New members of the Ecuador forum, introduce yourselves here - 2018

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!

Hi, I am a single woman, planning to move to Vilcabamba from Florida in the next few months, would like to make friends and meet with people in the surrounding areas. 
Trusting God He will open new doors and opportunities in my birth country.

I’m looking forward to spending a month in Ecuador starting mid March 2018. I’ll be in Quito for four nights, then I’ve rented a condo in Salinas overlooking the ocean. Can’t wait! Hopefully I’ll meet some of you lovely folks when I’m down there! Any helpful hints or “must do’s/do nots” would be gratefully appreciated!

Muchos gracias!

My wife and I will be spending 2 weeks along the northern and central coast so that I can surf and we will be looking at retirement possibilities. We have 5-6 years to decide where.

Hi, my name is Al.

Hello. I am seeking residency in Ecuador. The last step in process is the Antecedentes Penales. I need to get the federal and state Antecedentes Penales. My state is New Jersey. And I believe it needs to be apostilled/translated, whether one or both I dont know. Can the a`postille/translation be done in Ecuador? I want to do it all without having to leave Ecuador?

I got fingerprinted about two weeks ago, but there are some weird fields to fill out on FBI form that i do not understand.:

One serveice wanted to charge me nearly 3k, another $400. ANYONE KNOW OF A SERVICE THAT CAN DO TIS ECONOMICALY?

Excuse caps. Difficulty with Ecuadorian keyboard.

777albrto :

Hello. I am seeking residency in Ecuador. The last step in process is the Antecedentes Penales. I need to get the federal and state Antecedentes Penales. My state is New Jersey. And I believe it needs to be apostilled/translated, whether one or both I dont know. Can the apostille/translation be done in Ecuador? I want to do it all without having to leave Ecuador?

Dear Al,

Welcome to the Ecuador forum.

Don't go through an agency or middleman to obtain apostille(s), as you can request them yourself.  Your request will be in English because you'll be dealing with USA-based government agencies.  An apostille needs to be issued by the government agency that issues the original document.  An apostille is a document that is affixed to the original document to make the original acceptable for international usage.

If you are unable to discover whether one or both apostilles are required, simply ask each penal agency to send you the document plus apostille and see what happens.  Costs of such are usually low, nothing like the thousands you were quoted by a middleman.

Any translations to Spanish should be done in Ecuador.

Make sure all documents are dated within 90 days of application to the Cancillería.


Dear Al,

Normally, this New Members thread is reserved for introductions-only of new members.  In the interest of guiding you in a time-sensitive matter, I have sidestepped the usual restriction. :cool:

I know you have additional questions about the codes, so consider starting a new thread using the option for that, which is on the forum welcome page.

Hopefully, the Home Office in the Mascarene Islands will allow me the extra latitude in this case.  The islands are midway through the annual typhoon season in the Indian Ocean, so the good folks there may not be overly concerned about me taking this liberty. :)



I’m Adrienne.  My partner and I are making plans to travel to Cuenca from New Hampshire in May for at least a 6-month stay (initial 3-month free visa, plus the paid 3-month extension). 

I retired in 2015 from a career in corporate community relations with the goal of getting out of America’s cultural bubble to experience living abroad and engaging with and learning from other cultures.  Da Nang, Vietnam was our first out-of-the-US destination.  We lived there for a year – an amazing life experience! 

Cuenca has been on my short-list for a number of years and I’m very much looking forward to getting there.  Like my late father, who never met a stranger, I get great joy from meeting new people.  So, I’m also looking forward to meeting and befriending both expats and locals.  If we fall in love with Ecuador, we may seek residency.  Until then, it will be one step at a time, one discovery at a time, one experience at a time, and one Spanish lesson at a time.

Cheers to each of you on your Ecuadorian journey!

Hello, my husband and I are planning to move to Quito after October as temporary-to-permanent residents. I am a US citizen, and he is Iranian. We were married and are living (and working as teachers) in Thailand. I am looking for resources for both of us to help learn more about the process, what to expect, and any advice along the way. Thank you.


My name is Sean. My wife, two young children and I plan on moving to Vilcambamba Ecuador by the end of the summer.

I have a extensive and colorful background and have done everything from teaching handicapped children music to Working as a successful high level sales ex.

I let God lead me in everything I do.

My family and I are ooking to meet locals that can help us with our transition.

Thank you and God bless!

Hi all members,
My name is Pablo from HELPING EXPATS GROUP, I'm an immigration attorney who has been working with expats moving to Ecuador from USA and Canada for about the last 3 years.
Any question you have related to moving to Ecuador, I will be happy to answer. Consultation is free of charge!

Thank you for offering to answer a question, Pablo. This one relates to the rights of long-time Expats.

I got my permanent investment visa and original cédula four years ago.

Under the new immigration law, am I able to keep my visa residency rights by visiting Ecuador only once every five years?

Since this is a new-members thread meant for introductions, please respond to my question at the "Fielding Your Questions" thread....

Also, please tells us more about the Helping Expats Group.

cccmedia, Quito property owner, from Ipiales, Colombia


My name is Mateo Garcia married with 3 children, I am from Ecuador; however I lived abroad for 10 years  ( China and USA). My kids are attenting an International School in Quito.

You are welcome to ask any thing relate to Ecuador, I will love to give important inputs.



I live in Quito---feel free to drop me a line if you wish to explore the city==I enjoy doing  either walking or taking the buses--


Hello, anybody planning on moving to Ecuador or anywhere really needs to do their homework. When I came down for the first time I had chosen Loja-Vilcabamba area but after spending some time there I saw quite a few Gringos in Vilcabamba who showed me why there is a disconnect at the least with the local population. I watch the real estate market in various regions of the country and from what I've seen you may want to spend an extended visit there before you decide to move there. I'm not putting all expats in the same basket but there are a few who are making it difficult to get along with the locals. I would rent rather than buy. I don't know if it's the incompetence of the local real estate profession or the area is waning in popularity but there's properties, both residential and commercial for sale that the asking price is 1/2-3/4 cost of construction. Before you think it's time to snatch up a bargain ask yourself why so cheap? I have since found an area I like as much if not more without the gringo stigma. I would be happy to share this info in private should you choose.

I am liked and loved by most if not all Ecuadorians-----may be because I show respect and warmth --no problem in giving a hug==

I do not speak Spanish==again no problem===someone always offers me help===

just smile ---baby---

hi  mateo===write me if some of English speaking people  get together for coffee---I live in Cumbaya



Hi Dodd, we can get together during the week to have a coffe or a glass of wine in some restaurant in plaza de cumbaya. Give me your cellphone to confirm details.


Sure====that will be great----please call me anytime--


Moderated by Bhavna 10 months ago
Reason : Please do not post your contact details on the forum. You should exchange them through the private messaging system.Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct
cccmedia :

Thank you for offering to answer a question, Pablo. This one relates to the rights of long-time Expats.

I got my permanent investment visa and original cédula four years ago.

Under the new immigration law, am I able to keep my visa residency rights by visiting Ecuador only once every five years?

Also, please tells us more about the Helping Expats Group.

cccmedia, Quito property owner, from Ipiales, Colombia

Thank you for your question!!!
Well in the supplement of the Organic Law of Human Mobility published on February 6, 2017. In its section IV on resident persons, specifically in Article 65 it says: "The permanent resident person can get out and return to the country, but he/she cannot remain in abroad more than one hundred and eighty days in each year counted from the date of obtaining the migratory condition during the first two years ... The permanent resident, after the first two years, may be absent from the country for up to five years."

Helping Expats Group is a visa facilitator and legal office located in Cuenca, given the reason so many English speakers are moving to Ecuador I think it is important to offer to English speakers in this country all kind of services related to legal and account fields. I'm an attorney and I also have a master degree in tax law and in my team I have a professional translator and an accountant. I also have an associate in USA that assist me getting visa requirements apostilled for my clients.

We live in Rio Verde, Banos, Tungurahua. 12 years here. Lots of traveling. Know the country pretty well. We came here from Texas, I am U.S, wife Josha is German. Real estate investments here provide our income. Very easy living here. Good air, good water, good food, cheap services, quiet people, few rules, and yes, very hard to find a good lawyer. I  have used maybe 20 lawyers for my business, and don't recommend any of them. I write my own contracts and check every thing twice, especially the lawyer's work. Having done business in other parts of the world, it is not so different here. We moved here because it was easy, and we didn't want to remain in the states. Lots of things missed, but lots of things gained. Ecuador, like any other place, is a tradeoff. I have read amazing stuff from expats over the years and wonder if they came here from another planet. If you want to see us, airbnb Rio Verde and look for "hostel with a bit more ", wife holding bread, photos of the house I built. We occasionally take guests if they seem interesting or have a bunch of kids and need some help. I am no expert in anything, but probably can be a reasonable source for accurate information concerning living in Ecuador.


Ill be in cuenca visiting family for the summer. If  you ever need anything translated please feel free to contact me. Youll fall in love for sure with cuenca.

      It is interesting for us, new to this site, here in Ecuador 12 years, to read about the experiences others have. Thanks for the expat site.


it is good to see some guys interested in living in Ecuador or already doing so. I am from Iran and have studied a couple of web pages regarding immigration to this beautiful country. However, I am still not sure whether I need to have the FBI background check and how I may do that. I also do not know whether I need apostilles or not. Is there anybody from the middle east who can kindly help me with these questions??? I would be more than thankful

Hey everybody :D
I'm from the US I'm a bilingual soon to be 50ish semi-retired
person who's lived abroad for many years but likes Ecuador
and hopes to settle in Quito. Been to Cuenca (not my "thang")
seen the coast, .Just saying "hola" chao.

My wife and I will be retiring in early 2020 (still 23 months away).  We're from the northwest USA. We have been focusing on relocating to Ecuador as we have heard many positives about the country.  We are planning to take an exploratory visit this coming September or October, depending on air costs.  We plan on predominantly staying in Quito and Cuenca, and figured we will rent a car to drive between the two cities amongst other areas.  We also plan to meet with a lawyer in Quito to learn all the requirements for residency.  As we get closer and finalize our dates, we hope to make contact with people from this forum and meet them when we're down there to learn from their experiences, do's and don't etc. 
We've learned many things from International Living Magazine and even went to their 'living aboard boot camp' in Phoenix last October.  We've also been brushing up on our Spanish with Warren Hardy.  These last two sentences may be interrupted as 'sucker' by some of you:)  I've lived in Europe during one full year in College and have been back extensively four more times since, always traveling on my own, never in a tour.  But never south. We're looking forward to a change and a challenge.  Thank you.

What?  Not coming to the coast ?
Come in September and make time to visit our whales. :)

BTW most people do start withe International Lying... then they discover the truth by reading forums like this one, Expatexchange (which can be a bit hotheaded) and the many Facebook Groups.


Good luck with your plans. We have been here 12 years. Any advise?  Take a long vacation in Ecuador. After that, try some other places. Use International Living as paper to light your fire, not your way. We lived in many places before deciding on Ecuador, and did so for specific reasons, so we are happy here.
Before you consult with any lawyer, learn what you can do yourself if you want residency here. Try to think of yourselves as people looking for a place to do what you like, not as foreigners emigrating to some country. Focus on what you want in your lives, and see if Ecuador is a good fit. Take your time, do the work, learn. Above all, have fun.

Thank you Mike & Susan, for your very good advice. 

Do either of you have concerns about the recent news regarding "hot zones" in northern Ecuador? We had considered spending some time in both Quito and Cuenca but the news reports lead me to believe it would be wise to spend more time in Cuenca than Quito.

We've chosen Ecuador for its year-round climate, culture, cost of living, and a simpler, slower pace of life.  We plan to fly down for 2+ weeks this fall, flying into Quito, driving down to Cuenca, then swinging back to Quito, allowing us to view a good portion of the country's topography & lifestyles.  We would like to visit with expats in both Quito and Cuenca to learn from their experiences while living there as expats.

One part of retirement we're looking forward to is not having a lot of possessions so that, should be decide to move on to a different country at any time, we'll be able to do so with minimal trouble.  We don't have an unrealistic "bed of roses" vision about what it is like to live in another country, considering Panama as an alternate possibility.  Our trip to Ecaudor this Fall will be made with wide-open eyes and minds - what should be a "given" when doing an exploratory trip.  We use International Living as a springboard for ideas on potential places and then delve into further research.  Having lived in 4 different states during our marriage and traveled extensively through Europe, we're fully aware that there are good things and bad things you'll find anywhere you go. 

Being new to this forum, we would like to connect with current expats, hoping to schedule most of our meals chatting with them, wanting first-hand knowledge that will bring us to a wise conclusion as to whether or not Ecuador is even worth a try.

:) gr8 advice guys!

Hello there I am Michelle from Ghana( sunyani) . I currently Tour in Ecuador.


Dear Tom and Louise,

Welcome to the Ecuador forums of ....

Although this thread is for new-member introductions -- not for requesting or giving advice -- I have to correct the record:

The hot zones recently in the news are in extreme northern Ecuador near the Colombian border in coastal province(s).  They're not in Quito, which is many hours of driving to the south.


Dodd, all-caps posting is considered shouting.  If you sincerely want walking buddies, it might be better to post normally.

cccmedia in the border city of Ipiales, Colombia, near Tulcán, Ecuador

thanks ====sorry but I did not realize I was typing in all caps---suggestion well taken

I don't have much money but I need an immigration attorney in America to help being my Ecuadorian fiance here so that she will be allowed to live in my HRA or HUD Section 8 housing I don't know where to find help as I am on very limited resources appreciate any information for any referrals for low-cost or no-cost help.

Garalah, you don't say where you are located except America - which is a pretty big place.

If you could narrow it down a bit, someone might be able to help you, or you could help yourself by doing internet searches for local immigration attorneys and/or Hispanic Centers and the like.

For instance doing a Google search if you just type in "hialeah hispanic" (Florida) it will suggest adding "chamber of commerce" to that, and that might be a good place to call/visit, if you're in Hialeah.

For another example if you were in Atlanta (Georgia), type in "atlanta immigration" and one of the suggestions will add "attorneys" on to that search.

If you do a search for "camden hispanic" (New Jersey) a suggestion will add "family center" on to that, and it turns out it's a non-profit advocacy center that could certainly help, if you're in Camden, NJ.

Thanks... First thing in the morning I'll give it a try


I'm youngish (30) planning on moving to Ecuador for a little adventure... I have an MBA and a Mortgage in Cali, just need a new direction with life. I'm thinking on Quito, because I'm a city girl. Any words of wisdom for me ...

Great. I too am from California I am Quito I will be glad to help you in any way

Words of wisdom: Bring your parka, Quito is damn cold.

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