Black Americans

I am so sorry you feel that really we live in a WORLD of racial divide their is RACISM everywhere especially when it comes down to what FINANCIAL CLASS you are's bad Oprah can go anywhere and live anywhere because she has MONEY but without that she too would be discriminated in other countries. You can't live your life the way people see you need to make a difference ..that is what makes OUR world beautiful...where you choose to live is your choice but do not mind others for what THEY SAY do what you feel and what makes you who you are today...HAPPY TRAVELS

I agree with you again, you cannot live for others than you will never find happiness ...some people may find themselves wondering the whole world looking for a place to live because they are worrying what others think or feel..I can say that because I have traveled and live in a few countries I have never felt racism probably because I never cared about it..If I am in a room with a Polish, South African, Arab,Australian, Japanese..I do not look at their race I see them as ordinary people just like you and I ...sometimes it's hard to break that barrier but IT can be done and they will find that bridges can be crossed...

I'd SURE like to KNOW WHERE in EC you are living where you have not seen or been aware of crime!  It is all over the Ecuador Expat site and Ruta Del Sol site and Ecuador site  on Facebook groups.  These groups have anywhere from 2,000 members each on them.  They ALL can't be in a state of denial.  Also the majority of the reports are backed up by actual ARTICLES from Spanish Newspapers etc.and or personal accounts from the indididuals themselves. One person even wrote a BOOK about their families experiences just last yr. in 2012 called Three Tickets to Paradise written by: Deborah Brookhart. This was ALL OVER The news! So you are eiher living in a state of denial or in a gated community and never go out.  Be REAL will you?  Are you SO uninformed? ALL this information can not be wrong.  As they say to each his own.   
Just 2 weeks ago a child was in the fray of a crime attack and was pulled out to be hijacked. This is not our cup of tea at all.  We are in our late 50's however and being in a cultural environment that Americans will never be assimilated into even if you learn or know Spanish is not my idea of relaxation for retirement.  Again just my opinion.  This is my philosophy:  Good, Better and Best.

ddagencylv :

Something's IslandAntoinette makes sense, others are far fetched. Ecuador crime? Haven't seen any. Mind you EC GDP is growing 2x fast as Panama but infrastructure there is better because of US investment. I prefer culture over that as I like to adapt with the locals.

Thanks -- it's good to have differing views here. Don't let anyone silence you with insults.

I live in a high-crime area currently (Cebu City, Philippines), but I'm conscious of my surroundings, stay alert in unfamiliar places, don't drink or do things that attract attention, don't wear jewelry or flash my money -- just common-sense stuff -- and I have had no problems in the year I've been here.

I plan on doing the same in Ecuador.


Reading this reminds me of something I think is very important: you will never know if you like something unless you try it. For many people, it is not out of the question to just visit here. It can be reasonably inexpensive vacation (certainly cheaper than Los Vegas) and while you are here, you will be able to determine how you "feel" about Ecuador. If you are here for a few days, don't like it, then book a trip to the Galapagos. Most everyone loves that trip, although it is bit expensive.

It is helpful if you know clearly what makes a place, the place for you. Are you interested in the people or culture? Do you really value simple living with simple costs? Do you want to pursue any particular activity? Do you have specific and important needs and expectations? If you speak with lots of Ecuadorians and expats (and you do it here, not through a forum) the experience is a lot more eye-opening and fulfilling. I am pretty sure there are at least a few people who would be willing to meet and talk with you, especially if you make Cuenca one of your destination points. It won't take long for your impressions from reading to come into focus in a very real and meaningful way. Then you will know if you really want to move and will be able to put any concerns you have into their proper place.

For me, deciding I  want or don't want to live a particular place without actually visiting is to miss the whole point of making this choice, which for me is "because I like being there." I can honestly say I love living in Ecuador and experience very few of the negatives so many people write about. That is my personal experience and yours could be similar, but you will have to be here to find out.

Hello Forum , For some reason we have not received any Forum Posts since 5/25 . We reapplied to the Forum Administrator but have not heard back . It is very puzzling to us . In any case we somehow are receiving the posts on this topic . We have not (Family of 3) experienced the type of crime problems (none) you are detailing here . We live in Bahia , a very small town here on the Coast .I have also noted that International Living , a very well respected publication on retirement overseas has rated Ecuador the number one retirement destination for five years in a row . This is based on many different factors , including crime statistics as well as many different quality of life issues , safety , various costs , and several other factors . They base many of their statistics on information published by the US State Department and other official statistics . We do not base any of our decisions on rumors or fear mongering . Like the other gentleman said it is far better to go and try somewhere first before making any living decisions . We came to Ecuador last year for 3 months and found it to be safe , affordable and very welcoming . We lived in Manta and spent time in Bahia as well as many other Coastal Cities . This year we visited Quito , Guayaquil and several smaller towns in between . We now have our permanent Visas and Cedulas and live in Bahia .We have not experienced any crime and have no real complaints except the driving is pretty wild by many drivers . Our life is far less costly and far less stressful ! We enjoy the Ocean immensely , since it is very warm soothing and beautiful . The people are very friendly and welcoming ! We simply treat them with respect and show real friendship and they gladly return it .It is a remarkable change from the traffic clogged streets in the USA and the extremely stressful life we lived there . It would be very easy for us to spend our days in hammocks watching the waves roll in . We may do that some day soon ! It is a land of great opportunity , fun filled days , smiles and relaxation (tranquility) . I would strongly recommend to anyone wishing to escape the rat race to check this place out . The food is fabulous . Fresh seafood , fish , fruits , vegetables ,great meats , and best of all the costs are so much lower here on just about everything ! Dinner for 3 $18 to $23 ! Full course meals ! Almost everything  costs less except cars and electronics cost more due to import duties placed on them .
So we heartily recommend a visit here to Beautiful Ecuador , come see for yourself . We prefer the Ocean , but there are cooler  Andes locations if that's what you want . It averages 85 degrees here daily ! And the Ocean Breeze is so calming and refreshing ! Come check it out . Look us up if you come . We'll join you for a drink , meal or show you around if you like ! Charlie and Theresa Fritz

Hey Joseph,

Are you African American? Please let me email you.

Sir -

My son-in-law is a man of color and I was thinking of moving the whole family to Ecuador. After reading some of the posts, I am some what hesitant. I have several dark black friends that live in Costa Rica and have never mentioned any problems due to inequalities. I am unsure if your heart is set on Ecuador, but you might want to look into Costa Rica. I usually find in University areas there is more diversity and more acceptance of other cultures, etc.. That maybe another consideration. I am sure you will persevere and make the right decision.

Peace out!

Don't let anybody put fear in where u want to go . God is by my side and I don't worry. No gated community as my folks have been against HOA for years. They ride the local Manta bus for $.65 cents senior rate to Crucita to get melons or pay $2.00 to MEC airport to fly to UIO. There spanish is coming along great. As a airline employee I have been more places in a week than Ms IslandAntoinette been in a lifetime. I'm not talking Palm Beach here, but Dakar, Laos, Kampala , Haiti, real poverty. Never trust the press. They told my parents, don't go to Prague, Kiev, Athens, Caracas , it's dangerous , bla bla. Next thing you know they have life long friends there. We eat drink and laugh. To all that are still thinking about it, I will personally meet you in Quito for coffee and take you to a dentist for $400 braces. Nothing will happen other than watching the happy Ecuadorian people enjoying their $3 per hour job.


If you live in Quito,can I email you? My wife and I want to move there.

loved your post!!!  for: ddagencylv

I can tell you that even though you do not THINK that there is no racism in Costa Rica...I can tell you first hand there IS In Latin American white and black are classes are FAR APART ...but it's fine we just DEAL WITH IT and find ways to make it acceptable and we are all happy...we do not make MASSIVE ISSUES about it....

To the Attn of: ddagencylv

I detect a note of rudeness here in this post you have directed to my name specifically; as to  "ALL" the places you have been in a week. Traveling to places in a week being with an airline and LIVING and working as a professional in responsible jobs in a place long term for years are very different things. 
Everyone has CHOICES and our CHOICE was to NOT move to Ecuador for the reasons we CHOSE! Our CHOICE is to move to Panama to the Azuero Penninsula where we have already rented a beautiful house on the beach for our first month and a half.
Grammar is a factor in presenting oneself in life to others. You need to check yours when you type publically - as in this forum this is my opinion from what you show me here in the above post.

You made it sound so lovely there and this is what I wanted to hear sound great. Do you like the coastal towns better than the mountains towns like cotachini spelling wrong or contour give your opinion. Aporeciated.

I understand Panama's beaches are dirty. Is it true?

brownsand :

I understand Panama's beaches are dirty. Is it true?

I spent a couple of days there on business. The beaches didn't appear to be dirty to me, but I didn't check them too closely. The people I met were super cool and friendly. Their Spanish is a dialect that was untranslatable for me, but they mostly spoke English.

n spite of the hundreds of kilometers of coastline on both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Panama's beaches are less than noteworthy. The coastal area surrounding Panama City is mud flats; farther west the sand is dark and the water dirty-green until you reach the pretty beaches at Santa Clara and Farallón. The Azuero Peninsula and parts of the Caribbean coast are, sadly, receptacles for trash carried by currents from South America and beyond. There are a few exceptions, but to find glorious tropical beaches, you'll need to visit Panama's islands. There are more than 1,000 on the Pacific Side and a little more than half that number on the Caribbean, so you have a lot to choose from. A word of caution: Panama is renowned for its riptides. No matter how refreshing the water looks, analyze conditions, stay out of choppy water, or head to a beach known for calm water.

Read more:

Anyone considering DR, Costa Rica or Seychelles? Please respond.

During my research on Ecuador I found this site. Very interesting, I read the pros and the cons which is a good balance.
I am a black woman and have experienced racism here in the US. However, it does not bother me becauce of my relation with God and understands I am one with all living things because of the one person that connects us all, God.
Is it right to be judged or judge a person by the color of their skin? NO, but we cant isolate ourselves from others so here we are.
My question is.. I am relocating alone, is there a group or an organization where people can meet and get acqiainted with each other. This question maybe vague as I have no idea what city I might be moving to, but if you know of any such group please let me know.
Oh one more thing I am not looking for a place that just accomodates black. I love all people and can live with all people.

I can assure you that whichever area of the country you travel to, you will find folks that gather for social and religious reasons. In Cuenca there are a myriad of ex pat groups that gather, and singles groups that are made up of indigenous people as well as ex pats.
Jump in.... the waters fine!
Good Fortunes

Statistically, Panama has a higher crime rate, in all major crime categories, except one, when compared to Ecuador.  That is the problem with eschewing objective fact and spending too much time "researching forums", where folks begin to espouse "wives tales" or extrapolate an unfortunate personal experience and presume it impacts everyone.  If crime is a concern...going from Ecuador to Panama is a whole lot like frying

Hector G. Quintana

Hello fredericksted,
I am a black women living in Ecuador close to 20 years.  I have lived both on the coast and highlands.
At first I felt uncomfortable because I felt that I stood out more than back home in New York. But once I started to learn the language and relate to the local people I found that the starring was mostly due to curiosity. Of course there is prejudice everywhere. In Ecuador there is some discrimination not only against black Ecuadorians but also indigenous groups. But all in all find that for the most part people are very nice in this country and tend to admire and respect foreigners that want to fit in with the locals.
No amount of information online can compare to just coming down and visiting for a few weeks and checking things out yourself.
Hope this information has been of help.

Hello Bob, I totally agree with you.  Your words are exactly what I recently read in a well distributed magazine.I have lived in Ecuador for 20 years and have learned that you must be careful and aware of your surroundings anywhere. It is also useful to inquire of the locals, avoid dangerous areas, and not CREATE opportunities that make it easy to become a victim.

Sad that discrimination exists but it unfortunately does exist world wide.  My two cents is that discrimination does exist in Ecuador but from what I've seen here in Quito it is in a rather subtle form if at all. 

What I have noticed that is leaps and bounds ahead of the United States is the lack of HATE CRIMES here in Quito.  You simply do not feel the same threat of being jumped or threatened because of the color of your skin here.  (More than likely it will be the size of your wallet or the tech in your phone that causes you to be harassed here.)

I live North Central Quito which is a very diverse section of the city and the country.  We have immigrants from all over the world here.  China, USA, Europe, Africa, South and Central America, along with Cubans and even Middle Easterners and East Asia representatives.

My barber is from Pakistan and speaks Spanish fluently.  My favorite restaurant is a Chinese place (locally called "Chifas") owned by long term Chinese immigrants who also learned the language.  I am also aware of working African Americans who live here in the city.  I believe learning the language effectively will overcome most possibilities of being discriminated against, although I will state once again discrimination exists world wide and all races and types can be victims. 

I can not speak on the smaller towns, retirement communities, the coast or even the jungle.  I also can not speak on the levels of discrimination the existing Expat community has, that they may have carried from their home countries.  What I can say is that here in Quito diversity does exist and the level of flat out blatant racism seems relatively lower compared to my USA cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Los Angeles.

I hope this helps.

Thanks Vistamar and hope to meet you after my wife and I relocate there! I've heard similar from folks already there. Would love to be able to email you!

OK folks , So I also feel that if you give the Local People respect and simply let them know you like them and yes are not arrogant North Americans they will readily accept you, and probably surprise you with their friendliness and will be great fun to get to know. I often wonder what God thinks of our being so petty and so frivolous to think that his Creation (us) would think skin color and personal beliefs (religion , politics etc.) would divide us so easily!  We are from Seattle WA and were never taught to distinguish anyone by Skin color or beliefs.  We were always taught to look at the person and their heart to see if we should spend time with them. Even now we shake our heads at people who would presume to try to think they are somehow better or above someone else for such silly reasons! We live in Bahia and regularly mingle and are friends with locals, and all people!  We have had parties with our good Black Friends in attendance (I'm only saying Black because of this discussion!) and they enjoyed themselves like we did!  Many locals were there also, as well as Europeans, Canadians and other cultures as well! We never really think about this stuff until we get to the language parts!  My wife speaks fluent Spanish, and we teach a Spanish/Super Thinking Class.  Yet I am able to communicate when I am alone using what I have learned. Other than that (language difficulties sometimes ) we spend our days enjoying the beautiful Ocean , Beaches, and the Culture of Ecuador!  We have way too much fun here to even think of these types of things.  We certainly enjoy our friends from everywhere here and are relaxing and enjoying the stress free life here!  You know folks life is far too short to worry about old outdated concepts like discrimination.  I am sure it may exist , but only in some people's minds!  We welcome anyone who wants to live in Peace and Harmony here.  Look us up if you come here!  We enjoy meeting new people and will gladly share this area with you!  The Ocean is very calming and healing , water is 80 degrees here! Ecuador is an absolutely amazing place!!   Focus on the positives !!  If you want to send private communications , just click on peoples names and a reply box will pop up for private emails ..... Charlie

Wandering, this was my very point . I tell everyone, it is a beautiful place and people are sooo pleasant. I will be going back in July taking more toiletries for my folks as paper products are very expensive there. Email me [at] dmdpublicity[at] for anything anytime.

Thanks, Zen, I will be taking a trip there to Quito next week, and hope I can visit some other cities while I'm there. Is it difficult to get from Quito to cuenca or the other cities. is the moving around from city to city by taxi or bus, and what is the approximate cost?
Pray that the same frendly assistance is available when I get there as I have gotten here on this site. I have learned quite a bit by reading the questions and answers here,
Keep up the good work.

Aloha Vistamar:

It is too bad we never were able to get in touch with ANY Black folks via the intenet in the 2 1/2 yrs. we were researching it. Had we known you we may have still chosen Panama.  As it is we now are moving to Panama to the Azuero Penninsula - one day we will visit as we do have one person with whom we have been in contact who has visited several times and she and her husband and daughter will be moving permanently in March of next yr. If you have the chance to get to meet Laura Kemmick she is good people. We heard really good things about Crucita from those who lived there. Aloha Antoinette

Hello V,
First, Thanks for sharing your info! My wife and I am definitely looking into Quito. I started inquiring many months ago  and Im quite fed up with the greed of basically all and  lies of the government here.  Any contacts with "us" in Quito much appreciated. I hope we meet after we make the move eventually.

guitarj, Quito is a very vibrant, cosmopolitan and beautiful city.  I think you will enjoy it, but the traffic is a nightmare!

Hector G. Quintana

Hi there -- I wonder if you ever received any additional information about bringing your two large dogs into Ecuador?  I am planning to move to Ecuador, like right now, and have an elegant 9-1/2 year old Cane Corso who I intend to bring with me.  Matters that needed to be wrapped up consumed a lot of my time and caused me to delay my departure time until finally I cannot fly my girl because the ground temperature in the USA is too hot and the airlines won't allow her to travel until summer is over!!  I am completely bummed! and am trying to find other ways to get there, such as perhaps by boat.  Anyone out there have any other suggestions?



Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on perspective), current USA airline policies have you grounded until early Fall, likely.  Don't know where you live, or how costly a drive/cruise could be, but you could drive to Mexico and take a flight from there, or cruise (if the cruise allows pets) to Mexico/Caribbean and take a flight from there.  However, do you want to expose your pet to the heat?  A question only you can answer.

Hector G. Quintana

Sherryne, There is a Ferry service from Panama to Columbia, if you can get to Panama.  Maybe a Ship of some sort to Panama, then the Ferry to Columbia, then overland to Ecuador.  Also hitching a ride with a private boat from San Diego to here?  Not safe to drive through Mexico at this time.  Possible International Shipping of dogs on Ships?  Maybe you could accompany the dog on the ship to care for it.   There are Cruise ships that come into Manta, not sure where they come from.  Hope I helped.  Let me know if you make it we are in Bahia.   Charlie

Actually, blacks were enslaved in Ecuador. I have studied extensively the history and first came here 15 years ago. They were enslaved in Cuenca, Loja, Quito,Chota, etc.

I am black. Don't move to Ecuador unless you are aware that you will face racism. People will assume you to be from here until they hear you talk. Cuenca is extremely prejudiced against people of color. I would suggest you live in perhaps Guayaquil. Ecuadorian culture used negative black imagery such as the mammy and the dark-skinned sambo. You will have a hard time catching a cab.I have been here a long time and I have seen a lot!!

Thanks and your're not the first I've heard from about this. [Moderated: Off topic] ! I've heard pros/cons about Quito. Is the petty crime ridiculous?

Quito does have a lot of petty crime, but I'd like to add, that living here in Ecuador can be a marvelous experience. I only want people of color to know what to expect when they get here, and not to be so shocked when it happens. I love and hate Ecuador. haha I have good days and I have bad days.

This is a good place to write and keep journals because the things you will see, you won't see in too many other places. As an expat, I have not lived in expat communities so my experience has been quite unique. Quito can be a nice place to live. There are wonderful things to do there, lovely parks and some good schools. It's not my kind of town, though.

One of the things about black Ecuadorians, sadly, is that they do nothing to seriously combat racism. They accept it and in the states, we put people in check for saying the wrong thing haha, but here, no one gets put in check. I was talking to a guy yesterday who was asking me about black people in the states and he kept referring to blacks as Negritos, and I had to correct him and say Negros. In essence, he was calling us little black people. But I corrected him. I do that a lot! haha

I have no issues catching a cab and have yet to face any racism. I have seen cabs not stopping for people regardless of colour. For whatever reason there is. I currently reside in Manta where there are few blacks.

My daughter attends school where she is the only visible black person and she has no issues. I have never had any difficulties.

Infact I find them to be more prejudiced towards Caucasians (gringos)because they assume they are Americans.

Please note that I had also resided in Quito and also had no issues with racism either. I guess you get what you are looking for.

Once-upon-a-time :

Cuenca is extremely prejudiced against people of color. I would suggest you live in perhaps Guayaquil. Ecuadorian culture used negative black imagery such as the mammy and the dark-skinned sambo.

It is my understanding that if you want to be in a more black community, Esmeraldes would be a good choice. There are threads on this blog that talk about this area. Maybe search for Esmeraldas?

It is my experience that Ecuadorians tend not to be prejudice. But, If you have felt the sting of prejudice, I guess it doesn't matter that most are not that way. I live in Loja and there are blacks living here. I have never observed any signs of prejudice. I even asked the impressions of the Ecuadorian family I live with. Granted, that is one family, but they were generally surprised that I might think that blacks would be treated differently. I know with certainty they would not be guilty of this.

I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but I attended a high-school celebration in Loja where there was a display of dancing. One group of dancers, who were showcasing dancing styles from Esmeraldes, were made up in blackface. Being American, my thoughts immediately went to the controversy of Blackface in my country: a clear assumption on my  part. I asked a lot of questions about this and it was explained to me that this was, in fact, a tribute meant to clearly emphasize the heritage of these dances (i.e., from the black community) and no way should be seen in same negative light of my cultural background. Of course, you can interpret this any way you wish, but in the Ecuadorian view, the intent was the opposite of demeaning blacks. One must be careful in interpreting something in one culture with another culture's values or historical implications.

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