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Another Newbie Here!

Greetings to all! I just found this site yesterday and so far it has been very informative.

I am a retired lady with two grown daughters who have families of their own and I am ready to spread my wings! Even though I've been told by family members that Ecuador is not a place I should relocate, I still believe this is the place for me. I'm a single lady who will be moving alone and am wondering just what location would be my best choice. Since I only have one lung I don't think the mountainous areas would be suitable even though I do have a step-granddaughter living in Cuenca. I want to locate to a coastal area friendly to expats but don't know where is best for a spunky single lady in her 60s.

It will probably be about a year before I can get all my affairs in order, sale my house, etc., but think starting my serious planning process is NOW. I look forward to checking this site out, chatting with other expats and learning all I can about moving to Ecuador.

I am glad to now be a site member!

Hidyaphrodite in Little Rock, Arkansas

Unfortunately your options are very limited, especially after the earthquake, and by options I mean low lying cities/towns with adequate health facilities. There’s Guayaquil, but apparently it’s not good and probably the priciest city in Ecuador. There’s also Salinas but with a population of only 200,000 metro, I’m not sure what kind of health infrastructure they have, but perhaps it’s an option as well. I have slight asthma, and mountain air has improved my condition after nearly killing me at first (ha!ha!). But even with my controllable condition I know exactly where the nearest hospital is and also the nearest clinic, and on top of that I have my own nebulizer which I’ve never used yet, but it’s there in case of an emergency. My point is medical help here is not so simple and at night there is almost zero activity or zero help and you are left to your own means. Medical treatment is good, but there’s a difference between treatment and immediate help. This is with regards to the capital. I can’t even imagine how it would be in smaller cities that don’t even have adequate health infrastructure. I along with other members can give you advice, but considering your condition, you have to do your own practical diligence and come here to see how your body reacts and also to see if you are comfortable with what's available in terms of health facilities in your preferred choice of city.

Thank you for the important info, especially as to the earthquake. The situation in Ecuador now as a result of that awful experience is, of course, primary on my mind but I really wasn't sure if that post was the proper place to mention it. And, yes, healthcare is something I want to learn about. I'm cancer free and my plan is to stay that way but given my history I do need to learn what is available and what is not available medically. My daughter and son-in-law (who thankfully returned to the States just prior to the earthquake) were both adamant that Ecuadorians do not like Americans and are not particularly nice to the expats and that is certainly something I'm wanting to learn about, too. My other option is Mexico as I've spent quite a bit of time in the Yucatan area and do feel comfortable there.

Hidyaphrodite/Little Rock

hidyaphrodite :

My daughter and son-in-law were both adamant that Ecuadorians do not like Americans and are not particularly nice to the expats....

From my years of experience mostly in Quito, it’s evident that 99 percent of Ecuadorians are friendly and welcoming to North Americans, especially if you greet them or engage them in the native tongue.

At times they might appear to be standoffish -- most likely unsure given the perceived language barrier with Gringos -- if they are given no verbal cue.

I give a failing grade to the priest in Otavalo who refused my request to meditate in his fancy iglesia when he discovered that I had been raised Jewish, even though the place was empty other than the two of us on a weekday afternoon.  Minutes later, the anfitrión of a nearby hotel allowed me the courtesy of a quiet meditation in the hotel lobby when I offered him a modest propina.

cccmedia in Quito

hidyaphrodite :

Thank you for the important info, especially as to the earthquake. The situation in Ecuador now as a result of that awful experience is, of course, primary on my mind but I really wasn't sure if that post was the proper place to mention it. And, yes, healthcare is something I want to learn about. I'm cancer free and my plan is to stay that way but given my history I do need to learn what is available and what is not available medically. My daughter and son-in-law (who thankfully returned to the States just prior to the earthquake) were both adamant that Ecuadorians do not like Americans and are not particularly nice to the expats and that is certainly something I'm wanting to learn about, too. My other option is Mexico as I've spent quite a bit of time in the Yucatan area and do feel comfortable there.

Hidyaphrodite/Little Rock

Personally I haven’t experienced bad attitudes with locals and neither has my family. Having said that I am certain they are people who are not nice. It’s like that everywhere, but overall I’ve never felt a vibe of disdain from local towards foreigners. The exception is Colombians as I occasionally hear negative comments about them from locals. I think a lot of this is caused by the press sensationalism as there is recurrent coverage of Colombians trafficking drugs. I’ve also heard about sicarios, and how such was non-existent before Colombians started coming here en masse. How much of that is true I don’t know, but there is some resentment in this regard. I think every society develops a scaptegoat for their own dark or nasty side. It's similar in the US, where Latin American illegal-immigrants are portrayed as criminals by racists despite statistics that clearly indicate that Americans are moreso criminally inclined (source Texasmonthly).

But I can definitely understand if some locals are negative towards foreigners. My wife and I were out one night having a good time at a restaurant. Then I noticed a raucous going on, and it turned out that a North American tried to leave without paying his bill. I asked if that frequently happens and the waiter replied sometimes when it’s very crowded.  So it’s conceivable that some locals especially in tourist establishments might have negative attitudes by witnessing foreigners conduct themselves in such a base manner. Your relatives were probably an unfortunate consequence of such vile behavior by previous tourists. There are also the bigoted foreigners who talk obnoxiously by belittling locals or local customs. I’m sure in the tourist industry locals hear and understand enough to make a negative judgement. But I think this is limited, and definitely not to the point in which I've ever experienced negative attitudes by people.

Visit the country, and judge for yourself, but I'm fairly certain that you will find that the locals are kind and hospitable.

Thank you all so much for your posts. Interesting, Vsimple, that you mention the Columbians being a social issue in  Ecuador because my son-in-law's ex-wife, the mother of his daughter, was born in Columbia though lived in the States for many years. However, she's not a thug or drug dealer but instead is a chef and opened a restaurant in Cuenca. The word I've gotten is that she hates Ecuador and regrets having moved her family there and I'm certain that is where my family got their information about Americans being disliked in Ecuador.

Yes, I agree, the decision is mine to make from my personal experiences and I look forward to the place in time when my ducks are in a satisfactory row and I'm in Ecuador!

Hidyaphrodite/Little Rock

I'm single, retired and 69 years old. I've lived in Cuenca for six years. After spending the month of January in Salinas this year and meeting some of the expat community, I'd say it is a welcoming place with many singles. You might visit Salinas and see what you think. The weather was warm but certainly not oppressive and there is always a breeze.
Please drop me a line if you want to correspond**
Regina

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Lampshade65, you saying Salinas weather was "warm but certainly not oppressive" sounds absolutely delightful to this Arkansas lady because today is expected to be almost 100 very humid degrees ... I'd call that very oppressive! LOL.

My step granddaughter lives in Cuenca and said that the earthquake was felt all the way to that location but the coastline got hit badly. Do you have any info in that regard that I need? My plans for moving to Ecuador began in advance of that horrible event and I really don't know how to proceed given the resulting circumstances. 

(I will email you.)

Hidyaphrodite/Little Rock

I hope you do email me.*
I was in Florida visiting my mother who is 99. I didn't experience the earthquake but there were only tremors in Cuenca which happens once in a while. The devastation was at the northern coast of the country near the border with Colombia. Salinas and all the beaches south of Manta sustained no damage. My friend owns the Salinas Re Max office and assured me that the season of snowbirds, those from US and Canada who come for the winter, is going strong.
Regina

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lampshade65 :

Salinas and all the beaches south of Manta sustained no damage. My friend owns the Salinas Re Max office and assured me that the season of snowbirds, those from US and Canada who come for the winter, is going strong.

Of course a real estate agency in Salinas wants to make it seem like the earthquake is having little impact on tourism.

But this is a joke !

All the 2016 snowbirds had long since arrived in EC by the time the earthquake hit during the third week in April.

The real snowbird-test for Salinas and the coast will be from next December to February 2017.

cccmedia in Quito

That is ridiculous. Tourism decline impact is being felt as far away as the sierra region, let alone across the coast. Tourism has experienced a sharp downturn... first, with the two volcanic rumblings.... and then the major quake was the knockout punch.

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