organized and sane driving while others embrace the adventure of it! If you donít need one for more than normal everyday stuff, donít bother, though. Itís not worth it and itís going to cost an arm and a leg (no pun intended!). Public transportation is totally wired and you can go anywhere you want to go with buses and taxis cheap!

Bill Ryan
30th September 2012, 19:15
-------

Moving out of the US (for those who live there!) is often more of an emotional issue than a practical one. Quito is closer to Miami, for instance, than LA or San Francisco.

Miami to Quito is about 4 hours non-stop. (Many Ecuadorians go there for the weekend on shopping trips.) Miami to LA is at least an hour longer.

http://projectavalon.net/Ecuador_Miami_LA.gif

write4change
30th September 2012, 19:24
Bill,

This kind of thinking is something I would have never thought of. LOL I do not know enough to ask good questions. You have to know what you don't know to ask. LOL So what else can you think of that would be pleasant surprises along with what would make us feel awkward. The car information was also helpful in framing thinking.

Are Wells Fargo Banks around any of the major cities there?

Thanks for your time and consideration in the invitation.

Mike
30th September 2012, 19:48
i rely heavily on certain nutritional supplements to treat various health maladies.

my question is: are supplements readily available in this area of Ecuador? health food stores etc..?

thanks.

mahalall
30th September 2012, 20:25
Ecuador is a year-round destination. In terms of weather, there are only two real seasons Ė the rainy season and the dry season Ė

Argh, I'll feel at home with my umbrella for half the year.


Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ecuador/weather#ixzz27zEk1B3T

Zelig
30th September 2012, 20:50
I researched Ecuador a while back during a flight of fancy as I endured a northern Ontario winter. I was particularly focussed on Vilcabamba and was quite drawn to it until I dug a little deeper. My impression, from various ex-pat bloggers, was that the influx of relatively wealthy outsiders had begun to create tension with the locals. The cost of living went up for everybody because of the arrival of wealth from abroad, and crime followed suit, partly as a backlash and partly out of necessity. My conclusion was that if it was indeed as wonderful as it appeared, outsiders would continue to swarm in until an equilibrium was reached. Bill's mention of "U.S. quality shopping malls" leads me to believe that I was right.
Having said all that, I still find it appealing.

Christine Breese
30th September 2012, 20:56
RAINY SEASON

Aaah, donít worry about the rainy season. Itís not a constant monsoon or anything. Itís usually about 2 hours heavy rain in the afternoon about 2 or 3 pm, and then itís back to normal. Just do something inside during that time, then it clears up. The only difference in the dry season (July, Aug, Sept and part of Oct), is that is doesnít rain as heavily, but still rains a little. Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, itís not really the rainy season, just seems normal to me, and itís some of the warmer and nicer weather of Ecuador. March, April and May are the heaviest rains, but still, it didnít seem to be that much different to me. It seemed to rain just as often, but just more rain came down when it did rain for the two hours in the afternoons.

BANKS
As for the banks, no major USA banks here. We bank with Banco Pichincha which is the easiest one to get an account with, also the largest bank. You just need a utility bill from anyone, ask your landlord for a copy, or a friend living in Ecuador which you will make friends pretty quick, doesnít have to be in your name, and a copy of your passport. Itís easy. Then you simply write a check from your USA bank and deposit in your Ecuador account, takes 20 days or less, and then the money is here in your account free of any kinds of transfer charges. If you use ATM, that works but itís a $3 or more charge, can only get $200 or a little more at a time, and sometimes the ATMs donít spit out your money! I donít use the ATMs here unless I have a bank employee witness to see if I actually get the money. I pretend I need help using the machine or something. The other way is to do a wire transfer if you need the money quicker than 20 days, which is about $40 to transfer overseas, and a $26 charge from the bank here to receive the money, so it costs $66 to transfer any amount here from the USA.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
Bring as much as you can in your suitcases. If you fly during times when there is not the embargo on the airlines (Christmas time, about nov 15 to Jan 15 and some summer months, donít know which ones, check with your airline, the embargos are when Ecaudorians normally ďcome homeĒ to visit and want to bring tons of gifts from the states with them for their families, the embargo limits suitcases to only 2 checked bags, thatís it) you can bring 5 suitcases of 50 pounds with you full of stuff! We brought a lot of vitamins and supplements because we are particular about organic stuff. If you are not particular about organic, there are lots of little mom and pop health stores here that sell the vitamins and supplements. The higher end brands that are organic are far and few between though. If commercial vitamins are your thing though, plenty of them. There are organic ones too, but itís not necessarily consistent, just FYI.

MODERN SOCIETY
There is plenty of modern society here, actually. Weíre not living in huts in the jungle! Ha! Thereís high speed internet, refrigerators, stoves and regular living basics. It doesnít feel like the third world that people think it is. It isn't even hot and humid here in Cuenca, and in fact is always like spring or fall. It is pretty close to the USA standard of living, I think, even has malls, movie theaters, the whole gamut. If you want to go to the jungle and live in a hut, that can be done too though!

Arrowwind
30th September 2012, 21:23
Well, most of my interest in cars is related to construction... I might have specified that. I have no issue with using public transport but after spending the last 3 years developing a small ranch I have a hard time imagining it without a tractor and a pickup truck. We have been able to develop a lot of infrastructure using the tractor, including pond construction, garden development and fence building.

It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that our ranch development here will not be sustainable financially into the long life I intend to live... and especially if social security should hit the fan and evaporate. I started seeing that selling this place may be required and downsizing or going to another country if we want to maintain the same or similar standard of living.

What are the primary construction materials there for homes, barns, etc?

Please expound on the purchase of land for non citizens.

Christine Breese
30th September 2012, 21:45
Vilcabamba, I have to say I would NOT live there. Bill and I have had some conversations about that when he was there to check it out. I encouraged him to check out Cuenca and feel the difference in energy toward gringos, and he felt it immediately. Night and day. Here we are not noticed, whereas in Vilcabamba we were definitely noticed, resented and overcharged on purpose for everything. We checked out land there in 2009, and it wasn't as bad then with the resentment as it is now, but it was already starting then. Not all Vilcabamba Ecuadorians are resentful, of course, as we were met with a lot of friendly ones too, but there is an underlying energy there that is happening because the gringos all seem to be on vacation and the native Vilcabambans have to work harder than ever now. That is an unfortunate turn of events.

We chose the Cuenca area because it is large enough that gringos have not made an impact on Ecuadorian reality here the way they have in Vilcabamba and we pretty much blend in. Cotacachi (2 hours north of Quito by car or bus) is another small town that is starting to have resentment because of the incoming gringos making an impact on their reality. While these small towns are lovely places to be, if too many foreigners go to it then it changes the Ecuadoriansí reality for the worse. I would suggest not moving to the small towns.

The malls here in Cuenca are filled with Ecuadorians, not gringos, so thatís a good sign. Every Ecuadorian has a cell phone these days, and even the guys on burros with ponchos on the dirt trails in the mountains have a cell phone! I knew things changed since I was here 25 years ago when I saw that. Ha! Ecuadorians who live in the city donít live differently than we do in the USA. Ecuadorians in the country still live pretty simply but they still have cell phones! Itís interesting to see the changes.

Anyway, donít do Vilcabamba. Itís a bubble that has already burst, the land prices are severely inflated although renting is still ok if you can find a rental, and there is resentment among the locals. I think it is better to stick to the places where the city is large enough that we donít make an impact as foreigners. That is the main reason we chose the Cuenca area, not to mention the ease of access with the airports, technology needs, and access to items of all sorts that anyone would need. Cuenca is also has the least crime of any of the cities, has the best looking architecture and feels more like a huge town than a city.

Christine Breese
30th September 2012, 23:15
BUYING LAND IN ECUADOR

Sorry for these long posts! I've been working on answering your questions and it's taking some time to write this stuff out, but it will give you the reality picture of some of these issues, concerns, ideas and plans...

As for making payments on land, that doesnít happen here. Itís impossible. You have to buy land with one big payment. They donít do mortgages or loans here, and if they do payments, maybe an owner would give you three or four months if youíre talking a half a million dollar property, but they arenít going to give you the deed until itís paid in full. It could be a risk if you canít come up with that last payment, and you will lose everything you put into it before that last payment is due. Personally I wouldnít risk it. This is a cash society. You have to save your money and buy land by paying all at once. They arenít interested in payments. There are enough people they can sell to who have all the money at once, so they donít need to deal with people who want to make payments.

Everything here is measured in hectares, which is 2.4 acres. A 5 acre property is 2 hectares (4.8 acres). A hectare without anything on it near us goes for about $6000 to $7000 per hectare (about $2500 per acre). The bigger the property gets, the better price per hectare you can get. Prices vary a lot, but itís not as cheap as you might think. There are places in the USA where you can buy cheaper than here in Ecuador! Of course thatís in the USA, though.

If you are interested in real estate in Ecuador, just do a google search and youíll get an idea of the prices and what things cost in what areas.

There has been a lot of talk about gringo communities where you can build your own house on a lot in a gringo gated community, but I still have not seen anyone really pull it off for decent prices and Iím not hearing about any of these taking off. People with developer mentality buy the land cheap, make lots with water and electric to it, and thatís it. None of those are going to be 5 acres, though. Weíre talking lots. You will pay a lot more for it than you would if you just bought the land from an Ecuadorian in the first place. Situations like this will also have monthly costs for the guard at the gate and any other community services. It is not going to be spiritually focused and you wonít have control over who you live with, either. You might not like your neighbors. If you are going to do the whole big country ranch/hacienda thing, youíre better off going in on it together with a bunch of friends and having 20 people live on that land with you.

Christine Breese
30th September 2012, 23:53
BUILDING IN ECUADOR

The labor is cheap (about $85 a week for a general unskilled laborer, $140 per week for a skilled laborer, and those prices include the $10 Ė 20 taxes on them you are going to have to pay the govt) but the materials are not as cheap as we would have liked. Building materials are about 1/2 what they are in the States.

Cinder blocks and cement is the basic building method here. Very rarely do you see a wooden house as wood is not as available here and is quite expensive. Adobe or cement is the way to go.

If you have less money for materials and more time on your hands, adobe is cheaper and more labor intensive (although I am not sold on adobe as it is less permanent, cement and cinder blocks last a lot longer). If you want to whip something out fast and have a bit more for materials, cinder block and cement is the way to go.

Bag of cement about 90 lbs $8, Cinder blocks $.60 each, truckload of rocks, sand or gravel $180 a load, tile for floors about $11 per square meter, paint, $30 a 5 gallon bucket for the white undercoat, $60 a 5 gallon bucket for the actual colored paint. Faucets and stuff like that, they are about USA prices, not much less. Most of them are imported from somewhere else.

To build a regular middle class cinder block house in Ecuador is going to cost about $100,000 more or less, maybe $150,000 or more depending on how fancy you want to get. You can build a cinder block small cabin sized something or other for about $15,000 to $20,000 as long as itís really simple. This of course doesnít include the cost of land. If you just buy something already built with a little bit of land around it, you will pay probably about $250,000 to $300,000. It is better than what you can get in the states for that price, which is just a house on a lot. If you are getting the equivalent of a house on a lot, it would cost about $80,000 to $100,000.

Christine Breese
1st October 2012, 00:20
So Christine, how much money does it take to survive a year in Ecuador, living modestly but also with a car?
Forget the car, as I mentioned in an earlier post. Taxis and buses will take you everywhere and anywhere you want to go, for cheap! You only need a car if you are building and in construction. If you are like Bill and like to drive in foreign countries, though, it can be done! I kinda like the organized driving of the USA! I'm a wimp.


Can you figure some kind of way to break that down? Since a monthly wage for a construction worker is $450, can you live well with an income of $800 a month?

see below, I answer this question last...


Could that $800 include a land payment for about 5 acres? There is no such thing as making payments for land here, no such thing as mortgages from banks, no owner will carry. You must have the money to buy it outright. That's just the way it works here. This is a cash society.


Knowing my mate, he would be more interested in a site close to a community like this. He does not carry the communal DNA that I have. He would have to see it first hand and BELIEVE.I guess you could, people do it, although very rarely does anything come up for sale near us.


A visa is for 9 months? Would a satellite residence in the USA for returning folks to stay at for the three months be workable... just an apartment or small house somewhere, where paperwork can originate from that could be cooperative for community members. just an idea. Those three months can be very destabilizing for folks who want to put most of their all into a place in Ecuador. Folks like me who are getting by with social security, it would be required for us to return to the USA annually. For every one month we survive on SS here we could go almost 3 months there. That's a good idea, but most people just go to Peru for three months and then come back. That saves them some dough. If you have a govt check or pension though, or some other kind of income you can just get residency and stay here forever if you want.


Does anyone have a descent link for the rules and regs on visiting or immigrating to Ecuador? I posted some resources in an earlier post, check those out, lotta answers there on this subject.


To Arrowwind

A person can live ok on $800 per month in Ecuador, no problemo. People do it on that, but they canít live on much less than that unless you just have a bedroom in a house with other people and do the room mate thing. If there are two of you living on $800, well, thatís going to be pushing it. There are couples trying to do that, but I wouldnít say they are exactly happy. Itís a struggle for them and they can't go out and do anything. You will need more than that.

As a couple we needed $1200 per month to have a modest lifestyle that we are used to in the states. The prices in Ecuador are going up, just like anywhere in the world, and Cuenca is one of the more expensive places to live in Ecuador, actually. If you live in a hut in the jungle and cook over a fire, well, you can live on a heck of a lot less of course! If you live in places where gringos donít go you can get your costs down, but then you wonít have a social life unless you speak pretty fluent Spanish. The whole living in the jungle thing is for adventurous backpackers and it sure is fun! I've done that in my younger years, but, uh, I'm a little too old for that now being in my 40's.

The Ecuadorians making $450 or less per month are living in pretty non-gringo-acceptable conditions, entire families of 10 with three generations living together in one small apt, and they do not have cars. They also eat white rice, white bread, and they donít live on healthy foods like you might be used to. You are not going to be able to compare yourself to them unless you are willing to live a lot differently. An apt that costs $100 per month is not something you are going to be happy with.

A house with a yard is nearly impossible to find and there is a lot of competition for them. They are also priced high because they are in demand. Apartments, condos and row homes, though, thatís easy to get, with maybe a patio out front. Rents in Cuenca for a gringo level places are about $400 to $600 minimum for a 2 or 3 bedroom place, and $500 per month is average for a place gringos would like. We paid $600 per month. Plus we had to pay electric ($40), water ($40) and internet ($55). Those prices could vary in different areas.

Right now, you can get residency with a check for $800 per month if it is a retirement check. Iím not sure about non-permanent disability, so you would have to check on that. They are going to raise the residency requirements to $1000 per month very shortly, though, so you might have to come up with the extra $200 if you wait too much longer to apply for residency.

Go to the forums I listed in an earlier thread where you can see a lot more info on the subject of immigration.

doodah
1st October 2012, 01:13
Christine, you said:
... it isn't safe to live outside of the city unless you are in a family compound or a gated community with a guard.
...so I'm wondering ... how are you protecting what you're building right now?

Thanks for all this information. I hope things go well for you there.

~ Doodah

norman
1st October 2012, 01:25
Thank you for all the information.

I can quite see why a car isn't the thing to have. I'm wondering if it may be practical to have a bicycle ?

Even though I think it's very unlikely that I will really move to Ecuador, I'm enjoying thinking about it via your descriptive posts.

My imagination is working on how it feels and sounds over there. I've recently become very enthusiastic about outdoor sound recording and I find it impossible to get far enough away from the sound of traffic to get that magical "nature" ambiance I'm looking for. The traffic noise is more noticeable in the recordings than it is at the time that I'm standing there making the recordings.

One thing that really could motivate me to relocate would be if I could find areas, and get to them easily, where I can experience and record the nature without the constant hum and rumble that radiates out across the land around anywhere where modern humans gather or travel through in motor vehicles.

Although I'm a 'nature' lover, I'm also quite concerned about the different natural hazards from wild life there. I currently live in an area where the most dangerous creature out there is probably a wasp or a mentally disturbed pet dog. I imagine that in Ecuador there are many more dangerous creatures to watch out for, once I get right out into the wild and 'quiet' places.

Another question for anyone who knows, is it possible to fly to Ecuador from Britain without passing through the USA? If not, as I suspect, does anyone have any experience of making the journey by sea?

Christine
1st October 2012, 01:46
Christine, you said:
... it isn't safe to live outside of the city unless you are in a family compound or a gated community with a guard.
...so I'm wondering ... how are you protecting what you're building right now?

Thanks for all this information. I hope things go well for you there.

~ Doodah

Hi Christine.... Hi Doodah.... Hi everyone!

The quote jumped out at me too. It pretty much left me thinking Um? I am not sure I agree with that. I actually know some folks who live out in the country in Ecuador either alone or with their immediate family and haven't experienced any problems. Much depends on how you integrate with your neighbors, the attitudes you carry and the life style you choose.

I have posted a lot of information about Ecuador on different threads and have now been living here for a year and a half. Wow, time flies.

I do want to thank Christine for her time writing all this information down, I know how much work it is as I was inundated with questions too. There is a lot to learn about a country and as many views about living in it as there are people, so it is difficult to really know a place until you visit there yourself.

I have been to Christine and Bruce's place and it is amazing what these two high energy people have done. If someone wants to visit Ecuador, have a good place to start their explorations from, maybe stay awhile and explore the area plus be in the company of some very wonderfully awake folks I would recommend Gaia Sagrada as a good jumping off place. Christine has explained to me the different models she has for opening her center to the larger world.

I do agree with Christine that community is the way we should to be living as we experience the accelerating changes. Community challenges us, fulfills us and teaches us in ways that we do not get to experience in isolation.

Hey there Christine - if I get a little more time I will try and help here with answering some of the questions.

With the warmest regards,

Christine

Jill
1st October 2012, 01:51
I may visit Cuenca (and possibly Cotacachi) early next year and was wondering if you could provide any contacts for short term rentals in these areas. Thanks.

MargueriteBee
1st October 2012, 01:56
Thanks Bill, gotta get a passport, etc. I hope to be in Vilcabamba next spring!

Christine
1st October 2012, 01:57
Although I'm a 'nature' lover, I'm also quite concerned about the different natural hazards from wild life there. I currently live in an area where the most dangerous creature out there is probably a wasp or a mentally disturbed pet dog. I imagine that in Ecuador there are many more dangerous creatures to watch out for, once I get right out into the wild and 'quiet' places.

Another question for anyone who knows, is it possible to fly to Ecuador from Britain without passing through the USA? If not, as I suspect, does anyone have any experience of making the journey by sea?

Hi Norman,

Wild life - depends on where you are in Ecuador. In the Andes you won't find anything too ferocious. There are lots of Alpacas, amazing birds, butterflies and a few remaining puma. Not much chance you will run into anything dangerous. In the oriente (amazon) you would need be careful of venomous snakes.

Here is a picture of an Alpaca friend of mine, nothing remotely dangerous about this fellow:

http://projectavalon.net/Alpaca.jpg

I don't know about ships that sail from the UK but you can get to Ecuador via Spain without going into the US.

Short reply to take some pressure off of the other Christine.

Warmly,

Christine (La Tigra)

P.S. Yesterday I spent the day in a bio reserve water shed area about 11,000 feet up.... amazing. No cars, no electric lines, blue skies and cotton candy clouds streaming across the sky with the brisk breeze. Another day to be grateful for.

Bill Ryan
1st October 2012, 02:24
-------

My personal summary about Ecuador:

The country has a great deal going for it. Diesel is subsidized at $1.04 a gallon, gasoline is $1.48 (all the gas stations nationwide are the same price), a good quality furnished condo costs about $500-600 pm, and a very nice meal out costs about $20-25 for two: sometimes quite a bit less.

Fruit is cheap and abundant (there are some enormous markets here), there's a year-round growing season, there are no mosquitos (except at the coast), and you can get raw milk delivered to your door. I've never been lucky enough to see a dangerous animal of any kind.

Unlike Christine Breese, I enjoy driving here! But yes, you do have to get used to the local protocols and assumptions. Overtaking going round corners is just one of these. And I'm still not used to pulling over to the right when turning left. :)

Vehicles are expensive here -- but they hold their value. This takes a bit of getting used to. For example, someone I know bought an old 1980s 4x4 for $5000. In the US, it might have cost just $800. But a year later, it's still worth $5000. (And its brother in the US would still be worth $800. See how it works?)

There are signs that the government is trying to tighten up on its bureaucracy, NWO-style. But they're pretty inefficient, and many years behind North America and Europe in their ability to maintain their databases and systems.

No American or European banks here. As Christine Breese says, it's easy to open a bank account in Ecuador (though, like many formalities here, the paperwork and apparently unnecessary form-filling can be prodigious.) International transfers are easy to make, and someone I knew withdrew $50,000 cash a little while ago without the bank teller raising an eyebrow. (Try doing that in the US!)

The residency process is relatively straightforward, and yes, you can live here indefinitely. The easiest route is if you have a university degree. That qualifies you for what's called a permanent professional visa.

For that you need your degree certificate, your birth certificate, and a letter or other written official statement that you have a clean police record from your state or country of residence in the last five years. All these documents need to have an apostille. If you don't have a degree, there are other relatively straightforward routes (Christine/ La Tigra can advise, as she's helped a lot of people out with visas and residency and has become a near-expert in the subject.)

After your residency is granted, you can live here permanently -- and the only restriction is that you can only leave the country for a total of 90 days in each of your first two years here.

Buying land is not a problem for anyone, whether they're resident or not. The price of land is often less than $10,000 per acre (though prices are increasing now that more and more expats are arriving).

Yes, it's cheap to live here in everyday terms. I had a very battered and broken wallet beautifully and lovingly reconditioned for just $6. The technician in one of the Apple Stores here took great personal care to cut my laptop casing with a fine hacksaw to make my new keyboard fit properly (it was very slightly the wrong version, but he made it work perfectly -- then he charged me $20. No Apple technician in the US would ever have been permitted to do that). A local mechanic had my car for six weeks while he wrestled with a tricky problem with a range of misbehaving sensors. He charged just $60(!) for his labor. He was a conscientious perfectionist. The quality of personal and professional service I've received here in some instances is as good as if not better than anywhere in the world. There are some very high quality people here.

Not so cheap are imported electronic items, which can be expensive. Good quality vitamins and supplements need to be brought in from the US. And you need to learn to barter, as many vendors try it on and quote "gringo prices" when they see you coming. Then, hey, that's part of the fun of living in a developing country.

But it's a developing country in pretty good shape. I've traveled extensively in Africa and India, and there's no comparison. Many parts of Ecuador are MUCH more like the US or Europe (particularly southern Europe) than, say, anywhere in Africa. The people are extremely friendly, I personally have witnessed no crime at all, and I feel very safe here. (This is WHY I'm here!)

And I drive almost every day -- and enjoy the ride.

:)

mosquito
1st October 2012, 02:48
Thank you Christine for all the information, and especially for the hard facts, which should help people to realize that it isn't just a case of getting up and going there.

I attempted to live in Peru a few years back, and it sounds like there are some parallels, not surprisingly !

If I'm not mistaken, another option for people is to buy Ecuadorian citizenship, which (the last time I checked) was still the cheapest deal available at $25,000. It's possible that the USA has clamped down on this though, as they did recently with the acquisition of Panamanian passports.

Please bear in mind that although Cuenca may be a nice place now, the more gringos who come with the wrong attitude, the more likely it is that things will turn sour, as in Vilcabamba.

Good luck with your enterprise, I hope it all works out well for you !!!

Christine Breese
1st October 2012, 06:44
Thanks so much Christine and Bill for answering questions and joining me on this one! I didnít realize I would be putting a dayís worth or more of writing into this one! I like to write, so no problem, but wow! Thanx for the answering questions and helping! I didnít realize we would be addressing all kinds of other questions that have nothing to do with the Gaia Sagrada Center. I guess we got off track as to what this thread was supposed to be about, Gaia Sagrada, but thatís ok. All these answers about Ecuador for the people who arenít interested in a spiritual community is important stuff!

Bicycles in Ecuador

Bicycle, yikes! I wouldnít ride that thing in the city, thatís for sure! There are not a lot of people on bikes in the city, and if there were I think they would get run over by crazy drivers too often! I most certainly wouldn't turn my back on the traffic, that's for sure. I see people riding bikes on the country roads and that would be fine. Just get a taxi or bus (I think you can hook a bike onto a bus, donít know, never tried) and take your bike with you to the country and ride there. That is the only place I would dare to ride a bike in Ecuador though, or small towns. Cuenca, or any other city, oh boy. Talk about risking it. Your guardian angels are not going to like the workout youíre going to give them on that one! Bike riding in the city, no, although you can do it if youíre willing to take the risk; bike riding in the country, big YES! Make sure itís a mountain bike as youíre going to need those extra gears!

Recording Nature Sounds

You can take your recording gear with you, and you would get plenty of lovely non-human sounds to record if you are outside the city. The night sounds are really wonderful here at Gaia Sagrada, and the day sounds too. We donít hear any human sounds out here at all, although maybe once every couple days we might hear something go by our gravel road, but not much else than that. It is nature sounds all the way here at Gaia Sagrada! I think there are more places where there are no human sounds than the other way around here in Ecuador. Itís a nature sound recordists dream!

Dangerous Animals

Boy, that Llama was a pretty scary dude Christine! Yikes! He might lick ya or something! Seriously, what a cutie!

Dangerous animals are only in the jungle it seems. Jaguars, snakes, and poisonous bugs, thatís pretty much it. I think that all the Ecuadorians living in the country kill and eat most of the wild animals, so I donít hardly ever see wild animals, at least not in the mountains or out at the coastal plains. I saw a deer ONCE here in the country in all the time that Iíve been here. Of course deer arenít dangerous for anything except your garden. The good thing is that we donít have to put fences around our gardens because the deer donít run around in herds mowing everything in their path, leaving nothing but stalks in your garden, the way they do in the states! Of course, the most dangerous animals on the planet are humans. Theyíre everywhere!

Rentals in Ecuador

They are listed sometimes on that gringo tree email list or the Ecuador expat forum in yahoo groups. If you just do a google search though, youíll find the rentals. Theyíre easy to find online. Whatever you do, donít sign more than a 3 month lease for a rental that is unseen if youíre just going to get it so you can land here. Try for only a month if you can. You can use that as a landing base and then look for another once youíre here, thatís what we did. Unless youíre here, you canít be sure a rental is decent, so just grab whatever, keep it short as far as a lease goes, and then move on from there once youíre here. Your best rentals and best prices will be found in the Sunday classifieds in the local newspaper El Mercurio here in Cuenca.

Panama and Costa Rica fate for Ecuador?

Itís going to take a long time before gringos will make that kind of impact in Ecuador. It took 10 to 15 years for the whole Panama and Costa Rica thing. We figure weíll have some time before that happens, and if thatís what happens then fine, we could sell and move on to the next undiscovered gem, wherever that is. However, this is no normal time weíre living in. Personally I donít think there will be time for Ecuador to have the same fate as Costa Rica or Panama before we are in a full on consciousness shift on this planet. What happens then, well, itís anyoneís guess! I figure that for now Ecuador is a great place to be. If that ever changes, well, nothingís permanent! Change is part of life! Nothing to worry about. If this ride only lasts a few years before it becomes a Panama or Costa Rica type situation, then itís going to be a great few years! Iíll take it! Personally, I think the good times will last a lot longer than that in Ecuador, so weíre not worried.

Christine Breese
1st October 2012, 07:08
Bill you are a total wild man with that driving thing, braving the crazy seas of the roads of Ecuador, just like Bruce! ha! You are both made from the same the same mold or something. Bruce secretly likes it too! Maybe it's a guy thing! He was never going to be happy until he had his own car here!

Strat
1st October 2012, 07:46
For example, someone I know bought an old 1980s 4x4 for $5000.

$20 says it's a Tacoma. That or a Range Rover.

Is it easy to cross borders into neighboring countries? I imagine it's just a matter of showing your passport.

Tony
1st October 2012, 08:08
The gringos are already having an impact, regarding it as their own cheap play ground. It is no different from anywhere else in the world, rich and semi rich bored people wanting the 'good life'. I sat with many people in Vilcambamba chatting, most seemed bored, some with a siege mentality, some thought they needed a gun!

People are the same all over. Poor people are just ordinary living their lives quite happily, then foreigners arrive with an attitude.



Tony

mosquito
1st October 2012, 09:17
Absolutely Tony, well said.

andrewgreen
1st October 2012, 10:11
People from poorer countries also move to wealthier countries for better opportunities. Moving to somewhere where the cost of living is substantially cheaper can benefit your life but it may also have unforeseen negative affects on the lives of the local communities such as increasing house prices and a widening wealth gap causing more crime. Moving and sharing ideas is part of a growing awareness but is also a driver of globalisation. After travelling and living abroad for a while I believe it can be important to our individual growth but we have to do it for the right reasons.

blufire
1st October 2012, 10:46
Buying land is not a problem for anyone, whether they're resident or not. The price of land is often less than $10,000 per acre (though prices are increasing now that more and more expats are arriving).

Jeez Bill, you can get great farmland in Kansas for $5,000 an acre and here in the Appalachian Mountains you can purchase stunning mountain land for $600 an acre.

For the past several months I read your (Bill) posts and even though your general view of our future aligns with mine I always come to a screeching halt at your fairly adamant counsel at moving to Ecuador. You have flat out said at least a couple times that those of us who live in the US should consider leaving the country asap. It would be helpful if you could elaborate on why you have this opinion.

Staying in line with this thread I will have to say these types of Ďcommunitiesí have always confused me . . . . I have such a difficult time envisioning myself mediating, enjoying sumptuous meals, strolling through the gardens, soaking in hot tubs, going to workshops becoming more enlightened and spiritual . . . etcetera while the local Ecuadorian people do most of the work and take care of me. I also feel these types of Ďcommunitiesí only favor the independent fairly wealthy. . . .

For me, going to Live somewhere means you choose to live Ďin that placeí because of the people, culture, heritage and land. For me, taking my usual way of living with my culture, my heritage and nationality to a dramatically different location would defeat the purpose of moving.

This retreat sounds very lovely and idealistic . . . . I just wish for once it was a place for everyone no matter their financial situation . . . . even in this beautiful Ďsacredí place where one can come to become more Ďspiritualí everyone will be divided by financial ability and even nationality . . . . somehow for me this defeats the purpose of Ďlivingí there to shift into the new paradigm . . . if you go to live in such a beautiful place with the old paradigm solidly in place how much harder will it be to Ďshift paradigmsí?

Arrowwind
1st October 2012, 11:03
-------

Buying land is not a problem for anyone, whether they're resident or not. The price of land is often less than $10,000 per acre (though prices are increasing now that more and more expats are arriving).


:)


Less than 10,000 an acre? Hmmm. Doesnt sound inexpensive to me. Quality farm land in the USA is available at 2 to 3,000 an acre with water rights if you purchase up to 30 acres. Of course you wont be living near Taos, Sun Valley or any trendy or new age type of place in California or New York.

I found this site for realestate in Cuencar: http://www.cuencarealestate.com/Listings.aspx?type=1&cat=4

If it is like Mexico the better deals are found through word of mouth, but it seems that perhaps the Cuencar area is already inflated due to gringo invasion. The land looks much like areas in Belize to me.

Arrowwind
1st October 2012, 11:23
[
Staying in line with this thread I will have to say these types of Ďcommunitiesí have always confused me . . . . I have such a difficult time envisioning myself mediating, enjoying sumptuous meals, strolling through the gardens, soaking in hot tubs, going to workshops becoming more enlightened and spiritual . . . etcetera while the local Ecuadorian people do most of the work and take care of me. I also feel these types of Ďcommunitiesí only favor the independent fairly wealthy. . . .

?

Bluefire, your thoughts are not too far off from mine... and as you can see in the post I entered almost the same time you did yours, I comment on the cost of land also.

I lived in the Taos area in the late 70's and saw first hand what gringo invasion does... and please remember, Taos and the surounding area was about as close as you could get to living in a foreign country in the 50's and 60's. Taos was inundated with over 300 communes (as I was told but likely only 30) in the 60's.. I landed into one of the last cooperatvie living places left, the Taos Learning Center which disappated soon after... The hippy invasion really changed the reality of the land and the peoples there... and a few dead hippies were found on the road over the course of the years. The locals had a hard time adjusting to gringo hippy chicks walking half naked down the road as well as their drug use... These days, regular people can barely afford to live in the Taos area nor Santa Fe and the disparity of wealth was clear cut at least back then. These communites have become newage centers and centers for the arts.. which in effect are wealthy people who live off of the backs of others mostly... guess I can get kind of jaded about it, having seen first hand what these cultural exchanges do for the "locals"

All the cultural diversity and simplicity that is so attractive initially to the community and the lifestyle is lost. Before you know it all the implants start implementing all the regulations and laws that many of us are trying to avoid or escape and then the next thing you know crime starts to escalate as the displaced people try to find a new footing. Gangs are now in Taos and Santa Fe.... http://www.jrsa.org/pubs/sac-digest/documents/gang_survey_II_final_report.pdf

Arrowwind
1st October 2012, 11:43
[QUOTE].

Staying in line with this thread I will have to say these types of Ďcommunitiesí have always confused me . . . . I have such a difficult time envisioning myself mediating, enjoying sumptuous meals, strolling through the gardens, soaking in hot tubs, going to workshops becoming more enlightened and spiritual . . . etcetera while the local Ecuadorian people do most of the work and take care of me. I also feel these types of Ďcommunitiesí only favor the independent fairly wealthy. . . .



In the Taos area (San Cristobol) I spent some time at the Lama Foundation, formed by Shaykh Noorudeen and Ram Dass. There were about 30 people living there at the time and this was before the fire that destroyed much of it.. The folks there were largely economically sustained either by trust funds, social security insurance or disability or independently wealthy. A very few ventured out to work in the community and due to the isolation it was hard to do. there was a small construction company if I recall correctly. The community made money by providing workshops and retreats to "newagers" from around the nation. They were not well integrated into the local economy or community... difficult to do being so physically and economically isolated. All in all I really liked the community and their advanced level of consciousness, but this community really offered next to nothing to the local area. It was clear to see that it was not sustainable as it stood without the indirect governement funds and independent wealth the poured into it.

Tarka the Duck
1st October 2012, 11:46
We spent some time in Ecuador last year, and it is indeed a beautiful country and the Ecuadorians we met were charming (we particularly liked the vibes of Cuenca). there, We had some opportunities to meet ex pats - 99% were from North America - and also chat with people - again, from North America - who were there with a view to buying property either as a holiday home, or to relocate.

The one thing that almost all the people from the USA mentioned was International Living. We'd never heard of this publishing group before, but it seems they have been doing a big push on Ecuador as a Retirement Haven, stressing that what they call a "comfortable middle-class lifestyle" (lotus eaters?) costs less than $17,000 per annum. Many of the people we met who are thinking of relocating there were looking at gated communities with all the creature comforts of homeÖand few of the ones we met who had already moved had managed to learn Spanish beyond a pretty basic level. They were there for the cheap cost of living and the weather.And yes, I know that doesn't apply to everyone!
But it was, for me, an uncomfortable reminder of the Northern European attitude to southern Spain in the 70's , where expats and retirees sit at foreign-owned cafes, talking to other expats and tourists, in their native language Ė English.

I suppose what I'm saying is that sensitivity and humility are virtues.

Christine
1st October 2012, 12:02
Bill you are a total wild man with that driving thing, braving the crazy seas of the roads of Ecuador, just like Bruce! ha! You are both made from the same the same mold or something. Bruce secretly likes it too! Maybe it's a guy thing! He was never going to be happy until he had his own car here!

Not a guy thing... I was made to drive in Latin america. I actually find it easy to get around and not scary.

Scarier for me is to not be driving and be in the hands of a myopic driver with a lead foot. :)

Bill Ryan
1st October 2012, 12:12
Many of the people we met who are thinking of relocating there were looking at gated communities with all the creature comforts of homeÖand few of the ones we met who had already moved had managed to learn Spanish beyond a pretty basic level. They were there for the cheap cost of living and the weather.And yes, I know that doesn't apply to everyone!
But it was, for me, an uncomfortable reminder of the Northern European attitude to southern Spain in the 70's , where expats and retirees sit at foreign-owned cafes, talking to other expats and tourists, in their native language Ė English.

I suppose what I'm saying is that sensitivity and humility are virtues.

Totally true. There's a large gated community in Vilcabamba (called San Joaquin) which has become infamous. It contains of expensive, American-style houses -- some of which are really quite large -- in a gated community manned by an armed guard. This has justifiably caused significant resentment among the locals, as the valley it's in contained sacred land prior to being snapped up for a song a decade ago and developed for profit. In my personal opinion, it's a showcase of naive American cultural arrogance, and has caused a lot of damage.

Even within that safe compound, one or two of the houses have metal gates and walls so high that you cannot see in to the walled land at all while driving past. The message that gives is that of a fortress built by someone whose life is full of fear and distrust.

Dr Brian O'Leary, bless his very large heart, who lived in Vilcabamba for many years but who integrated really well with the locals, was quietly extremely critical of all this.

Mike Adams lived San Joaquin when he was in Vilcabamba, and started running real estate tours there. These were not welcomed by locals and expats alike. The strong reaction to his American-style entrepreneurial attitude, which he thought was harmless, was part of the reason why he left to return to the States.

Vilcabamba is not Ecuador, however, any more than Las Vegas (or Sedona!) are America. There are many other communities which are unspoiled and where friendly expats are welcomed and greeted with kindness. The rules of engagement when traveling, or relocating, are universal:


Don't throw your weight around.
Be genuinely friendly and interested.
Learn the language (or at least try to speak it!). Genuine efforts to communicate personally are always welcomed.
Don't fall into the trap of feeling that you're better than anyone else just because you're white, educated, well-traveled, well-informed, or (relatively) wealthy.
Respect local traditions, customs, and values, and seek to understand them.
Never take advantage of naivete or kindness.
Always remember that this is not your country, and like a guest in anyone's house, you are just that -- a guest.

Bill Ryan
1st October 2012, 12:20
-------

Buying land is not a problem for anyone, whether they're resident or not. The price of land is often less than $10,000 per acre (though prices are increasing now that more and more expats are arriving).


:)

Less than 10,000 an acre? Hmmm. Doesn't sound inexpensive to me.

My apologies: I made an important mistake.

I meant $10,000 a hectare! (2.47 acres). That's $4,000 an acre.

Christine
1st October 2012, 12:21
-------

Buying land is not a problem for anyone, whether they're resident or not. The price of land is often less than $10,000 per acre (though prices are increasing now that more and more expats are arriving).


:)


Less than 10,000 an acre? Hmmm. Doesnt sound inexpensive to me. Quality farm land in the USA is available at 2 to 3,000 an acre with water rights if you purchase up to 30 acres. Of course you wont be living near Taos, Sun Valley or any trendy or new age type of place in California or New York.

I found this site for realestate in Cuencar: http://www.cuencarealestate.com/Listings.aspx?type=1&cat=4

If it is like Mexico the better deals are found through word of mouth, but it seems that perhaps the Cuenca area is already inflated due to gringo invasion. The land looks much like areas in Belize to me.




Hi Arrowwind,

A couple of quick comments. Land around Cuenca is going up in price very quickly but it is not solely due to the expats arriving here. Cuenca is a growing dynamic Ecuadorian city with it's own economy that is not dependent on the expats. The land values are going up around Cuenca because of the population increase. See this article:

http://www.cuencahighlife.com/post/2012/09/28/Cuenca-real-estate-development-continues-at-record-pace-although-sales-to-gringos-declines.aspx

Cuenca is a modern city and most of the affluent Ecuadorians travel to Europe and the US so they have brought back some of the practices in these countries. Anyone who has lived abroad in less developed nations will recognize the effect this has on the local culture. Sadly the "systematized" world is either forced on third world countries or too seductive to be seen for what it is. The changes in Cuenca actually have little to do with the expats living here.

There is no paradise on our planet right now, at least not in the physical. No matter where we are, who we are with and what we are doing it takes a great deal of work and focus to stay balanced and centered. I don't know of any community that is so woo woo that everyone sits around sipping herbal teas and meditating.... Gaia Sagrada and other communities I know about in Ecuador (and elsewhere) are boots on the ground hard working groups that have been called to establish a safe haven. There isn't anything romantic about the work, just a deep satisfaction of following purpose.

AW - hope you don't mind that I used your post to get in my two cents.

Fondly,

Christine (La Tigra)

Bill Ryan
1st October 2012, 12:39
-------

Re driving: I've driven extensively in Paris, LA, Koh Samui, Dubai and Nairobi. Ecuador is a breeze. :)

Fred Steeves
1st October 2012, 12:52
Many of the people we met who are thinking of relocating there were looking at gated communities with all the creature comforts of homeÖand few of the ones we met who had already moved had managed to learn Spanish beyond a pretty basic level. They were there for the cheap cost of living and the weather.And yes, I know that doesn't apply to everyone!
But it was, for me, an uncomfortable reminder of the Northern European attitude to southern Spain in the 70's , where expats and retirees sit at foreign-owned cafes, talking to other expats and tourists, in their native language Ė English.

I suppose what I'm saying is that sensitivity and humility are virtues.

Totally true. There's a large gated community in Vilcabamba (called San Joaquin) which has become infamous. It contains of expensive, American-style houses -- some of which are quite large -- in a gated community manned by an armed guard. This has justifiably caused significant resentment among the locals, as the valley it's in contained sacred land prior to being snapped up for a song a decade ago and developed for profit. In my personal opinion, it's a showcase of naive American cultural arrogance, and has caused a lot of damage.


Hi Bill, that reminds me a lot of when my wife and I spent a week in Montego Bay, Jamaica back in 2004. We seldom do the "tourist thing" when in someone else's land, and true to form we wound up hiring a waiter we had for dinner one night to be our guide around the island during his off hours. We even wound up keeping mail contact with him for a couple of years after. Great guy.

Anyway, besides seeing a whole side of the island in our little rickety rental car that a tour bus could/would never show you, we discovered something very unexpected when he recommended us to a little fishing village just outside of Montego for dinner, where a family he knows well runs a little restaurant.

It was odd enough being introduced to a group of Jamaican men, incredibly friendly, who were friends of his, hanging out just off the main road passing around a big locally grown fatty. But it was what they told us a bit later, once they sensed we were "o.k.", that really gave us an education as to how things were behind the scenes.

In a suddenly very bitter tone, they pointed out the huge hill across the street, on which at the very top stood a VERY exclusive gated community. "Always looking down on us" as they put it. The residents up there would never think of mixing with the poor filthy locals one said, and their precious money was never spent locally either.

The last thing they told us, as it was getting time to go eat some freshly caught octopus, was that their dream is one day, they are going to have their opportunity to storm that gated community, kill everyone there, and take back what was rightfully theirs.

We believed them too.

Cheers,
Fred

Zelig
1st October 2012, 12:54
There is no paradise on our planet right now, at least not in the physical. )

I want to believe that there are other "paradises" still left on earth, but more importantly I hope any inhabitants are wise enough to keep quiet about it. I don't agree with the approach of individuals or agencies appealing to (relatively) wealthy foreigners to come and visit/stay in some newly discovered paradise. Someone (Christine?) above stated that they believe there are at least 10-15 good years left before the gringo impact becomes unpalatable. Does that not suggest that a trajectory has been established and that any pleas or invitations for immigrants are only going to speed up the destruction? Geez, I sound negative-- I'm sorry. My belief is that transplantation should be limited to people that come to these places through natural processes involving extensive world travels and explorations, and having a genuine interest in, and appreciation for, the local culture.

Arrowwind
1st October 2012, 13:27
But the reality is that people historically move around not due to cultural appreciation but basically due to the endeavor to find new and better ways to survive. .... mostly it comes down to survival. Hence all the Mexicans in the USA and perhaps the impetus for some to go to Ecuador too.

blufire
1st October 2012, 14:05
-------

Re driving: I've driven extensively in Paris, LA, Koh Samui, Dubai and Nairobi. Ecuador is a breeze. :)

LOL . . . . Maybe for your next driving adventure you could come to SW Virginia and share very narrow roads perched precariously on the side of very rugged mountains with highly overloaded coal and logging trucks and where the locals view vehicles with out of state tags as entertainment. :eek:




Many of the people we met who are thinking of relocating there were looking at gated communities with all the creature comforts of homeÖand few of the ones we met who had already moved had managed to learn Spanish beyond a pretty basic level. They were there for the cheap cost of living and the weather.And yes, I know that doesn't apply to everyone!
But it was, for me, an uncomfortable reminder of the Northern European attitude to southern Spain in the 70's , where expats and retirees sit at foreign-owned cafes, talking to other expats and tourists, in their native language Ė English.

I suppose what I'm saying is that sensitivity and humility are virtues.

Totally true. There's a large gated community in Vilcabamba (called San Joaquin) which has become infamous. It contains of expensive, American-style houses -- some of which are quite large -- in a gated community manned by an armed guard. This has justifiably caused significant resentment among the locals, as the valley it's in contained sacred land prior to being snapped up for a song a decade ago and developed for profit. In my personal opinion, it's a showcase of naive American cultural arrogance, and has caused a lot of damage.


Hi Bill, that reminds me a lot of when my wife and I spent a week in Montego Bay, Jamaica back in 2004. We seldom do the "tourist thing" when in someone else's land, and true to form we wound up hiring a waiter we had for dinner one night to be our guide around the island during his off hours. We even wound up keeping mail contact with him for a couple of years after. Great guy.

Anyway, besides seeing a whole side of the island in our little rickety rental car that a tour bus could/would never show you, we discovered something very unexpected when he recommended us to a little fishing village just outside of Montego for dinner, where a family he knows well runs a little restaurant.

It was odd enough being introduced to a group of Jamaican men, incredibly friendly, who were friends of his, hanging out just off the main road passing around a big locally grown fatty. But it was what they told us a bit later, once they sensed we were "o.k.", that really gave us an education as to how things were behind the scenes.

In a suddenly very bitter tone, they pointed out the huge hill across the street, on which at the very top stood a VERY exclusive gated community. "Always looking down on us" as they put it. The residents up there would never think of mixing with the poor filthy locals one said, and their precious money was never spent locally either.

The last thing they told us, as it was getting time to go eat some freshly caught octopus, was that their dream is one day, they are going to have their opportunity to storm that gated community, kill everyone there, and take back what was rightfully theirs.

We believed them too.

Cheers,
Fred


Fred, while in an extend stay in Belize I had the almost exact conversation with a Mayan Indian local we had become friends with.




But the reality is that people historically move around not due to cultural appreciation but basically due to the endeavor to find new and better ways to survive. .... mostly it comes down to survival. Hence all the Mexicans in the USA and perhaps the impetus for some to go to Ecuador too.

Arrowwind, I agree that it usually comes down to survival and sadly money. The Mexicans come to the US to earn a better living (hopefully), wealthier US citizens go to Mexico or other countries to try to make their money go farther and the poor in all countries are trapped (usually) right where they live and try to make the best they can with the little they have.

I feel Shifting the Paradigm is up to each of us that perhaps envision a paradigm that includes and respects all people no matter their social status, financial position, desires, country and spiritual level or beliefs . . . .

Tony
1st October 2012, 14:15
There's a little Annunaki in all of us...we want to be gods, on someone else's turf!
In the physical realms there are no safe places...we take our ignorance with us wherever 'we' go!

Flash
1st October 2012, 14:38
Many of the people we met who are thinking of relocating there were looking at gated communities with all the creature comforts of homeÖand few of the ones we met who had already moved had managed to learn Spanish beyond a pretty basic level. They were there for the cheap cost of living and the weather.And yes, I know that doesn't apply to everyone!
But it was, for me, an uncomfortable reminder of the Northern European attitude to southern Spain in the 70's , where expats and retirees sit at foreign-owned cafes, talking to other expats and tourists, in their native language Ė English.

I suppose what I'm saying is that sensitivity and humility are virtues.

Totally true. There's a large gated community in Vilcabamba (called San Joaquin) which has become infamous. It contains of expensive, American-style houses -- some of which are quite large -- in a gated community manned by an armed guard. This has justifiably caused significant resentment among the locals, as the valley it's in contained sacred land prior to being snapped up for a song a decade ago and developed for profit. In my personal opinion, it's a showcase of naive American cultural arrogance, and has caused a lot of damage.


Hi Bill, that reminds me a lot of when my wife and I spent a week in Montego Bay, Jamaica back in 2004. We seldom do the "tourist thing" when in someone else's land, and true to form we wound up hiring a waiter we had for dinner one night to be our guide around the island during his off hours. We even wound up keeping mail contact with him for a couple of years after. Great guy.

Anyway, besides seeing a whole side of the island in our little rickety rental car that a tour bus could/would never show you, we discovered something very unexpected when he recommended us to a little fishing village just outside of Montego for dinner, where a family he knows well runs a little restaurant.

It was odd enough being introduced to a group of Jamaican men, incredibly friendly, who were friends of his, hanging out just off the main road passing around a big locally grown fatty. But it was what they told us a bit later, once they sensed we were "o.k.", that really gave us an education as to how things were behind the scenes.

In a suddenly very bitter tone, they pointed out the huge hill across the street, on which at the very top stood a VERY exclusive gated community. "Always looking down on us" as they put it. The residents up there would never think of mixing with the poor filthy locals one said, and their precious money was never spent locally either.

The last thing they told us, as it was getting time to go eat some freshly caught octopus, was that their dream is one day, they are going to have their opportunity to storm that gated community, kill everyone there, and take back what was rightfully theirs.

We believed them too.

Cheers,
Fred

This is like Westmount up the hill in Montreal, versus what was a very poor neighborood earlier on, St-Henri. But in Acapulco, the rich tourists from Westmount are at the bottom of the hill in the huge hotels, while the poors, so poor that some do not have toilets nor even outhouses, are at the top.

Sweet revenge for what is going down hill during rains of with the wind. This is true stories.

write4change
1st October 2012, 17:12
-------

Re driving: I've driven extensively in Paris, LA, Koh Samui, Dubai and Nairobi. Ecuador is a breeze. :)

I just drove 3600 miles across the US on what would be considered back roads. They were the best in experience! On the interstate 40 I was going close to 80, speed limit 75 when passed by an 18 wheeler who had to be going 90. Now that is scary especaially on a regular basis. Especially all the uhaul trucks going 80 with obviously inexperienced drivers. After about 200 miles of this, I got off never to get back on again and I saw the country.

With that kind of experience and almost 30 years in LA, Bill, could I safely drive in Equador in the day time. I now avoid driving any where at night.

Christine
1st October 2012, 17:19
-------

Re driving: I've driven extensively in Paris, LA, Koh Samui, Dubai and Nairobi. Ecuador is a breeze. :)

I just drove 3600 miles across the US on what would be considered back roads. They were the best in experience! On the interstate 40 I was going close to 80, speed limit 75 when passed by an 18 wheeler who had to be going 90. Now that is scary especaially on a regular basis. Especially all the uhaul trucks going 80 with obviously inexperienced drivers. After about 200 miles of this, I got off never to get back on again and I saw the country.

With that kind of experience and almost 30 years in LA, Bill, could I safely drive in Equador in the day time. I now avoid driving any where at night.

Yes, absolutely. It's really not a problem.

write4change
1st October 2012, 17:27
I would like to thank everyone for these posts because no matter what I decide, it clarified a lot of my thinking. I am much more with arrowwind and that may because we are close in age and experience.

I would really like Bill to elaborate more on why he believes more should get out of the US. I also agree intensely with his list of attitude traits. 1985 was the last time I traveled with a group. It was China and we were all invited guests specifically by the Chinese govt and the first US group of non govt agencies. I was totally embarrassed for six weeks by two women from Manhattan and two guys from Houston who basically acted like they were riding through a living zoo. They seem to have no idea that the young people we were assigned as guides etc. 4 to 1 were the brightest and best who tried to deeply interact to understand exactly how we thought. They all spoke English fairly well and represented the new young who are taught English immediately at entering school. At that time, many also spoke Spanish and it was interesting to see Germans, Japanese, Chinese and Anglos all speaking Spainish when communicating about non technical subjects.

No learning goes without teaching and vice versa and I learned much about the Chinese that is not in books. When talking about the great retreat of Mao and his armies going up in the mountains to survive and wait out Chang Kai Sheck (sp?), they talk about the poetry of dying men writing letters home and that many of them died of loneliness because in China the deep sense of community and living cooperatively is really centuries old. Doesn't mean that a community can't go crazy in its drive to survive at all costs. They also never rank a person as a good leader or not until after he is dead. They believe as long as you are alive no matter how wise your past, you can always screw up big time. That six weeks in China is imprinted on my soul.

I feel driven to survive right now. I have not acquired the knowledge and awareness I have now to just dump it into the either. I am appalled at my country but I still see myself as part of the problem or part of the solution. I am not inclined to leave it unless I am sure it is already gone and I am just in denial. I am into beginning again with all I have learned.

DarMar
1st October 2012, 19:33
THIS:

Ecuador (https://www.google.hr/search?hl=en&sugexp=les%3Befrsh&tok=783Zk5c8ItwzE5dXNeMimA&cp=4&gs_id=k&xhr=t&q=ecuador&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&biw=1507&bih=867&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=9d1pUIGZA_LE4gShyIGQDw)

Croatia (https://www.google.hr/search?hl=en&sugexp=les%3Befrsh&tok=0Xe3NOeEpbf-ZLYimTc_3w&cp=5&gs_id=k&xhr=t&q=croatia&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&biw=1507&bih=867&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=qu9pUMjhLYn_4QS9v4HYBw)

where would you go live first? ;)

GrnEggsNHam
1st October 2012, 20:25
No matter how many times I may think to myself "Why am I still here? Why are you waiting in the lion's den?". I always come to the same conclusion. This is where I can reach the most and affect so many more exponentially. I really pondered and envisioned my life in Ecuador. It was blissful and aromatic. However it was a fantasy and I can not live my fantasy whilst leaving so many others to wallow in this filth. The children have grown and play time is over...

doodah
1st October 2012, 21:33
Why move? Each person would have their own reason.

If I were to move to Ecuador, it would be because for me it's about a way of thinking. Ecuador was the first country on the planet to grant to Nature the same rights of Personhood under the law that are granted to Corporations in the US.

Even that idea, that a Corporation is treated like a Person under the law, makes me cringe; the concept is part of US law to benefit whom?

It's because of this thinking that the average person in the US has absolutely no power to change anything. The Elites who run the Corporations have got everything all tied up in law -- laws they wrote themselves, for themselves, and got passed by "elected representatives" that they put in office. And now, recently, the Supreme Court has removed all restraints and given Corporations full permission to contribute as much money as they want to, to political campaigns. They can buy whoever they like. Where is the power of the average person in this? It doesn't exist.

In Ecuador, to even the legal playing field and protect the natural world from exploitation by the oil corporations, Ecuador changed its national constitution, granting rights of Personhood to Nature. I hear that Bolivia has also recently done this. Can you even imagine this happening in the US?

If I were moving to Ecuador, it would be to live among people who can think like that -- not only think it, but do it.

write4change
1st October 2012, 21:52
Why move? Each person would have their own reason.

If I were to move to Ecuador, it would be because for me it's about a way of thinking. Ecuador was the first country on the planet to grant to Nature the same rights of Personhood under the law that are granted to Corporations in the US.

Even that idea, that a Corporation is treated like a Person under the law, makes me cringe; the concept is part of US law to benefit whom?

It's because of this thinking that the average person in the US has absolutely no power to change anything. The Elites who run the Corporations have got everything all tied up in law -- laws they wrote themselves, for themselves, and got passed by "elected representatives" that they put in office. And now, recently, the Supreme Court has removed all restraints and given Corporations full permission to contribute as much money as they want to, to political campaigns. They can buy whoever they like. Where is the power of the average person in this? It doesn't exist.

In Ecuador, to even the legal playing field and protect the natural world from exploitation by the oil corporations, Ecuador changed its national constitution, granting rights of Personhood to Nature. I hear that Bolivia has also recently done this. Can you even imagine this happening in the US?

If I were moving to Ecuador, it would be to live among people who can think like that -- not only think it, but do it.

A very wise observation and one which deserves much thought. You are right about needing to change our thinking. One of the documentaries I recently saw said that without Thomas Paine there would have been no one to support Geroge Washington. Thm Paine was very much a hero in the new country until he wrote the age of Reason criticizing the Bible.

I also debate within myself if we need to find a place to hole up and preserve thought s of the right king or dig in more small groups to survive in our own country and hopefully prevent it from destroying first Venezula, Brazil, etc. The point of the book the Postman was he was more than anything the representation of an idea. Then again so was Spartacus who actually got to the Alps and the path of escape that most do not know and then turned back because his people feared the hardness of the ALPS more then they feared the sword of the romans.

blufire
1st October 2012, 22:15
Why move? Each person would have their own reason.

If I were to move to Ecuador, it would be because for me it's about a way of thinking. Ecuador was the first country on the planet to grant to Nature the same rights of Personhood under the law that are granted to Corporations in the US.

Even that idea, that a Corporation is treated like a Person under the law, makes me cringe; the concept is part of US law to benefit whom?

It's because of this thinking that the average person in the US has absolutely no power to change anything. The Elites who run the Corporations have got everything all tied up in law -- laws they wrote themselves, for themselves, and got passed by "elected representatives" that they put in office. And now, recently, the Supreme Court has removed all restraints and given Corporations full permission to contribute as much money as they want to, to political campaigns. They can buy whoever they like. Where is the power of the average person in this? It doesn't exist.

In Ecuador, to even the legal playing field and protect the natural world from exploitation by the oil corporations, Ecuador changed its national constitution, granting rights of Personhood to Nature. I hear that Bolivia has also recently done this. Can you even imagine this happening in the US?

If I were moving to Ecuador, it would be to live among people who can think like that -- not only think it, but do it.


Doodah, we regular US citizens have all the power and control we need to live the life we desire, even under what you and most feel is stifling slavery and elitism.

Can we change the way the system or government is run? Absolutely NO! But then are we complete subjects of this government or system and hopelessly trapped? Absolutely emphatically NO!

I am also always amazed how very few clearly understand that the very same Ďeliteí or Ďcontrollersí that run the corporations and government in the US ALSO fully control and manipulate the governments in Ecuador and all other countries.

I have lived my life for the past ten years working my way out of the rat race and out of the tiny well designed boxed illusion most live in year after year and day after day. In the US we HAVE the freedom how to design and live our lives . . . where most all get caught in the trap is wanting all the Ďgoodiesí and materialism and build up endless debt and always wanting, wanting, wanting more more more

I went from a high 6 figure income to a very low 5 figure income and literally stepped away from a very prestigious pretentious lifestyle to how I live now, which is very simple but highly satisfying and rewarding. And no, I took very little of that money with me . . . I felt to make a totally clean break from the soul decimating ability of that lifestyle and illusion I had to literally leave it behind me. I wanted to begin my new life in Truth and stark Reality. I have all the creature comforts and a complete peace of mind and soul.

I another epiphany that has hit me full force, especially this past year after moving back to the Appalachians is what I used to view as Truths from my years of research in alternative media and forums have begun to change . . . . I see a much deeper lying Truth now and larger pieces of the puzzle have begun to fall in place. . . . things have finally begun to make more sense.

It just took getting away from all the insanity and noise.

doodah
1st October 2012, 23:08
Bluefire, this getting a bit off topic, but let me just quickly say that I understand what you have done personally to rescue your own life; and I understand the good work you are doing where you live. I applaud you for all of that.

Yes, I assume those who control here also control in Ecuador. But for some reason, Ecuador was "allowed" to make a gesture that draws a line against the automatic right of corporations to do whatever they want to do. Why was this allowed? I have no idea, but the fact that they did it speaks to me deeply.

Arrowwind
1st October 2012, 23:24
THIS:

Ecuador (https://www.google.hr/search?hl=en&sugexp=les%3Befrsh&tok=783Zk5c8ItwzE5dXNeMimA&cp=4&gs_id=k&xhr=t&q=ecuador&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&biw=1507&bih=867&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=9d1pUIGZA_LE4gShyIGQDw)

Croatia (https://www.google.hr/search?hl=en&sugexp=les%3Befrsh&tok=0Xe3NOeEpbf-ZLYimTc_3w&cp=5&gs_id=k&xhr=t&q=croatia&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&biw=1507&bih=867&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=qu9pUMjhLYn_4QS9v4HYBw)

where would you go live first? ;)

Cant say for sure but likely Ecuador, in part because I can speak some Spanish.... but I had no idea Croatia was so beautiful...

Davidallany
2nd October 2012, 01:12
Many of the people we met who are thinking of relocating there were looking at gated communities with all the creature comforts of homeÖand few of the ones we met who had already moved had managed to learn Spanish beyond a pretty basic level. They were there for the cheap cost of living and the weather.And yes, I know that doesn't apply to everyone!
But it was, for me, an uncomfortable reminder of the Northern European attitude to southern Spain in the 70's , where expats and retirees sit at foreign-owned cafes, talking to other expats and tourists, in their native language Ė English.

I suppose what I'm saying is that sensitivity and humility are virtues.

Totally true. There's a large gated community in Vilcabamba (called San Joaquin) which has become infamous. It contains of expensive, American-style houses -- some of which are really quite large -- in a gated community manned by an armed guard. This has justifiably caused significant resentment among the locals, as the valley it's in contained sacred land prior to being snapped up for a song a decade ago and developed for profit. In my personal opinion, it's a showcase of naive American cultural arrogance, and has caused a lot of damage.

Even within that safe compound, one or two of the houses have metal gates and walls so high that you cannot see in to the walled land at all while driving past. The message that gives is that of a fortress built by someone whose life is full of fear and distrust.

Dr Brian O'Leary, bless his very large heart, who lived in Vilcabamba for many years but who integrated really well with the locals, was quietly extremely critical of all this.

Mike Adams lived San Joaquin when he was in Vilcabamba, and started running real estate tours there. These were not welcomed by locals and expats alike. The strong reaction to his American-style entrepreneurial attitude, which he thought was harmless, was part of the reason why he left to return to the States.

Vilcabamba is not Ecuador, however, any more than Las Vegas (or Sedona!) are America. There are many other communities which are unspoiled and where friendly expats are welcomed and greeted with kindness. The rules of engagement when traveling, or relocating, are universal:


Don't throw your weight around.
Be genuinely friendly and interested.
Learn the language (or at least try to speak it!). Genuine efforts to communicate personally are always welcomed.
Don't fall into the trap of feeling that you're better than anyone else just because you're white, educated, well-traveled, well-informed, or (relatively) wealthy.
Respect local traditions, customs, and values, and seek to understand them.
Never take advantage of naivete or kindness.
Always remember that this is not your country, and like a guest in anyone's house, you are just that -- a guest.


This is a very good picture for the San Juaquin and Vilcabmaba. Prices are going higher and local people are starting to learn to be snobs, money hungry and resentful of guests. That is one reason why I relocated somewhere else.Visit? yes, settle? not yet.

Huma
2nd October 2012, 01:23
I ask this in all respect Bill, and purely out of curiosity, but you have done a lot of traveling over the years, and you now live in another country. Where did you get the funds to do this? How do you earn an income now these days to support your new life in Ecuador? I ask just curious as someone who struggles to survive in one of the most expensive states in the U.S. and I can't even afford to leave my state! :).

Bill Ryan
2nd October 2012, 01:32
-------

A note to all: I've split Christine Breese's thread about her community, Gaia Sagrada (An Opportunity to Live in Ecuador (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?50385-An-Opportunity-to-Live-in-Ecuador)), into two (this one and the original).

Mixed in with the valuable discussion about her community, there were many important and intelligent questions and comments about living in Ecuador in general. So to keep the original thread on topic, I've moved those posts to this new thread.

Strat
2nd October 2012, 03:38
This may be helpful, though I can't vouch for accuracy: http://wikitravel.org/en/Ecuador

This seriously has me thinking. I have been planning on moving out of the States in the next 5 years or so. I originally planned on Italy but now I don't know. Ecuador seems an easier move because I speak a little bit of Spanish and frankly I live a hell of a lot closer to Ecuador than Italy.

mosquito
2nd October 2012, 05:43
There are some very insightful posts on this thread, and also quite a lot of illumination about people's attitudes.

Having been around, having lived, with varying degrees of success on 4 continents, and having observed what's happening in our world, I would say this :

Don't move anywhere unless you are prepared to embrace that country's people and culture 100%, and unless your plan involves you CONTRIBUTING to the local population and economy.

And to anyone who believes that they can just up and move on to the next unspoilt place, I have bad news - there aren't any left !

Christine Breese
2nd October 2012, 06:12
If you want to truly be part of their culture and reality, you must learn Spanish. You know, learning Spanish is not that hard, really. You already know 50% of the Spanish language already. Did you know that? Think about it. Basically, if you stick an ďaĒ or an ďoĒ on the end of a word and pronounce it as a Spanish person would, well, 9 times out of 10 itís a word! Whenever I donít know the word in Spanish, I try that trick and it works a LOT!

For instance, look around when you drive in Ecuador (or ride the bus or taxi if youíre a wimp like me and donít want to drive here!) and look at all the signs. You know almost ALL of these words! Clinico, medico, avenida, lubricacion, balanceo, telefono, fotos, elaboracion, grafico, doctor (yup, same word), veterinario, autobus, reparacion de refrigerados, extinctores, taxi, privacidad, publico, programa, annuncio, personas, format, resultados, maximo, minimo, diferente, realizan, clientes, pago, objetivos, electronico, direccion, numero, agencia, contacto, afirmativo, condicionesÖ

And the list goes on and on! Spanish is not that hard to learn! You only have to learn the other 50% that you donít know! Youíre closer than you think! Conjugating the verbs is the hardest part, but you donít have to get it perfect, they understand you. The good thing is that every letter is pronounced the same, no ten ways to pronounce a vowel like it is in English, like I, ie, ea, ei, ou, all that. English is crazy in the pronunciation dept unlike Spanish. Pretty straightforward, every letter only has ONE sound, for the most part, maybe a couple execptions here and there although I canít think of any, so if you learn how each letter is pronounced you can say every word in Spanish correctly. You know, I only took Spanish I at my community college in the states for one semester (6 wks over a summer) and I have been able to have full on deep conversations with only that training. I have learned a lot more words as I went along (I picked 5 words a day to learn out of a dictionary, used them in a sentence at some point during the day, and thatís how I increased my vocabulary rapido).

OK, just had to give you guys a heads up on the reality of Spanish. You understand more of it than you think you do! You wonít be as lost here as you might believe and you will understand almost everything you see on the signs in town. If you donít know the word, stick an ďaĒ or an ďoĒ o the end of an English word, and it is probably a word in Spanish! You already speak more Spanish than you think!

Christine Breese
2nd October 2012, 06:26
Gringos only make up 1% of the real estate sales here in Ecuador, and returning Ecuadorians make up 30 Ė 35 % of the real estate sales here. Who makes up the other 64% of the real estate sales? Ecuadorians who already live here!

Actually, the land prices going up in Cuenca has more to do with returning Ecuadorians from other countries (USA mostly, Spain, and other European countries), coming with their booty that they earned in our countries! A lot of them got that money as illegal immigrants, although a few do the immigration thing.

So, I would have to say that this is hardly a gringo invasion. 4000 Gringos living in Ecuador compared to 15 million Ecuadorians? I think the ďgringo invasionĒ thing is getting a little blown out of proportion. Foreigners have impacted the little towns of Vilcabamba and Cotachachi negatively, but they have not impacted Ecuador as a whole in any way close to Panama or Costa Rica. I would suggest that foreigners donít just all converge on one little town though. The cities, no problem, spreading out to lots of little towns, no problemo. Everyone going to Vilcabamba, yes problemo!

Christine Breese
2nd October 2012, 06:43
MOVING TO CHEAPER COUNTRIES

Before you judge the gringos who are looking for cheaper places to live in the world, and Ecuador is not the only place they are going to, look at the cold hard facts these elderly people without much money are facing. Sure, itís sad that people have to leave their home country for poverty reasons, or other reasons, but these gringos are being given $800 -1000 per month to live on in their social security checks. If you were a single person living on that and you were elderly, would you be able to live comfortably on that in the USA? What if you have to spend a couple hundred of that on prescriptions or medical needs every month, like diabetics do? Would you stay just because of the ďprincipleĒ of it, saying to yourself, ďwell, itís wrong of me to go somewhere else to find a cheaper place to live, I better just stay here and live in my car or my daughterís basement so that I stay true to what is right and suffer it out.Ē If you were in their shoes, and you only get $800 per month, what would YOU do? If you are sitting there on a $3000 per month pension, or more, itís easy to judge.

In a perfect world, the cost of living would be the same everywhere, the wages would be the same everywhere, and the opportunities would be the same everywhere. Weíre not in a perfect world, so that is why people are scrambling around trying to find a way to survive. The new paradigm isnít here yet, so in the meantime they have to find a way to survive. The people who are poor from rich nations find they have to move to places where they can afford to live. The people in poor nations cross deserts at night so they can illegally work for higher wages and save money to come back later with and have a decent life. Obviously things are out of balance.

Iím not saying the nwo guys are on the right track, they are not, but I do think that if we leveled out the wages all over the world, the education and opportunities made available to everyone globally, and standard of living were the same for everyone, well, I think we would have a much more peaceful world. Then corporations wouldnít move all the jobs out of the USA to China where they can get labor for 15 cents an hour, since in China they would make the same amount of money making shoes as people do in the USA. We also wouldnít have scrambling elderly people subsisting on $800 per month trying to find a cheaper place to live in the world so they donít have to freeze to death with one window in their daughterís basement or live in their car. (I know of two elderly poor people living this way in the states, thatís why I use these examples.)

I just had to bring that up to try to soften the judgment toward people who are moving to cheaper places to live, even if that is their only reason. I donít think they should be judged so harshly. They arenít doing anything wrong. Just like you, if you were in their situation, they are trying to find a way to live on what they have better than they would in places like the States or Europe. Itís tough when youíre poor!

In fact, a LOT of the people moving to Ecuador right now are poor in the States, and thatís one of the reasons the real estate sales to foreigners are dropping. These people can only rent. Now it isnít people coming with a big wad to spend on land and a house. Now the people coming are just poor people with a social security check from the states, a teeny savings, or a $500 per month internet income, trying to make it on what little they have since in the states they would basically have to live in a car on what they have at this point. So, before judging them, think about what you would do in their situation if you werenít so lucky to have what you have! I just wanted to soften this energy a little bit that a couple people put out there about judgment toward those who are poor and move to another country specifically for that reason. They are just trying to make it, like anyone else is.

HaveBlue
2nd October 2012, 06:53
Is the water Flouridated in Ecuador? I'm guessing not. For us that do suffer from it watch 'An Inconvenient Tooth' on youtube and get a water distiller (steam distillation unit) like I did a week ago. I feel better all ready and my cuppas are much nicer too.

gigha
2nd October 2012, 07:46
Maybe we could think about Iceland where they have challenged the big bank system :peep:

http://www.google.ca/search?q=iceland&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Q5hqUOihJejkywGX-oDACg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=999&bih=632

Seems kinda nice. But you do have to eat fish. :bigfish:

Tarka the Duck
2nd October 2012, 08:52
MOVING TO CHEAPER COUNTRIES

Before you judge the gringos who are looking for cheaper places to live in the world, and Ecuador is not the only place they are going to, look at the cold hard facts these elderly people without much money are facing. Sure, itís sad that people have to leave their home country for poverty reasons, or other reasons, but these gringos are being given $800 -1000 per month to live on in their social security checks. If you were a single person living on that and you were elderly, would you be able to live comfortably on that in the USA? What if you have to spend a couple hundred of that on prescriptions or medical needs every month, like diabetics do? Would you stay just because of the ďprincipleĒ of it, saying to yourself, ďwell, itís wrong of me to go somewhere else to find a cheaper place to live, I better just stay here and live in my car or my daughterís basement so that I stay true to what is right and suffer it out.Ē If you were in their shoes, and you only get $800 per month, what would YOU do? If you are sitting there on a $3000 per month pension, or more, itís easy to judge.

In a perfect world, the cost of living would be the same everywhere, the wages would be the same everywhere, and the opportunities would be the same everywhere. Weíre not in a perfect world, so that is why people are scrambling around trying to find a way to survive. The new paradigm isnít here yet, so in the meantime they have to find a way to survive. The people who are poor from rich nations find they have to move to places where they can afford to live. The people in poor nations cross deserts at night so they can illegally work for higher wages and save money to come back later with and have a decent life. Obviously things are out of balance.

Iím not saying the nwo guys are on the right track, they are not, but I do think that if we leveled out the wages all over the world, the education and opportunities made available to everyone globally, and standard of living were the same for everyone, well, I think we would have a much more peaceful world. Then corporations wouldnít move all the jobs out of the USA to China where they can get labor for 15 cents an hour, since in China they would make the same amount of money making shoes as people do in the USA. We also wouldnít have scrambling elderly people subsisting on $800 per month trying to find a cheaper place to live in the world so they donít have to freeze to death with one window in their daughterís basement or live in their car. (I know of two elderly poor people living this way in the states, thatís why I use these examples.)

I just had to bring that up to try to soften the judgment toward people who are moving to cheaper places to live, even if that is their only reason. I donít think they should be judged so harshly. They arenít doing anything wrong. Just like you, if you were in their situation, they are trying to find a way to live on what they have better than they would in places like the States or Europe. Itís tough when youíre poor!

In fact, a LOT of the people moving to Ecuador right now are poor in the States, and thatís one of the reasons the real estate sales to foreigners are dropping. These people can only rent. Now it isnít people coming with a big wad to spend on land and a house. Now the people coming are just poor people with a social security check from the states, a teeny savings, or a $500 per month internet income, trying to make it on what little they have since in the states they would basically have to live in a car on what they have at this point. So, before judging them, think about what you would do in their situation if you werenít so lucky to have what you have! I just wanted to soften this energy a little bit that a couple people put out there about judgment toward those who are poor and move to another country specifically for that reason. They are just trying to make it, like anyone else is.

Dear Christine

It may be that you found my post earlier in this thread to be judgemental. I supposed it was :p - the judgement I made was based on my firsthand experience of the impact we, the Brits (together with other northern Europeans), have had over the past 40 years in France, in Spain and in Italy.

As you say, obviously there are many reasons for people choosing to relocate. There are many who wish to live a simple lifestyle compatible with that of the locals, and who are prepared to make an effort to really integrate and be "one of them" without imposing: they are clearly not the problem. They are choosing to live in a place they admire and enjoy.

But unfortunately, the ones who don't adapt stick out like sore thumbs...their motivation to move there is not because they love it, but because it will make their life easier. Understandable, of course - but as you said in an earlier post, they are looking for a comfortable - some would say luxurious - lifestyle that they can't afford back home. They are moving away from something rather than towards something else. Again, understandable. But in being understandable, it doesn't mean there aren't inherent problems.

The Dordogne region of France is known as "a little piece of England" - the weekly markets are populated by Brits who tend to speak loudly and make their presence felt. Tuscany, in Italy, has the nickname "Chiantishire" - the same story there. There is concern that the same enclaves will happen in easter Europe because of the cheap property and cost of living there. And don't get me started on the Costa del Sol in Spain...:eek:

Kathie

mosquito
2nd October 2012, 10:05
Yes Kathie, you're right.

And the same goes for me Christine, I'm NOT criticizing those who have a good attitude, I most definitely AM criticizing those who emigrate with a conquistador attitude. You must have met plenty of them. As you rightly say, learning Spanish is a doddle (I could speak more Spanish after 3 weeks than I could Chinese after 3 years !) but how many gringos are there who just can't be bothered ?

And yes, I'm one of those who's looking round for a place where I can permanently settle, but I sure as hell don't want to be surrounded by bloody loud-mouthed ex-pats, nor do I want to be somewhere and isolate myself from the local people. Finding the right place is very difficult, it's not just about money.

PS, The Costa del Sol has become known as the Costa del Crime, because rather a lot of Britain's, how shall I put it, less likeable inhabitants decided to move there. (Not wishing to start Kathie on a rant !!)

Bill Ryan
2nd October 2012, 10:31
Is the water Flouridated in Ecuador? I'm guessing not.

No, it's not. There are way too many free private water supplies (streams, rivers, waterfalls, springs) for this to be possible.

So they fluoridate the salt. But that's easy to avoid: just get sea salt, and carry some with you in a little bag bottle or wherever you go -- e.g. if you end up in a restaurant which only has commercial table salt.

PHARAOH
2nd October 2012, 12:10
Can you live on social security in Equador? And what is the cost of a private room and varius levels. I will give this serious consideration. I am 68 but still consider myself a vital 68.

I humbly advise you write4change, "When in Rome, do as the romans do".

This will be the best way to hide in plain sight.

Christine Breese
2nd October 2012, 16:39
Hi tarka and mariposafe, oh! I didnt even notice who wrote things, so no worries! I do agee with you though that there ARE some really obnoxious expats in various places and they are looking to live like kings instead of just average. I groan and avoid them too when I come across them. They are in every country, and they do have a sense of entitlement and arrogance. They act like they own the place. Even if they haven't moved out of their country though, they are still just as obnoxious and arrogant right where they are! That's just the nature of humans these days, there are all types and they are our tests for tolerance and unconditional love.

In this time and age, we probably have to just tolerate that there are obnoxious expats in every country where we wish they wouldn't be, or even obnoxious people in general all over the world for that matter. Until this world sorts outs the economic imbalances, we are probably just going to be stuck with that situation for a while. Who knows? Maybe after the paradigm shift all the obnoxious people won't be here anymore, ha!

I do hear you though about the arogant expats with superiority issues. I have found that they weren't the majority though. Most expats are pretty mellow, nice people. Just associate with the nice ones and avoid the obnoxious ones! They hang out in the same places together, so they are avoidable. Its an unfortunate condition of the world right now.

Bill Ryan
22nd October 2012, 14:06
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Bumping this thread for new members to see. :)