New members of the Ecuador forum, introduce yourself here

Hi all,

Newbie on the Ecuador forum? Don’t know how to start?

This thread is for you ;)

We invite you to introduce yourself on this topic, to share with us your expat story if you are already living in the country, or to tell us more on your expat projects in Ecuador if you are planning to move there.

It will enable us to help you better but above all to wish you a warm welcome.

Welcome on board!

Hello--new here.

I am living in the U.S. but feel drawn to Ecuador.  I'm a year (at least) from early retirement but really wanting to get out of here.  Seeking a place to live which is much less expensive than forging a life out in the States but also that is quiet, simple, and where kindness is not relegated to the back burners of social interaction and everyday life.  Not sure yet where in Ecuador, but just Ecuador.  Would like to know how inexpensive I can live in say a 2 bedroom apartment where transportation is easy. I am not thinking of buying or building anything. Truly would be living on a budget.  How easy is it to make such a transition? How difficult to find a place, etc.? Any ideas, advice are welcome.

Hello I'm moving to Cuenca Ecuador in March and I can't wait. There is a add on craigslist in Ecusdor under apartments to rent this American that lives by Banos is offering free advice for just about anything in Ecuador from helping you find apartment to rent to helping you with your residents paperwork you have to get. And he says its all free. Good luck!

Hi, Global. Since you haven't reached the point of knowing where in Ecuador you want to live, it's tough to give you even a ballpark estimate of prices. As in the US, the bigger cities have (generally) higher rents than the smaller towns, or so I'm told (I can really only speak about my own experiences here in Quito).

Fully furnished places, if that's what you would be seeking, are a bit harder to find than unfurnished of course, but they are available.

I just rented a new place (and will be moving in this week) in a relatively high-end section of Quito -- near a big mall and other shopping, near Parque Carolina (the big park in town), very secure -- for $570/month. It's a 2br/1bath fully furnished (incl washer/dryer, two TVs).

Since I was a bit lazy about my searching, I'm willing to bet there are better deals, but that might give you and idea of what the prices are like. I hope it helps.

Good luck with your planning.

Bob

My name is Bill and I first came to Ecuador in 1990 to work for a company that was in the oil well drilling business.  I was with this company until 1996 at which time I decided to stay in Ecuador rather than return to the states.  Over the years I had a lot of fun and was in a semi-retired state,  I finally married a sweetheart of a girl from Latacunga and we have been together for around 15 years, married for 10.

We left Ecuador for a time and she received her USA citizenship and worked in the healthcare industry until we decided to return to Ecuador this year.  We have land on the coast, Manabí, and will return to build a business there in April.

I have no specific needs for information about Ecuador as I already have my residence visa, cedula, etc.  I will have to renew my drivers license and buy a car on our return.  What most perplexes me at this moment is my lack of information regarding access to TVCable or something like Directv on the coast. There is a type of cable service in Canoa that is mostly just Spanish language programming which I don't particularly want for myself.  I read the blog regarding Roku and Netflix and want more information on that, specifically what I should buy here where it is easy to and cheap to buy.

So that is a thumbnail sketch of me.

Thanks for reading.

sailorbox :

What most perplexes me at this moment is my lack of information regarding access to TVCable or something like Directv on the coast. There is a type of cable service in Canoa that is mostly just Spanish language programming which I don't particularly want for myself.  I read the blog regarding Roku and Netflix and want more information on that, specifically what I should buy here where it is easy to and cheap to buy.

So that is a thumbnail sketch of me.

Thanks for reading.

I am not on the coast, so don´t know what is available there.  To effectively stream Netflix without it pausing on  you, you need a connection with a download speed of at least 1 mbps. Netflix recommends 1.5 mbps but my experience is 1 mbps will due.  Of course, the service providers will promise speeds up to a certain number, but never promise that you will average a certain minimum.

If your internet is poor, you may be better off getting satelite Direct TV which I assume is available on the coast.

Thanks for the information.  But can you tell me if it is better to subscribe to Netflix and HULU while here in Florida or wait until we are re-settled in Canoa?  I would assume that if you subscribe in a foreign country then some of the problems associated with the foreign IP address would not be an issue or is that too simple to think.  Anyway is there any hardware that I should plan to buy and carry? Thanks

sailorbox :

Thanks for the information.  But can you tell me if it is better to subscribe to Netflix and HULU while here in Florida or wait until we are re-settled in Canoa?  I would assume that if you subscribe in a foreign country then some of the problems associated with the foreign IP address would not be an issue or is that too simple to think.  Anyway is there any hardware that I should plan to buy and carry? Thanks

It makes no difference with Neflix or Hulu where you sign up. There are geographical limitations with these services, but where you sign up is irrelevant.

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your response.

How exciting for you finding a place that must be very nice!    I am actually drawn more to Cuenca, though not opposed to any place really.

globalwoman :

I am actually drawn more to Cuenca, though not opposed to any place really.

Can't give you any help or advice about Cuenca, I haven't even visited yet (though I plan to do so soon). But there are numerous Cuencanos here who can help with any questions you have.

Bob

Born and bred Oklahoman.  BS in Aero Space studies from the University of Tulsa and graduate of USAF flight training program, multi aircraft qualified.
I spent 16 years working for three different Wall St firms in sales and management.  Struck out on my own and formed Cycle Therapy Inc. which became one of the largest recyclers of motorcycle parts in the US.  I could write a MBA case study on the rise and fall of a company I loved and invested almost 20 years to.
Time for the next life experience and either Belize or Ecuador looks like good possibilities.  I love the US, but  prepared for a different and more affordable lifestyle.
My interest include food, motorcycles, construction, horses and always learning something new.  Did I mention food?
Any thoughts or input will be appreciated.
Time to break the mold and try something different in the youthful part of my retirement.  Maybe even explore new small business opportunities.

Hi all....

I write from St. Louis, Missouri.  A musician and teacher, I have been intrigued with Ecuador for the past five years. As I do not intend to retire but wear out, I am interested in the types and kind of work opportunities there are for ex-patriates in the country. Part-time or full time.

Have been a public school teacher and administrator, university professor, and owned several private businesses.  Can you give me any idea as to the opportunities in these or other areas?

I would like to plan a trip there with my wife in the next year or so to see the country and get a feel for all of it.

Harvey

Hey globalwoman!

If you need an apt for rent I will like to recomend my ex land lord. After experienced other landlords, my husband and I think he is the best upon the earth!
He has apts in a very quite area of Cuenca, rigth across Golf Club.
Let me know if you need something so I can give you his email and you can visit him.

I have seem a few TVCable antenas in Puerto López, Manabi. I think you should send them an email asking about what channels they has and if is there a way to change them into english.

Hello,
  I am Paul from Montreal, new to Cuenca. I was working in Quito for a few months and now I am relocated in Cuenca. I play soprano sax, specializing in Django swing jazz. Any guitar pickers out there?

Hi Maria,

I will be looking for an apartment in Cuenca to rent starting in June 2014. I need one that would accommodate a cat, that is fully furnished, has at least 2 br / 2 ba and preferably with a terrace or green area where I can let my cat outside. I see you have the name of a contact. I would appreciate it if you could pass my name and email onto him (Mike Bluett - mbluett88 at shaw dot ca).

Thanks very much

Hi,  My name is Joel and I live in Florida.  I have been discussing moving to Cuenca for the past year and I am planning to go there for the first time in July or August.   I am 71 years old, divorced with no baggage.  The reason that I have not gone yet is that I did not want to go alone and all of my male friends are married and I am currently by myself since my girlfriend and I parted ways.

If there is anyone out there in a similar situation I would appreciate hearing from them.
My income is approx.  with no debt.  From what I read this is more than sufficient to rent a nice place and lead a very nice lifestyle.   Comments?  mail imjoels at live dot com

What is the best time (cost wise) to come down to look around Cuenca.. I would like to rent something decent for just a 2 or 3 week stay this time hopefully before year end

Welcome, Joel. $2500/month should be more than sufficient, unless your lifestyle is unusually opulent. My monthly spend (in Quito) is well under that, and I'm not scrimping. As for being 71 and single in Ecuador, there seems to be no shortage of guys in similar circumstances.

Thanks, I appreciate the info.

Joel

Hello,

My name's Angela, I'm French, I live in Dominican Republic for 9 years now and I've just answered a teaching job offer in a French School in Cuenca, as I'm a teacher (French and English teacher). I'm still waiting for the answer but now I've started to read many articles about Ecuador and more about Cuenca, and I really feel like discovering this town. It seems a good compromise for my family (2 young kids). My husband is Dominican. We both speak English. If it's like in Dominican Republic, I guess working opportunities are better to find being there than by searching on the internet. However, if you guys are living in Cuenca, any piece of advice is welcome  :)

I don't think you will have to worry about being alone. There are lots of other expats in Cuenca to make you feel at home. All you have to be is a little outgoing.

I am also going by myself. Probably run into you sometime after you arrive.

Good luck, you'll enjoy and have fun for sure

This morning I was just telling to myself that even if they don't give me the job, I should go to Cuenca a couple of weeks and look for a job by myself. Do you think I can easily find one as I speak three languages? I was also wondering if the expat profile is more "young family with kids" or more "retired people in search of peaceful place to stay", because I feel completely able to create and run a small international school or a French school. I've been running one for 7 years now and it could be interesting for English-spoken children to attend a French school, as they will learn Spanish in the country and maybe in extra classes I could also give. This way kids would be soon trilingual…
What do you think?  :/ Thank you for your answers.

Hey Mike!

Welcome to Ecuador!
I will tell Marco that you will like to have more info on the apts.
His place has big green area, behind the apts there is a forest.

This is his nephew cellphone number (who speaks english and if you want talk to him) Cristian Coronel 593 995113549
The landlord email is marcocardenas11 at hotmail dat com

If you want to look in google maps, the apts are across Cuenca Tennis and Golf Club.

I've been here in Cuenca EC since January 2014. I am a black single female in my fifties that moved here solo with my dog. I have found a mixed bag of pros and cons here in EC.  I left the US under heavy persecution for whistle blowing on my job. However, leaving the US did not stop their long arm from reaching me here. What they were doing to me in the US has continued here in Cuenca. So if you are leaving the US under this type of circumstance, and you think you will find relief here - forget about it. 

I know of many TIs (if you are one of then you know what I mean or just Google it) that desire to flee the US, and many have. If they are here in EC their Community Stalking will continue, and the torture by remote Radio Frequencies will continue. The people here are easily bribed into helping the US continue your torture and torment program.

Other than that, there are beautiful vista here, 4 rivers run through the city. Really cheap rent is out here, and for a 2 bdrm you could get one for around a $100 (except I am not sure if they have only 2 bdrm places here). But, for example, I live in what is known in the States as a Townhouse. It is a 5 bdrm, 3.5 baths for $230. Most Ex-pat are paying between 4 to 5 hundred and up. To us Gringos that is still cheap, but our willingness to pay that cost makes the rents rise everywhere. On the flip side of that, most landlords do not want to rent to locals. They rather rent to us because we will pay more and take care of their property. With most places, to get the cheaper rent it will come unfurnished. Utilities are electric, gas comes in a big metal container that you have to hook-up to a tankless water heater and if you use gas to cook you will also need one for the stove. The cheaper the dwelling the poorer it is built. By that I mean, your windows will lack caulking, there will be slants and dips in the construction that should not be there. But hey, this is not US standard housing, so don't expect that. You are coming to a 3rd World Country, but I will say for a 3rd World Country Cuenca, and Quito are fast moving into second place.

Quito is a larger city and reminds me more of an American city than Cuenca. I have been told the population in Cuenca is about 500k, and us Gringos make up about 1% of that. There are an astounding number of single females from the US here, thus far I have not seen any other single black female.

In some place food is dirt cheap, but in place like SuperMaxi it is comparable to Safeway or the old Luckys. Clothes and shoes are on the high side. Electronics are ridiculously high (so bring those things with you). The dogs here are not regulated. The whole City is a dog park, they run free. They can be amusing to watch though.

Well, I have been brutally honest so good luck.

very informative post. i live in canada, just outside windsor, ontario, and am making a move to ecuador sometime soon, so any and all info i can read about it is helpfull. thank you

also, i see a lot of canadians are making the move after realizing that we are all just revenue tools for the overpaid public service in canada, and taxed extremely high for the over abundance of needless social programs.

Hey Mike,

I talked to the landlord, he has a facebook (you can check the photos even if you dont hav a facebook acc) page for his apts:

Apts for rent

Just say Pia told you about the apts:)

Hi, You have a very interesting story.  If I rent an unfurnished 2 bedroom apt what should I expect to pay for decent(not necessarily new) furniture.  I don't need top of the line stuff but I also don't want junk.

Joel in Florida

I am in Canoa right now and intend to go to the Galapagos Island in about a week and then spend some time checking out mostly coastal areas to move to in 2-3 years. My main question is: beyond owner financing, is anyone aware of any lending availability to gringos? I came to Ecuador to find a place I like to move to soon but after finding out there is no financing I may try to buy something now or soon with different types of unsecured credit (not much better than credit cards really) and rent it for 2-3 years while working in the US (Colorado) in order to pay off the debt before moving here. I obviously prefer to move sooner and would do that with financing. I have excellent credit and good assets and don't want to put a large chunk of cash to buy a place. I apologize if this subject can be found elsewhere. Also, I have heard to get citizenship or another type of permission to move here permanently there is a minimum income requirement. Can anyone tell me what that is? I have a lot of rental properties that I can live off the income but my taxes show me writing off (legally) almost all of that income. What would I need to prove and what is the best way to do it? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Angela EFCV :

This morning I was just telling to myself that even if they don't give me the job, I should go to Cuenca a couple of weeks and look for a job by myself. Do you think I can easily find one as I speak three languages? I was also wondering if the expat profile is more "young family with kids" or more "retired people in search of peaceful place to stay", because I feel completely able to create and run a small international school or a French school. I've been running one for 7 years now and it could be interesting for English-spoken children to attend a French school, as they will learn Spanish in the country and maybe in extra classes I could also give. This way kids would be soon trilingual…
What do you think?  :/ Thank you for your answers.

Hello Angela, :)

Go for starting you own school!  Full speed.

Can you do it with your own funds or must you affiliate yourself with one of the international schools which are always looking for expansion?

To be honest, I don't have many funds so it seems necessary to me to first find a job and next learn to know the expat community, its needs and expectations. Where I live in Dominican Republic, education is one of the biggest expat's preoccupation but as I try to read articles about Cuenca in Expat.com I can't find so many about schools. How many international schools are there? Are there many English-spoken expats willing to learn Spanish? What about French? Can someone tell me where a small French school or international school would be really needed in Ecuador and successful for sure? I mean is there another town than Cuenca where it would really works? Please help me to get more info. I know the best way to know is travelling there and stay for a while but it's not so easy when you don't have much money, and two kids. Thank you for your help. I really feel like discovering Ecuador!

Hi Everyone -

So glad to see this is an active forum!

I'm a 51 year-old US citizen, and I'm here in Guayaquil with my 20 year-old friend, also a US citizen. We're both gringas. We went to culinary school together in Austin, TX, and decided to do our internship here in Ecuador. We had a chef instructor who grew up in the Galapagos, and he graciously hooked us up with work at the Oro Verde hotel, which is managed by a good friend of his.

The folks here at the hotel are wonderful, but Guayaquil is proving difficult for us. In lieu of salary, we get a room and meals, which is fine in theory. But the food here simply isn't agreeing with us, and there aren't many safe/edible options nearby. The city isn't really very safe for wandering, so we're feeling kind of trapped in the hotel.

We're in Ecuador through May 22, and we're hoping to find a culinary gig elsewhere. Cuenca is high on the list because it's only a 3-hr drive (we'd rent a car to get there) and there are enough US expats that we're hoping our minimal Spanish wouldn't be as much of a hardship there. Quito is on the table as well, and we're even up for more remote farm situations. All that's required for graduation is a bunch of hours under the supervision of someone who has something to teach us about cooking, or farming, or restaurants, or fishing... we're up for an adventure and totally willing to be creative about payment, i.e., we'll happily work for room and board :)

We're considering just getting a car and heading to Cuenca, but my young, sensible friend has convinced me we should spend the week planning ahead a bit. She's right, of course.

All comments and suggestions most welcome!

You can fly to Cuenca and rent a car here. I have a spare b.room w. bath in my condo in Cuenca. It is empty til about next monday Mar 24 maybe longer - I'll know for sure by Friday. You are welcome to surf it if you like. I am Paul B.,   I play jazz at the Viña almost every night.  They have a pizzeria -  the owner is Italian.  paulbou32[at]gmail. com

facebook.com/CuencaJazzCafe

Wow, thanks Paul! We'd love to take you up on your offer. If we could surf at your place for even 2 or 3 days, that would be great. We're going to go ahead and let them know here that we're leaving. Current plan is to drive up Thursday. Shall we just show up at the Vina that evening?

You can reach me at jgomoll[at]mac.com if you'd rather make different arrangements. I'm also on Skype (Julie Gomoll).

Hope to meet you soon!

juliegomoll :

Wow, thanks Paul! We'd love to take you up on your offer. If we could surf at your place for even 2 or 3 days, that would be great. We're going to go ahead and let them know here that we're leaving. Current plan is to drive up Thursday. Shall we just show up at the Vina that evening?

You can reach me at jgomoll[at]mac.com if you'd rather make different arrangements. I'm also on Skype (Julie Gomoll).

Hope to meet you soon!

Happy to share. I have e-mailed you at the address you gave.

Paul

Name: Garry
Origin: Ontario, Canada
Bin There: Vilcabamba, Loja, Cuenca, Quito, Otavalo, Cotacachi, Ibarra, Salinas, San Antonio, Cumbya, Pichincha Volcano,

Hola Joel

Just a word to the caution.  Please don't tell to much about finances.  Most people 99% or so are ok, but you always have that 1% that is unscrupulous.

Take care, learn the language and enjoy.  Lots to do and get involved in. 

Everyone here is willing to help.

Garry

Gracias Garry.

Joel
Hi Garry, OK I did it.  Just rented a 2 br apt in Cuenca for the Month of May.

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