Congratulations, Peripatetic Soul.
You investigated Ecuador .. participated with integrity over many months on this forum .. and made a decision.
You decided it wouldn't make sense for you to uproot from central Virginia.
You are and have been a great participant in this forum. You have kept us in the loop. Great job!
Things have been changing in the northern countries of South America .. and it will probably affect many potential Expats deciding on the area. Some including Peripatetic Soul are opting out of a move. Others are looking to a country even closer to North America that was not on Expat radar for decades:
1. Ecuador has been having problems with earthquakes, floods, civil unrest and budget issues that affect public healthcare and make contnued progress in infrastructure less practical.
2. The neighboring country of Colombia has seen the value of its peso drop over 30 percent and basically stay at a depressed level for the past two years. This currency shift is a major benefit to new arrivals. (Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar and thus has not seen this type of currency benefit.) The result is that housing, real estate and almost everything else have gotten far cheaper in Colombia for North Americans, and there's no sign that this result will change soon.
3. It has been 15 years since then-President Uribe came in and cleaned up the security mess in Colombia's cities created by drug cartels. It's almost a quarter century since the murderous cartel boss Escobar was taken out. Over time, North Americans are becoming more aware that Colombia's cities are not the safety nightmare they were in the 80's and 90's.
cccmedia in Quindío, in Colombia's Juan Valdez Coffee Zone