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Old 06-24-2009, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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Looking for personal experiences from those who have visited for a good length of time or lived there...especially from a viewpoint of studying the language and immersing in the culture. I have been told that the Spanish spoken there is very clear and easier to learn compared to other places in Latin America. I know they had a government overthrow in 2005 but I believe it is relatively stable and safe now? Cost of living seems to be ridiculously low so what are the negatives to this? There must be some negatives...
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by k374 View Post
Looking for personal experiences from those who have visited for a good length of time or lived there...especially from a viewpoint of studying the language and immersing in the culture. I have been told that the Spanish spoken there is very clear and easier to learn compared to other places in Latin America. I know they had a government overthrow in 2005 but I believe it is relatively stable and safe now? Cost of living seems to be ridiculously low so what are the negatives to this? There must be some negatives...
Google Yahoo Groups then search for Ecuador there. There's a large group there of expats living in Ecuador. I think the group is called Ecuador_Expats but it's been awhile. The gov't wasn't overthrown as I recall. A corrupt and a bit mentally unbalanced President resigned under pressure. The current President is a bit of a Socialist but generally their gov't is reasonable. It's cheap because it's definitely a developing nation. They use the American Dollar for their currency, and they're the newest member of OPEC. Definitely cheap gas there. In the Andes you get stunning scenery and mild temps. The lowlands are boiling hot. Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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Population: 14,573,101
Ethnic Groups: Multiracial (mixed white and amerindian) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
G.D.P. per capita: $9,600
Unemployment rate: 8.7%
Currency: U.S. Dollar
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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Default Ecuador

I recommend the expatriate group on yahoo ---- excellent. However, while Ecuador seems relatively new to the expatriate scene in any large numbers there are several things happening there that can change the situation. The reporting of assets over a certain amount is certainly scary in this socialist nation. While the U.S. dollar is now the currency the current president wants to change this -- then watch out for the devaluations. He is trying to stop all the imports that he can by high tariffs.

You need to go there and spend some time ------ it is a very corrupt nation and always ranks high in that category. There are thousands of immigrants from Ecuador in Europe and many are moving back which is really placing a strain on the economy ------ The funds sent home to Ecuador has really been reduced and affecting the country.

As to the Spanish ---- it is clear ---- however, you will notice extreme accent difference from the Sierra to the Costa.

Also, if you really get serious about wanting to go to Ecuador you may try my book "Culture Shock! Ecuador" - The last edition is still out but the third edition is scheduled for Ocotober.

I love the country but at this time choose not to live there. And, no matter what anyone tells you it is not as cheap as they claim. There are other costs involved that you don't learn about until you are there. You will go through culture shock and have times you want to go home. Crime is increasing and of course if you are a foreigner you will stand out. I would say realistically except for several things like maids and gas - Ecuador is as expensive as the U.S. depending on your lifestyle in the U.S.

To me the ideal situation if you love Ecuador is to maintain two homes. ONe there and one in the U.S. Also, it is not as cheap to get there as it was unless you live in Miami and sometimes New York. For the last 20 years I have averaged about $700.00 round trip. It is now about a thousand and it depends on when you go. Continental has really hurt by pulling out of Guayaquil. I believe Delta only flys during certain parts of the year. If you live in Miami or New York I would try Lan Ecuador ---- they seem to offer good fairs. But, who wants to fly to Miami ----- it is really a difficult place.

Ecuador I believe could really be a paradise for expatriates but, the current government is making it very difficult.


I hope this helps.

Regards,

Nicholas Crowder


P.S. - If I would recommend any place for living it would be Cuenca or the environs. You will find some agents pushing Cotocachi and the north - but beware - of the area. It is basically safe at this time - however, the northern border with Colombia is a problem.

Last edited by Cornerguy1; 06-25-2009 at 08:32 PM.. Reason: advertising not permitted
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:49 PM
 
304 posts, read 886,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowdpub View Post
I recommend the expatriate group on yahoo ---- excellent. However, while Ecuador seems relatively new to the expatriate scene in any large numbers there are several things happening there that can change the situation. The reporting of assets over a certain amount is certainly scary in this socialist nation. While the U.S. dollar is now the currency the current president wants to change this -- then watch out for the devaluations. He is trying to stop all the imports that he can by high tariffs.

You need to go there and spend some time ------ it is a very corrupt nation and always ranks high in that category. There are thousands of immigrants from Ecuador in Europe and many are moving back which is really placing a strain on the economy ------ The funds sent home to Ecuador has really been reduced and affecting the country.

As to the Spanish ---- it is clear ---- however, you will notice extreme accent difference from the Sierra to the Costa.

Also, if you really get serious about wanting to go to Ecuador you may try my book "Culture Shock! Ecuador" - The last edition is still out but the third edition is scheduled for Ocotober.

I love the country but at this time choose not to live there. And, no matter what anyone tells you it is not as cheap as they claim. There are other costs involved that you don't learn about until you are there. You will go through culture shock and have times you want to go home. Crime is increasing and of course if you are a foreigner you will stand out. I would say realistically except for several things like maids and gas - Ecuador is as expensive as the U.S. depending on your lifestyle in the U.S.

To me the ideal situation if you love Ecuador is to maintain two homes. ONe there and one in the U.S. Also, it is not as cheap to get there as it was unless you live in Miami and sometimes New York. For the last 20 years I have averaged about $700.00 round trip. It is now about a thousand and it depends on when you go. Continental has really hurt by pulling out of Guayaquil. I believe Delta only flys during certain parts of the year. If you live in Miami or New York I would try Lan Ecuador ---- they seem to offer good fairs. But, who wants to fly to Miami ----- it is really a difficult place.

Ecuador I believe could really be a paradise for expatriates but, the current government is making it very difficult.


I hope this helps.

Regards,

Nicholas Crowder


P.S. - If I would recommend any place for living it would be Cuenca or the environs. You will find some agents pushing Cotocachi and the north - but beware - of the area. It is basically safe at this time - however, the northern border with Colombia is a problem.
Hi Nicholas, I read the first edition of your book years ago. Your comment about standing out was what ultimately steered me to Argentina. I'm fascinated by the Andes cultures but for everyday living I don't want constant attention. Argentina will let me be close enough for trips but is interesting in it's own right. I see that Moon Handbooks has a guide to living in Guatemala coming out soon. You should do one for Ecuador. Best places, visa requirements, etc. If you cover that already my apologies, just seems that Ecuador needs the kind of one stop coverage Mexico, Costa Rica,, Belize, and Panama have gotten.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:48 PM
 
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Thanks very much --- The third edition due out in October I think is much better ----- There is information regarding visas ect - but it changes so fast that it is difficult to keep current ---- that is why I try to focus on the mindset of the local culture and how to deal with it in a positive way.

The move of expatriates has really been noticable the last several years while there has always been some - mostly for church work ect and the numbers of expatriates in Guayaquil that are from the U.S. is really small. Cuenca seems to be attracting the most attention along with Quito of course and Vilcambamba and Loja.

Argentina clearly is much different then Ecuador and yes if you are from the U.S. you may not stand out as much as in Ecuador -----

Regards,

Nicholas Crowder
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:12 PM
 
32,060 posts, read 32,956,580 times
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I lived & worked for one year in Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city and business center). I found the people to be very friendly. I didn't know any Spanish when I arrived. My employer arranged for me a "homestay" (to live with an Ecuadorian family). This helped me learn Spanish and the family members didn't speak English!
Ecuador is considered to be one of the most politically stable countries in South America.
I enjoyed my time there!
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,590,315 times
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Thanks Nicholas, I will check out your book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crowdpub View Post
Argentina clearly is much different then Ecuador and yes if you are from the U.S. you may not stand out as much as in Ecuador -----

Not an issue for me, I am actually of East Indian origin but with Portuguese ancestry so I look 100% hispanic. I will probably just blend in. Of course, when I talk people will know i am a foreigner.
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,590,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
I didn't know any Spanish when I arrived. My employer arranged for me a "homestay" (to live with an Ecuadorian family). This helped me learn Spanish and the family members didn't speak English!
If I may ask, how long did you do the homestay and what was your Spanish proficiency after that period? Did you achieve fluency?
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:03 AM
 
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I lived with the family for one year. (I am still in touch with them.) When I arrived I didn't know any Spanish. When I left, I was able to handle all of my business (such closing a bank account for example) and personal stuff in Spanish.
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