Tag Archive | "guard"

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

Salinas Ecuador Coastal Update


Here is a Salinas Ecuador coastal update sent to us by Amy Pinoargote.

salinas-picture

Ecuador is known for the Galápagos Islands, the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Jungle.  Did you know that it is also home to the westernmost point in continental South America – the “Chocolatera,” at the tip of the Santa Elena Peninsula in Salinas?

This carries strategic significance. During the World War II era it was home to an American military base.  Now it is occupied by the Ecuadorian armed forces.  However, that doesn’t mean that it is closed to the public.  Visitors simply need to check in at the main gate, where they are asked to leave their driver’s license with the guard.  It will be returned when you check out.  Don’t be alarmed that the guards wear fatigues and carry guns.  Keep in mind that this is normal dress for a military base.

There are no signs or billboards announcing that you have arrived as far west as you can go.  Instead follow signs for the Chocolatera.  You will know you have arrived when you see a black and white lighthouse.  In Spanish chocolatera refers to the container used to make hot chocolate, which is whisked until foamy.  It is said that the waves crashing against the rocky shoreline look like the foam on top of hot chocolate.

salinas-picture

Be sure to wear sturdy shoes.  The terrain is rough and rocky.  Pay attention when you venture towards the edge.  Large waves can suddenly top the cliffs and could even knock you off your feet.  The Ecuadorians say, only half in jest, that if the fall onto the rocks below doesn’t kill you, the sharks lurking in the area will.

Before leaving the base, travel a short distance east from the Chocolatera to the Mar Bravo beach.   It is marked with a sign and lined by a row of tiki huts on the sand.  Surfers say this is the place to find the best waves in Salinas.   This secluded beach is also the perfect spot for a stroll or just to relax and enjoy the sound of the surf.

salinas-picture

During the Ecuadorian winter (North American summer) the rocky outcropping at the eastern end of Mar Bravo beach becomes home to a group of sea lions.

salinas-picture

You will get the best view from the elevated observation area.  And be sure to take your binoculars or use the zoom on your camera to get a closer look.

No matter what time of year you visit Salinas, make sure to include the Clocolatera in your itinerary.

Head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-tours

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour ONLY 3 PLACES LEFT

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

In Cotacachi the weather is always Spring like.  Here is the village plaza near 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-hotel

Let our friendly staff at Meson de las Flores serve you.

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

ecuador-hotel

This shorts weather photo was taken from our beach penthouse in February.

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

Ecuador Risk


Ecuador has risks.

As does everywhere.  In fact our world has more risk then ever before.

ecuador-risk

Are quiet Ecuador streets like this Cotacachi avenue at risk?

ecuador-risk

The young Ecuadorian children who go to school early, alone don’t seem to feel much risk.  Yet?

Change creates risk and we live in an era of increasingly rapid change.

Those who welcome this fact are those who have the best chance of success. ahead.

This is the era of rapid change… the era of  extra risk.  The current time period within this era is of accelerated change and risk.

This is an important message about how to manage risk in Ecuador or anywhere.

ecuador-risk

Even young children play alone in the Cotacachi Ecuador streets without much risk

Yet we must always take care.

Take for example the US travel advisory for Ecuador… read  without perspective. Ecuador risk would seem high.

Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Ecuador:

SAFETY AND SECURITY: The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to the northern border region of Ecuador, to include areas in the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana and Carchi, northern Esmeraldas, and southern Esmeraldas, south of Atacames.  U.S. government personnel are under limitations with respect to traveling alone and over-nighting in these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist organizations.

CRIME:  Crime is a serious problem in Ecuador, and visitors should be alert and cautious.  Non-violent crime is common: hundreds of Americans are robbed every year in Ecuador.   Incidents of rape have increased, even in well-traveled tourists areas and when the victims traveled in groups for safety. Shootings, kidnappings, and carjackings are still relatively rare, but American citizens have been victimized by those crimes.  The Ecuadorian government has increased police patrols in tourist areas, but travelers should remain alert to their surroundings and maintain constant control of personal belongings.

Criminals sometimes use incapacitating drugs such as scopolamine on unsuspecting tourists in order to rob them.  These so-called date rape drugs are put into drinks in order to drug the unsuspecting victim.  This drug can render the victim disoriented and can cause prolonged unconsciousness and serious medical problems.  Never allow a stranger to “buy” you a drink and never leave your drink unattended.  Several American citizens have reported thefts of property following ingestion of such substances.

Does Ecuador sound risky?

Ecuador sounds risky until you read the travel advisory for Italy.  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Italy:

Some travelers are victims of rape and beatings.  There are incidents of drinks laced with drugs being used by criminals to rob, and in some cases, assault tourists.  Many of these incidents occur in the vicinity of Rome’s Termini train station and at major tourist centers such as Campo de Fiori and Piazza Navona, as well as in Florence and Naples.  Criminals using this tactic “befriend” a traveler at a train station, bus stop, restaurant, café or bar in tourist areas, then eventually offer a drink laced with a sleeping drug.  When the tourist falls asleep, criminals steal the traveler’s valuables.  There are also instances where the victim is assaulted, either physically or sexually.

Petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, theft from parked cars, and purse snatching are serious problems, especially in large cities.  Clients of Internet cafes in major cities are also targeted.  Tourists who have tried to resist petty thieves on motor scooters have suffered broken arms and collarbones.

The U.S. Secret Service in Rome is assisting Italian Law Enforcement authorities in investigating an increase in the appearance of ATM skimming devices.

Organized criminal groups operate throughout Italy, but are more prevalent in the south.  They occasionally resort to violence to intimidate or to settle disputes.

Italy could seem risky as well until you read the travel advisory for Spain .  Here are excerpts from the US travel advisory for Spain.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:     Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents.  Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity.  Spain’s proximity to North Africa makes it vulnerable to attack from Al Qaeda terrorists in the Maghreb region.  Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, in March 2004, Islamist extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries.  Spanish authorities tried the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators in February 2007 and convicted in October 2007.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain.  ETA has historically avoided targeting foreigners, directing their attacks against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets as well as attempts to disrupt transportation and daily life. However, foreigners have been killed or injured collaterally in ETA attacks.  Two examples of this are the Barajas Airport bombing in December 2006, in which two Ecuadorian nationals were killed and the bombing at the University of Navarre in October 2008, in which 17 students were injured including one American student.  In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. The risk of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time” in event of an ETA action is a concern for foreign visitors and tourists.  U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

Street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas.  Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of pick-pocketing, mugging and occasional violent attacks, some of which require the victim to seek medical attention.  Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk.  Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATMs.

Thieves often work in teams of two or more people.  In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplices perform the robbery.   Spanish authorities warn of the availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy.  Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

We could go on… in Europe…  in Asia… or anywhere.

ecuador-risk

Parents in Cotacachi Ecuador do not feel much risk when they let their children play in the parks.

Mostly, places are not the cause of risk.  The causes of risk  are within,  our awareness, our actions, our  patterns and habits.

If one becomes aware of change and adapts accordingly… there is no risk.  There is opportunity instead.

Early adapters are called risk takers.   They are not.

Real risk takers are those who do not  adapt because…  we know…  there is change.

The real risk is living by OLD rules in a NEW world.

The real risk is believing in General Motors for example… because it is the biggest… oldest… so it must be safest.

ecuador-risk

Young lovers in Ecuador can meet safely in out of the way places.

The world is new every day and each day, some old rule no longer works.

The old rules used to say that the Western world was safe… and the emerging world riskier.   The old rules said that the Western world had low crime…  the emerging world had high crime.

Yet look at excerpts of a recent New York Times article entitled “Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid” by Solomon Moore (See a link to the entire article below) says:

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

Criminal correction spending is outpacing budget growth in education, transportation and public assistance, based on state and federal data. Only Medicaid spending grew faster than state corrections spending, which quadrupled in the past two decades, according to the report Monday by the Pew Center on the States, the first breakdown of spending in confinement and supervision in the past seven years.

This suggests that the US has quite a lot of risk… both in crime and health.

ecuador-risk

Ecuador people are by nature, caring, friendly and warm.

Sometimes I get letters like the one below from readers who have been victims of crime in Ecuador.  This reader lost her computer and camera when she forgot them in the business lounge at the Radisson hotel in Quito.

Dear Gary,  Can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and had them sent by Federal Express to me.  I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen, for the items they were not able to send me  (camera and cellular phone) I was reimbursed via bank transfer. I still can’t believe it.  This was a good ending and so unexpected.  send you all love, and good thoughts. Laura

New rules about risk are being written every day and our daughter Francesca shared some thoughts on this when she recently visited us here.

Fran is quite a traveler.  Here early studies were in England… Gloucestershire and Birmingham.  Then she spent more for more than a year in Spain and Costa Rica, and moved to Naples and Delray, Florida which were bases for her to  manage real estate tours in Argentina, Belize, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay.

She worked for several years doing human rights training in Geneva, Switzerland before returning to get her Masters degree at London School of Economics.

Then  she worked in London for the Crown Agents where she was assigned
as a project manager and consultant to governments in Nigeria,  Peru, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

She has worked the last several years  as a development planning, monitoring & evaluation consultant in Swaziland and is returning there now on a contract with the United Nations.

As a young, single woman (now married) she has had to be aware of risks traveling everywhere from Florida to London to Lagos.

ecuador-risk

Here I am with Francesca on her wedding day.

Fran & Sam rode to their reception in Richmond Park on a bicycle built for tow.

ecuador-water

Riding a bike through London traffic… now that is risky!

ecuador-water

Here are some common sense thoughts that Francesca shares about living with risk.

Living with Risk by Francesca Scott

We’re living in risky times; from the economic collapse, to swine flu, to erratic weather conditions.  It sometimes surprises me when people ask me if I’m not worried about living in Swaziland (my current home), because, they say, Africa is such a dangerous place.  I figure that when I return to London, my risk of being attacked in a terrorist attack skyrockets.  And I am still dumbfounded by the fact that children are screened for guns at schools in the United States.  By the way in England for the first time screening for knives has begun in some inner-city London schools.

The issue of risk came to mind recently, when I was visiting my Grandma. One evening over dinner, the discussion turned to the security situation in Swaziland, and I mused that in certain ways I feel safer in Swaziland than I do in parts of London. My Grandma commented that gangs were increasingly becoming a problem in Portland, her home city, and that she didn’t feel that safe these days.  The next day, as we stopped at the local bank, I was surprised by the thick wall of bullet proof glass completely separating the staff from the general public. They don’t have that in banks in London, or in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital city.

I began thinking about how easily we adapt to different risks within our local environments. In many countries, one would be crazy not to have bars on lower windows. In central London, I hold my bag very close to my chest – I value my purse and cell phone too much. My mother-in-law, who lives in Australia, actually leaves her keys in her car when she stops at a store to pick up groceries (gasp!).  Sadly, I doubt that will last for much longer.   So does my Dad in NC.  They have a policy on the farm that all keys remain in all vehicles…just in case someone needs to jump in one!

Each country has a different risk profile, from pick-pockets, to pollution, to drug barons.  I am not saying that Swaziland does not have its dangers – my house has been broken into several times, and I drive much more defensively than I would in the US or the UK (mostly to avoid wayward cows that have drifted onto the road).  The important thing is to be fully informed about the risks.  This might sound obvious, but sometimes people are scared off by unfamiliar risks or misinformation.

It’s also worth remembering that there are often a variety of ways to mitigate those risks through effective prevention methods, so long as you know the rules. Most of us are guilty of exposing ourselves to unnecessary risk as a result of ignorance at one time or other, and are lucky that we’ve lived to tell the tell. I was threatened at knife point by a drug addict in a park in Spain, when I lived there as a student.  When I recounted my story to my Spanish roommate, she told me that I was a fool to be in that park in the first place, ‘…didn’t you know that it’s the favorite haunt for heroine addicts in the city?’  Well, no, obviously I didn’t know at that time, but it was a valuable lesson for me about the importance of knowing the rules.

I must admit to being a little scared before I went to Swaziland.  After all, it’s in one of the poorest parts of the world, and only three hours drive from Johannesburg, a gang-ridden, violent city. I also couldn’t shake off all those awful images of Africa I’ve seen on the evening news. I told myself that I would try it out for six months (I figured I could survive for that length of time in an underground bunker living off tinned corned beef and bottled water if it was that bad), and make a decision from there about whether or not it was for me. Two-and-a-half years later, I still thoroughly enjoy living here and am very glad that I resisted my initial anxieties.

For those considering buying property, or even moving to Ecuador, or any other country – developed, developing or downright poverty stricken for that matter – I would recommend to take the time to become fully informed about the types of risks you might face.  You can find out a lot from the internet and books, but it would be a shame to be scared off by some of what you read or by the well intentioned comments of a neighbor who hasn’t ever lived away from their home town.

Everyone comes from a different starting point, and everyone has a different risk threshold.

Also, the dramatic stories tend to be more interesting to tell.  While reading around can certainly offer you a variety of different and valuable viewpoints, it’s also important to talk to people who have lived in the country. Locals can be an invaluable source of information, while ex-pats may be more appreciative of the kinds of risks unanticipated by a foreigner, risks that may seem glaringly obvious to a local. Also, find out what you can do to mitigate those risks. Often you can reduce your exposure significantly using the appropriate precautions. If you think that the benefits outweigh those risks, then go down and check out the country for yourself.  That’s the only way you can really know if the level of risk is one that you could tolerate.

It might be that the risks are in some countries and in some places, in fact, just too high, pushing you beyond your comfort zone, or that the restrictions necessary to reduce your risks would make you feel stressed and claustrophobic. It’s no fun lying restless at night at night because you’re worried over a break-in, even though you have an alarm, or resent the lack of privacy from having a guard permanently outside your house. If you’re looking for the exact replica of your own community, with the same level of risk, and a Starbucks around the corner thank you very much, then somewhere like an emerging country really may not be for you. There will inevitably be new and different risks in poorer countries, some to which you, as a foreigner, could be at much higher risk than a local.

But take a moment to reflect on the risks that you face in your daily environment back home, and you might find that such risks are relative. While some risks will be new when you move abroad, you will also leave some behind. Therefore, before making any decision of moving to a country other than your own, I recommend making sure that you are informed by the reality on the ground, not some misconception fed by the media or well-intentioned homebodies. Only with that information can you gauge whether you’ll be comfortable with the type and level of risk you might face. For an adventurous soul, you may well find that the benefits of living in a new culture, the fun of exploring a foreign terrain, make everything worthwhile.

Risk assessment is a vital part of survival and success in today’s world.

This has always been true so always consider risk… but when you evaluate danger… don’t  just look at the places where you will be.   Review your thinking, your habits and patterns to see how you can turn risk into opportunity.

Gary

Join us here at our hotel Meson de las Flores.  Learn more turning risk into opportunity at our courses and tours.

ecuador-risk

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.

See the entire article Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/us/03prison.html