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Why we decided not to move to Ecuador after two trips there

Thinking to immigrate,
We spent a month in Ecuador in Nov. 2012 - Quito/Cuenca/Manta and other points in between.

We spent a month in Ecuador in Jan. 2017 Guayaquil/Cuenca/Montanita and other points in between.

We are not moving to Ecuador.



The deciding factor was - -  water, and other infrastructure failures.

We could find no reason to trade the [failing] north American infrastructure for an even more failed Ecuadoran infrastructure. The public water service in Ecuador (which is essential for a healthy life) is all but non-existent. There is decent public water in Cuenca. Otherwise public water in Ecuador is sketchy, if not dodgy, or there isn't any at all.

There is no greater threat to human public health (mammalian or otherwise) than the lack of dependable and sanitary water and and sewerage. These systems are good and fairly dependable in Cuenca, but almost nowhere else in Ecuador.

It turned out to be the deciding factor in our move, which was not the outcome I expected.
I like Ecuador.

I have been predicting for years  that finance/banking/food/GMO's/government/socialism/democracy/health care/electricity/cost of living/climate are all less important at the bottom line than sanitary water availability.

You can't brush your teeth with cheap oil or camarónes


Posting this here for reference. Ecuador has serious water problems.

Are you open to being recruited to Cuenca, despite our rain, altitude, smog, traffic, lack of casinos and possible insomnia? If not, are you turning your attention to other foreign destinations, or like our pal Mugtech, have decided to remain in the U.S?

P.S.
I have heard coffee country in COLOMBIA may be worth a look.

There's a lot to be said for being "just" a visitor for 1-3 months at a time or more.  You can have the best of both worlds without locking yourself in to something that you might regret later.

Many cities in Colombia have intermittent and sometimes chronic water problems, too, in spite of the fact that many places get adequate rainfall and then some compared to most places in the USA and Canada.  But infrastructure problems are common, you just have to accept them.  They don't call them third-world countries or paises en vía de desarrollo for nothing...

gardener1 :

Thinking to immigrate,
We spent a month in Ecuador in Nov. 2012 - Quito/Cuenca/Manta and other points in between.

We spent a month in Ecuador in Jan. 2017 Guayaquil/Cuenca/Montanita and other points in between.

We are not moving to Ecuador.



The deciding factor was - -  water, and other infrastructure failures.

We could find no reason to trade the [failing] north American infrastructure for an even more failed Ecuadoran infrastructure. The public water service in Ecuador (which is essential for a healthy life) is all but non-existent. There is decent public water in Cuenca. Otherwise public water in Ecuador is sketchy, if not dodgy, or there isn't any at all.

There is no greater threat to human public health (mammalian or otherwise) than the lack of dependable and sanitary water and and sewerage. These systems are good and fairly dependable in Cuenca, but almost nowhere else in Ecuador.

It turned out to be the deciding factor in our move, which was not the outcome I expected.
I like Ecuador.

I have been predicting for years  that finance/banking/food/GMO's/government/socialism/democracy/health care/electricity/cost of living/climate are all less important at the bottom line than sanitary water availability.

You can't brush your teeth with cheap oil or camarónes


Posting this here for reference. Ecuador has serious water problems.

How did you go about your research, water kits? If so can you share some of the data you collected.

For what it's worth, Quito is the only city in Ecuador to be certified by AquaRating which is an international organization that rates the quality of water and wastewater systems.

OsageArcher :

But infrastructure problems are common, you just have to accept them.  They don't call them third-world countries or paises en vía de desarrollo for nothing...

This is true, but I guess it comes down to how much can one accept. Geneva (Switzerland) is lovely, but wait Lake Geneva is polluted.

Good to hear from Gardiner 1, sorry to hear you are not making the move.  I believe your reasons are good for you, I get the idea you did not want to feel stuck in Cuenca. Do you have another destination in mind?  Spending my last season as an accountant and hopefully my last winter in Pennsylvania, the warmest winter I can remember, looking at a week of at least 50F every day.

This appears strange to me.  I live on the Rio Yambala in southern Ecuador and have built a legal water system coming direct from the river.  This is good clean water that runs constantly.   Years ago, I think it was Japanese scientists who came here and said that the water contained selenium, which is apparently good.  Also, I chose Ecuador instead of Nicaragua because of the frightful state of infrastructure in Nicaragua.  Things are much better here.

I guess that one person's paradise is another's hell.  guess it all depends on what makes you happy.  This makes me extremely happy.
HelenP.

HelenPivoine :

Years ago, I think it was Japanese scientists who came here and said that the water contained selenium, which is apparently good.

The first rule of toxicology is, the dose makes the poison.  Selenium in trace amounts can be beneficial to humans, but too much is bad.  The EPA in the USA has set a standard for drinking water that requires it contain no more than 0.05 mg/L which is 50 ppb:

https://safewater.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/ … -selenium-

While I don’t agree with gardener1, I do applaud his approach. The dude actually took the time and effort to visit Ecuador and based on his own specific criteria, Ecuador failed to meet his needs. This is much better than someone moving here and then finding out it’s not right for them.

In terms of some little town that doesn’t have satisfactory water systems, so what, why live there, and simply live in a major metropolitan area that has good systems, or do as HelenPivione did and build your own water system.

Perhaps there’s more to it and more can be elaborated on. In terms of infrastructure we’ve always known that the infrastructure is limited and members here have repeatedly pointed this out, “live near a major city if you have health issues”, “live in a newish building and one that can withstand quakes if you live on the coast”, etc, etc, etc.

This is how it is in the developing world, there are parts of the country or cities that are quite modern, and the rest not so much.

From my perspective, these smaller cities and towns that are not modern, are quite charming, and one of the allures of living in the developing world. Water delivery with distilled water that is delivered to your doorstep is also an option or bottled water. Some people even install water purifiers in their kitchens and bathroom.

I have been washing my fruits and vegetables in Quito for years in bottled water.

I have found that tooth brushing with tap water exposes one to only the tiniest amount of water.  Just enough to wet the brush once .. before adding toothpaste.  Then gargle or rinse with 50 percent mouthwash - 50 percent bottled-water solution.

The environmental problem in Ecuador cities, in my experience* and opinion, is not the water.  (There’s bottled water as a solution for that).  The real problem is the air --- lack of oxygen at altitude, too much contaminación de bus.

----

Gardener1 is not a Dude.  Gardener is a woman. :)

cccmedia

*Experience:  admittedly, most of my living experience has been in Quito.  If there are water outages or water pollution in Nalgas del Cerdo, Sucumbíos, I wouldn’t know about it.  :cool:

HelenPivoine :

I live on the Rio Yambala in southern Ecuador and have built a legal water system coming direct from the river.  This is good clean water that runs constantly.

Seriously?

Is this a typo .. or did a Gringa arrive in Ecuador and somehow manage to legally construct a clean-water system connected to a river?

cccmedia

You are not dreaming,cccMedia,
I just got the final papers two days ago, took maybe 6 months, and I shared the construction of the system, and the rights, with a neighbour.  Anything is possible if you get to know the people here.  Of course, a reliable Ecuadorian built my system, he is a water systems expert in addition to that he built my house and is building my ceramics studio.  Construction involved inspection by an engineer, etc. and I went through my Ecuadorian lawyer, who does not need to speak English to take care of my legal interests.

Just wanted to add that, even more strangely, I have never been that kind of turista nasty sick from water or not washing my veggies.  Have been extremely sick in Mexico from that.  At first I was reluctant to even drink the municipal tap water, but found out that it did not kill me.  But my final solution appears to be the best.
HelenP.

What I found interesting in Quito is that people from all walks of life drink tap water. I observed this when workers/delivery folk were over and asked for water, they went directly for the tap. The same with a friend who is well off and my landlord who is wealthy as sometimes I run out of bottled water or only have carbonated water.

If you eat almuerzo, those juices are made with tap water. The same with coffee in regular places, but I’m not sure about brand cafes, perhaps they have filters. 

I wash fruits and vegetables using tap water, make coffee/tea using tap water when I run out of bottled.

And so far so good and never been healthier, but I think this is more so an attribute of the high altitude which exerts cardiac and respiratory systems and ultimately (relatively) gives greater stamina.

cccmedia :

Gardener1 is not a Dude.  Gardener is a woman. :)

But what if i feel like identifying as a Dude?   ;)

mugtech :

Good to hear from Gardiner 1, sorry to hear you are not making the move.  I believe your reasons are good for you, I get the idea you did not want to feel stuck in Cuenca. Do you have another destination in mind?  Spending my last season as an accountant and hopefully my last winter in Pennsylvania, the warmest winter I can remember, looking at a week of at least 50F every day.

I don't know. I just spent the last 4 years expecting to move to Ecuador and exploring how to make that work. Unfortunately I don't actually have a Plan B so now I'm stranded without any great ideas.

Since we've been back I've done a bit of looking into Belize and Panama but I'm feeling pretty 'meh' about both of those.

I've hatched a new half-baked vision that I don't really know how to make work -

- Get a cheap place in Florida within a couple of hours of Miami so I can use the airport as a jumping off point and spend half of the year in Florida and half of the year in Mexico where you can get a 6 month tourist visa for $25. Plenty of gringos have nice apartments and condos in Mexico that they rent out pretty cheap when the owner isn't there. This is also true for other latin American countries as well.

Problem is that there doesn't seem to be much in the way of cheap living within a 2 hour radius of MIA and I've never actually been to Miami to know if I want to live around there 6 months a year or more.

I don't know. Open to any bright ideas.

Sure, get a 35,000 condo in Broward at any number of 55+ gated communities.

A 1/1+

The cheaper older ones as opposed to the newer ones.

Plus you'll have residency in a state without income tax.

Susan_in_Ecuador :

Sure, get a 35,000 condo in Broward at any number of 55+ gated communities.

A 1/1+

The cheaper older ones as opposed to the newer ones.

Plus you'll have residency in a state without income tax.

Well I've been kind of thinking exactly along that line.

A big problem for us and south Florida is - we don't have a car, don't want a car, the car thing is just not for us. We haven't owned a car since 2003 and have saved a mountain of money by not owning a car. I just don't want to do cars ever again anymore. Most of the US is all but unlivable without a car, which is why I was so set on leaving the country for a place that wasn't so totally car dependent.

On balance, Colombia has better infrastructure in its cities, including the ‘second-tier’ cities, than Ecuador.

The Colombia peso has dropped so much in value against the U.S. dollar that it’s quite possible that Colombia is cheaper in many respects than Ecuador.

I recently visited a modern one-bedroom apartment on the north side (the best side) of Armenia, Colombia -- capital of Quindío province in the Coffee Zone -- that was renting furnished, except no refrigerator, for 665,000 pesos a month.  That’s about $221 US per month.  Utilities were not included but were not a deal-breaker.  The complex has a small swimming pool and 24-hour security.

Now a one-bedroom apartment may not be what you want.  I present it as illustrative of what is possible with the current value of the peso in Colombia.

cccmedia in Quindío, Colombia

I've actually heard  a lot of good things about Colombia in the last few years.

One of the things I found really attractive about Ecuador was its history and the people that history created. Really nice people.

As far as I know Ecuador has never had a violent revolution, any wars of note, civil uprisings, nasty coups. oppressive dictatorships, and all of the other ugly occurrences that seem all too common in latin America. Ecuador sort of an island of gentility on a continent known more for its ever-changing variety of despotic governments and regularly scheduled violent upheavals.

Susan_in_Ecuador :

Sure, get a 35,000 condo in Broward at any number of 55+ gated communities....

The cheaper older ones as opposed to the newer ones.

Plus you'll have residency in a state without income tax.

Sounds like a plan .. if you want to live in warm-weather Florida and can afford a car.

Colombia has under $20,000 (US) condos in Quindío department, Juan Valdez Coffee Zone.  They’re not in 55-plus neighborhoods, anyone can buy there.  They’re not the ‘older ones’  -- they’re brand new or under construction .. and have 24-hour security.  In Pereira, that price gets you a two-bedroom unit in some developments.

At 4,900 feet altitude, the weather in Quindío is milder than in Florida -- around 80-82 Fahrenheit highs on average each month, year-round.  However, the altitude is way below that of Cuenca -- meaning less oxygen deprivation and easier adjustment for the over-50’s.

Colombia’s income tax is a separate issue -- it’s a problem for some U.S. Expats, not a problem for others, depending on their source of income and the amount of it.

If you need a Gringo meetup once or twice a month, Pereira has that.

Not having a car should not be a problem.  You can check that situation if and when you visit.

Medellín has even more Gringo events, but condo prices there are way above 20K.

cccmedia in La Zona Cafeteria, Colombia

gardener1 :
Susan_in_Ecuador :

Sure, get a 35,000 condo in Broward at any number of 55+ gated communities.

A 1/1+

The cheaper older ones as opposed to the newer ones.

Plus you'll have residency in a state without income tax.

Well I've been kind of thinking exactly along that line.

A big problem for us and south Florida is - we don't have a car, don't want a car, the car thing is just not for us. We haven't owned a car since 2003 and have saved a mountain of money by not owning a car. I just don't want to do cars ever again anymore. Most of the US is all but unlivable without a car, which is why I was so set on leaving the country for a place that wasn't so totally car dependent.

Have you considered Bethlehem, PA?  Money Magazine listed it as one of the two best retirement spots in the northeast.  A car is not required, as people 65 or older can ride the public bus anytime 7 days a week for free, plus there are plenty of walkable grocery stores and farmers' markets.  In addition there is a 10 day free music festival every August plus free music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from May to September.  There is also free music at noon in Allentown every Wednesday and Thursday in the summer  Also people 62 and older can ride a bus to 42nd Street in NYC for $25 round trip.

I liked living in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Especially because the winter weather was milder than usual (for the USA Northeast) during my two years there.

Full weather-disclosure:  I lost the use of my car when Hurricane Irene flooded a low-lying area of the city and left the vehicle beyond repair.  Fortunately, my insurance covered the purchase of a newer vehicle at Chevy 21.

Some of the high-quality food stores that Mugtech mentioned are outstanding.  At a small Italian-specialties store near Bethlehem Fields Apartments, I used to get superior marinara sauce whose equal I only recently found in Colombia, South America.

I enjoyed my frequent walks through the beautiful parklands in Bethlehem.  I used to swim at the vintage YMCA.

The Sands Casino’s Events Center in Bethlehem draws big-name talent that retirees will know as A-listers of 20th Century entertainment.

Next month (March 2017), marquee performers at the Events Center will include Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton and Jersey icon Frankie Valli.

One night at the Events Center, I attended a Fiftieth Anniversary concert by the Beach Boys for two hours .. then walked next door, put on a uniform .. and dealt blackjack for eight hours during my regular shift at Sands Casino. :)

cccmedia
Resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,
    and full-time dealer at Sands Casino, 2011-12

As long as we are throwing out different places. How about Chattanooga Tn?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp7t7-kuGXs

Probably not the first place one would think of for retirement, but cost of living there is still pretty reasonable. Have pretty good public transport, and have the fastest internet in the nation, or at least right up there with internet speed. They were actually the first to install the 1 gigabit per second internet in the country. Plenty of things to keep you occupied each day. If you want a short getaway. The Emerald Coast of Florida isn't very far away. May, or may not be to your liking, but Chattanooga seems to be one of those places that is quietely putting together a nice town/city to live.

Chattanooga has long, hot, humid summers.  That’s not unique -- it’s a problem for heat-sensitive folks throughout the Southern States of the U.S., the lower Midwest and interior portions of the Southwest.

Multiple weather websites show highs in Chattanooga averaging around 90 degrees (F.) for extended summer periods, including one site stating that 46 days in the 3.5-month-long summer typically have temperatures in the 90’s. 

Humidity, as noted on multiple sites, is routinely described as high there during the summer months.

Could be a good location for up to eight or nine months a year. :)

cccmedia

cccmedia :

Chattanooga has long, hot, humid summers.  That’s not unique -- it’s a problem for heat-sensitive folks throughout the Southern States of the U.S., the lower Midwest and interior portions of the Southwest.

Multiple weather websites show highs in Chattanooga averaging around 90 degrees (F.) for extended summer periods, including one site stating that 46 days in the 3.5-month-long summer typically have temperatures in the 90’s. 

Humidity, as noted on multiple sites, is routinely described as high there during the summer months.

Could be a good location for up to eight or nine months a year for snowbirds. :)

cccmedia

That's what air conditioning is for :)
All joking aside. That is a good point about the humidity. Have probably gotten used to it being from Maryland. The summers are hit or miss, but not unusual to have some summers where heat, and hunidity start about mid June, and last until end of August. No doubts, hot and humid can take some getting used to. Especially if you've never experienced it before.

Most places in the U.S. are either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.

Going by comfortable-weather factors alone, the San Francisco Bay Area may have some micro-climates that are excellent year-round.

Of course, that’s one reason why the moderate-weather sectors in the Bay Area are priced out of the range of many retirees.

Northern Arizona has some highlands that can be much more moderate in summer weather than Phoenix and Tucson.  Show Low, Arizona -- a town named after a winning poker hand -- has 83-86 degree F. highs on average in the hottest months.  Not bad for AZ, where the average highs in Phoenix are 104-106 F. each month in June, July and August.  Figure on 4-5 inches of snow in Show Low in any given winter month.

Some say Lake Chapala (Ajijic, Mexico) has the best weather in the hemisphere.  Summertime highs are also in the mid-80’s F (Wikipedia).  The kicker is that wintertime highs are in the 70’s.  Can you say Ajijic*?

I like it here in Colombia’s Juan Valdez Coffee Country at 4,900 feet altitude .. although some days you have to pick your spots .. and look for shade as well.  It’s 81-85 F. for the average highs year-round in the departmental capital city (weather-and-climate.com), a few degrees cooler in higher-altitude surrounding towns. 

Medellín used to have a similar climate, but I believe that climate change, traffic and massive new construction there have made the summer air hotter in the one-time “city of eternal spring" .. especially during El Niño summers.

cccmedia in Quindío, Colombia


*Ajijic pronouncer:  I’m going with ah-HEE-hick.

I live in manta and we installed a Culligan water filtration system that runs throughout our entire house.  If you live in Florida, then you will know culligan very well.  We bought our water system here, and for extra precaution installed an additional reverse osmosis system under our kitchen sink for our drinking water.  We change filters every year and so far so good.  The guy that installed it, always comes and checks the meters and will never change a filter if there's time still left on the meter (to save us money).  He has been one of the most reliable people here we have met so far.  He even delivers our salt to us when we need it for the system, since we don't have a car and he knows where to get the best salt, we just text him and he brings it the next day.  I love love Miami and one day hope to move back, but it is crazy expensive and hurricane season can be a nightmare at times, but I would take that over an earthquake any day.

cccmedia :

Northern Arizona has some highlands that can be much more moderate in summer weather than Phoenix and Tucson.  Show Low, Arizona -- a town named after a winning poker hand -- has 83-86 degree F. highs on average in the hottest months.  Not bad for AZ, where the average highs in Phoenix are 104-106 F. each month in June, July and August.  Figure on 4-5 inches of snow in Show Low in any given winter month.

I've done a little digging into northern Arizona too.

Really expensive
No public transportation at all, give it up. That's car country.
The only decent airport in the whole state is in Phoenix, a second tier international airport close to nowhere but Mexico.

Our kids live in the D.C.ish area. Good airport access, decent public transportation, outlandish cost of living, plenty of taxes.

gardener1 :
cccmedia :

Northern Arizona has some highlands that can be much more moderate in summer weather than Phoenix and Tucson.  Show Low, Arizona -- a town named after a winning poker hand -- has 83-86 degree F. highs on average in the hottest months.  Not bad for AZ, where the average highs in Phoenix are 104-106 F. each month in June, July and August.  Figure on 4-5 inches of snow in Show Low in any given winter month.

I've done a little digging into northern Arizona too.

Really expensive
No public transportation at all, give it up. That's car country.
The only decent airport in the whole state is in Phoenix, a second tier international airport close to nowhere but Mexico.

Our kids live in the D.C.ish area. Good airport access, decent public transportation, outlandish cost of living, plenty of taxes.

If you want all that and warm weather, Austin, Texas is the place to go.

gardener1 :

Our kids live in the D.C.ish area. Good airport access, decent public transportation, outlandish cost of living, plenty of taxes.

Definitely not a cheap place to live.

gardener1 :
cccmedia :

Gardener1 is not a Dude.  Gardener is a woman. :)

But what if i feel like identifying as a Dude?   ;)

Don't ask me how, but Gardener, I knew you were a woman. Maybe because I am a Caucasian woman who identifies as Chinese.

Y'all seem like a cool group of expats, so may I ask you, what is your take on Costa Rica? Two retirees with a sweetheart adopted Chinese daughter (I say that to explain why we look like grandparents) are looking to rent there; daughter will attend one of the what-appear-to-be excellent multi-national private schools that teach in English (students study Spanish, of course). We are thinking to leave expensive cold NY, and we have close friends who have been in CR for 8 years (in Central Valley). We are visiting a number of schools in mid-March.

I wandered here because I read a reference to a 2015 article that put Ecuador as #1 expat retirement location and CR  as #12. Seemed odd. (Malta was #2, Mexico #3). I cannot find the actual article so cannot judge its sensibility.

We are quite comfortable during our lengthy trips to China with all the differences that freak out many of our compatriots.

Celadon :

Y'all seem like a cool group of expats, so may I ask you, what is your take on Costa Rica?...

We are thinking to leave expensive cold NY, and we have close friends who have been in CR for 8 years (in Central Valley)....

I wandered here because I read a reference to a 2015 article that put Ecuador as #1 expat retirement location and CR  as #12. Seemed odd.

Flattery ("cool group of Expats") will get you everywhere. :)

That sounds like an article from internationalliving.com

As I recall, one factor that put Ecuador ahead of CR is cost-of-living.  For instance, Costa Rica's closer proximity to North America has meant higher prices for housing and real estate.

Better check on Central Valley's monthly high temperatures if that's where you might be headed.  Once you go down in altitude, things can really heat up.

San Jose is supposedly mild for weather, except maybe in El Niño years, which is when I visited.  It was hot.

It's also more dangerous than Ecuador's capital, at least in certain areas.  Two guys knocked me out (for half an hour unconscious) and robbed me when I was walking through the wrong part of San Jose around midnight.  I was robbed by some bad guys in Quito, too, but never knocked out.

San Jose is not considered a beautiful city by any means. 

CR is the only country I know of where the casinos all were paying even-money for a blackjack (two-card 21).  No blackjack bonus. :cool:

cccmedia

cccmedia :
Celadon :

Y'all seem like a cool group of expats, so may I ask you, what is your take on Costa Rica?...

We are thinking to leave expensive cold NY, and we have close friends who have been in CR for 8 years (in Central Valley)....

I wandered here because I read a reference to a 2015 article that put Ecuador as #1 expat retirement location and CR  as #12. Seemed odd.

Flattery ("cool group of Expats") will get you everywhere. :)

That sounds like an article from internationalliving.com

As I recall, one factor that put Ecuador ahead of CR is cost-of-living.  For instance, Costa Rica's closer proximity to North America has meant higher prices for housing and real estate.

Better check on Central Valley's monthly high temperatures if that's where you might be headed.  Once you go down in altitude, things can really heat up.

San Jose is supposedly mild for weather, except maybe in El Niño years, which is when I visited.  It was hot.

It's also more dangerous than Ecuador's capital, at least in certain areas.  Two guys knocked me out (for half an hour unconscious) and robbed me when I was walking through the wrong part of San Jose around midnight.  I was robbed by some bad guys in Quito, too, but never knocked out.

San Jose is not considered a beautiful city by any means. 

CR is the only country I know of where the casinos all were paying even-money for a blackjack (two-card 21).  No blackjack bonus. :cool:

cccmedia

And the blackjack payoff in Ecuador Is?  Many agree that the crime is a bigger problem in CR, that the only place to be able to live year round is in the interior highlands, more expensive than Ecuador.  It is a very animal friendly country, not allowed to keep birds in cages.

mugtech :

And the blackjack payoff in Ecuador Is?

Well, until 2012, Ecuador's casinos paid the customary 3-to-2 bonus.  So the dealer would pay you $3 for each $2 wagered.

Then El Supremo got the casinos closed by offering up a national referendum on casinos and other issues ,, and persuading voters to ban the casinos.

Of course, this was before oil-prices tanked .. earthquakes devastated EC coastal cities .. the real estate and tourism industries nosedived .. and non-construction jobs disappeared.

Ecuador gets a new presidente in a few weeks after a runoff election.  Maybe the new guy will figure out that re-opening casinos in tourist districts would bring back tens of thousands of jobs.  A leading critic of the casino closures claims 100,000 jobs were lost in the casino industry and in industries that served the casinos and their workers .. due to the 2012 closures.

cccmedia

Knew about casino closings, hope to get tickets to see Moody Blues with an orchestra at the Sands on 7/18/17 here in Bethlehem.  Heard that the 4/2/17 election may result in a more "conservative" president, could be good news for the casino business and potential employees.  Might be a good way to grab more tourists, as less are coming to the USA.

Back to say "thank you" for your comments about Costa Rica. If we relocate, our residential location at least for four years will depend on the private high school we choose/she likes best for our daughter. When she goes to college in the US we can rent elsewhere in CR. We will be there in 3 weeks, and as I know you know, being there will make a manifold difference in what we know and how we plan.

Gotta start learning Spanish now. Gracias!

We visited there first and loved it, but very pricey.  Of course we wanted on the beach and I preferred and would have felt safer in a condo on the beach.  Plus with the money exchange and talking to a few expats about how they had to leave for 24 hours every so often to stay "legal" there, I just wasn't up to it.  I did love it there though and was told that if you want to buy groceries always have a local go even in the grocery stores as there are always 2 prices.  The gringo and the local prices, but I have no idea if that's true or not.  I also went to a high end restaurant while visiting there ordered a filet mug on, which was very expensive and the taste of it was aweful.  I didn't even eat it, here the taste is usually ok but you can hardly chew it.  We gave up on steaks here, even from the butchers.  I like the fact that here in ecuador when I use my Chase credit card, there are no currency exchange fees and they never charge me for international transactions, the same with Panama.  My husbands cc used to charge him a fee because it was considered an international purchase.  I just added him to my card, make him pay the bill and get his points, lol.  Good luck on your choice.

Sophems :

I was told that if you want to buy groceries always have a local go even in the grocery stores as there are always 2 prices.  The gringo and the local prices, but I have no idea if that's true or not.

I think you'd be perfect to run a true test on Gringo pricing .. with the assistance of the 'local' you mentioned.

1. First, have the local buy a bag of produce at a mercado in Manta.

2. Make a list of what they got, how many of each type, the total price paid and any commentary on the individual items such as size.

3. Next week, you take your list and duplicate the purchases.

4. Then report back to us on the difference between local and Gringo pricing, if any.

cccmedia

I don't know many locals, but I know one who may do it for me.  I will probably have to pay them, but maybe I'll buy them a drink and they will agree.  I'll get back to you next week on it.

cccmedia :

Most places in the U.S. are either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.

Going by comfortable-weather factors alone, the San Francisco Bay Area may have some micro-climates that are excellent year-round.

Of course, that’s one reason why the moderate-weather sectors in the Bay Area are priced out of the range of many retirees.

Northern Arizona has some highlands that can be much more moderate in summer weather than Phoenix and Tucson.  Show Low, Arizona -- a town named after a winning poker hand -- has 83-86 degree F. highs on average in the hottest months.  Not bad for AZ, where the average highs in Phoenix are 104-106 F. each month in June, July and August.  Figure on 4-5 inches of snow in Show Low in any given winter month.

Some say Lake Chapala (Ajijic, Mexico) has the best weather in the hemisphere.  Summertime highs are also in the mid-80’s F (Wikipedia).  The kicker is that wintertime highs are in the 70’s.  Can you say Ajijic*?

I like it here in Colombia’s Juan Valdez Coffee Country at 4,900 feet altitude .. although some days you have to pick your spots .. and look for shade as well.  It’s 81-85 F. for the average highs year-round in the departmental capital city (weather-and-climate.com), a few degrees cooler in higher-altitude surrounding towns. 

Medellín used to have a similar climate, but I believe that climate change, traffic and massive new construction there have made the summer air hotter in the one-time “city of eternal spring" .. especially during El Niño summers.

cccmedia in Quindío, Colombia


*Ajijic pronouncer:  I’m going with ah-HEE-hick.

Isn't there more to life than just living someplace with the ideal weather?  Not directing this at you, or trying to start a debate ccc. People always talk, or market a place as having the perfect weather, or live like a king on virtually no money. Economics are obviously important, and so is weather. Not trying to downplay those things. Think sometimes the little things are overlooked, and they may be more important than people think. Would never recommend Maryland to anyone, but I am from here. The four distinct seasons, fall colors, early spring birds singing in a warm breeze. Baseball opening day, and the Final Four brings the warmer weather. Days get longer, and warmer. Motorcycle riding season around the corner. Farmers Markets opening soon. Summer time eating steamed crabs, drinking some beers outside with friends. Baseball gives way to football. Weather starts cooling, days in the 60's and 70's, nice crisp cool air as the sun sets. Winter is coming soon, trees lose their beautiful fall color leaves. January and February very unpredictable weather wise. Personally could do without the winter, but with winter comes spring, and all life renewing itself once again. Spring flowers start blooming, birds start singing in the morning again. Time to do the above all over again. The weather, the sports, the people, the local foods. These are all part of the culture I grew up with. It's not that easy to just alienate everything you grew up with. At least don't think it is. Is it?

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