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Anybody living in Vilcabamba or Loja?

Welcome to the Ecuador forum, Lizzy.

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Wow, it’s been over a year since anybody before you has posted on this thread.  No problem, it has now been revived. :)

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You’re doing a good job investigating from afar .. and making a wise decision to visit here before moving.

Based on the lifestyle you described I believe you are within budget, but not much to spare.

You can verify cost of living figures for Loja at www.numbeo.com ....

Your income well in excess of the $900 threshold for your case will qualify you as a pensioner-visa holder.  Based on your post, your sister will absolutely qualify as your dependent.

After you obtain your residency visa and ID card, you and Sis can join the national IESS medical plan for under $100 a month for the both of you.  The care you would receive has no deductibles for you to pay and you would qualify for care in hospitals in many cities around Ecuador.  Please consider visiting the IESS hospital in or nearest to Loja when you visit.

You need to have a plan in case something happens to you in Ecuador and your sister would be, at least temporarily, on her own.

cccmedia

The currency of Ecuador is the US $, so you need not worry about pesos or the rising as of late power of said dollar.  Another consideration would be the medical expenses for both of you, for Medicare is also invalid outside of the USA and the territories.  US tax law would allow you to be head of household and claim your sister as a dependent, opening the door for other tax benefits.  Not having her SSI and no medicaid is a big loss percentage wise on your income.  You would want to investigate what kind of treatment would be available for your sister, as any mind/mood altering drugs can be expensive and/or difficult to obtain.  Since you have at least 3 years to investigate, you may want to check out places along the Gulf Coast in the USA, a little more expensive, but perhaps more affordable because of the extra income and health coverage.  This is not to say you could not receive good health care in Ecuador, and under normal circumstances your 1300-1500 monthly income would potentially make Ecuador a dream come true for you.  Unfortunately your situation is not normal.

mugtech :

You would want to investigate what kind of treatment would be available for your sister, as any mind/mood altering drugs can be expensive and/or difficult to obtain.

These are excellent points from Mugtech. :top:

Types of Treatment Available:  This issue might put you in Cuenca or Quito instead of Loja, as bigger cities offer more health-related services.  Providers, including doctors, are more likely to understand or speak English in the bigger cities I mentioned.  Loja is well-known as a Spanish-language-only town, with few exceptions.

Availability of Mind-Altering Drugs:  As you may have heard, most pharmaceuticals are available in Ecuador without a prescription.  However, this is not true for painkillers and mind-altering drugs, which are known in EC as estupefacientes y psicotrópicos.

Such drugs are available in Ecuador through a prescription known as a receta especial or special scrip.  The prescription lasts for 72 hours or less until caducidad or expiration.  Need more of these pills?  You need to see a doctor again.  It must be a specialist, who will probably charge $50 for each office visit.

During your visit to Ecuador, I suggest that you meet with a doctor to find out what is available in the potential medicines you or your sister might need.  Theoretically a pharmacist could advise you (in Spanish), but I think an office visit with a specialist is indicated.

Private insurers in Ecuador do not cover pre-existing situations as a rule, at least not in the first year.  However, the relatively inexpensive IESS coverage does not impose exclusions for pre-existing conditions and therefore is indicated in your family’s case.

IESS doctors are assigned to you -- you may not be able to choose your doctor.  At this point it is not predictable whether your IESS doctor(s) will be able to communicate in English.

cccmedia

cccmedia :

Types of Treatment Available:  This issue might put you in Cuenca or Quito instead of Loja, as bigger cities offer more health-related services.  Providers, including doctors, are more likely to understand or speak English in the bigger cities I mentioned.  Loja is well-known as a Spanish-language-only town, with few exceptions.

Think Lizzy-Lulu meant josephk, and not richardk. Josephk has not been on this board in quite some time, which is unfortunate, because he had a lot of great information. Know that in his last post, or one of his last posts on this forum he had left, or was leaving Loja. The healthcare was not adequate for his needs. Should be noted that he really enjoyed Loja, and had nothing bad to say about it other than the fact he thought the healthcare in Loja was not very good. Things may have changed since then, but if more than basic medical care is necessary, Loja may not be a good choice.

Hi Lizzy LuLu,
I work in the mental health field and my experience with family members taking an individual out of a group home has not always been in the best interests of the individual. The individual often finds safety and security in the structure of the group home and their mental health tends to deteriorate with the lack of structure in the family environment.

Before attempting to move your sister to another culture I wold suggest you make many trial runs for varying lengths of time with your sister to see how this works for both you and your sister before removing her from her group home entirely.

An individual may complain about their group home, but then when removed from the relationships and structure, they may only want to return and they may actually function better in that environment.

Family may often feel guilty about the individual in a group home setting and once they are removed from that setting the family often discovers they are not able to meet the needs of the individual, creating a crisis for both the family and the individual.

Not knowing the level of mental illness your sister struggles with, makes it difficult to give accurate feedback, but the fact that she lives in a group home indicates that she would not be able to function well on her own. Also consider what would your sister do in an unfamiliar culture if something were to happen to you.

Perhaps you retire to Ecuador and you have regular visits back to visit with your sister. That might meet the needs of both of you.

Don't know if this helps, but just some suggestions from working in the field. I know it s not easy for families.

Any info you can give on Malacatos? You mentioned it was similar to Vilcabamba in weather. I have been interested in Vilcabamba but was told it's cold there from an Ecuadorian friend from Guayaquil. I can not handle cold and was concerned about it but keep reading it has da best weather. I was really hoping to find a place that has weather similar to Medellin, Colombia where my relatives are from. Problem with Medellin is it's a big city and way too much traffic. Also do not like apartment living . Prefer living on land where there's privacy. I am into astrology, tarot, crystals etc. A commentator mentioned you find people interested in that in Vilcabamba . I don't mind getting to know expats but also for me being around Latinos is important for me, especially to help me improve my Spanish which is pretty good but I don't get to use much living here in Hawaii. There is a guy a raw food isn't living in/ near Vilcabamba  and has a You Tube channel. Since I am vegetarian and somewhat into raw food would like to be around likeminded people. Any of that in Malacatos?
One of my challenges is to find a place that has da kine  of climate I like. I can no longer deal with heat these days especially humidity. And music is so important to me. Problem is my favorite music is African, reggae, them I like Andean music, salsa and music from India ( chanting) Also love dance. And wanting to be where there are some vegetarians/ vegans and spiritual minded. Any help would be appreciated. Mahalo, gracias .🌊🏝🌈🌋editing this as I tried to reply to someone who mentioned Malacatos but it's not looking like it going under their comment. Looks like it's appearing on page 10. Maybe because that persons comment is from years ago. Not too computer savvy so don't know how these things really work.

I prefer to be more around other Latinos (I'm Colombian-American ) but on da other hand being that I would fit more in da category of new ager, vegetarian, I also would like to be around same kind of fold . So maybe live between Vilcabamba and Malacatos?

Hi!

Your message is getting through :-)

Know this may be a funny question. I have dual citizenship for US and Colombia. So I have a Colombian cedulla ?  (I saw word earlier forgot how to spell it). Since Ecuador use to be part of Gran Colombia, will having this cedulla help me in any way to stay there in Ecuador? Am wanting to check out Vilcabamba with the possiblilty of moving there. Am also considering Colombia) my problem is finances. In about half a year should be getting rental income from a rental house. Knot sure how much i' ll have per month and I know you neeed to have a certain amount of income in order to get certain documents to live there. Correct yes?

Jahmalla :

How do you delete whole post? Made a mistake with spelling nad now have two same comments?

Da way to do this is to click on the Report option and then ask the Home Office to delete the unwanted and duplicative post.

In this case, I have already done this for you.

cccmedia

Jahmalla :

I have dual citizenship for US and Colombia....

Since Ecuador used to be part of Gran Colombia, will having this cedula help me in any way to stay there in Ecuador?

Don't rely on the cédula for this purpose, although it's useful as ID on days when you are not crossing an international border.

The authorities usually prefer to see a passport, which would contain any currently-valid visa, if there is any question about your right to remain in -- or return to -- the country.  (If you have been in Ecuador for fewer than 90 days, no visa is necessary in your case and the case of most visitors.)

On most days, carry the cédula or a high-quality plasticized copy of same .. and if traveling and-or expecting to meet up with government officers, carry your passport(s).

cccmedia

Dear Jahmalla,

This about the comment from your friend from Guayaquil, Ecuador, who told you that it's cold in Vilcabamba.

It certainly is not as hot in Vilca as in Guayaquil, but saying it's cold in Vilca borders on the nonsensical.

If you doubt that, google: vilcabamba, ecuador average temperatures, which will enable you to navigate to weather sites proving my point.

cccmedia

Jahmalla :

Am wanting to check out Vilcabamba with the possiblilty of moving there. Am also considering Colombia) my problem is finances. In about half a year should be getting rental income from a rental house,

Colombia is less expensive than Ecuador for USA passport holders with access to dollars.  This wasn't always true -- for years, Ecuador (where the US dollar is the currency) was cheaper.

The Colombian peso or COP is at 3096 to the dollar, the highest value for the dollar so far this year (2017).   (Several years ago, the rate was about 1800 COP to the dollar.)

This gives Expats with dollars .. more buying power.

The strong dollar (versus COP) is connected to the high price of the world's oil these days.  The oil-price scenario is unlikely to change any time soon due to the glut of oil, especially large amounts being produced in the United States.

So in choosing a location for yourself based on finances, factor in the above.  Having rental income going forward may be helpful, but is not always reliable if you are not living at the location of the rental, due to tenant turnover, unexpected repairs, maintenance costs (which are often underestimated) and deadbeat tenants/housing court scenarios.

cccmedia

Mahalo

cccmedia :
Jahmalla :

Am wanting to check out Vilcabamba with the possiblilty of moving there. Am also considering Colombia) my problem is finances. In about half a year should be getting rental income from a rental house,

Colombia is less expensive than Ecuador for USA passport holders with access to dollars.  This wasn't always true -- for years, Ecuador (where the US dollar is the currency) was cheaper.

The Colombian peso or COP is at 3096 to the dollar, the highest value for the dollar so far this year (2017).   (Several years ago, the rate was about 1800 COP to the dollar.)

This gives Expats with dollars .. more buying power.

The strong dollar (versus COP) is connected to the high price of the world's oil these days.  The oil-price scenario is unlikely to change any time soon due to the glut of oil, especially large amounts being produced in the United States.

So in choosing a location for yourself based on finances, factor in the above.  Having rental income going forward may be helpful, but is not always reliable if you are not living at the location of the rental, due to tenant turnover, unexpected repairs, maintenance costs (which are often underestimated) and deadbeat tenants/housing court scenarios.

cccmedia

If you don't mind me asking, and no is always an option (not taken personally), how do you convert your money??  By cc or cash/financial institutions.  I've just been contemplating whether to upgrade to the new Chase cc.  If I stay in EC, it's not worth it but if I move to another country it could pay for itself in conversion rates.

Hi Joseph K,

I see your response to this subject was about 4 years ago. You provided a lot of good info and in case you are still in Ecuador and are willing to provide further insight, I thought I would try and get in touch with you. My wife, myself, and two sons (and one dog and two cats) are giving strong consideration to Ecuador, in particular, Loja. It sounds perfect for us. My wife is from Peru and her parents and most of her family live in Miraflores, Peru (she also has family in Pimental near Chiclayo). So Ecuador is a very good choice for us for that reason. Our main interest would be information about purchasing a home in Loja, although we would almost certainly rent at least for a few months before purchasing (unless having pets was an insurmountable issue when it came to renting). I have seen homes online that look very nice for what we would be willing to pay cash. But of course you cannot tell until you see them and where they are located. I understand from what I have read that there is no multiple listing service and so there might be much more available than you see online? I am sure I would have many logistical questions as the time approaches when we are ready to make the move. Right now we are looking at about two years from now, although we will be visiting before then. You live in Loja? My email address is ***

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Saw you're response some time and just saw it again. Your remarks " borders on nonsensical " kind of offended me. It seems to get down in the 50's . That's cold. Says  average temp is around mid 60's which is cool. It's all relative. Some people can go out in da snow in a tee shirt and not be cold. I suffer from cold get cold easily . So it's cold there

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