Close

Why Ecuador is a 3rd world?

Here I invite everybody to share their thoughts and experiences on why Ecuador will never make it to be a 2nd world. Not necessarily it should be something negative, let it be 4th world if it can, for me there are still tons of opportunities, for you maybe it is the best retirement destination. Letīs just say here which habits, customs, cultural clichťs make Ecuador as charming as it is... Here we go:

You will almost never be able to buy something that is worth $2-$3 with a $20 bill: they will never have change for you. They will calmly let you walk away, loose a sale but will not give you $17-$18 change.

Very often in Quito a taxi driver would tell you that he does not want to go where you want to go, or that he is going the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, Ecuadorians aren't in any rush to make yours life or their life run smoothly. So when dealing with them don't try to rush them or it will definelty go rough.

We have nice weather this winter: it does not rain a lot... so, guess what, it is a problem: some hydroelectric station, no, not some - the only one, is not producing enough electricity, so we have lights cut off for 4 hours every day!!! How does from 11AM to 3PM sound? or from 7PM to 11PM? It effects me, I'm pissed off... A sound of a diesel generator became a norm...
P.S. the shut downs are over as of February 2010.

Nothing, and I mean 100% nothing gets done on time. Nobody gets to the meetings on time. It kind of gives you freedom to be late too... hate it! Everybody I know, from the leaders of political parties to cleaning people to business owners - all are late... Let me give you an example and tell me if that would not piss you off. If you, let's say have a meet at 1 PM, you get there 5 before 1, right? wait for 10 min and then call to find out if your party is alive, don't you? On many occasions your party would inform you: ohh, you'r already there, wait, I'm going right now, give me 10 min...(Gee, what part of 1PM was not clear?) and gets there 1 hour later. On many occasions your party does not answer the phone, and you hear from them in 1 week... What a waste of time!!!!!

The Ecuadorians are lousy workers in general. Something tells me you are not surprised.. but wait, I myself noticed how lousy they are only recently, with a "Cuban invasion". Brotherly love between our pres and the Castro's keeps bringing flocks of Cubans every day - hundreds, maybe thousands of them... Anyway, we hired two Cuban girls to handle phones in our office, and ... my ohh my - what a difference! For less than we'd pay to an Ecuadorian they do an excellent job: always on time, quick learners, they listen to you and do what you say with no questions... After a workday they just clean the office by themselves... I think I'll just start hiring Cubans - that's the future!

Any criticism is a culturally excluded thing. Very few things (if any) an average Ecuadorian does well, but try to tell them that and you'll have a fight.

If you think you've seen some bureaucracy in US or Europe, you're up to surprise in Ecuador.
Anything, from getting a driver license to buying a property requires dozens of copies of all your ID's and other documents, sometimes in full color, sometimes notarized...
Although many institutions have well developed information systems, everything requires your original signature. Digital signature is yet to come to Ecuador.
Internet shopping - not in this century.

What about dogs barking all night?

We live in Cuenca Ecuador and have two boys 11 and 13. I have been in many countries and Ecuador is definitely  not 3rd world. Try Africa Kenya.

All the modern convenience are her and  21 century technology is here. The Ecuadorian are wonderful people. If your looking for the USA then donít come to Ecuador. The people here are friendly, courteous and  work very hard.

Charles

Wow, Barrett, you definitely live in some other Ecuador than me... meaning you have adjusted yourself!!! which is great, good for you, and everybody else who wants to live here should do the same or suffer...

Just a few good notes about Ecuador. Crime is less in Ecuador than Dallas, Houston, New York or most major cities in the USA.
USA is the leading proveyior of Porngraphy and crime. The muder captial of the world. Rape of women in USA check that statistic in the time it took me to wqrite this answer 20 women have experenced attempted rape or abuse.

Taxes are less, Gasoline is $1.20 less diesel is dirt cheap.

Where in the USA can you go buy more fresh fruit and vegitables that you can carry for $20.

Name me nay city in the USA that your water gas and electric bill is less that $50 per month for a family of four.

Name me any city in the USA where for $49 per month you can get free medical and dental care.

I could go on and on. Worring about a $20 seems to be small stuff as to the invaasion of privacy going on in the USA.

A USA where the process food ahve more chemicals than nutriants. In Ecuador you can get fresh almost anything at any time.

The people of Ecuador are extermly friendly and kind if one show themselves to be the same to them.

Charles

But Charles, what about barking dogs all night?
In the US, that would be taken care of for you! :o

OK, Charles, I agree with everything except for that they are honestly friendly (to me it is more like a Spanish culture in general, surface friendliness, you start interacting with them, and with the same friendly face and voice they will not give you your 5 bucks back that they borrowed a year ago for a few days, will present you the lousy job they did for you etc. etc. etc. - to me its an insult and always/everywhere will be, other than that they are friendly, yes, and I'm saying all this because while I'm Ecuadorian with Ecuadorian mother, I lived all my life in the 1st world and believe there is a good reason for it to be the 1st world) and that they are hard working (I mean, yes, some of them work hard, but the results are that count, right?, and that is what they struggle to deliver).
Yes, barking dogs... I happened to live some time ago next to a neighbor like this. Well, their dog found itself shot from time to time (not by me, after years of shooting, I still think it is wrong to solve most of your problems like this, but by other friendly Ecuadorian neighbors). What the hell, friendly people - they just buy another one, while other friendly neighbors were buying more ammo...
But, after all that has been said, I'm here myself, yes... I guess I like it more than i don't :)
Cheers.

Please excuse me and I am not trying to be rude, but it sounds like you really didn't do your research in the culture and customs of South America before you decided to move here.

Some times we just get into something we thought would be one way to find out the reality of it doesnt meet our vision or dream about what it would be.

Good luck on your return home for if you think Ecuador really cares about our opions then your are wrong, They didn't invite us here we invited ourselves.

If I invited myself into you home and started comlaining about you and your home I am sure you would be very happy when I decided to leave.

It is not what I think about Ecuador that counts it is what Ecuadorians think about me that counts. Have i done all I can to show my  self friendly and to understand thier culture and customs.

No problem, you are right, I didn't do any research, I just moved. As I mentioned before I'm an Ecuadorian raised in western culture, and while I understand that I won't be able ever change their views on what's wrong and right, some parts of their culture I PROUDLY will never accept. For instance, what do you say about these friendly people never let pedestrians pass while driving, I mean NEVER!!! Being always late in everything, I mean ALWAYS!!! I can go on, but that is not the point... These things and some other I'll always be facing, because I'm not like this, and won't let people around me be like this. And if you, Charles, think it is OK, I don't mean to be rude either, but I'd doubt your own cultural background.
You are retired, right? Then for you it is a little easier...
But trust me, Charles, my employees are late only once. So those poor friendly Ecuadorians that want my money must get their friendly as...es out of beds half an hour earlier.
Cheers.

No I own three companies in Ecuador and two in USA. I was raised in the south. I have spent 25 year as a politcal an marketing consultant.

I have worked in many countries and have learned to be successful, I must learn to adapt with out compromising.

Your very wrong about getting it done or on time. Depends on your definition of on time.

Your are right, adaptation is the key... However, the very same people who are late (we stuck to "being late" here, right?) very much dislike when you are late in your obligations. Then you have a dilemma. In order to deliver you must be different, tell me if I'm wrong...
Nothing personal against Ecuadorians whatsoever, I do business with Chile and Panama, same thing...
But, most people in the forum looking at Ecuador as a retirement destination, so I'm going to stop scaring them. But I think that you should stop misinforming them, because the Ecuadorians are only the way you describe them when you are as flexible as you are. For some retired businessman from US, it will look different, at least in the beginning.
You seem a philosopher to me... on time is on time. Define it any other way, but the terrible part comes when you try to find out WHY not on time. Ecuadorian excuses are something, ain't they?

There's rarely any toilet paper in the restrooms.

It's because their political system is so corrupt.  There are so many incredible and intelligent Ecuadorians but the country keeps on being passed from one group of grimy corrupt politicians to another. 
www.flavorsofecuador.com

Barking dogs can happen anywhere. It all depends where you live and Ecuador is no exception. Aside from that dogs are often used to protect property in Ecuador. So, If you say nice puppy they might bite your hand...LOL

Travelightly :

But Charles, what about barking dogs all night?
In the US, that would be taken care of for you! :o

I totally agree with you Barret and commend you. I noticed you are not posting anymore. I guess you got tired of Shoman and his rigid views of Ecuador. Lets just say he's a parodox of sorts. Ecuadorian himself and against Ecuadorian society etc. Does that make sense to any of you? I have to give him credit though. He'll direct you to the best shushi bars...lol

Barrett :

Please excuse me and I am not trying to be rude, but it sounds like you really didn't do your research in the culture and customs of South America before you decided to move here.

Some times we just get into something we thought would be one way to find out the reality of it doesnt meet our vision or dream about what it would be.

Good luck on your return home for if you think Ecuador really cares about our opions then your are wrong, They didn't invite us here we invited ourselves.

If I invited myself into you home and started comlaining about you and your home I am sure you would be very happy when I decided to leave.

It is not what I think about Ecuador that counts it is what Ecuadorians think about me that counts. Have i done all I can to show my  self friendly and to understand thier culture and customs.

Funny that happened to me in New York many times while living there. Is Quito or Ecuador in general any different? I think not!

sh0man :

Very often in Quito a taxi driver would tell you that he does not want to go where you want to go, or that he is going the opposite direction.

That was the case for me in Paris. Is it worth mentioning? Not really. Only to contrast the statement.

jctex7 :

There's rarely any toilet paper in the restrooms.

That's what most of us do when we live in a different culture. We adjust but only if we are smart. Cuenca is like Quito used to be years ago. Smaller and more gentile. We've had a tremendous influx of people from the country side and they try to make a living any way they can. Including peddling wares on the streets. Although the Quito municipality is trying to change that by having a designated place for these type of vendors.

sh0man :

Wow, Barrett, you definitely live in some other Ecuador than me... meaning you have adjusted yourself!!! which is great, good for you, and everybody else who wants to live here should do the same or suffer...

Here again. Generalizing. Every time you criticize Ecuador think you are also one of us even if it's only half. You write very well but how about the rest. Do you fall short like other Ecuadorians? ....LOL

sh0man :

Any criticism is a culturally excluded thing. Very few things (if any) an average Ecuadorian does well, but try to tell them that and you'll have a fight.

Since you are half Ecuadorian I suppose that makes you half a lousy worker. Do you agree? I don't think so. Not surprised on my part. Like I said to you privately those Cubans that you refer to are happy to get out of communist Cuba. If I was a refugee somewhere I would also be a "fast learner" Most Latin American countries are moving towards the left with the exception of Colombia. They need U.S. help to keep their country from becoming a total loss from the FARC. Not surprising Obama here is seen as a "socialist" some of us like him and others do not. That's what democracy is all about. Isn't it?

sh0man :

The Ecuadorians are lousy workers in general. Something tells me you are not surprised.. but wait, I myself noticed how lousy they are only recently, with a "Cuban invasion". Brotherly love between our pres and the Castro's keeps bringing flocks of Cubans every day - hundreds, maybe thousands of them... Anyway, we hired two Cuban girls to handle phones in our office, and ... my ohh my - what a difference! For less than we'd pay to an Ecuadorian they do an excellent job: always on time, quick learners, they listen to you and do what you say with no questions... After a workday they just clean the office by themselves... I think I'll just start hiring Cubans - that's the future!

Total agreement on that one. The weather is great there. Here in Florida we had a horrible winter with temperatures sometimes in the low 20's. The snowbirds were shocked and I don't blame them. When I was a kid in Ecuador and the lights went out we'd play board games and had great conversations. Although, I would miss not having power now. I use too much of the current technology and would be pissed like you.

sh0man :

We have nice weather this winter: it does not rain a lot... so, guess what, it is a problem: some hydroelectric station, no, not some - the only one, is not producing enough electricity, so we have lights cut off for 4 hours every day!!! How does from 11AM to 3PM sound? or from 7PM to 11PM? It effects me, I'm pissed off... A sound of a diesel generator became a norm...
P.S. the shut downs are over as of February 2010.

Yes Shoman, You are completely right.

sh0man :

You will almost never be able to buy something that is worth $2-$3 with a $20 bill: they will never have change for you. They will calmly let you walk away, loose a sale but will not give you $17-$18 change.

Shoman, I can see that you are invaluable to those seeking information about Ecuador. Just keep harsh generalizations about the people down and there won't be any flared "latin" tempers. Can't we all get along? Like Rodney King said...LOL

sh0man :

Here I invite everybody to share their thoughts and experiences on why Ecuador will never make it to be a 2nd world. Not necessarily it should be something negative, let it be 4th world if it can, for me there are still tons of opportunities, for you maybe it is the best retirement destination. Letīs just say here which habits, customs, cultural clichťs make Ecuador as charming as it is... Here we go:

Roads... they call them "carretera" or "highway" here. Besides the fourth world pavement quality, every single village on it builds "speed breakers". They probably do break speed if the driver notices them, and its not easy especially at night since most of them unpainted and the "highway" is mostly without lights.

One friend of mine, an american expat had a motorcycle accident a few days ago. It happened on a remote highway, pretty much in a middle of nowhere, but cars do pass there. While a cause of the accident is another subject, what astounded him was that some 3-4 motorists passed by (him with a broken shoulder and leg) just looking without any intention to stop... When someone finally stopped, they just told him they were going to call police and hurriedly took off... When he finally got to civilization his ecuadorian girlfriend explained to him that this is "normal", meaning that people don't want to get involved because sometimes accident victims point their fingers at whoever and then that "whoever" is pretty much screwed up. Readers of this forum know my not so high opinion about ecuadorians, and incidents like this tell me that at least partially I'm right.

Tap water is undrinkable to a very high degree. When I first came here, I took a sip right out of fauset... Those who know probably are laughing at me... yea, it seems funny to me too now. At the end of the day I got sick, but not just sick: knocked down sick, with high temperature and stomack pain like I never felt before... I was agonizing until a friend of mine, an Ecuadorian came... He laughed at me of course, then went to a farmacy, got me some pills. I immediately felt better and by the next morning was as good as new.
Morale: when you come, start with brushing your teeth with bottled water. Water filters also do the work.

I recently purchased property in Ecuador after having done 2 years of due diligence on 18 different places to retire. We spent three weeks there in Febr. and decided to purchase a condo and are currently selling our Canadian property to move to Ecuador full time.  I knew exactly what to expect before I went there, as my dd told me what the score was.  If I was going there to find the same thing I had in Canada, I would have stayed here.

One should go to Ecuador with the attitude that one will not change the place, but will adapt to it.  It is Canada 75 years ago, and I love it. People still somewhat innocent and not yet fully corrupted by the almighty dollar. Family and community matter, and there is little government intervention.

Beautiful weather and beaches, good food and great prices on most things we need daily.

This will not always remain the way it is, as history tells us what the future will bring.  As EC develops, so it too will become what the U.S. and Canada is today.  I just hope that it will allow me at least some 30 years before this happens.  I have lived in Europe and Canada and have no problem adapting to Ecuador and the slow pace as well as the fact that they are not always on time.  A lot of complaining is exaggerated and comes from people who expect too much based on feeling entitled.  Perhaps this is a result of having been spoiled too much in "developed" countries.  Funny enough, they decide to leave those after they realize where all this "progress" is going with regards to liberties and lifestyles as well as cost of living.

We'll do just fine in Ecuador as we arrive with the proper attitude.

Well said, it's refreshing to hear the positive sides of Ecuador rather than endless complaints. When I lived in New York I would travel often to Montreal and loved it. The French Canadian culture and language attracted me every time. I suspect you'll feel the same about Ecuador in the long run.

GentIsle :

I recently purchased property in Ecuador after having done 2 years of due diligence on 18 different places to retire. We spent three weeks there in Febr. and decided to purchase a condo and are currently selling our Canadian property to move to Ecuador full time.  I knew exactly what to expect before I went there, as my dd told me what the score was.  If I was going there to find the same thing I had in Canada, I would have stayed here.

One should go to Ecuador with the attitude that one will not change the place, but will adapt to it.  It is Canada 75 years ago, and I love it. People still somewhat innocent and not yet fully corrupted by the almighty dollar. Family and community matter, and there is little government intervention.

Beautiful weather and beaches, good food and great prices on most things we need daily.

This will not always remain the way it is, as history tells us what the future will bring.  As EC develops, so it too will become what the U.S. and Canada is today.  I just hope that it will allow me at least some 30 years before this happens.  I have lived in Europe and Canada and have no problem adapting to Ecuador and the slow pace as well as the fact that they are not always on time.  A lot of complaining is exaggerated and comes from people who expect too much based on feeling entitled.  Perhaps this is a result of having been spoiled too much in "developed" countries.  Funny enough, they decide to leave those after they realize where all this "progress" is going with regards to liberties and lifestyles as well as cost of living.

We'll do just fine in Ecuador as we arrive with the proper attitude.

Hey, you philosophers, why none of ya has answered two simple things: why the f...ck they never let pedestrians pass first while driving (you really have to go to Cumbaya or Quito Tenis for this to happen), and why the low-lifes are always late?? Anyone of ya dare to say that this is "nice", this is "culture", or "hardworking" maybe??

Shoman, Once again you're showing your "class" by using 4 letter words. We philosophers choose to live our lives without complaining and throwing stones at people that are different than ourselves. Remember what GentIsle said? Thereís no better or worse but different. Itís probably a hard concept for you to grasp since you seem to operate with only business on your mind. I suggest you take a chill pill so you donít get stressed about so many things where you currently live. If you donít youíll only wind up frustrated and bitter. Thatís if you arenít already. I have attempted to highlight the differences that exist amongst the various groups in Ecuador. Only to paint a picture for the new comers so they donít get the impression that they are moving to some wild place thatís ďnastyĒ as you imply. We can admire the U.S. or any other place for that matter. However, it doesnít change the fact that you and I were born in Ecuador from Ecuadorian mothers. And thatís were you and I are different. I have to defend my own as any normal person would. You on the other hand are proud only of your American half, and sweep the Ecuadorian side under the rug. That to me is extremely strange. I can only conclude that it has to do with some kind of complex that lives within your very soul. When I became a U.S. citizen I was asked by the interviewer if I wanted my name changed in the process. I replied, No, Iím here to get U.S. citizenship and not to change my identity. In reality I have dual citizenship now. Both, Ecuadorian and American and Iím fine with that. I accept the country where I was born as well as the one where I grew up. I canít for a minute compare one with the other. They are different, and I have special affection for both. I consider myself lucky in that sense. If you think that caracter traits of the people where you live are unbearable. Simply, come back to the States and be happy here. I would rather live satisfied somewhere without much money, than miserable in another. At this point, Iím not going to argue with you on why the locals donít let you pass when you are walking or driving. It would be futile since Iíd never change your mind. My purpose for writing is that when potential expats (immigrants) to Ecuador read this theyíll see both sides of the coin. Ultimately, when they get there, theyíll be able to determine if it suits them or not.

sh0man :

Hey, you philosophers, why none of ya has answered two simple things: why the f...ck they never let pedestrians pass first while driving (you really have to go to Cumbaya or Quito Tenis for this to happen), and why the low-lifes are always late?? Anyone of ya dare to say that this is "nice", this is "culture", or "hardworking" maybe??

Yea, I agree with you here, I'm not proud to be an Ecuadorian, there is not much (if at all) to be proud of... I buy/sell from/to different parts of the world, and when they are hear that you are from Ecuador (as I'm sure same as if you were from say Bolivia) you feel that underappreciation or disdain from them, like ... when you pass through customs in Madrid off the Iberia flight from Ecuador among 300 other poor souls who try to get the hell out of there - that kind of look you get from the customs officer...
Well, all due respect to ya all, you know why I am NOT here: I'm not here to retire and die - you know me by now, so I speak THE TRUTH.
And you - didn't answer my damn question - do you think it is nice not to let pedestrians pass or being late??? For a westerner, we know that an Ecuadorian thinks it is amazing... Besides, what's the percentage of the "elite" like yourself in Ecuador - I'd like to hear that number from you.

Ok, This is probably going to be my last post. I only wanted to convey to potential expats (immigrants) that thereís another side to Ecuador. Not just the ugly, lazy, rude and tardy character of its people that you emphasize over and over again. All I can say at this point is. Leave and find this panacea that youíre looking for. Otherwise youíll continue to stew in your own brew forever. Makes sense? Now, about Madrid and the custom inspectors. In the past when I traveled with an Ecuadorian passport. Not once did I encounter any disdain as you illustrated. Spaniards arenít stupid and can tell class and category by looking at someone. I know you arenít able and thatís why you generalize so harshly. If there are 300 poor Ecuadorian souls on the plane those inspectors will know whoĎs who. They are there to check baggage and see if everyone is coming in legally or not. Not to pass judgment like you do all the time. If I ever ran into an inspector that gave me a strange look because Iím of a certain nationality. Should I care? I donít think so. Itís like when Americans sometimes travel to France and complain that they are not liked. Once again, who cares. If we behave like civilized human beings, we can be Bolivians, Peruvians or anything else. It doesnít matter. You Mr. Shoman get stuck in the muck and canít seem to get out of it. Your Ecuadorian side you say is no good and the American certainly needs an attitude adjustment. I think all those ďnastyĒ Ecuadorians are taking care of that by making you suffer. Iím sure they donít pay much attention to your endless ranting. Since you insist adamantly to know why they donít let you pass. Iím going to take a crack at it. Ecuador not too long ago, lets say one or two generations ago was a rural country. Quito when my family left was a city of maybe 600 thousand people if that much. Now itís way over 2 million inhabitants. When the government implemented the so called ďagrarian reformĒ not sure exactly when. Those people (peasants) in most cases started moving into the cities such as Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca etc. As time went on those individuals became upwardly mobile in a way and were able to buy cars for the first time in their lives. Now keep in mind that they lived in the country side where maybe they used horses or donkeys. Now that they have vehicles they still havenít evolved to a point were they can function as city dwellers completely. Itís a matter of evolution like Iíve mentioned in other posts. I suspect something similar is happening in China now that many can purchase motor cars. So, how are you going to get those peasants from the rice fields to display proper manners in Beijing. Get my point? Thatís whatís happening in Ecuador today. The next time some ďstone faceĒ driver doesnít let you pass. Just simply say to yourself. The bugger or his family probably rode a donkey in the past. You like to use the word ďwesternerĒ as if it was some sort of privileged title. Shoman, Ecuador is a western country just like the rest of Latin America. Not South East Asia or something as in Malaysia. That would not be western. Now for the ďeliteĒ part. I told you privately in the past that even though you donít see this elite group in Ecuador readily. They are there and behind economic and political power in spite of who happens to be president at any given time. If this so called ďeliteĒ group was only 10% it would discount your theories about Ecuadorians being substandard or inferior. Look up the racial breakdown of Ecuador on the web. It shows caucasians about 10%. To elaborate a bit on this subject. I can tell you that I enjoy living in the U.S. because I donít stick out and blend in well. It makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere in my opinion. When Iím in Ecuador some people see me as a foreigner even though Iím not. No one likes to be stared at. I mentioned the class thing only because I wanted to let new comers (immigrants) know that theyíll encounter not only different races but also classes that differ from one another. Notwithstanding, in the end we are all Ecuadorian and thatís what binds us together whether we like it or not. Iím a very democratic person by nature and believe the only thing that sets us apart is an education. Both scholastic and  good upbringing from home. The rest is not really important. 

sh0man :

Yea, I agree with you here, I'm not proud to be an Ecuadorian, there is not much (if at all) to be proud of... I buy/sell from/to different parts of the world, and when they are hear that you are from Ecuador (as I'm sure same as if you were from say Bolivia) you feel that underappreciation or disdain from them, like ... when you pass through customs in Madrid off the Iberia flight from Ecuador among 300 other poor souls who try to get the hell out of there - that kind of look you get from the customs officer...
Well, all due respect to ya all, you know why I am NOT here: I'm not here to retire and die - you know me by now, so I speak THE TRUTH.
And you - didn't answer my damn question - do you think it is nice not to let pedestrians pass or being late??? For a westerner, we know that an Ecuadorian thinks it is amazing... Besides, what's the percentage of the "elite" like yourself in Ecuador - I'd like to hear that number from you.

Closed
New topic