Black Americans

Here's an item by a student from St. Edward's University (in Austin, TX) who is apparently taking classes at a university in Cumbaya, near Quito. He comments that skin color is a major social differentiator in Ecuador.

- hilltopviewsonline.com/blogs/article_445dc1e2-5e16-11e4-9ef7-001a4bcf6878.html

Bob, thanks for sharing. The blog is insightful. I had considered a recon of Ecuador with thoughts or relocating there. But, I have decided to stick with the good ol' USA, at least for now. I am an African-American (for want of a better term) woman who grew up in the deep south--need I say more. However, I love this country, wounds, scars, scabs and all. The good greatly out weights the bad in my opinion. At least here we have recourse if we feel unjustly treated. The relationship here between whites and blacks is quite complex, and what looks like hate on the surface, usually isn't. It is much deeper. I would rather stay here and work through issues than start anew in another country. I would still love to visit Ecuador one day as a tourist, though. It sounds beautiful.

I agree 100% on the comment about skin color being a major social determinative factor.  I believe the deference and preference shown to a person with lighter skin color is due more to a class distinction rather than racial distinction.  The lighter skin color being thought to place one closer to the Spaniards, therefore, the ruling class.  By the way, I am a woman of color.  I love my home country, USA, too, but I like Ecuador, too. I like the life my little bit of pension money allows me to have most of all.  To me, it is a no-brainer as to where that should be for most of us.  At least for me.

Sherryne :

I agree 100% on the comment about skin color being a major social determinative factor.  I believe the deference and preference shown to a person with lighter skin color is due more to a class distinction rather than racial distinction.  The lighter skin color being thought to place one closer to the Spaniards, therefore, the ruling class.

Completely agree, Sherryne, that the distinction is at least as much a matter of class as race. Of course, race/class/economics tend to get intertwined in all societies.

Where I noticed the distinction: I lived in the north of Quito, near Quicentro, an upscale shopping mall, and would often eat at the food court there. After a few visits I began to note that most (though not all) of the people seated were lighter-skinned. However, virtually all of those doing the most menial tasks -- clearing tables, mopping the floor, tending the banos, etc) had darker skins.

Sherryne :

By the way, I am a woman of color.  I love my home country, USA, too, but I like Ecuador, too. I like the life my little bit of pension money allows me to have most of all.  To me, it is a no-brainer as to where that should be for most of us.  At least for me.

I'm a white male, but I too love both the USA and Ecuador. I'm in the States at present for medical reasons, but very much looking forward to my return.

Laurirenee: Come down for your visit and check it out. I hope you'll like Ecuador as much as many others of us do, and decide to stay if it's right for you.

Bob

BobH -- best wishes for successful outcome of your medical issues and hope you will be returning soon in tiptop shape!!  The observation you made about the job being performed as it relates to skin color made me kind of chuckle.  While you are there in the USA,  look around you, everywhere you go, and see if you notice the same thing.  In USA it will most likely be menial job -- darker/African Ameican; job of more "status" -- lighter /white.   I chuckled because I have seen that all my life.  Glad to hear you are becoming aware!

Sherryne :

BobH -- best wishes for successful outcome of your medical issues and hope you will be returning soon in tiptop shape!!  The observation you made about the job being performed as it relates to skin color made me kind of chuckle.  While you are there in the USA,  look around you, everywhere you go, and see if you notice the same thing.  In USA it will most likely be menial job -- darker/African Ameican; job of more "status" -- lighter /white.   I chuckled because I have seen that all my life.  Glad to hear you are becoming aware!

Thanks for the good wishes!

I totally agree that conditions are the same here in the States (and other countries I've visited). Race/class/economics, as I said above, are closely related.

The example I would use here is my doctor's office. My own doctor is Asian, and all of his partners and the top-ranking assistants (nurse practicioners, PAs) are either white or Asian. Some of the lower ranks are Hispanic, and I don't recall seeing a single black on staff (this is in Phoenix, where the Hispanic population is large, but there are relatively few African-Americans compared to other large cities).

There has been a lot of progress in my lifetime, but still a long way to go.

Bob

Hi Bob. I am going to make that trip to Ecuador, hopefully in the near future. I'm not a senior citizen yet, but what kind of elder care do they have in Ecuador?  I have lived in the Republic of Panama and Nicaragua and I have spent time in every Central American country and Bolivia and Peru in S. America. At that time, none of them had elder care for people who can no longer care for themselves. My husband is from Puerto Rico and we've traveled throughout the Caribbean. Ecuador is unexplored territory for me. When I first moved to Panama back in the mid-eighties, I thought I had found my utopia after growing up in Alabama. But, things took an ugly turn during and after the buildup to the U.S. invasion. In Nicaragua it was the Contras Vs. the Sandinistas, and in Peru and Bolivia the threat was Sendero Luminoso. In Panama I blended seamlessly with the populace, but I stood out like a sore thumb in Nicaragua and South America. I was stared at a lot, but, I would smile and go on my way. In South America I was treated like a novelty, but I never felt hostility coming from anyone. If I ever decide to leave the USA, though, my choice would definitely be Latin America. Also, regarding comments in this forum about dark-skinned people dominating menial jobs in the USA, I travel between Florida and Cambridge and I see both blacks and whites in those positions, especially after the economy crashed. However, one place you won't see either here in the South is in the fields. New immigrants are doing that back-breaking work. In the meantime I think I will start planning for a trip to Ecuador next summer. I would prefer the spring, but I will have classes. Is there a time of year when travel there wouldn't be feasible?

Glad you have decided to give Ecuador a shot after all.  Not sure what is "feasible" in your opinion.  Flights will probably be more expensive during Dec & Jan, unless you investigate & purchase several months in advance.  Weather Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb is sunny & warm/hot.  I think it rains a lot during  March to June, at least here on the coast. And I may have that wrong.  It is so much warmer here than it was in Ohio that I don't usually think about that a lot.  Either that or  I am suffering beginning dementia & need to increase intake of tumeric.  Whatever, just decide when, get your ticket and make the most of whatever is going on!

Sherryne is right -- airfares will probably matter more to you than weather. Because it's on the equator, there is practically no seasonal variation in temps. In Quito, for example, the daily highs are around 70F just about every day, with lows in the upper forties or so. The coast is warmer, of course, but equally consistent, I am told.

Re your question about elder care -- I know nothing about it, but there probably are some folks on the board who do, so I've posted it as a new subject, so it can get more attention (and hopefully some good info).

Bob

Hello everyone!... My name is shirley I am 51 blk american an I drive a delivery truck for fedx.,..I have my buddy who I consider my daughter she is Philippine us citizen taking all kinds of odd jobs she is 28..

We would love to move to Ecuador an possible teach English or odd jobs to support ourselves..we have small money enough to last for 6 months ..so we would like to have some info on what would be our best move..I live in Virginia by washington DC and I'm ready to go...thank you

shirl51 :

Hello everyone!... My name is shirley I am 51 blk american an I drive a delivery truck for fedx.,..I have my buddy who I consider my daughter she is Philippine us citizen taking all kinds of odd jobs she is 28..

We would love to move to Ecuador an possible teach English or odd jobs to support ourselves..we have small money enough to last for 6 months ..so we would like to have some info on what would be our best move..I live in Virginia by washington DC and I'm ready to go...thank you

Hi Shirley. Seriously not trying to discourage you, but odd jobs will not get you by in Ecuador without a additional steady income, most of those will go to Ecuadorians. Most expats come with the idea that they'll teach English, but most schools will want at minimum TESL certification, and the pay is very low ... anywhere from $3-7 an hour for a 25-30 hour work week. You will need to have a work visa for that, although it is possible to come down on an extended (6 month) visa to look for a job.  If you have a degree, there is always the option of coming in on a professional visa, which has no income requirement.

You can google Ecuadorian visas to see the requirements on the various types of visa and what is required to obtain each.  Good luck!

Thku

shirl51 :

Thku

:D  Hope it all works out for you. If you're on Facebook, come join us on the Ecuador Expats group. Great people and many people who have lived/worked in Ecuador for a while.  You'll also be able to find great information on many of the cities and towns, so you can get an idea of where you might like to settle, what the cost of living is (and it can vary greatly) and get any questions/concerns answered.

I'll do that thku

;) Excellent!

Shirl, it's not as difficult as some may make it sound...at least you can come for 3-6 months and see if you like it....I can offer you and your young friend a place to stay, share a room in exchange for some chores in my house and my gardens...food and transport is very cheap here....you can easily live on under $500/month....my goal is to help other gringos who want to live a simpler more peaceful life, not to live like gringos in Ecuador.  I can help you find your way...what is your timing for a visit?  my little hosteria will be ready Dec 1 for guests....thanks for connecting, Louis
my email if you want to contact me directly is louisb333[at]hotmail.com

Wow u are sooooo..sooooo nice....my name is shirley 51 yrs old an my buddy like a daughter is Erika 28...I was thinking sometime in January..my email is a63.shirl[at]gmail.com

Have read on another Forum from an American woman who started an ultimately successful business by doing odd jobs and running errands for other expats.

I need to find out who she is...thanks

Hi, Shirl51 -- I applaud you for your willingness to just step out there.  That's pretty much what I did in Nov. 2013 -- just stepped out there and brought my dog with me to Ecuador. However, I did start looking at what was available and what I could do in 2011.  I live in Puerto Lopez beachfront and I have never looked back.  You shouldn't either, no matter what.  I, too am a black American, retired, single woman.  The advice the lady gave you about googling what kind of visa's are available, is good advice -- take it and do your homework.  The gentleman in Cuenca offering a hand up -- take it, you can gain invaluable knowledge. Plus the area around Cuenca is jaw-droppingly gorgeous!!!  Enjoy every breath and everything there is here that you can take advance of.  Any mis-step here is not necessarily fatal, so to speak.  You can find another way to get back up, regroup and keep it moving.  BTW, do either you or your friend like dogs?  I think there is an opportunity for someone to be a dog groomer, walker, sitter, etc here in Ecuador, especially Cuenca and maybe Quito -- places with concentrations of expats.

shirl51 :

I need to find out who she is...thanks

I'll look and see if I can find it. Can't remember her name. It was on the English speaking Mauritania Forum. Topic was something like "Cost of living in Mauritania"

Thku

shirl51 :

Hello everyone!... My name is shirley I am 51 blk american an I drive a delivery truck for fedx.,..I have my buddy who I consider my daughter she is Philippine us citizen taking all kinds of odd jobs she is 28..

We would love to move to Ecuador an possible teach English or odd jobs to support ourselves..we have small money enough to last for 6 months ..so we would like to have some info on what would be our best move..I live in Virginia by washington DC and I'm ready to go...thank you

Hello Shirley;
Please keep in mind that Ecuador is not the USA, Canada or Europe. What may be the norm where you live is not the norm here in Loja.

While it is a fairly easy process to enter and stay in Ecuador for a short period of time (270 days per year, - 90 day T-3 visa + 180 day 12-IX Visa Extension), it becomes very complex if you decide you want to stay longer, especially if you don't have the financial means to support yourself while in Ecuador.

The cost of a 12-IX Visa Extension application and visa fee is $230 per person plus $50 per dependent. In your case both you and Erika will each need to apply for a separate 12-IX Visa Extension as the Ecuador government will not acknowledge Erika as a dependent. Also each applicant must prove that they have a minimum of $2,000 in a bank account (plus an extra $100 per dependent) as well as an exit ticket (air flight or bus ticket already purchased). Most of the time a person can get around the ticket issue.

As for working in Ecuador, Ecuador has very strict labor laws and as such you need to be a resident of Ecuador in order to work (legally) in Ecuador. And because of the strict labor laws, many Ecuador businesses will only hire people for less than 90 days (called a trial period) in order to avoid the expenses associated with a full-time employee.

For example: once an employee works 91 days or more for a company, that company will need to pay the employee 14 months wages for only 12 months of labor each year (plus holiday pay). If the employee is laid off or fired for some reason, the company will need to pay a severance pay of one months wages for each year worked (calculated on 14 months of wages not 12 months wages).

As you can see from the above example, the company can avoid such expenses by hiring new employees every 89 days. So even if you spoke fluent Spanish, the likelihood of keeping a job is minimal. And besides, the average daily wages for an Ecuadorian is $15-$20 per day.

If you are able to find a job to work for someone, you will need to apply for and pay for a 12-VI visa as most businesses will not do it for you because of the above example.

The other alternative is to start your own business here and apply for the 12-VI work visa for yourself and Erika once the business is legally formed which will allow you to work in Ecuador from a minimum of one year to a maximum of two years before you need to extend your 12-VI work visa. The only problem with forming a business in Ecuador (because of the labor laws) is you must have at least one Ecuadorian as a part owner (can be as less as 1% ownership) as well as have at least one Ecuadorian on the payroll (could be the Ecuadorian owner).

But there again, if you only speak English and not fluent Spanish you will be limited to who your customers will be. While more and more English speaking people are coming to the Loja area, there are not enough of them at the moment to support a business that only tailors to those who speak English.

As for teaching English here, there is not a high demand because most Ecuadorians see no need and besides, most of them couldn't afford it if they wanted to.

Since Loja is the capital of the Loja Province, housing isn't as cheap here as someone on this forum has suggested. I should know. I live here and my business requires me to know such things.

The cheapest unfurnished apartment I have found is $250/month (plus utilities) for a two bedroom, one bath. By unfurnished, I mean no stove or refrigerator or gas tanks to supply gas to your stove or hot water heater (which means you will have to purchase them).

The cheapest furnished apartment I have found was $350/month (plus utilities) for a two bedroom, two bath were the location is not very desirable and the window view is a brick wall. The furniture was so, so and I wouldn't want to sleep on any of the mattresses.

In order to rent an apartment, you would need to pay in advance the first months rent plus a deposit in the amount of the first months rent.

I have trusted local Ecuadorian friends who I have hired to do the negotiations on my behalf for others because it doesn't matter how well a person may speak Spanish, if you're a gringo, they see $$ and will take advantage of your ignorance.

As for how much would it cost you monthly for the two of you live here, the Ecuadorian government requires a retiree when applying for a 9-I retiree visa to have a minimum of $800 / month income plus an extra $100 per dependent. There's a reason for that. Because of the cost of living here for the average American to live a somewhat comfortable life. Of course a person can always live on a lower budget if they should choose.

I don't mean to discourage you in anyway. I only wish to give you some insights to what it is really like here. My business requires me to be candid with all those who desire to move to this wonderful country. I created a website that provides more details about Loja on the LojaWelcomeCenter.com website. Keep in mind that the website is still being built daily, but much of the information is there.

If you need further insights or have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I am here to serve and assist.

Ken

MrKMW :

LojaWelcomeCenter.com website. Keep in mind that the website is still being built daily, but much of the information is there.

If you need further insights or have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I am here to serve and assist.

Ken

What an awesome post, Ken -- detailed, comprehensive, clear, supportive,

You're already a great resource person on Expat.com.

Welcome to Expat.com and best of luck with Loja Welcome Center.

cccmedia in Quito

I spent three months in Ecuador, and I have three stories. In Cuenca, I hung out with a black guy from L.A. that said everything was great. I met a Haitian and some Nigerians that lived in Cuenca and the Haitian told me, "Brother, if you're black here, it isn't always good."  I also hung out with a black Canadian in Banos, and he said he'd been treated well.

So, the two Gringos said they were treated great, and the Haitian that lived in Cuenca said he was sometimes treated poorly. For what it's worth. Grain of salt. Maybe that guy was just unhappy with life.

Not true at all....he experience something different from cuenca so it doesn't mean he has a problem...I watch on YouTube how racist it can be towards afro edcudorians to find work an a whole lot of other stuff so please...depending on who u run into..me I wouldn't take any crap..if your rude I'm going to be rude back..your not superior cos your skin is light nor are you in title. Makes me sick to see ppl of color just want there fair share in life just to be hated cos there skin isn't light so not everyone has a life issue...

cccmedia :
MrKMW :

LojaWelcomeCenter.com website. Keep in mind that the website is still being built daily, but much of the information is there.

If you need further insights or have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I am here to serve and assist.

Ken

What an awesome post, Ken -- detailed, comprehensive, clear, supportive,

You're already a great resource person on Expat.com.

Welcome to Expat.com and best of luck with Loja Welcome Center.

cccmedia in Quito

Thank you for your kind words. It is much appreciated. Ken

shirl51 :

Not true at all....he experience something different from cuenca so it doesn't mean he has a problem...I watch on YouTube how racist it can be towards afro edcudorians to find work an a whole lot of other stuff so please...depending on who u run into..me I wouldn't take any crap..if your rude I'm going to be rude back..your not superior cos your skin is light nor are you in title. Makes me sick to see ppl of color just want there fair share in life just to be hated cos there skin isn't light so not everyone has a life issue...

People that look for racism will always find it.

I too am curious about this.  I hope you get many responses.  Does anyone have any idea or estimate about the number of African Americans in Ecuador?

Although the percentages of Afro-Americans in many Ecuador locations are probably low, there are half a million Afro-Ecuadorians in the north coastal areas, according to Wikipedia.  Technically, some may consider them to be Afro-Americans as they live in the Americas, namely South America.

On the happierabroad.com website, a black poster using the name Contrarian Expatriate said:

"Anywhere in the world (other than the USA) you will be treated the way you deserve to be treated.  That means your mannerisms, your dress, your accent, your deportment will determine how you are perceived.

"Will there be people who see your race and act accordingly...of course, but that does not mean most people typecast you as a stereotype.

"Try to leave your racial baggage at the border and focus on making a good impression on people there as an individual."

I'm a retired military and thinking of maybe moving to Ecuador also. What is the best place for kids to go to school? (International)

Big Will 59 :

I'm a retired military and thinking of maybe moving to Ecuador also. What is the best place for kids to go to school? (International)

For best results, Big WIll, consider telling us more.

For instance, would you prefer they go to school here in the capital, which is considered by most folks to be EC's most international city, or Cuenca, a relatively safe smaller city widely considered to be one of the world's most desirable cities for Expats...

How old will the kids be upon starting school here....

Any preferences:  all classes in English, for instance, emphasis on dance or the arts,
in-city or suburban, or other...

cccmedia in Quito

I wish I could make a helpful suggestion for you.  I live in Puerto Lopez on the ocean and, while it is beautiful and peaceful, just like I was seeking, I don't know that this is where I would want to school my children.  That answer is completely uninformed on how the schools operate (I can't figure it out just yet).  I am a single, retired lady without school age children so that is not one of my concerns.  I can say there are scads of children here. Everyone I have seen in Ecuador, no matter the age, is mannerable & polite. (would that USA...)  The locals heavily support EVERYthing the kids do!!  I love to see that.  I don't know if there are requirements to go to school beyond a certain age.  I would be more inclined to check out the international school in Quito, although I personally would not want to live in Quito.  Perhaps there are other branches in other cities.  I would also look at Loja.  It is south & west of Cuenca, and altitude not as high and not as cold or wet as Cuenca. Loja has a university with advanced schools, e.g., law school & veterinary school, a symphony, lots of jazz, etc.  It is not quite as large as Cuenca (not too far behind it, though), and is very beautiful in a charming way.  Satisfactory schools might be available there.  Let me know what you learn and ultimately decide.  Good luck!!

Hello, i'm semi retired married with two young children (6&2 yo). Is it possible for Americans to purchase property and house in Ecuador, and with that is it possible for us to live on $1400 per month? And are there international schools in the Cuenco area?

Big Will 59 :

I'm semi retired married with two young children (6&2 yo). Is it possible for Americans to purchase property and house in Ecuador, and with that is it possible for us to live on $1400 per month? And are there international schools in the Cuenco area?

Property purchase by foreigners is absolutely possible in Ecuador.  No cedula -- the Ecuadorian ID -- is required.  I paid cash for my condo in Quito years before I moved to Ecuador, and don't have information for you about the possibility of financing.

$1,400 a month:  If the family is healthy, the international-school tuition is reasonable and you're generally frugal, it may be possible.

CEDEI School, which promotes an "InterAmerican" program, may offer what you want. I saw other possibilities after googling "international school Cuenca Ecuador."

There is no "o" in Cuenca.

cccmedia in Quito

Thanks. I plan on paying cash for a house, that's why I was asking about income needed. Guess i'll have to plan a trip there to look around.

The international schools tend to be very expensive. My wife informed me that the one in Quito was about $1000 per month. The cost of education in Ecuador is all over the map and will probably be the biggest factor in your cost of living.

I lived in Quito for one month, and the people there was very friendly. It's a place with so many things to see and do. ... there's no time to pay attention to other people issues. I had a blast in Quito, Baños, and Mindo.  It's a beautiful country and the food was delicious. I never encounter any racal comments, nor did I experience any tension. I suggest knowing some basic spanish to communicate with everyone.

Travelone :

I lived in Quito for one month, and the people there was very friendly. It's a place with so many things to see and do. ... there's no time to pay attention to other people issues. I had a blast in Quito, Baños, and Mindo.  It's a beautiful country and the food was delicious. I never encounter any racal comments, nor did I experience any tension. I suggest knowing some basic spanish to communicate with everyone.

Didn't you miss the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and/or 76ers?
Otherwise I am sure Quito is better than the City of Brotherly Love.

Hi, my name is Lee and like you my husband and I are looking at moving to EC. For all the same reasons everyone is . I'm planning a trip to Cuneca in Nov of this year. Need to check this place out before we dive in head first. We are African Americans both my husband and I are very easy going people that simply want to move someplace where we can relax and give up the rat race😄 there is a lot of work to be done  preparing for another life in a new country. Would love to converse with more of us... Getting ready to take the plunge

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