Beating Illusions of the Rose Colored Glass

We can make our lives (and the world perhaps) better when we beat the illusions of the rose colored glass.


Otavalan woman farming in 1949


Otavalan farmer 1949.

Otovalo Farmer 2011

Otavalan famer 2011.

A reader recently sent this note.

Hello Gary,  Your energy level is amazing.  Obviously you enjoy your work and highly active lifestyle and involvement.  Having recently moved to Ecuador after living in pro development Panama and Costa Rica for 3 years, I am alarmed by your current agriculture investment article.  Without a thorough understanding of the socio-economic impact on the simple traditional Latino subsistence type culture rapidly taking place in both Costa Rica and Panama, the wholesale investment in agricultural and non agricultural land by foreign owners is obviously detrimental to the simple campesino subsistence culture.

I sincerely feel a great sadness to witness the loss and destruction of this simple, beautiful and inefficient human way of life here in southern Ecuador.

My reply may help you better understand Ecuador and our efforts past and present there.   More importantly this thinking may  help you direct your activity wherever it is in a more abundant and meaningful way.

My reply:  Thanks for sharing this view.  You are correct we are very dedicated to our work and have a purpose driven business. A part of the purpose is to help create employment for the indigenous of Ecuador.


Herding a cow in Imbabura in the 1950s.


Delegates on an Ecuador agricultural real estate tour inspecting cows at…




cheese factory outside Cotacachi.

I am not sure the barefooted, short lived indigenous of the 1950s would agree that their inefficient human way of life was simple or beautiful.

This new wave of gringos you mention is pretty small compared to the wave of gringos who arrived in the area now called Ecuador hundreds of years ago.

I doubt that any of the land being sold is being sold by campesinos. This is property owned by inheritors of land passed down from the pure-blooded Spanish descendants who along with the Queen of Spain grabbed the land through force of arms and deceit centuries ago.

I’ll share some photos by a book published by Chicago University press in 1949…  “The Awakening Valley” By John Collier Jr. and Anibal Buitron. This  is subtitled “The photographic record of a social miracle among the Indians of Ecuador”.


The Awakening Valley.


Master of the scales Otavalo 1949.

Please check the history because the depravity by the Spanish was almost unbelievable and unlike Costa Rica a middle class of farmers did not emerge so the campesinos who remained were terribly poor.

We observed the difference as our daughter lived with a family of Campesinos in Costa Rica as we lived with one in Ecuador.

The terrible exploitation of the “Indios” (this word to the indigenous is uncomplimentary) by the Spanish and the Catholic Church was as bad or even worse than treatment of the indigenous in North America.  The US government simply killed and corralled the indigenous.  The Spanish turned them into slaves.


Barefooted… carrying their loads up the mountain to this…



After Simon Bolivar and Jose Sucre booted the Spanish and Ecuador became a democracy, conditions for the indigenous did not improve much.  Eventually the Catholic Church owned half of all the land in Ecuador… most that remained unowned by the Church belonged to the pure blooded Spanish.

Eventually, there was another revolution that brought land reform. This provided some land for Campesinos but it was poor land… which slowly eroded and became unproductive.

Merri’s grandmother was a native American also so we have had strong feelings about this plight from the time we first arrived in Ecuador.

native american image

Photo of Merri’s grandmother and grandfather.

During our second year in Ecuador we lived in an Andean village with the campesino.  Our first project was to reforest the hills so the campesinos could farm again. The Ecuador government many decades ago had cut down all the trees to plant corn.  This had caused drought and erosion and instead of a wonderful forest there were just barren eroded hills above the village.  Plus the village had no water.  The women of the village carried water to their homes… uphill for way over a mile.

We donated over $100,000 for a tractor, water supply and labor to replant thousands of trees.

Today if you are driving south from Quito you’ll view on the right of the Pan Am Highway many miles of barren, brown badly eroded hills. Then suddenly after Latacunga you’ll see a wonderful green forest covering the hills.  This is the result of this forestation project.  We feel very good about that….and are amazed at the 250,000 trees that were planted by the villagers.


The children and…


women were beasts of burden in the 1950s.


Child labor was rampant.


Homes were very…



Since that time we have donated almost a million dollars, far more than our profits from the Ecuador portion of our business, to create jobs and preserve raw land and provide educational opportunity in Ecuador.

The life of the Campesino is indeed being eliminated but not due to the few gringos coming to Ecuador.

First, as mentioned the real gringo damage was done centuries ago.  To us trying to restore the original way of life in Ecuador is equivalent to trying to restore the North American way of life of 500 years ago in the USA.

In the North Carolina Blue Ridge… many mourn the arrival of us “Florididiots” who are changing the way of life up here.  However our neighbor who had dirt floors into the 1970s is not sorry to see the employment we have brought.

In Florida many mourn the arrival of us Snowbirds who are changing the old way of life in Florida.

The head of a great think tank who advises several businesses we work with once explained that the key to building a business is to recognize that mankind looks back at the good old days which were nowhere as good as they now seem.   A most powerful selling force is people’s desire to recover what they never had but perceive they have loss.

One reason Merri and I have focused a lot on Ecuador especially the area around Cotacachi is that the indigenous community has evolved in a way that allows them to hold onto their roots… their customs… their language and dress yet interact productively in the global economic community.  Some of our Cotacachian friends still speak Quichua, still dress in the old ways, still adhere to the customs and religions, diet, but also drive Bill Blass Ford Explorers, have Wi Fi, computers and all the digital stuff paid for with thriving businesses based around their heritage and ancient skills.

I regret that I agree that the era of the Campesino is gone. Just as the era of the small farmer as we knew it in North America is gone.

Our other project in fact is in Appalachia helping to create employment in an area where all the residents were subsistence farmers and are as uprooted by change as the indigenous in Ecuador.

Just as the Golden Oldie era of the Baby Boomer is gone.  (More about the evolution of the Golden Oldie Boomers who have become Groomers in an upcoming message!)

Our permission to advance as we have in Ecuador comes from a yatchak who ran for President on behalf of the indigenous.  Their motto is that the Eagle (North Americans) and the condor (Ecuadorians) must fly in the skies together….and now we believe they have.

The problems the poor face globally are not from gringo migrations.  Gringos bring jobs… better lifestyles and a new economy for the indigenous.  They bring change some positive… some negative… but overall the indigenous are wealthier from it.

The root of the problems you mention… if one can call them that… are medicine, technology, money and sex.

Due to attractions of sex we have a growing population that has to be fed.

Due to medicine these people are living longer.  So there is a growing demand for food.

Due to technology and the way society views it and money, chemicals will be used to enhance yields and improve delivery.  I personally hate this fact… but without great shifts in demographics and the way mankind thinks and interacts, this will be the way humanity will try to feed everyone fairly.

Merri and I farm in a small way.  Part of our family are farmers in a big way so we know the pressures that farmers face.  I do not like chemical technology (we have been one of the largest supporters of the non toxic Bio Wash that reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides) and helped bring a distributor to Ecuador and are working on introducing this to a greater degree in US farming as well.

But I do not see how the fossil fuel energized global economic system  will diminish for some considerable time.

Due to money and the many things this social interaction does, there will always be inequities.  When haven’t there been?


An indigenous kitchen 1949.


A Barra Viejo indigenous hostel and…


the kitchen.

We hope that our efforts eliminate more than they create… so we try to apply humility… forethought and any wisdom we can garner from the experiences in our our 44 years of living working globally and do the best we can.

I hope these thoughts are helpful and offer a different view of more than change in Ecuador.

One of my great mentors once explained that people tend to look in the past with rose colored glasses and want to return to “good old days” that in reality were not good at all.  The lifestyle of the Ecuadorian campesino was not very good and I can assure you they do not want to return to that.

Change will come.  The yatchak we worked and lived with for so many years mourned to us one time that the children no longer listen to the shamans.  They no longer desire to become apprentices to learn the old ways.  “Join the club Don Alberto” I told him.  “This is a challenge in every generation… to get the children to listen.”   They often don’t. They listen to the voice of evolution and this is probably good.  If my children tried to apply my experience and skills to their world… I doubt they would succeed.  Heck I still struggle with my iPhone!

If you want to succeed in the here and now and have an abundant future forget the reminiscing.  Focus instead on what will come whether we like it or not.   If we can accurately assess this we might be privileged  to add some slightly intelligent push on the future that will bring us fulfillment and make the world a better place for all.  Regards, Gary

I hope this information was helpful and will help your life be more productive, enjoyable and focused on great purposes.


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Read below to see why we are offering our Super Spanish course online for the first time.

Speaking Spanish is a huge benefit on its own.  You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak Spanish at all.

You can tap into all this potential when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says: “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling.  It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English.  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

The article then explains studies that show seven cognitive advantages gained from learning a foreign language.

#1:  You become smarter
#2:  You build multitasking skills
#3:  You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
#4:  Your memory improves
#5:  You become more perceptive
#6:  Your decision-making skills improve
#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

Though you may choose to take more time using this course to learn Spanish, thousands of our readers have learned at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

This method was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov, who transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 70s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from delegates who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know .  

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we created an online program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.  Normally $149, this is available at the highly reduced price of $79. Simply use coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The ONLINE course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149


Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149

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