Tag Archive | "Andres Cordova"

Ecuador Scams


Ecuador scams are like scams anywhere in the world… best avoided.

There are enough scams in the world that we have no control over like… Madoff…  like Federal spending… like Social Security… like underfunded pensions.

Yet we can avoid scams  that we would otherwise bring on ourselves.

Decades ago we learned that there are many scams in investment markets which is why we have always focused on working with large, experienced global firms like Jyske Bank.

Here are delegates chatting in the courtyard of Meson de las Flores with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management during an IBEZ Ecuador course.

ecuador-shots

Yet scams go way beyond the investing community and they are everywhere… including Ecuador.

When one moves to a new place… it is hard to know all the ropes. This is a bit frightening and often leads new arrivals or investors to depend more on other expats.

This can be a huge error… because Ecuador scams… or scams anywhere are promoted as often by other expats as they are by local residents.  

People are not more honest just because they come from the same country you do.

I learned this the hard way when I moved to Hong Kong almost 41 years ago.

I had a really wonderful apartment in the mid levels of Hong Kong on Bowen Road.  “Bowen Do Ng Ho” (Bowen Road #5 – This is the last of my Cantonese!)  We had an extra bedroom we rented to a very nice American woman. She met a guy who became her boyfriend… a redheaded freckled guy I recall. He was an architect… so he said… with a San Francisco firm arriving in Hong Kong to build a skyscraper.  He was a very pleasant fellow… a “jolly chap” my British friends used to say.

Somehow, for the financing, the woman, who rented our apartment, became involved. To make a long story short… the guy (and the financing) disappeared.  Huge bills owing were strewn around town.  The woman, who rented our apartment, was devastated and left on the hook.  We had all been fooled until days after this con artist fled.  We had all felt more comfortable since we were dealing with what we thought was a “known”…someone from our own culture.

So my ears perked up when a reader wrote to me after our latest Ecuador Visa Update.

“Gary, When I read your newsletter today, I was hoping you would say something about the cost of a visa.  Unfortunately, there are people who are promising newcomers a resident’s visa for $7000.  I’ve never heard of anyone paying more than $2000 for a resident’s visa, no matter which lawyer they used.

The reader went on to say that one  couple discovered this scam and tried to back out of the contract.  This elderly couple was threatened by a lawsuit.

I do not have all the facts so cannot be sure if this is a pure scam… just really unfair pricing or if more than just a visa was offered, but $7,000 seemed awfully high if all that was provided was just a resident visa.  I immediately wrote to the three attorneys who advise us in Ecuador to check on the price.

Although we were totally unaware of any of this, it did remind us that all of us should always take care and do our research when we move or visit other countries.  This is what I wrote to the 3 attorneys that we use:

“I would like to inform readers about what is a reasonable amount they should expect to pay for a resident visa.  Could you provide this?  Regards, Gary”

The first reply came from our attorney, Dr. Andres Cordova. He wrote:  Dear Gary:  If this story is true then it’s terrible. Poor people. They can contact me immediately and I will take care of them.  I will review their case for free.  It may be possible that these possible scammers are doing things under the
table, cutting corners. This would be bad, but instilling fear on clients is beyond reproachable.

Lawyers would normally charge between $800 and $1.000 for a visa, including for a family. In some cases where there is an added complication the cost may be a little bit higher.

Some bigger law firms may charge between $2,000 and $4,000 for a visa but normally when obtained of behalf of major investors, corporate CEOs, etc.  I believe $800 to $1.500 is reasonable. We charge $800 to $1.000.  Regarding expenses, they are of about $350 per visa plus some $100 in general, for the whole family.  Best regards, Andres.

This is very kind of Andres to offer free legal assistance. He has helped so many of our readers in the past. See ways he has helped readers here.

Another excellent and reliable attorney, Roberto Moreno, wrote:   Gary,  Yes, $7000 is absolutely out of range. Depending on the visa we charge from US$900 to US$1200.  Also, it is important to inform the readers that some lawyers will just obtain visas with few requirements, especially in Guayaquil.  The risk is that the visa could be removed later on. We prefer now to obtained all the visas for our clients at the immigration office in Quito.

cotacachi-green

Gary Scott and immigration attorney, Roberto Moreno, at Meson.

Learn more about Roberto and his firm here.

The third attorney, Floridalva Zambrano wrote:

Hi Gary, This is a terrible thing!!  Your reader is correct,  the cost of obtaining a resident  visa, including attorney fees,  fluctuates between $1,200 and $2,000, being this last one a very high one.  We usually charge  about $1,300.  Checking with other attorneys  from Quito this is the the standard cost.  Hope this helps!!

Here is one of our Ecuador real estate tours meeting with our attorney, Floridalva Zambrano.

ecuador-beach-prices

Flori is one of the few attorneys with such experience that when she conveys a property, a US title insurance company will provide US title insurance.

Learn about Flori’s law firm here.

There you have it… three very reliable Ecuador law firms charge about $1,200 for a resident visa.  Whether you feel someone charging much more is a scam or not is up to you… but when you move to Ecuador or anywhere that is new… you are more vulnerable so watch out for price gouging and scams.

Gary

One benefit of an Ecuador Living subscription is that we do not take commissions or kickbacks on real estate, legal work, hotel or tour reservations… or anything.  There are no hidden agendas.   We even donated our hotel to a foundation to help promote employment in Ecuador so we do not even make a penny from the income at Meson de las Flores.    Our goal is to help our readers enjoy safe, easy, profitable, low cost journeys to Ecuador.  Learn more about our Ecuador Living Service here.

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Merri, I am sitting here with a smile on my face.  I am always amazed at the turn around that I get from my emails to you.  I know you are busy with all of the projects that you and Gary address on a daily basis and appreciate very much you making time for mine.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799

Ecuador Preconstruction Property


Here is an Ecuador beach preconstruction property.

ecuador-beach-property

We do not normally write about or allow advertising of Ecuador preconstruction property but Dr. Andres Cordova, our friend and attorney, has helped so many of our readers over the past decade that we skipped this rule and posted a message about his special Ecuador preconstruction property.

Andres is the grandson of one of Ecuador’s more famous presidents. He is a senior partner in a law firm that represents Ecuador’s treasury.

Yet to me he is an example of how Ecuadorians are willing to help others in so many ways.

For example, we warn our delegates and readers to stay away from the Mariscal Sucre area in Quito. This is a very touristy area that many of the tour agents promote. This area is loaded with very clever pickpocket type thieves.

Regretfully some delegates do not mind our warnings, as was the case when a delegate from our course, on his way back to the US, visited this area. His carry on bag was stolen (in a tricky but non aggressive way). He lost everything, passport, wallet, car keys, credit card, driver’s license, computer. He was stranded with $3 left in his pocket.

Fortunately he called us in Cotacachi. I called Andres who immediately left his Sunday afternoon lunch and within the hour had picked up our delegate, given him $200 cash and sent him back to us in Cotacachi. (The US Embassy would not help the delegate until Monday.)

This is not the first time Andres has gone out of his way to pull a delegate’s irons out of a fire. A few years ago, a delegate arrived for our Import-Export Expedition. The delegate had journeyed to Peru first and purchased many huge bags of goods to take back to the US . Naturally Ecuadorian customs wanted to tax them. Though it was nearly midnight, one call to Andres got him working and he immediately sorted the problem out.

Now Andres has done it again. A reader just sent me this note.

Wanted you to know that Andres handled the closing on my place and would not charge anything…Nada, 0..Maybe that was his way to make up for his sometimes slow response time…..In any event that is impressive..Hope you are well. We will be in Argentina most of November, then to Nicaragua and Panama in January…One of my sons in selling property in Panama ..Cheers,.Ed

Andres continuing help and goodwill to our readers is one reason I have posted details of his Ecuador beach preconstruction property offer (get a $135,000 condo for $35,000) here.

We are not involved in this project financially or in any way.  Preconstruction property deals involve high risk and anyone who considers this Ecuador beach preconstruction property deal should use all normal due diligence.

Gary

Learn about an Ecuador Southern Coastal Real Estate tour here.

South Ecuador Beach Property


New ideas offer great opportunity so our south Ecuador beach property tour has attracted attention.

In a moment we’ll look at another green battery thought. First here is a south Ecuador beach real estate advertisement placed by our friend and attorney, Dr. Andres Cordova.

ecuador-beach-property

I’m glad to see you are doing a coastal series.  I have a program that can provide your readers with opportunity, value, service, new horizons and community.

I am very focused on Salinas real estate, especially in the Punta Carnero area.  The trend is focusing on Punta Carnero, where good planning and zoning and great initiatives will create a major opportunity. It can be the example of what Salinas could have been. It’s very early on in the process, hence the major opportunity.

I see tremendous potential and if investors and buyers are to get at the beginning of the wave that’s coming, timing is of the essence. Those who come in early on will reap the most rewards. Elements are coming together, synergy is ensuing; this is snowballing big time. Once I explain why I believe this to be occurring you to will see it as vividly as I do.

ecuador-beach-property

South Ecuador beach photo from Dr. Andres Cordova.

My idea is to not only offer value, but also services, information and structures to help investors and expats take the plunge with the most happiness, with the least stress. It’s about quality of life and sound investing.

My plan entails 6 participations of $35.000 each. Let me explain the process:

–          Each participant invests $35,000.
–          A 0.5 beachfront property in Punta Carnero is purchased and placed under a trust.
–          A 12 story, 36 condo building is designed for the lot.
–          A preconstruction sales campaigned is launched.
–          Once 30 condos are sold the investors will get a 2 bedroom, ocean view condo each, valued at $135.000.
–          The trust guarantees pre-construction buyers and investors too.
–          If project does not take off in a limited time, trust will sell the property and reimburse investors.

An investment of $35,000 offers the chance of a $135.000 condo in 18 – 24 months. The cost of the land at the time should very well suffice to cover the investment and then some.

We want to really, really stand apart on virtues of value, good design and really understanding the wants and needs of our prospective customers. We have a major teamed lined up to pull this through. I can explain the opportunity to great depth; it makes for a very compelling case.  Andres.

Andres email address is afcordova@accessinter.net

We have not reviewed this opportunity and investors should use all due diligence.

See more about the South Ecuador Beach Real Estate Tour

New Green Investing Battery Thought.

Yesterday’s message looked at a green investing opportunity for major advances in battery technology.

Several readers sent comments like this:

Hi Gary,  Thanks for your article.  I believe that you are on to the right track in looking for ways to store renewable, energy, especially PV & wind, with batteries.  I came to this same thought sometime ago and, after some research, it lead me to Zenn Motor Co. (ZNNMF).  They now own about 10% of EESTOR, which is close to presenting a truly revolutionary energy storage device.  It is essentially a high efficiency capacitor.  I won’t go into the technical aspects because you can read more than you want on some of the blogs.  If the product works even remotely close to what they are projecting, it will cause tremendous and positive change in our world.  If it doesn’t, I will have lost a few $, but the risk still looks worth it to me.

I googled  Zenn Motor Co. (ZNNMF) and read a lot of positive data about this but also saw some negative information.  This is a very high risk venture deal and I am not a penny stock venture risk taker but those of you who are may find this of interest.

Another high risk environmental share that is far more interesting to me is a far more stable company, Vestas, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer.  Vestas was one of the big winners in our green portfolio that we created with Jyske Bank.  Jyske is currently recommending  Vestas. You can see why at Jyske TV’s latest Financial Friday.

This show also shows why the US dollar may rise in the short term, but is likely to fall long term and also looks at why no Asian currency is ready to take over as reserve currency of the world.

The greatest opportunity (and risk) always comes from new ideas.  Whether  in new technology or in new places… those who jump into the winners first make the most.   Portfolio theory shows that a well managed small diversification into higher risk deals enhances the overall return of a portfolio without creating a great deal of more volatility in the portfolio.  So until next message, may all your risks be great ones.

Gary

Combining good international risk investments with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.  For details contact Steven Stark at sstark@perfgogreen.com

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the way we help: I really enjoy your Ecuador e-mail every day, especially because of the eclectic nature of the subjects. The recent postings on Loja were great, as my wife and I visited Loja for two nights and a day when were were in Ecuador last March. It is a beautiful town, and we met some very nice people there.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

New Salinas Ecuador Beach Project


Last week we let our Ecuador Living subscribers know about a new Ecuador beach project near Salinas Ecuador.

Dr Andres Cordova has been our friend and attorney in Ecuador for more than a decade. He  has helped many of our readers in many ways.

salinas-ecuador

See more about his Ecuador Kindness here.

Andres is also a property developer with an environmental ethic. He has developments in the Galapagos and near Mindo Ecuador.

Andres is now starting a new development near the coastal town of Salinas Ecuador.

salinas-ecuador

Andres writes:

Punta Carnero is poised to become one of the most important coastal-development areas in Ecuador and if location is important (it certainly is) timing is too. International interest in Ecuadorian coastal real estate is growing by the day, prompted by international conditions, great values to be found in Ecuador, pressing demographics and boomer’s needs too.

For most of Ecuador’s coast, many compromises need to be made, but in Punta Carnero’s case, there are many elements already in place and so many more coming that its is quite “the” option right now.

For starters, there’s an airport just minutes away, currently overhauled and made into an international, open-skies operation; medical care, shopping, restaurants, parks, transportation and other amenities are easily within reach, barely minutes away.

salinas-ecuador

There are rather excellent connecting highways and roads in the area.

The beach right across Punta Carnero is spectacular, with a wide stretch of white sand, spectacular waves and the most beautiful sunsets you are likely to see.

Punta Carnero lies barely a few minutes from the resort town of Salinas but without the crowded beaches and intensity. You can have the best of both worlds in Punta Carnero!

As the Punta Carnero area becomes increasingly prevalent in the investor’s radars, prices are bound to come up so the time is now.

For example, right now there is an 8.000 sq.ft. beachfront lot that is just perfect for a villa, a few condos or for a pure investment in land going for $51,950. You can have a spectacular ocean-front villa or do a few condos in a mid-rise and get quite a profit out of it. We are sure ready to help you make this a reality.

The time to act is now, to secure property in what should be Ecuador’s next beach-front sensation.

Neither Merri or I, or any associate or company is involved financially in this project.

You can see a brochure on Punta Carnero at pdf-pta-carnero31

Learn how to be an Ecuador Living subscriber and see new Ecuador properties first.

For more information contact Dr. Andres Cordova at afcordova@accessinter.net

Gary

See Ecuador beach property  on our upcoming Ecuador real estate tours.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Ecuador Property & Water


Ecuador property values are dramatically affected by water supply.

Some parts of Ecuador have great… even special waters like Chachimbiro Thermal Springs which are just over the mountain from our El Meson hotel in Cotacachi.

This is a wonderful natural place where we can celebrate and immerse ourselves in the pure water of Ecuador. When we visit the waters of Chachimbiro early morning weekdays, we are the only people there.

Cotacachi has good water as well… that comes from springs fed by the ice from Mount Cotacachi and Mount Imbabura.

ecuador-water

Our hotel staff at Meson de las Flores ozonates the hotel’s water  supply so Merri and I drink out of the tap.

Plus there are numerous lakes near by like Lake Cuicocha.

ecuador-water

and high mountain lakes.

Lake Donoso is above Cotacachi at 12,000 feet.

However, in general, the water service quality in Ecuador is suspect.

Water supply services are often interrupted and are well below standard, particularly in poor outlying areas.  According to Wikipedia in 30% of the urban areas, there is no treatment of superficial potable water. 92% of waste water is discharged without any kind of treatment.

The outlook for improvement is not great either.  According to a 2004 sustainability study only 13% of the water systems are considered sustainable.

So when looking at Ecuador property, but sure to check the availability of water.

On Ecuador’s coast for example many villages do not have a piped water system. Water is delivered in trucks like this.

ecuador-water

The water delivered in this way is pretty good and inexpensive (drivers are not paid a lot and obviously not much is spent on the trucks).  However water sources are always worth checking.

Don’t rely on what you are told on paper either. Make sure the supply is real. We made an offer on one farm… being told there was a huge water supply.  We were shown the papers proving the supply existed and we hiked up to see the enormous beautiful spring itself.  However,  further research showed that the local community had always objected and had disturbed the pipeline.

This is one reason I like the Vistazul condo project. They have their own wells and have placed a huge water tank at the top of the cliffs behind the condos for excellent water pressure.

Here are delegates on our last Ecuador coastal real estate tour going over to look at the Vistazul model which is 75% complete.

Vistazul-Ecuador-beach-condos

For more details on the Vistazul beach condo project contact  Kjetil Haugan at kjetil@haugancruises.com

This is one reason I also like the Arboretto Mindo property project developed by Dr. Andres Cordova and Carlos Tobar.

Water in this area is plentiful plus Andres and Carlos have made a great effort to make this a successful green project that is in tune with the environment and the water. The Mindo Project has now taken a qualitatively superior dimension and is poised to become a statement project for Ecuador and beyond.

Here are plans for houses on water at the project.

cloud-forest design

Arboretto also has a wonderful river flowing through it.

cloud-forest-river

For more details on water at the Arboretto Mindo property project contact  Carlos Tobar at cetobar@yahoo.com

Here are more shots of Lake Donoso… water…  recreation…. sport.

Ecuador is a land of great beauty.  There is plenty of water but…

be sure that some of that water is…

in the area…

where you buy.

We have been recommending investing in water for the past ten years or so. Water is important. This belief has good numbers to support it.

  Investments in water have outranked most other investment sectors.

  There are other solid reasons to invest in water:

 The first is obviously supply and demand. Water will become scarcer in the future because there is a growing global population that will consume and pollute more water.

Increased government regulations about water create opportunity.

Opportunities exist in many areas of the water industry from bottling to replacing water infrastructures to water line and water main replacements that create growth in pipe companies.

The increasing demand, reduced supply and enhanced value of water worldwide is a most basic fundamental even more important than oil!

When you invest in real estate… in Ecuador… or anywhere check the water supply before you buy.

Gary

Learn more about Ecuador real estate and investing in water at our courses and tours.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Ecuador Kindness


Ecuadorian people are kind.

An example of Ecuadorian kindness is Dr Andres Cordova. Andres is our friend and attorney. He is the grandson of one of Ecuador’s more famous presidents. He is a senior partner in a law firm that represents Ecuador’s treasury.

Yet to me he is an example of how Ecuadorians are willing to help others in so many ways.

For example, we warn our delegates and readers to stay away from the Mariscal Sucre area in Quito. This is a very touristy area that many of the tour agents promote. This area is loaded with very clever pickpocket type thieves.

Regretfully some delegates do not mind our warnings, as was the case when a delegate from our course, on his way back to the US, visited this area. His carry on bag was stolen (in a tricky but non aggressive way). He lost everything, passport, wallet, car keys, credit card, driver’s license, computer. He was stranded with $3 left in his pocket.

Fortunately he called us in Cotacachi. I called Andres who immediately left his Sunday afternoon lunch and within the hour had picked up our delegate, given him $200 cash and sent him back to us in Cotacachi. (The US Embassy would not help the delegate until Monday.)

This is not the first time Andres has gone out of his way to pull a delegate’s irons out of a fire. A few years ago, a delegate arrived for our Import-Export Expedition. The delegate had journeyed to Peru first and purchased many huge bags of goods to take back to the US . Naturally Ecuadorian customs wanted to tax them. Though it was nearly midnight, one call to Andres got him working and he immediately sorted the problem out.

Now Andres has done it again. A reader just sent me this note.

Wanted you to know that Andres handled the closing on my place and would not charge anything…Nada, 0..Maybe that was his way to make up for his sometimes slow response time…..In any event that is impressive..Hope you are well. We will be in Argentina most of November, then to Nicaragua and Panama in January…One of my sons in selling property in Panama ..Cheers,.Ed

Andres continuing help and goodwill to our readers is one reason I wholeheartedly recommend his Ecuador real estate projects in Mindo. I am not involved financially in any way but delight in putting good people (my readers) together with good people (Andres and his real estate team).

ARBORETTO has been “adopted” by a very driven and enthusiastic group of young professionals wanting to make it a showcase of their sensibility, creativity, environmental dedication and passion.

Here is a shot of the first house going up there.

Ecuador-project

Andres just sent me this note.

“ARBORETTO advances on its way to becoming the best project of its kind in Ecuador (please pardon our boasting) and a statement for creativity, sensible practices and forward-looking investing. We want to share with your readers the Arboretto website that has a wealth of information. There is also a picture gallery that is a testament to the beauty of the area.

A river runs through it.

Ecuador-Project

All lots in Arboretto are truly special, enjoying spectacular views and lush natural surroundings and 17 have been sold or reserved so far.

We believe Arboretto is a project that is just right for the times. It offers new horizons, real value, appreciation potential, rental income possibilities and feel-good all the way.

The plants, flowers and bird life are incredible in Mindo.

Ecuador-project

Click here to visit the Arboretto Master Plan and website.

Andres has also promised to give our course delegates special prices and conditions in ARBORETTO.

He wrote: “Prices are a very good value we understand that some people need to see some more ground-work to understand the scope of the potential at hand.

The current price for a homesite in ARBORETTO is $64,950.

We will provide your delegates a $3,000 discount per lot and a $3,000 credit towards the construction of their villa in ARBORETTO, provided they begin construction in the 12 months following the visit.

The first house in ARBORETTO will be finished in three months and the second house begins construction in three weeks. More houses follow.

Warmest regards, Andrés.”

Andres has organized a special luncheon trip to Mindo after our courses below for those who would like to see the ARBORETTO project. The drive from Quito down to Mindo is a treat in itself. Don’t miss the waterfalls, best birding anywhere, the butterflies and just Mother Nature. For details, please contact Dr. Andres Cordova at andresfcordova@gmail.com

Until next message, may all the people you know be kind.

Gary

The first ice appeared on our North Carolina pond last week. Brrrr!

instead of hiking in the ice and cold…

Ecuador-Project

Ma and I would rather hike here…in the sun…overlooking Cotacachi!

Ecuador-Project

Join us at a course in Cotacachi this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

We’ll visit the Otavalo markets.

Ecuador-Project

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Cotacachi-meeting

Courses are centered around this open air courtyard in our colonial inn El Meson de las Flores.

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

You are also invited to tag along to the beach where we visit all types of Ecuador beach property for sale. Here is one f our previous tours enjoying a visit to Vistazul condos.

Ecuador-Project

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

Ecuador Interesting


Ecuador is interesting but what is below is more interesting than most messages about Ecuador. You will see why below.

You may have read in the news about the problems of Ecuador in recent days and wondered why I am investing in Ecuador. One of our goals is to help our readers get Ecuador news beneath the news.  The problem today with popular media is that it has to cater to the lowest links for the sake of volume. Sex, scandal, death and destruction sell and in the mad scramble to fill every issue with as much attention grabbing horror as possible, most media make over small bits of the most horrifying events of the day and little more.

Our goal is to dig deeper. In this case I turned to several Ecuadorian friends for their views. One is a powerful Guayaquil businessman connected at the highest political levels. The second is an attorney from Quito. I chose these two because one problem in Ecuador is the continual struggle between the populations in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil. As one Guayaquileno once put it, we make the money here in Guayaquil and they (the politicians) spend it in Quito. The cities have existed for centuries in a state of mutual distrust.

The third is a foreign businessman who has lived in Ecuador for many years and has a very successful business, the fourth an indigenous leader.

The first reply is from my friend from Guayaquil. For reasons that will be obvious he remains unnamed. He is connected at the highest levels of business and government in Ecuador.

My friend writes:

“Ecuador is still under the spell of gloom that befell about two years ago. I saw it one year before that, but I did not know what to do about it, and I did not want to believe it either.

“Now the opposite has happened. There is a small light showing at the end of the tunnel. It is small, but steady. God bless it. We must not talk about it – too much. It is called Manta.
“Manta did not exist in colonial times. The pirates and sea robbers made it unthinkable to have a port facing the ocean. The nearest port had to be thirty miles in, at least.

“I was in Manta, I had not been there for ten years at least, it has improved a lot in that time. There is so much that can be done. Manta is like a little baby. In Manta, the help can come in little ways, totally invisible to the public that is not “in”. Hospital, schools, Univ., urban development, you name it.  As I said, all this is very small right now, but it is moving ahead in the right direction.

“This is all very complicated, I hope it works for the best. Unfortunately, it brings us close to our President, and that is not what we want, we want to keep him away.

“There has been an Indian rising. They have gained attention but unfortunately they do not have a plan, or people, or anything. It was just a rising of “down with everything”. Down with the President. Down with Congress. Down with the Judicial. This is a typical rising of communal soul formation, or soul development, it is basically downs versus ups.

“They are however much better organized and have clearer objectives, and words than they had, say fifteen years ago. Of course they still need another time to be at par as an ethnic group. It will come if you give them time, fortunately.

“The unfortunate part is that it is all taking place at a moment when their negativity can cause a lot of damage, they also say down with dollarization.

“The new President? He is my personal friend, a great guy, but not the right man for the crisis, as he is too flat footed. Everything the previous man has done is wrong.”

Another Viewpoint

The second insight on Ecuador was sent from Dr. Andres Cordova. Dr. Corova is the grandson of Ecaudor’s past President and his law firm provides legal counsel for many financial institutions. The firm works with foreign banks established in Ecuador and otherwise and is legal counsel for the Central Bank of Ecuador, the Superintendency of Banks.

Some of the members of the firm have participated in the making of some of Ecuador’s monetary and banking decisions and one of the senior partners has been Superintendent of Banks on two occasions.

Though the firm acts as counselors to many of Ecuador’s finance and banking entities, they advise on specific areas, upon request, and do not represent, in any way, the institution’s position on different subjects so they can offer us an unbiased view.

The firm has information and views from inside Ecuador’s finance and banking fields and great contacts so they can prepare reports, furnish helpful information, and answer inquiries promptly for any member who wishes to retain them for any specific project.

Dr. Cordova writes:

“We had quite a recent scare. During the past several months the people of Ecuador had become increasingly infuriated with the President’s conduct of governmental affairs.

“We had a situation where very little support was given either to President or to this military insurrects. A Constitutional solution had to be applied.

“As much as I believe the president to be corrupt and incompetent, I was deeply angered and saddened by the whole situation.

“The bottom line is that there was some sort of democratic solution to the crisis. The Country is calming down. There is this bitter feeling about the whole situation, but who knows, maybe it was for the best.

“What is going to happen? Well, first of all, most of the country sees this outcome as the proper one, given the circumstances. This is a good thing, for it somehow reestablishes the faith and tranquility we all need. Also, it brings stability, for all major players in this social and economic machinery are in favor of the outcome.

“The international community, represented by the different States, has manifested its approval of this Constitutional solution to the crisis, and is currently supporting Ecuador (at least rhetorically) in its struggle to shape up.

“The new President is regarded to be a good, honest man. He has changed most of the different Ministers and Secretaries of the Government and it is likely we are somehow facing a fresh start. Maybe it’s a little bit of wishful thinking on my part.

“These past days we have seen a very good attitude in most of the industrial sector. The have committed to lower some prices and to raise the wages. Somehow a feeling of responsibility and that we are all part of the solution is surfacing. I sure hope so.

“The crisis is very deep and we still have some rough years ahead. I would want to believe that we have nowhere else to go from here but up.

“I think after this episode the Country is going to try and move forward with more enthusiasm and drive. The new President is going to be in power for the next three years. This will help stabilize the country, for no one will be speculating on the elections, as if they were to be held in a few weeks or month’s time.

“This new President may do a much better job than the last one. Most of all because he does not come into power all tainted by strings-attached political supports and contributions that he needs to pay back. He can freely conduct the government without having to pay back all sorts of favors. Also, he is apparently an honest man.

“The Country is well aware of this and there is some sense of peace after all. It is still too early to tell how all of this will affect the country in the following months or even years, but it is safe to say that Ecuador still offers good and safe investment opportunities, provided they are well reviewed and screened.

“I understand many foreign investors may view Ecuador as an anarchic country which is falling apart by the day, where their investments are in no way safe. This is not true.

“In this crisis, many good investment opportunities exist. Real estate, for example, offers very nice investment opportunities. This kind of investments are, of course, better on the mid to long term.

“When the better times arrive, hopefully some two to three years from now, and then on and on. As exports grow and the economy improves, the new flows of cash and the economic recovery and good health will make it more difficult to find good deals on certain areas.

This may be a signal to buy now.” Andres

The Third Viewpoint

The third reply is from my friend, the European businessman who has lived in Ecuador full time for the last six years and has many business interests and real estate holdings:

“The last president seemed to be a better man but he had done too many dirty deals with the political and specially the financial sector to be trustworthy.  The current president seems to be a very honest man with no such connections and that may be what the country need now. 80% of the people still want to dissolve the congress, mainly because of the corruption.

“I do however believe that the president will face huge demonstrations again this summer when they will have to increase the prices of gas, propane, electricity, etc. The country is said to spend US$ 700 million on subsidies this year if they do not increase the prices. This country may be impossible to run.

The final rely may be the most important of all as it is the Indiginistas that (quite rightly) have been making the fuss.
“I appreciate dear friend that the international news are very alarming; but the reality is very different since here in Ecuador everything follows with tranquillity and in the direction of the improvement of abundance and peace.”

This is why I have already started taking investors to Manta, Ecuador, a major seaport (350,000 pop.). The flood of Americans will make the town boom. Timing to make money could not be better. Check www.garyascott.com for more details.

There you have it…an article that seems to explain why Ecuador makes sense as a place to invest.

So Ecuador is interesting.  Here is why this article is more interesting than most messages about Ecuador.   This article was written April 15, 2000, over eight years ago.  You can see the original message in our archives at http://www.garyascott.com/2000/04/15/1266.html

The daily news is sensational and incites worry.  Those who look beyond it have a definite investing edge. Had I let worries reported in the news stop me from seeing the true fundamentals of Ecuador’s potential a decade ago, I and hundreds of my readers would have missed fortunes.

Ecuador still offers good opportunity now.

See why Manta makes sense now

Until next message may your news be positive, true and good.

Gary

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Ecuador – Mindo Homes


Mindo Ecuador is one of Ecuador’s beautiful areas. Merri and I purchased (and still own) our first hacienda Rosaspamba near Mindo .

See the latest updates and special opportunities with Mindo real estate for sale here.

Just 45 minutes west of Quito, Mindo has a rapidly growing tourist industry based on Ecotourism in the Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest. Birdwatching is especially famous in Mindo as well butterflies, orchids and bromeliads.

Mindo has an altitude of 5,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level and a temperate climate.

There is also a stunning gated community based on eco living being developed near Mindo.

We have taken a number of groups to see this community.

Our friend and attorney, Dr. Andres Cordova has been developing this premier project called Arboretto near Mindo for the past several years.

He recently updated me on this project and I pass on some of his comments to you here. As always, we are not selling this project…just passing the information along .

In fact a major benefit we provide our Ecuador Living subscribers comes from the fact that we are not real estate brokers, but our readers have purchased many millions of dollars of real estate
in Ecuador because of what we have written. The word about our ability to attract buyers has gotten
around and we have many real estate owners and developers ask us to write about their projects.
They almost aways offer us a commission which we always refuse,

We do ask that they provide a discount to Ecuador Living subscribers. Ecuador Living subscribers who buy at at Arboretto receive a $1,000 discount. Learn how to be an Ecuador Living subscriber

Here is what Dr. Andres Cordova shared:

Gary,

“You are aware of course of our ARBORETTO project in Mindo. We’ve presented the idea to several groups through you with very good feedback. Some of your readers have become participants and we are happy for their trust is now being compensated with a development and concept that should by far exceed their highest expectations.

Here is a shot of one home site

cloud-forest-project

After many months of hard work (years, actually), the experience of having done one of the most successful green projects in one of the most challenging places of Earth and the participation of an increasingly larger group of driven and creative professionals (design, architecture, management, engineering, landscaping, forestry, conceptual and more), ARBORETTO has now taken a qualitatively superior dimension and is poised to become a statement project for Ecuador and beyond.

Here are architectual plans for two houses at the project.

cloud-forest design

Cloud-forest-house

We have begun the construction of the main road, which is very advanced by now. The first house is under construction too. Soon we’ll launch an important landscaping and reforestation effort and we’ll commence the construction of the reception house.

The project also has a wonderful river flowing through it.

cloud-forest-river

The next few months should offer dramatic changes in ARBORETTO and the true potential will begin to increasingly show. As we see it, ARBORETTO will be the very best project of its kind in Ecuador. A landmark and statement project that should be an example of the results one gets with passion, drive, creativity and high social and environmental standards.

ARBORETTO will be a resort community where the homeowners may be permanent or temporary residents and will have the option to place their homes into a rental program managed by a structure set up for such purposes. This program will aim for the highest quality of services and for utmost efficiency and rewards for the homeowner.

As ARBORETTO will be the best there is in Ecuador, we are sure it will garner tremendous interest and thus, by being the king of its niche, create a major potential for the participants. The PDF brochure better explains (albeit briefly) the ARBORETTO concept and the principal deliverables. There’s much more than can be said right here right now that will go into ARBORETTO, so we expect participants to be pleasantly surprised in the future.

And BTW, green enterprises such as ours, with active and meaningful social and environmental agendas, normally perform better than enterprises not so driven by these ethical considerations. This is a trend that’s being widely discussed nowadays in business circles and beyond. These projects perform better with the investors and in their bottom line. Read Patricia Aburdene’s Megatrends 2010!

The lots or homesites in ARBORETTO are sized approximately 1.000 square meters each (0.25 acres each). The houses will be secluded amidst trees, plants and landscaped tropical gardens. The communal areas will be extensive, with walkways, parks, lagoons, hummingbird and butterfly parks, tree houses, elevated wooden walkways and more.

Carlos Tobar

You can get two excellent PDF overviews about the ARBORETTO project and pricing from Carlos at cetobar@yahoo.com

Gary