Tag Archive | "Colorado"

Ecuador Banking Notes


Ecuador banking notes from Ecuador subscribers are below.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm

This is the Ecuador bank and ATM we use in Cotacachi.

Before we look at these Ecuador banking  notes, you should be aware that non residents cannot open checking accounts at an Ecuador bank.  They can open a savings account.

Visa credit cards work at ATMs operated by Bank of Guayaquil, Pichincha, Produbanco and Banco Pacífico. Each ATM shows the logos of which cards can be used on that machine. We use our regular ATM cash card issued by our Florida bank at this Bank of Pichincha branch (shown above) on Cotacachi’s second smaller plaza.

Ecuador-multi-currency-plaza

The plaza is pristine because it is maintained by the bank.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-sign

The bank is next to the police station and the second smaller Cathedral.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-cathedral

Here are some Ecuador banking notes sent by subscribers.

You can add recent experience to your banking info that you can write a check on your US account and send it to an Ecuadorian bank for deposit. Normal mail takes about 5 days to Quito. BUT, you can’t make it payable to the bank with instructions to credit your account. Nope. You have to make it payable to yourself and then, get this, endorse the check. You cannot do, as you would in the US, add “Deposit Only to Acct 12345” — So, you are sending an endorsed check through the mail. This means it is just like cash. This is completely different from anything I have ever seen in the banking world.  Then it takes about a month for them to clear the check. Your alternative is to pay about $40 to wire the funds, and the Ecuadorian bank will charge to receive them. Or, you can get a cashier’s check and FedEx.

There are three Cotacachi ATMs. Two are on the main street 10th of August. Here is one of them…the newest of the three.

cotacachi-road-work

We are allowed to take $500 a day from the Pichincha ATM and $300 a day from the others.

Ecuador banking like in every country, has its peculiar glitches including with ATMs. Here is another sent by a reader.

Dear Gary,  I truly enjoy your posts! We have been lucky enough to find Cuenca to be our perfect Ecuadorian home but I did want to pass on a heads up based on your information today about banks in Ecuador…

When using ATM’s and cash cards in Ecuador, make sure you get your cash from a machine that is in, or at the front door of an open bank. As you receive your cash, check it for smooth feeling bills.

Last November we had the disappointing experience of getting 5 counterfeit $20 bills in our ATM withdrawal of $200. We were using an ATM at the “Parque Calderon” in the center of Cuenca, one of the most visited ATM by tourists in the city. Not imagining that there was any risk we pulled our $200 cash out and proceeded to Spanish class. It was there we were told five bills were fakes (all Ecuadorians who work with money are extremely aware of counterfeit bills as they have to cover the loses from their own pay) We were flabbergasted, especially when the woman at the school told us this had happened three times in the last month.

We called the card provider ( a Credit Union in Colorado) and they told us that as it was not in the US, there nothing they could do.

We went to the bank that owned and stocked the machine eight days in a row (each day we were told the person to see would be in the next day) trying to talk to someone who could/would do anything. It was not until we started using the word “Falsos” rather loudly in front of the crowd in the waiting line (usually about 50 people in Ecuador) that we were finally sent to a manager. The manager set us up with another manager who did not show up for our meeting either, and then another who blamed it all on the main office in Guayaquil. Finally we just marched in and went straight to the top, the bank director who kindly spent an hour showing us that the problem could not have ever happened and that the fakes must have been put in when the bills were packaged in Kansas City by the US Federal Reserve.

Knowing that a $100 loss would be devastating to a typical Ecuadorian family where teachers and policemen make $150 a month, we decided to bring charges against the bank, if only to catch their attention.

Needless to say the case is making its way agonizingly slowly through the Ecuadorian Justice system and we don’t ever expect to see our money back, but we can warn others.

-Avoid cash machines not attached to banks.

-Pull your cash out in a very visible place, preferably with the bank guard watching.

-Rub the bills between your thumb and fingers to feel for a different texture (fake bills are smooth like copy paper).

-If you think you feel any difference, immediately take it to the guard or teller and demand new bills.

Ecuador is an amazing place but even and especially the locals trust the banks and bankers about as far as they can throw them. As you say once bitten twice shy.

Here is Cotacachi’s third ATM.

cotacachi-road-work

Jyske ATM Banking in Ecuador

One nifty way to combine global investment management bank and your cash needs in Ecuador is through Copenhagan with Jyske Bank’s VISA debit cards.

This card makes it easy to access cash from your Danish bank account.

Why a Danish bank?  As mentioned earlier I do not trust Ecuador banks. On the other hand Danish banks are among the safest in the world.

First let’s examine safety.  How safe?

In recent years Denmark has been rated by Standard & Poor’s as one of the safest country in the world in which to bank.

Jyske Bank is well established with a history of over 100 years. Jyske is Denmark ’s second largest bank, with 450,000 clients in Denmark and over 30,000 abroad.

Jyske Bank has over 23 billion euros in assets and also happens to be one of the leading currency traders in the world. Many other large banks use Jyske to handle their off hour currency positions. This means that Jyske is huge when it comes to multi currency activity. In fact their turnover reaches $50 billion dollars a day.

Bank Safety Point #1: A recent Yahoo Canada article shows a survey by the World Economic Forum listed five safest countries in which to bank.

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

So Denmark is a safe place to bank. Now let’s look at Jyske Bank’s safety rating.

Bank Safety Point #2: On October 10 2008, Moody’s affirmed Jyske Bank’s long-term Aa2 rating. This decision came despite the deteriorated economic prospects in Denmark, particularly in respect of the property market.

Bank Safety Point #3: Also on Friday 10 October 2008, the Danish Parliament passed a bill that secured all deposits and unsecured claims against losses in Danish financial institutions. The rating of the Kingdom of Denmark is Aaa/AAA with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s respectively.

The people at Jyske are common sense bankers. They had minimal sub prime exposure when that scandal broke. Jyske had zero Madoff exposure.

That’s safe!

How about service?  First of all,  Jyske can manage your wealth. For anyone with $50,000 or more to invest Jyske can buy, sell and hold investments from all over the world, stocks, liquid assets, bonds and commodities. They provide full managed or advisory only services.  They even lend in multiple currencies to leverage investments for investors with $100,000 or more.   Almost no bank in North or Latin America can do this.

Once you have Jyske caring for your wealth, they can then provide a steady stream of cash when you need it…via a global debit card.

Jyske Ecuador & Global Service.

Even US clients who have managed accounts at Jyske Global Asset Management  (JGAM) can have a VISA debit card.

JGAM opens a specific on demand account with Jyske Bank so funds can be made available via the card.

These cards can provide access to cash anywhere in the world…including Ecuador.

Jyske offers three different cards to match different needs.   Each type of card provides considerable flexibility.

US citizens and residents can get more information from Thomas Fischer at Jyske Global Asset Management. Email: fischer@jgam.com

None US should contact Jyske Bank Rene Mathys  at mathys@jbpb.dk

This is good advice for when you are banking in Ecuador that we are happy to share.

Gary

The greatest asset of all is the ability to labor at what you love wherever you live. This brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we are providing a special three for one offer with our  course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business. This can help you create your own internet business.

Our emailed course “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Web Based Business” is a continuing educational program.  You receive the first 28 lessons when you enroll and a new lesson every week or two.

This course teaches how to create a web based business and is developed from the ongoing experiences that we have from our successful and profitable internet business.

This course is well worth the enrollment fee of $299… but currently you also receive two additional courses FREE.

The other two courses are #1: International Business Made EZ, and #2: Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.

These two courses have sold for $398 and thousands have paid this price. We add them to your course, at no added cost, as I believe they will help you develop a better business in these crucial times..

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

To make this offer even more compelling,  I am giving everyone who enrolls in our North Carolina or Ecuador International Business & Investing seminar in October or November all three courses, “Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course,”  “Self Fulfilled- How to be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ” free.

ecuador-tours

We always conduct our autumn North Carolina course n the first weekend of October… the best time to enjoy  the leaf change.

Join us with Jyske Bank and my webmaster David Cross in West Jefferson North Carolina. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

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

ecuador-tours

You’ll see views like this on your way to West Jefferson.

Or head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-tours

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour ONLY THREE SPACES LEFT

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-seminars

In Cotacachi the weather is always Spring like.  Here is our group meeting at the Cotacachi museum next door to our hotel Meson de las Flores.

Join us with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management in Ecuador. Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business at the seminar.

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

ecuador-tours

Let our friendly staff at Meson serve you.

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

salinas-condo-for-sale

Ecuador winters are shorts weather on the beach as this photo shows.

Join us in the mountains and at the sea. Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emails courses free.

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

Green Investing & Ecuador Cars


Green investments may have extra value now.

“Green  Cars”  means something different now… than it did when I began to drive.

Today “Green Car” might means this….”Small is beautiful”.

green-investment

45 years ago a “green car” meant something like this!

green-investing

“Bigger was better!”

Thinking about this change can help us cash in on green investing.

Actually buying a car like the GTO would have been a pretty good investment.

Rare cars had really good appreciation for many years… but the green, very non green, GTO above can tell us more about where to invest in “Environmental Green.”   A change in green mentality can show us how to spot special investing value that goes way beyond collecting antique cars.

This was my first car.

green-investments

This was a 1958 Chevy Bel Air.  I bought it in 1963, used… for $895. This forced me to get a job…. busing dishes at a steak house in Portland, Oregon.   That car sort of set my lifestyle for decades… a solid member of the “one car per person” society.

I lived a mile from an isolated levy on the Columbia River… so yes, I drove my Chevy to the levy.

No more!   Bye Bye Miss American Pie is a more appropriate tune since Pontiac is about to die.   What could be more American Pie than a Pontiac?

I know because this was my second car…

green-investing

a 1966 Pontiac Tempest LeMans Sprint.

These pictures from www.cardomain.com brought back fond memories.  I can list every car I have ever owned in order… it’s a guy sort of thing… but this is not the point here.

That Pontiac had a special new Pontiac – built 230 cubic-inch overhead cam six power plant, the only such engine found in an American production car at that time.  This was available in this Sprint option package on two-doors with a four-barrel, high-compression 207 horsepower version,  marketed as an alternative to higher-priced European sport sedans, which had similar OHC engines.

This motor was hot and was fuel efficient!  Here is a picture.

green-investing

Then the idea of smaller more fuel efficient engines was lost.  The gas guzzling GTO with a huge eight cylinder took over and this type of engine became hot.  Europe’s idea of smaller, high performance fell to the idea of … just plain… BIG.

Bigger is better.   Faster is good.   Power is king.  These became  the American ideals and most of us (boomer) guys and gals bought into it.

This led society down an incorrect, unsustainable path of consumption worth mentioning now because of Pontiac’s recent death.

A recent BBC News article entitled “Pontiac RIP” by Nick Holland tells the tale.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

The GTO transformed Pontiac into a muscle car brand.

Pontiac has become the highest-profile victim of the crisis in the American car industry.  The decision this week by General Motors to discontinue the brand shocked a generation of petrol heads who fell in love with the all American muscle cars the company developed in the 1960 and 70s.

It is a great shame that one of America’s iconic brands is having to be removed from the automotive scene

We are talking about cars like the Pontiac Firebird, The Grand Am and the GTO.
Like Route 66, roadside diners and baseball all of these vehicles have become genuine artefacts of U.S. culture.

“If ever a car company defined swagger – Pontiac was it,” says Peter DeLorenzo who runs the Autoextremist.com blog.

“Pontiac delivered cars to the market bristling with a maverick, edgy appeal and genuine soul – a commodity so far removed from most of Detroit’s products then that it was striking,” he says.

Things began to change when the company employed John De Lorean, who later founded the ill-fated De Lorean Motor Company, as its new head of engineering in 1956.

Pontiac started test driving a saloon car fitted with powerful V8 engines.

However, the vehicle did not meet General Motors’ corporate guidelines because they were considered too fast and breached an agreement with other manufacturers within the GM group to avoid building performance cars.

Regardless of that, a handful of the cars were built and Pontiac salesman drove them around to test public reaction.  They got 5,000 orders.

Once the board at General Motors found out, the GTO was born.

The popularity of the car encouraged the company to transform itself into a performance brand.

Alongside the GTO the company developed the Grand Prix and the Firebird during the 1960s, all of them muscle cars.

The demise of Pontiac is a clue… the end of a wasteful non sustainable way… plus it’s part of  this economic slowdown that signals huge socio-economic changes.

The global financial correction has pushed equity markets down everywhere and ended as time Magazine puts it, “the end of excess”.

American society revered big. Bigger was better. The more one had… the bigger the house… the faster the car… the greater the consumption… the more a consumer was respected.

Perhaps no more.  Now being environmentally sensitive is cool.

This creates a distortion because green shares have been especially hard hit.

There is a reason for this.  A USA Today article entitled “Going green can cost too much green” by Alan Gomez may help explain why.

Here are excerpts from this article:

Going green isn’t easy, especially during a recession.

For two years, the city of Durango, Colo., bought electricity for all its government buildings from wind farms. The City Council ended that program this year, reverting to electricity derived from coal-burning plants and saving the cash-strapped city about $45,000.

“It’s very hard for us to lay off an employee to justify green power,” City Manager Ron LeBlanc said. “Those are the tradeoffs you have to face.”

Across the country, government agencies are either cutting or shrinking programs that use or fund renewable energy projects. Green power — from wind farms, solar power or other renewable energy sources — remains more expensive than traditional power sources.

As budgets shrink, some people have had to scale back their green ambitions.
Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive energy plan last July that included a $100 million program to encourage people to invest in solar energy. The Pennsylvania Sunshine Program would provide reimbursements to homeowners and small business owners who installed solar electric and solar hot water projects.
The program has yet to begin, and the state will start with only $30 million in grants, according to Scott Dunkelberger, executive director of the Commonwealth Financing Authority, which administers the funding of Pennsylvania’s economic development programs. “We just want to take on the debt that we need,” he said.
That has left some in Pennsylvania waiting.

Buyers and investors have been backing off green because of short term financial concerns. Yet the huge long term problems of sustainability have not been resolved. Driving old Pontiacs might be cheaper in the short run then building new energy efficient cars… but returning to “Gitiup Little GTO” will not solve the problem’s of the high energy costs that those dual quads consume nor deal with the pollution coming from the twin exhausts.

Wise investors with a medium and long term view can gain extra value by investing in the value created by distortions in green shares that are vital to society in the long term… but depressed more than the norm right now due to short term economic concerns.

One example of this is that a no car trend is also growing. Excerpts from A New York Times article entitled “In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars”
by Elisabeth Rosenthal.

VAUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.

Ecuador Cars

Ecuador has some green potential in this way because Ecuador has a great import law for cars.  You cannot import used cars to Ecuador.  You can only import new cars only…ie. in 2009 a 2008 or newer.  This helps keep junkers, gas guzzlers and smokey, old wrecks off the road.

Merri and I encourage people to forget the car in Ecuador… for several reasons.

First, it is a hassle.

Second, the taxes are  high for imported vehicles. The norm for taxes for a regular car is near 50% and as the price of the car rises…so does the percentage of tax.  Cars over $100,000 have a 100% tax.

Third, hiring a car with driver (this what Merri and I do) is really inexpensive. Cars used for commerce (i,e. taxis) can be imported into Ecuador tax free. Gas is cheap (about $1.50 a gallon) and drivers do not earn a lot.  These facts often make it cheaper to hire a car with driver than to own a car.

Using a car and driver avoids getting lost.  You eliminate the legal hassle of fender benders and provide employment. Very few of the many people I know who have moved to Ecuador have a car.

Learn more about Ecuador cars at Driving in Ecuador

Owning one’s car is ingrained in the North American mentality. I am reminded of this every time I drive through a city during commuter hours. There are miles upon miles of individuals each sitting in one car.

I understand this… the minute I turned 16  I had to get a car… a big one that was fast.

That mindset was an error that the world (and many individual budgets) can no longer afford… so say bye bye Miss American Pie and so long Little GTO.  Invest in green and when possible do what you can to eliminate one person… one car.

Gary

Learn more about green investing at our upcoming International investing and business courses.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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.

You can read the entire article “Going green can cost too much green” at www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2009-05-03-greencities_N.htm

You can read the entire article German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/science/earth/12suburb.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Ecuador Travel Tips


Here are three Ecuador travel tips.

Lan airlines just announced special low cost round trip, Miami-Quito winter 2009 fares, as low as $496…including tax.

American Airlines immediately dropped their fare to match this.

Ecuador travel tip #1 is watch for this fare war to continue. On December 7th 2008, Aerogal starts a new Miami-Guayaquil service.  Previously when a new flight was added by Aerogal, American Airlines really slashed fares.  Keep your eyes peeled for some super Ecuador air fare deals.

Ecuador travel tip #2 is to drink Canella (cinnamon) panella (unrefined cane sugar) tea when in Quito and at other high Andean altitudes. This is a shamanic tip we share with all our visitors who visit us.  This tea helps combat altitude problems.

Ecuador travel tip #3 on another way to fight high altitudes comes from Candace Newman. Merri and I have traveled in Ecuador with Candace and shamans. She always traveled with Frankincense and even taught the shamans a few lessons about ways to use essential oils during Ecuador travel.

Normally Candace shares a story about Ecuador and essential oils in the later part of the month.  I asked her to contribute early this month.  We always give our children essential oils at Christmas so I wanted readers you who feel the same way to have a chance to order essential oils as Christmas gifts.

Here we are with Candace at our North Carolina farm where we brought an Ecuador shaman, Indian pundit and Native North American healer together for a purification ceremony.

Ecuador-shaman

One other reason for this message is that many of you are traveling to Ecuador for or after the holidays.  Some will find the toilets in Ecuador below standards they are used to.  Part of Candace’s note below is worth reading when she writes:

When traveling from town to town in Ecuador and Peru, using the “bathrooms” along the way are always part of the adventure. One of my favorite things to do was to put a drop of Frankincense in my palm and rub my hands together as a wash. Then cup my nose and breathe deeply.

Essential oils are anti fungal…anti bacterial…and anti viral so this makes great sanitary sense.

Here I am with our son Jake practicing an Andean purification rite…yes the white stuff is snow…though there are easier ways.

Ecuador-shaman

Here Merri and I hike in the winter sun into a sacred valley near Cotacachi.

Ecuador-shamans

For a purification ceremony here.

Ecuador-shamans

We’ll have ceremonies in this valley on our Beyond Logic Course February 9-10-11, 2009

and our Ecuador Shamanic Mingo June 13-14-15 2009

Merri and I finish a purification ceremony with this yatchak in Latacunga.

Ecuador-shaman

Here is one of our groups at a shamanic ceremony at Inkapirka outside of Cuenca.

Ecuador-shaman

Read how Frankincense can also help with the high altitudes you’ll encounter in the Andes in Candace’s entire message below.

Traveling with Frankincense

by Candace Newman

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) is known as one of the most important religious and spiritual oils and aromatic incenses in history. It also has historical medicinal value. Franc is from the medieval French meaning pure and fine. Incensium is Latin for to smoke.  Some of the medicinal uses include skin care and repair, respiratory, rheumatism, digestive and nervous issues. In Aromatherapy it is noted for skin care, relaxation, exhaustion and nervous tension. It is a small tree native to the Middle East, North Africa, and South Arabia. The oleo gum resin is collected by making incisions in the bark. The liquid solidifies into orange-brown resin. The resin is collected and steam distilled to produce the essential oil. In many countries, it is an inherited right to farm the trees. Few plants have such a rich history with deep meaning through centuries and civilizations.

The main reason I travel with Frankincense is because its role of protection and strength really resonate with my soul … to the point of feeling like every trip is a pilgrimage. We come home a little different than when we left…. since there is always at least one gem of wisdom to acquire and apply to our life. Historically, it was known and used to protect from disease, and guard the spirit. When I’m tired and feeling weak….I feel the strength is has for me.

Madame Micheline Arcier of London, my most prized teacher of essential oils (who passed away in 2006 on the day we closed our shop in Naples, Florida to move to Colorado) told me she always traveled with Frankincense.

When traveling from town to town in Ecuador and Peru, using the “bathrooms” along the way are always part of the adventure. One of my favorite things to do was to put a drop of Frankincense in my palm and rub my hands together as a wash. Then cup my nose and breathe deeply.

In the hotel after the train ride from Cusco to the high mountain town below Machu Picchu in Peru, I put a drop of Frankincense on the four corners of my bed. This felt like good protection and strength for the high altitude and the climb. It was also an act of gratitude for the whole process.

In several places on these trips, I put 1-2 drops on a cotton ball for my night stand as a personal diffuser.

My husband, John, and I spent a year in Saudi Arabia, and the ancient sense and scents of Frankincense was very evident there. The knowledge that is was precious cargo carried along the secret trade routes, and its connection to the sacred gifts of “Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold” was quite mystical. It feels good to travel with Frankincense as one of your companions.

Four Simple Ways to Honor and Enhance your Traveling Adventures with Frankincense:

# 1.  To create a sanctuary-environment in your room, put several drops of pure essential oil in a room diffuser, or put 1-2 drops on a cotton ball for the corner of your bed.

#2.    During a quiet time of reflection, put 1-2 drops of oil in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together, cup your nose, close your eyes and breathe deeply. This is excellent to do before a session of Yoga, Tai Chi, or prayer. If you are outside, add a drop to the sacred ground you are standing on and give thanks.

#3.    If you want to rub some on your temples or heart…make a Palm Blend by putting a little base oil (like olive oil, jojoba, or the local indigenous oil) in the palm of your hand and add 1-2 drops of this soulful essential oil.

#4.    You can make a mist with this if you add 2 drops to an ounce of purified water and shake well. Mist your space, pillow, bed, or head and face when needed.

If you don’t have Lavender with you, you can use pure Frankincense to dab on a cut. If you don’t have Eucalyptus with you for respiratory issues, use Frankincense. It is also a good choice to use in a room diffuser.

In the spiritual arena, Frankincense is known to deepen the breath, promote a peaceful balanced state, and help us slow down, as well as assisting the body in prayer and meditation. It’s known to heal the physical body from disease and wounds. One of the reasons to use Frankincense is for strength and protection and setting the spirit free.

You may purchase a bottle of Frankincense pure essential oil (Boswellia carteri from Somalia) at this link to Candace’s website.

Ecuador-frankincense

Order Frankincense 10ml here $43.45

Here I am at a shamanic ceremony in the Amazon.

Ecuador-shaman

Here we are with Dr. Jay Glaser and Dr. Joe Spano at a shamanic ceremony at the Rumicucho Inca pyramids outside Quito.

Ecuador-shaman

Until next message, may all your travels be good!

Gary

Join us in Ecuador this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Economic Labyrinth


Follow the money three words that form an economic labyrinth and have the potential to destroy the world.

Actually those words create an economic maze not a labyrinth.

Labyrinths are often confused with mazes, but a maze is a  puzzle that confuses the path and direction; Labyrinths have only a single path to the center that are unambiguous ways to the center and back. Labyrinths are not designed to be difficult to navigate.

The Western economic model of working mainly for money to have lots of things and to eventually retire is flawed.

So too is the social concept that having more is better.

The combination of these flaws have hurt the environment…perhaps badly…not to mention our social order.

Now the entire concept is falling apart because bigger is not better.

Correcting this will create some fortunes for those who see ahead.

Environmental investing is one area that is and will continue to prosper.

Shifting China and the US to European/Japanese conceptual models of “smaller is better” will help as well.

A July 7, 2008 USA Today article entitled “New cars will skimp on fuel but not on amenities” by Sharon Silke Carty gives an example when it says: “Automakers are working as fast as they can to meet a new consumer landscape: Buyers want not just fuel-efficient cars but also the same amenities they had in their hulking SUVs.

“It’s a change from how most cars have been set up in the USA.

“If gas prices stay high and demand remains strong for smaller engines, auto executives say the U.S. market will start looking more like Europe’s, where what is considered a small car here is seen as a family sedan.

“People are starting to look at their four-cylinder cars like they did their luxury cars, with leather seats and creature comforts,” says Mike DiGiovanni, General Motors’ executive director of global market analysis. ‘Think about this: The price of fuel in Europe is $7 a gallon, and the industry has survived nicely with smaller vehicles that are loaded up.'”

Automakers that shift fastest to this euro model will clean up.

One way to prosper is to look at how crowded Europe and even more crowded Japan deal with the different supply and demand. The US, Canada, Australia and China all have learned to squander having huge natural resources and space.

No more.

However there is another flaw in the relation to work, fulfillment and living. The idea of having the biggest house on the bloc and “he who has the most toys wins” isn’t working so well anymore.

Bonsai is an example, a Chinese invention that became big in Japan…perfect for limited resources and space.

The Japanese rock or Zen garden, often small, containing sand, gravel, rocks, and occasionally grass and/or other natural elements, with the sea symbolized not by water but by sand raked in patterns that suggest rippling water. Compare this with the large water consuming grass lawn requiring plenty of gasoline to mow.

The Japanese tea ceremony is another…lots of pleasure from limited resource expenditure.

Global shifts in resource supply and demand are creating new lifestyles via economic crisis that will bring a post consumer society.

This shift will be easier than most realize because it is human nature to feel best when working with a sense of purpose. Current shifts are so profound that societies will have to live more purposeful lives.

We try to watch for, adapt to and reflect these shifts in everything we do in our work, play, business and social interactions.

Yet it is not always easy to change after 61 years of doing things one way!

This is why we are busy here at the farm making a number of changes. One was to enhance our labyrinth.

The history of labyrinths dates back into the mists of time, but their religious and spiritual aspects became most noted during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries when many Christian gothic cathedrals installed them in England, Italy and France.

Labyrinths help connect the spiritual side of consciousness in a physical way.

Walking or tracing a labyrinth unites the physical with the spiritual. It brings the inner spiritual life into the outer physical world. We operate in a more holistic way when these inner and outer worlds are united.

Labyrinths represent an easy to follow series of twists and turns from the outer to the inner and back..200% of life, in spirit and material wealth.

Environmentally speaking, labyrinths are great places for exercise as well. They provide the longest amount of walking in the smallest possible space.

We have had a seven circuit classic labyrinth carved in one of our upper, hidden meadows for a numbers of years, but it had grown a bit worn and the meadow overgrown

So Richard and I jumped in my 22 year old Suzuki Samari and headed to the meadow.

samari

We cleaned up.

old labyrinth

Then we called our friend of decades, Chuck Hunner, a master labyrinth builder who had laid out this labyrinth in the first place.

Chuck drove up from his home in Asheville and the three of us enhanced this labyrinth…a lot…including with another good and essential friend John (Deere) putting a heavy stelae in the center.

stellae

The labyrinth is beginning to look better!

labyrinth-taking-shape

You can see the entire process and many pictures of our Merrily Farms Labyrinth being created in Chuck’s Labyrinth Journal.

Chuck is a craftsman with 38 years of experience making art with his hands. For the last 10 years he’s made labyrinths.

His ‘career’ in labyrinth making started when Richard Anderson taught him to
scratch the labyrinth pattern on the beach. The first time Chuck walked into
the pattern he immediately felt the same effect that 15 minutes of deep
meditation gave him.

He makes labyrinths because he knows that they can influence the way people think and feel…this has been for hundreds of years. Walking a labyrinth automatically balances and enhances the way we think. Labyrinth walkers report feeling calm, clear headed and focused. Some experience a catharsis moving old emotions out so that they can see new solutions to the confines of their past. Breakthroughs are almost automatic.

Chuck says he loves labyrinths because they free up his own creative process. A long walk in this small space gets the creative juices flowing and allows new ideas to bubble up into awareness. Ideas come and make life better.

Man working with the environment. Logic uniting with intuition. Work becoming part of play.

There is huge change coming. The change is good. Understanding and adapting to it can help bring profits and help make life better as well.

Gary

Join us and stay at our farm. Enjoy the mountain cool and summer views as you learn.

Or sit at our waterfall.

waterfall

Walk the labyrinth with us during Susan Rotman’s business intuition course.

Or walk the Labyrinth during the splendor of the Blue Ridge leaf change as you learn at our October 3-5, International Business and Investing Made EZ North Carlolina Course.
Labyrinths…lots of walk…little space…uniting the mind, body and emotion. They are springing up all over the US …another sign of how the Western world is changing.

You can see many permanent labyrinths in hospitals, churches and schools near you. Chuck Hunner has helped create many. Try a long walk in a small space.

Labyrinths are another sign of how Western concepts are changing.

Here is a list of Labyrinths that Chuck as worked on in the past few years.

Yanney Park, Kearney, Nebraska
Memphis, Tennessee Cancer Survivors’ Park
Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, Utah.
Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, California.
Trinity United Methodist Church, Ruston, Louisiana.
Labyrinth at Bright School, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois
First United Methodist Church of Ventura, California
First Presbyterian Church, Livermore, California
Central Park Labyrinth, Burlington, Ontario,Canada.
University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
All Saints Cemetery, Salina, Kansas.
Boone Medical Center, Columbia, Missouri..
Church of the Good Shepard, Augusta, Georgia.
Maxey-Gregg Cancer Survivor Park, Columbia, South Carolina.
Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara, California.
St. Dominics, Houston, Texas.
Danville Labyrinth Project, Danville, Kentucky.
Kanuga Conference Center near Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Dolores, Colorado – Sophia Retreat Center

See pictures of these labyrinths