Vilcabamba, the Valley-of-Longevity town at 5,000-feet altitude in southern Ecuador, has attracted many Expats in recent years due to its climate, its reputation for healthy living and the growing Expat community. It probably has the highest percentage of Expats in its population of any town or city in La República.
From time to time, however, there are reports of trouble in Paradise with indications that the growing Expat population is not welcomed in Vilca.
That perception has somewhat crystallized with a new and anecdotal report of a couple’s experience in the town -- as just published online at the Cuenca Highlife website -- in which the wife explains why they decided to leave Vilcabamba and return home to California. They returned in April after spending several years in Ecuador, mostly in Vilca.
She explains that their trust and goodwill were not rewarded -- not by the condo worker who allegedly stole their video equipment (in Cotacachi), not by the government which apparently did not follow through on its promises to their Expat media project. The couple also moved various times due to security concerns, water leaks, pests and noise.
Her key conclusion is that Ecuadorians do not generally like extranjeros.
While I disagree with that conclusion for the entire country -- and various posters responding to the article from Cuenca also disagree -- I acknowledge that the article brings up important issues for Expats and would-be Ecuador arrivals. Both the write-up and the ensuing lively discussion -- posted at www.cuencahighlife.com or google: cuencahighlife expat explains pulled stakes vilcabamba returned to u-s -- are compelling reading.
-- cccmedia in Quito