Tag Archive | "Andes"

Ecuador Farc Comments


Yesterday’s message Ecuador FARC Thoughts inspired many comments I would like to share.

Plus after the comments, I hope… is a provoking thought on why…

Ecuador-farc

bears get rich… sometimes. Bulls get rich sometimes. Pigs always get slaughtered.

First, the comments on Ecuador FARC & drugs.

Ecuador FARC & Drugs Comment #1: Hi Gary and Merri,  Of course Ecuador like most other countries had a ‘drug problem’ simply because drugs are in evidence all over the world. I found less evidence of drug-related stuff in Ecuador than here in inner-city Sydney where drug sales have been prevalent for the the last 30 to 40 years – mixed with a lot of alcoholism at the same time so this makes for a hight crime rate plus the odd racism riot from time to time which in turn makes for interesting anthropological studies as well. The Kooris here “explode” from time to time – thus venting their frustrations – but to their credit – don’t  import/export hard drugs to exploit countries like the US. Most Kooris are soft drug users (eg Marijuana etc) and only a few are hard core users/dealers to which quite a few blind eyes are being turned by some in the know. Sad really – many suffer from the activities of a few…  Ecuador is lot better than other countries – especially first world countries……

Ecuador FARC & Drugs Comment #2: Gary,  Relentless good news, when discussing any area in the world, is misleading and dishonest to those trying to learn about an area in which they may wish to visit or invest and eventually live.  Too many promoters would have us believe it’s just a rose garden paradise, but as so many U.S. Country singers have covered, “Along with the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometime”.  Thank you for respecting the need to “keep it balanced”.

I did want to offer a comment to a statement in your recent article regarding “Ecuador drugs, military and FARC”.  Your statement was: “Yet my opinion is that this problem with the Farc is minor and strictly limited to remote parts of the Ecuador Colombia Amazon border.”  (I underlined the word “strictly” myself for emphasis).

I was in Ecuador in Jan. 09 and focused most of my visit on the central coast (an amazing place for many reasons and I will be back).  I based myself in Bahia and explored north and south from there.  While sitting out front of my accommodation one perfect evening, enjoying a cervesa with a couple of expats, I was told a story about a recent incident in San Vicente, just a few minutes ferry ride north of Bahia.  It seems that two FARC rebels made it this far south and attempted to do the business they do.  San Vicente residents identified these two for who they were and, publicly, beat them to death.  This is a violent story and I couldn’t imagine standing there and watching it happen; however, it does seem to say a lot about the attitudes in Ecuador (in San Vicente anyway) toward FARC.  They were hoping this would send a clear message to FARC that their business is not welcome there.

As we all know, it seems every rule has its exceptions.  I thought this was a good opportunity to remind your readers to expect the unexpected and remain aware of your surroundings (without trembling in paranoia) wherever we go in life.

Ecuador FARC & Drugs Comment #3:

Hi Gary, Congratulations! I couldn’t imagine a more thorough debunking of the article. You really pummeled it. Of course there are always those who will keep their noses down in the dirt believing to have sniffed out a conspiracy. But there is nothing you can do about them. I happen to own pigs as you know and though I hear they are quite intelligent, mine, I’m afraid, also just keep rooting around in the garbage, never convinced that somewhere underneath  a conspiracy is lurking. The analogy is purely intentional.

Ecuador FARC & Drugs Comment #4:

Hello Gary, You can go to www.snopes.com and locate these rumors or request they be checked out. Good site for debunking stuff like this.

This is a good suggestion I use www.snopes.com a lot.  Another site for quick accuracy checks similar to www.snopes.com is www.factcheck.org

Ecuador FARC & Drugs Comment #5:

Hi – I KNEW you would be the guy to cover ALL the bases!  Thx for a great report!  Hope all is well and NC is getting thru this crazy weather OK!

Ecuador FARC & Drugs Comment #6:

Gary, Here’s my 2 cents worth to the discussion about Ecuador and the FARC:

1)  When we were there in 2007, we planned to visit Tulcan to see a famous topiary garden, but were stopped north of Ibarra by the federal police, who strongly suggested we not go because of the danger of guerrilla activity. There had also been a recent kidnapping of foreigners in the area.

2)  My workers, who come from Suzcal, not from anywhere near the border, insist that narcotraficantes are either taking over Ecuadorian farms near the border for coca production or chasing out the owners off them if they resist.  This, of course, is hearsay.

3)  A more interesting (at least to me) issue than the FARC is the rise of criminal armies who are replacing the 37 right-wing militias that Uribe managed to get rid of. Apart from the uncertainty of running for a third term, he has his hands full with the dilemma of either moving to control them (and having to admit his demobilization program has failed despite $5 billion of US anti-narcotic aid) and the hold that the US Congress has put on signing the treaty granting Columbia favored trading status until Uribe demonstrates a successful policy against drug gangs both right and left.

You may remember that the original purpose of the right-wing militias was to protect landowner interests against both peasants and the FARC. Over time, they morphed into drug trafficing and competition with the FARC.

My personal belief is that Uribe is unable to move against the criminal armies because too many members of his government, prominent businesses, and leading families are involved. If so, then Colombia is on its way to becoming Mexico 2.0. There’s so much money to be made that it becomes impossible to trust either the police, the army, the politicians or anyone else.

If you have access to today’s NYT, there an article on the above in the first section.

Personally, I doubt Correa is involved with the FARC: They have little legitimacy left as a populist, left-wing movement. I don’t doubt there are members in his government that support either or both sets of drug traffickers in Colombia. But as for specific fears about the FARC, I would be more worried about groups with deep connections in the political establishment.

Certainly Correa’s politics have led him to some dumb things like his deals with China. (You may remember the 2007 scandal where a chief minister was selling work visas and residency permits to Chinese employees of a company with a major contract in Ecuador). If he was awake, he would know that all over the world, China promises jobs, training, technology and support for local economies, then brings its own staff and stuff. If he imagines that China will be a better environmental steward in the Amazonian oil fields than Phillips and Texaco were, he’s in for a rude awakening.

I agree with this reader that the border areas of Ecuador should be avoided. We recommend that delegates do not visit Tulcan north of Ibarra nor Esmeraldas.

Ecuador FARC & Drugs Comment #7:

I follow your site with interest, having my own love affair with Cuenca while still living retired in New Mexico. Thought you should see this from today’s Los Angeles Times…gives quite a lot of detail on recent drug-related issues in Ecuador.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-ecuador-drugs4-2010feb04,0,3107970.story

Perhaps someday we will cross paths down there.

Best regards

That article in the LA Times is worth a read and begins:

Cocaine trafficking keeps Ecuador anti-drug authorities busy

Seizures set a record last year for the country, which is growing in importance as a hub for shipments to the U.S. and Europe.

An Ecuadorean police officer guards containers of cocaine-laced molasses at a news conference in Guayaquil last May.   Reporting from Guayaquil, Ecuador – The beat cop quickly discovered why the three men at the entrance to the storage yard had bolted as he pulled up in his patrol car.

Inside the walled enclosure he saw 3 tons of cocaine and a large-scale processing lab, evidence of Ecuador’s growing importance as a trafficking hub for illegal drugs.

The mid-December raid in this port city’s Bastion Popular industrial zone capped a record year for Ecuador’s counter-narcotics police. They seized 63 tons of cocaine, twice as much as in 2008, and destroyed seven drug-processing laboratories, up from two.

Thank you readers for your comments.

Now, here… I hope… is a provoking thought about pigs.

The comments above about the intelligence of pigs reminded me of the aphorism  Bears get rich… some times. Bulls get rich sometimes. Pigs always get slaughtered.

I began thinking about La Selva Jungle Lodge which has been owned and operated by Eric and Maggie Schwartz for 25 years. Imagine what vision it took that long ago to invest heavily in a lodge deep in the Amazon… hours from anything.   Ecuador was very primitive 25 years ago compared to now.

Yet despite plenty of turmoil… including a war with Peru in the Amazon… they have built an incredible business. La Selva Lodge is an inspirational place and…

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beautiful.

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This thought conjured up two ideas… the first about the pig farm at La Selva Lodge.

Eric and Maggie have not only stuck with this project through thick and thin, and profited… they have come up with some aware winning ideas… like their pig farm.

Here is an excerpt from the La Selva Lodge website.

The Pig Farm – La Selva Jungle Lodge

Our indigenous neighbors from the community of Pilche raise no animals which is very good for La Selva for it means no forest needs to be cut for grazing or to plant crops for fodder.

Occasionally they have taken to hunting over the years as it is both instinctual and satisfies a need for protein. We wanted to come up with a viable solution to this pressure, however slight on our ecosystem and so devised the following proposal that you will find below as it was presented and won the 2007 Ecotourism Award.

Goal

To use food that would be wasted ; table scraps left uneaten by the tourists, parings not used in cooking, fruits and vegetables past their prime for usage as food to guests as fodder for a pig farm.

The pigs when grown from this ample diet are given to our indigenous neighbors.

Pigs

Objectives

1. In return for the pigs (protein) we eliminate hunting in the area since their dietary needs for protein have been satisfied and the agreement under which the pigs are given to the natives has been settled by contract.

2. Fertilizer is created from the pigs from which a tropical fruit will eventually be grown in an area of land on our property that was cleared many years ago and serves no use and is not big enough for a reforestation effort.

Project Description 

For over 20 years La Selva Jungle Lodge has made agreements with incentives to our indigenous neighbors to dissuade them from hunting and also from having domesticated animals larger than chickens (so as not to destroy the forest for grazing land.)  But as their population has grown and their taste for wild meat has not abated- while we have had much success in this area- the problem is far from solved.

Tourists come to eat three times a day, as does a staff of about thirty. This provides enough food waste per day to fill three 55 gallon drums which all these years has been composted with the byproduct only occasionally used; especially in the butterfly farm. This amount of food waste will feed a large amount of pigs, bought in ascending size and to be grown and gifted to our indigenous neighbors at regular intervals. We built a pig farm, use tourist food scraps for pig feed, gift the pigs to the natives and by so doing save more rainforest animals and plants.

The Pig Farm is a simple well-drained cement floor located near the same spot as the former compost heap with ample space, an attendant, and a water hose as needed. It is covered with a kind of rebar cage to ward off jaguars.

What a great idea and this exemplifies the fact that international investments can be enhanced by value… because pigs want perfect.

Eric and Maggie instead recognized problems… took risks… worked hard and created a paradise within a paradise and continue to keep the area a paradise.

You can reach Eric Schwartz with questions about La Selva Lodge at lscentral1@cs.com

Click here for La Selva Lodge’s website

Perfect rarely exists and the reality is that fear creates value.

Many readers write to me with their fears and seem to be looking for a perfect, easy to attain, low cost… totally safe… place where there is unlimited opportunity and where they will not have a worry in the world.

I have found and lived in some great places… Gresham Oregon, Petaluma, California, Hong Kong, London, Nailsworth Gloucestershire, Geneva Switzerland, Naples Florida, Cabarete Dominican Republic, Douglas Isle of Man, Lansing and Murphy North Carolina, Quito, Latacunga, Calacali, San Clemente, and Cotacachi Ecuador, Mt. Dora Florida.

These are all wonderful places…  but I have not yet found Shangri-La.

Sometime back, a sharp reader noted that Merri and I stepped up our international investments in Ecuador real estate investing exactly at the same time the new left sounding President Correa was elected.

He missed the fact that I had stepped up real estate tours when the country crashed in 2000 as well.

This reader sent me an article about Venezuela.

Here are excerpts from this article about international investments entitled “Rich Venezuelans heading to Florida.”

“They call it ‘Plan B’. As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez further tightens control of the South American country’s economy, wealthy Venezuelans who once thought they could live with his socialist edicts are turning to their backup plan — flight to the United States, particularly Florida.

“First the people who come are the businessmen in the highest circles, then the losing politicians, then the military and then the professionals,” said Miami-based immigration attorney Oscar Levin. “You’re beginning to see the (Venezuelan) professionals.”

“This latest and largest potential group of emigrants say they fear the effect Chavez’s socialist policies will have on the economy and on proposed educational reforms that could mirror the ideologically imbued education of Chavez ally and mentor, Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

I share this story for several reasons. First, I want anyone considering international investments or residence in Ecuador to understand what could happen if things go wrong.

Second, I want the same readers who are interested in international investments to note what is happening to Chavez and the Venezuelan currency.

Third, I want readers making international investments to understand the value of fear.

To understand fear generated value better… remember that my career started selling mutual funds and living in places where terror was taken for granted. I quickly learned that fear creates value. This simple fact should seem obvious, but is easy to forget. Arriving in Hong Kong for my first time in 1968 there were communist riots and bombs being set off in the streets. The first day I arrived a motorcycle policeman had his leg blown off by a terrorist bomb. The Chinese army was massed on the border and there were continual talks about an invasion. Hong Kong businessmen were fleeing. Real estate was literally being given away.

Life went on. We all figured out the fastest route to the British and American war ships in the harbor for a quick exit in case the Chinese decided to invade.  We watched out for boxes in the street that could be bombs. Then we just got busy with life. I rented a huge apartment on Shouson Hill Road overlooking the ocean and the village of Aberdeen. The owner wanted to sell this block of apartments but I had no money or experience then. He was so desperate that he made a deal. Instead of paying him $250 a month rent I invested $250 into mutual funds for him.

So how much value did that fear create? I decided to look see and checked out equivalent apartments for rent on the same Shouson Hill Road in Hong Kong now. Here is what I found that apartments which ran $250 a month to rent then cost now:  The ad said Features:

Sea views
Central Air-Conditioning
Size: 3000 – 3600 square feet
Bedrooms: 4
Rental Costs (approx. per month): HK$ 130,000 – 140,000 (US $16,667 – $17,949)

So rent jumped from $250 to $17,949 a month. Not bad if you are the owner. I was too young then to understand the value of fear and missed that opportunity.  Now I know better.

Not all the profits in Hong Kong were caused by fear.  Much of it was.

Those who made heavy investments in Hong Kong during that time of fear made huge fortunes. Had I understood the value of fear in the late 60s and early 70s, I could have made tens, even hundreds of millions of extra dollars.

In Hong Kong’s case there was fear that politics would go wrong. They did not and this pushed the value of HK international investments through the roof! Yet even when politics do go wrong investors can do well.

Take international investments in Chile as an example. This country went through one of the worst imaginable political scenarios beginning in 1973 when Pinochet led a coup d’état deposing democracy and using military power declared himself president and remained in power 17 years. The global press did not write as much negative news then because this dictatorship was against communism and this had the support of the United States. Hundreds, maybe thousands of dissidents were killed. Even more tortured. Yet those who invested there made fortunes.

In the early 80s, a really nice house in Santiago’s fashionable suburbs was worth about $25,000. Now the same house will be worth well over $1,000,000. Real estate throughout Chile has appreciated enormously over these years.

No one likes uncertainty. But there is uncertainty everywhere. As populations grow, as the rich and the poor become more divided, it becomes impossible to have real control anywhere.

If we are faced with change everywhere, there is a logic to investing in places where there is enough fear to at least create a nice risk premium.

Ecuador offers special value in my opinion. There is fear internally, but as an outsider I see this as a nation of sweet, pacific people. This country was formed by a combining of many cultures and has always been adept at forming a consensus. Democracy is strong. The military has refused on numerous occasions to become involved in political affairs and the population has shown itself to be adverse to violence.

Chances here are that whatever political change takes place, it will be calm. If I am wrong, that’s why we get extra profit potential to take the risk.

Here are a few of the properties we’ll see in our February and March 2010 Imbabura real estate tour.

Studio condo.  Huge balcony. Some of the best views in town.  $49,000.
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Yellow townhouse. Recently completed.  Just off leather street behind San Francisco park.  3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, great rooftop terrace, all very
good materials and finishing, $55,000.
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Three bedroom condo. 2.5 bathrooms…hardwood cabinets and closets… furnished. $59,000.

San Miguel house.  3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, office, inside and outside fireplace, fountain, flowers.  Great condition.  Owner has the lot next door
and is building another place.  $104,000.

Ecuador-farc

We hope to serve you on our 2010 tours.

Gary

Join Merri and me plus nine other speakers and contacts this February  at a seminar that shares ways to invest, do business and live in Ecuador or globally February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $3,500.  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $3,500 Enroll here

International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190

Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.


Ecuador FARC Thoughts


Numerous readers have forwarded a spammed email they have read about the FARC, drugs and Iran in Ecuador.

The email leads to a report entitled  “Ecuador at Risk: Drugs, Thugs, Guerrillas and the Citizens Revolution”

I won’t comment much on the email or the report itself since it seems quite slanted, aimed more at alarming than informing and…  lacking in balance… completeness and fact.  However, I have added the url for the report at the end of this message if you wish to read it.

But readers have concerns so let’s take a look and start with the FARC.

I am perhaps more familiar with the impact of the FARC in the Amazon… than most, because the FARC directly affected us.

A number of  years ago Merri and  I invested in opening an Amazon Jungle Lodge  at the request of a small group of Amazonians.

We built the lodge to help a small community of Amazonians who wanted tourism rather than oil revenues to support them.  I managed to take just one group to the lodge.   Then we lost our entire investment when it was rumored that the FARC was in that area.   Learn more about that journey at Amazon trips.

Yet my opinion is that this problem with the Farc is minor and strictly limited to remote parts of the Ecuador Colombia Amazon border.

My opinions on the FARC and Iran are below, but since I am no expert on military and security affairs I asked over a dozen of my friends and contacts across Ecuador for their opinions and any facts they could garner on this subject.

I have replies from Cuenca, the coast, the Amazon, Cotacachi, and Guayaquil that we’ll share.

The first reply was from a US expat who lives in Cuenca. He wrote:

Hi Gary – I haven’t been able to find anything locally about the veracity of this article. Have you found anything through your contacts down here?

The fact that this friend could not find anything is telling in itself.  The reality as far as daily life is concerned… the FARC in Ecuador are a non event. I am reminded of a similar situation in Thailand in the late 1960s and early 1970s… the years I lived and worked all over Asia.  Everyone knew that there was a war going on and that it was not safe around the border because the Viet Cong used to cross it freely. The solution was… we avoided the border.  Heck it took a real effort to get to the border anyway. Forget it!  Life went on… busy… happy…. safe… except the crazy Bangkok traffic created enormous risks.

Plus this article about Ecuador and the FARC seemed especially badly timing since the FARC have been so seriously weakened as a force.  There are even realistic hopes they will soon disband as evidenced in a Reuters article “Catholic Church seeks talks with Colombia rebels”.

Here is an excerpt: BOGOTA (Reuters) – A Roman Catholic Church official on Friday proposed a meeting in Europe with Colombia’s main guerrilla leader to discuss handover of hostages and possible negotiations to end Latin America’s oldest insurgency.  Previous attempts to bring the FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, to the table have failed over conditions for the release of the captives it holds in jungle camps and demands that the rebels end hostilities before talks begin.  Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon said the plan to seek talks with the FARC was approved by President Alvaro Uribe, whose U.S.-backed army offensive has battered the guerrilla group to its weakest level in decades.

This site has also shared information in the past about the Colombian bombing of the FARC inside Ecuador territory at Ecuador Border Tensions

Plus we have looked at potential benefits of Iran Ecuador relations at  Ecuador Iran.

Drugs?  Drugs are everywhere… globally. My experience has been that there are far more drugs being created near our homes in North Carolina and Florida than anywhere expats live in Ecuador.

Shortly after arriving at our new home near Mt. Dora, Florida… a police officer explained that another small town in central Florida is named the meth capital of Florida.

A December 2009 WFTV.com article entitled “Lake County Deputies Busting More Meth Labs” outlines the problem.

This story says: LAKE COUNTY, Fla — The number of meth labs busted in Lake County nearly doubled this year because deputies say they are cracking down on the problem.  In 2009, Lake County’s drug unit dismantled 54 methamphetamine labs compared to just 24 in 2008.  Investigators say the higher number of busts is a good sign their efforts are working.  “In Lake County, the sheriff’s office has devised a team that does nothing but concentrate its efforts on the meth labs,” said Sgt. Glen Hall with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  Investigators believe the poor economy and easy access to meth ingredients cause meth labs to pop up across the country.”

The area around our home in North Carolina may be even worse.

A 2004 map from North Carolina’s  State Bureau of Investigation shows that the counties around our house were among the  worst (Ashe county yellow and Wautauga County red) in the state.

ecuador-crime

A 2004 article in the Mountain Times “Four Meth Labs Found Over The Last Month In Ashe” confirms this problem when it says:  Several meth labs have been found over the past few weeks bringing the total for Ashe County up to approximately 10 labs, compared to only two labs found last year at this time, according to Detective Chris Miller of the Ashe County Sheriff’s Department.

News in the area suggests that  the problem had not disappeared by 2008. Here’s an excerpt from a July 2008 article in the Jefferson Post:  Sheriff James Williams believes he started making good on his promise to clean up drugs in Ashe County when his office conducted an investigation that nabbed 15 suspects who were charged with possession of various illicit drugs including marijuana, opium, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

At the conclusion of the day, investigators believed that the operation was a success as it conveyed a clear message to drug users and distributors that they better sleep with one eye open because the sheriff’s office would be looking for them.

The year of 2008 proved to be an especially busy year for deputies and Sheriff Williams. Earlier in March, an investigation led by the sheriff’s offices in Ashe and Wilkes counties resulted in the region’s largest methamphetamine seizure and bust.

Ashe and Wautauga Counties are not the only ones with this problem.   A July 2009 article at Methlabhomes.com entitled “North Carolina Meth Labs are rising” says:  Meth labs in North Carolina are increasing. In fact, drug enforcement agents have already made 102 meth lab busts statewide so far this year. That is a 52% increase over this same time last year.

What should we expect… these wonderful mountains in North Carolina have a wild streak and have always been famous for the creation of illicit substances. Before drugs the big problem was moonshine.

The story of Thunder Road came from moonshining as a way of life in the Blue Ridge and Appalachians. Moonshiners turned corn mash into “mountain dew”. They built cars to outrun the revenuers that influenced the rural south and were the roots of stock car racing and NASCAR.

This problem by the way has not disappeared either.  Last October, an hour and half away from us in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, State Alcohol Law Enforcement agents (the revenuers) seized 929 gallons of moonshine in a still bust… the biggest haul in memory.  Wow that’s a lot of ethanol!

So to say Ecuador has a drug problem would normally stifle a yawn. In this case the reaction is more because Ecuador is tough on drugs.  They do not execute drug dealers as they do in Singapore, but Ecuador is the only country I know that checks you for drugs when you enter AND exit the country.

I am sure there is a drug problem… like everywhere, but I have never seen anyone using drugs in Ecuador.

As you will see below…others who live in Ecuador agree.

Here is reply to my question about this article from an Ecuadorian  businessman in Quito.

Gary here are a few of my thoughts on these problems:

The FARC has indeed increased its presence in the Colombian-Ecuadorian border, but you can’t really claim that Ecuador is allowing that to happen (if they freely cross the border it means that Colombia is responsible as well). The border is pretty much in the Amazon, meaning that anyone could easily cross between the trees. The Ecuadorian government received criticism that it was allowing the FARC to come in and out with no resistance so the military presence in the region has increased. Now Ecuadorian military units patrol the border at day and night.

There is no exact number on how many drug labs there are in the Amazon, but the Ecuadorian government has destroyed many of them in the past years, and they burned thousands of tons of drugs.

The government also created a special commission to go over the drug related accusations that it was facing after Raul Reyes was killed by a Colombian bombing in Ecuadorian territory. The commission found that there were ties between some government former employees and members of irregular groups, but found that the government was not in direct contact neither with the FARC or any other “irregular group” (they don’t call them terrorists).

The conclusion was that few bad apples actually were talking to the FARC, but they claimed that it was for humanitarian reasons. Non of the implicated former employees are in jail right now and the commission is just that, so whatever they found is just for common knowledge.

The Ecuadorian police has confiscated and arrested hundreds of people this past years fighting drug traffic. It seems at times that the Ecuadorian government on the other hand is not that committed to that, but then again there is no proof or at least, not proof that will be legally strong enough to arrest any government employee or former employee.

So people can claim that the Ecuadorian government is suspicious of  being permissive toward the FARC, but since many arrests have been made and also we still collaborate with the US in fighting drug related issues, Ecuador had it’ s ATPDA renew for one more year, meaning that the US government still believes that Ecuador is fighting along it’ s side.

However there are issues out there that are not conclusive and lead to believe that some connection may be between government employees and the FARC. Things are even more complicated since the FARC also said that they had nothing to do with the Ecuadorian government, and the computes seized in several occasions by Colombia have no conclusive information either.

Bottom line, there is a feeling that something fishy is going on mainly because the FARC is a leftist movement and this is a leftist government, so ideology plays a big role, linking several government ex-funtionaries to FARC related issues. But there is also a big military presence in the border taking over the security and occasional fights that ended up in FARC members being killed by the ecuadorian military. Also the police captures hundreds of drug related people and thousands of tones of drugs each year.

My personal thought is that the government is not collaborating with the FARC but some people that it has relations with are. And it seems not to be that upfront in going after it’ s former members on trials leaving that sour taste that is somehow involve, which I don’t think it is.

The hard thing is to prove that this is actually happening, and it particularly hard because our judiciary system is deficient, so yes we are suspicious but there is nothing conclusive and the commission that I told you about found no friendly government policies toward the FARC, it found few people that had ties, but then again unless the Ecuadorian judicial system indicts any of them, it is just talk, it won’t be true unless someone proofs it in court.

So I think that unless the US government issues a statement accusing Ecuador of wrongdoing, we will still enjoy the ATPDA and we will still be considered to be a friend of the USA as well.

About the ties with the Iranian Central Bank I think it may be more out of desperation since Correa talked nasty about the IMF and other international financial institutions and renegotiated our foreign debt as illegal, taking a big chunk in discounts. This means that no one will lend money to Ecuador.

My opinion is that Ecuador is a wonderful country. It has some political problems yes. It has some drug problems yes. It has some economic problems yes.  What country does not?   On the plus side, the wonderful weather, excellent soil and agricultural background of the culture means there is always plenty of food.  The strong indigenous roots allows for a more natural lifestyle and the friendly nature of the people of Ecuador means that any turmoil is likely to remain peaceful.

Read more thoughts from readers about Ecuador, drugs and the FARC here

and at FARC in Ecuador

Gary

Join Merri and me plus nine other speakers and contacts this February  at a seminar that shares ways to invest, do business and live in Ecuador or globally February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $3,500.  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $3,500 Enroll here

International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190

Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.

Read Catholic Church seeks talks with Colombia rebels

The email report entitled  “Ecuador at Risk: Drugs, Thugs, Guerrillas and the Citizens Revolution” is at http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.221/pub_detail.asp

Ecuador Real Estate Prices


Ecuador real estate prices can be low yet…

I try to restrain from pushing low end Ecuador real estate like these town houses that
start at US$29,999 for an 861 square foot 3 bedroom unit.

quito-condos

Here is what Bonnie Keough, who accompanied our group on the Quito Mindo tour wrote about these condos.

“Gary, this is the complex of townhouses still being built near Mitad del Mundo that we viewed on the Quito-Mindo real estate tour.  The group felt it was too far out of the city (about 35 min.) even though it is a growing area and good investment.  The units rent for about $100-135/month. The unit with basic finishes is about $30,000, upgraded finishes increases the price to $40,000.  They are 2 or 3 bedrooms.”

You can see from a few shots of the interior of these properties (the furniture is that of the model home but is not included in the sales price) that these units are a pretty good buy.

Living room

.quito-real-estate-for-sale

The dining room leading to the kitchen area.

quito-real-estate-for-sale

Bed room.

quito-real-estate-for-sale

On the coast our mid coast real estate tours look at three bedroom units offered for as low as $23,000.

euador-real-estate-tour

Originally when we began viewing these condos above were offered at only $18,000.

Ecuador-beach-condos

They are well…

Ecuador-beach-condos

laid out

ecuador-condos

nice units, located near a good…

Ecuador-beach-condos

Beach.  Here are…

Ecuador-beach-condos

real estate tour delegates…

ecuador-condos

looking at these units.

There are three important reasons why we do not focus on this low end.

First, Ecuador is no longer a place just to chase low prices. Delegates on our tours in 2000 found the incredible bargains.  A decade has passed and messages at this site have often mentioned… Ecuador real estate prices are not what they used to be.  Recently while reviewing real estate listing in Florida, I saw a two bedroom house near a golf course for $10,900.   No zeros are missing here.  This may be a modular house, but how can you beat that for price?

This is one reason I have recently been investing in Florida and selling some of the real estate I have accumulated in Ecuador.

Second, it is important to buy quality. This is true anywhere… get good quality from trustworthy people to begin.  This is especially true in Ecuador right now.  There has been such a huge demand for Ecuador real estate that many dishonest, unethical, uncaring, even dishonest or simply incapable people have started building and selling real estate in Ecuador.  Many are seemingly friendly expats who have just moved down in the last several years.

Correcting problems on real estate near to home is hard enough. Doing this at a distance is even worse.  Distance complicates on a exponential basis.  When you buy a property where the language, customs and law may not be understood, getting problems fixed, even with honest builders can be daunting.  Throw in a bit of larceny and you have disaster.

Stick to quality projects built by trustworthy people.  This is why I have been featuring the Falconi project in Cotacahci.  So many new gringo built projects have been budding in Cotacachi that we are seeing problems with the community.  These problems were reviewed at Cotacachi real estate progress.

My predictions are that some of these gringo built real estate projects will fail leaving the few buyers in a mess.  The Proanos who are developing the Falconi project are the bedrock of the community.  Their development is next door to their home.  They will not be going away.  This is the type of situation buyers need to find.

Third, we have seen from experience that delegates do not buy the low end. We always show a bit of the lower end places because our job is to educate and help readers and delegates learn about all of the Ecuador real estate market.  However to the best of my knowledge… not one reader has purchased either of the projects shown above.

This does not seem to be because there is anything wrong with the projects… they just are not right for North Americans used to larger rooms.  Plus when one moves up from the $25,000 range to the $50,000 range… value accelerates a lot.

Ecuador is a place where “what you have always dreamed of” is still affordable.

There are more important reasons to look at Ecuador real estate than initial price.

One benefit of Ecuador real estate is the cost of living.

We recently bought a house on the outskirts of Mt. Dora.  We obtained good value… but taxes are almost $5,000 a year and this is only because the house is rated as an agricultural property.   Otherwise we would pay double that or maybe even more.

Compare this to six condos I purchased on the beach at the Vistazul project.  Last week our attorney Floridalva Zambrano sent me this note.

Hi Gary,  Today we paid the 2010 taxes for the six units that you and your daughters own at Vistazul in San Clemente.  We have also paid the taxes for your Palmazul apartment.  We  paid in total $233.26.  I will e mail you scanned copies of the receipts tomorrow.

This is correct… six, 1,200 square foot, two bathroom, two and a half bedroom condos with beach views, plus this penthouse. The taxes for all seven units are $233.26 for a year!

This includes six of these condos and

galapagos-discount-tour

a penthouse atop Palmazul.

Ecuador-beach-property-facts

See more on these condos at Ecuador Beach Condo Update

In Florida,  the electricity our first month there was $310. Propane was $420. Insurance is over $5,000 a year etc.  In Ecuador the same propane would have been about $25… electricity maybe $15 and as you have seen above really low taxes.

See more about Ecuador’s low cost of living at Ecuador Cost of Living is Low

A second benefit is the great weather.

Yesterday’s report at www.weather.com for the North was:

“A cold front crosses the upper reaches of the region Monday keeping northern areas in the deep freeze.”

Here is how I dress, in shorts, on Ecuador’s beach in February.

Ecuador-bed-&-breakfasts

What more can I say… except… this shot epitomizes another benefit of living full or part time in Ecuador.  This country has a much lower stress level… an easy going… friendly people where you can relax and smell the roses… and the salt air… or mountain mists… whichever you prefer. Ecuador has it all… relaxed low cost living in the mountains or on the sea.

Ecuador real estate can be really inexpensive… yet chances are you will not buy the low end.  In the middle… starting at $50,000 and rising into the $100,000s range you gain greater value for a property that most North Americans will really love and enjoy.

Gary

Join Merri and me plus nine other speakers and contacts this February  at a seminar that shares ways to invest, do business and live n Ecuador or gloabally February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $3,500.  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $3,500 Enroll here

International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190

Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.

Mindo Real Estate For Sale


We have written many times about the Arboretto residential project (see below) in Mindo Ecuador.

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

We have found that many readers, especially those,  searching for warmer climates,  like this project.

Those who do, may find the paid advertisement, sent by Brian Kearney, below of interest.

Gary

Paid Advertisement

Unfortunately, my wife and I need to leave Ecuador urgently to return home to look after an incapacitated family member who has no one else available to provide the proper care and attention required.

This means we must sell two blocks of land, No 24 and 25 in the San Rene sub division development.

mindo real estate

San Rene is situated next to the Arboretto project.

Each block is approx 50,000 square feet (over one acre), with river frontage at one end to the Mindo River.

mindo real estate

The other end is nearby the access road to the Arboretto Mindo Development.

mindo-real-estate

Here we are on the lot.

This is exactly the same ecological area as Mindo itself and is only about 3 miles from the start of the Mindo Development.

Each block has capacity for two houses without interfering with the eco system or each other.

I am asking $40,000 for each block.  The assessed formal land value by the Council is US $59,900 for both blocks.  Will sell as one or sell individually.

Please contact me, Brian Kearney, at bklkbklk79@gmail.com

END OF PAID ADVERTISEMENT

We have not inspected or visited the property in the advertisement above nor do we know the advertiser.  Interested parties should use all normal caution, take care with all due diligence and use an independent attorney in all purchases to check title, contracts and all aspects of the purchase. We highly recommend that interested readers always visit and inspect any property and/or construction before purchasing.

Carlos Tobar our Quito Mindo tour director is making arrangements for delegates on our February Quito Mindo real estate tour to visit the property above as well as  the  Arboretto Riverside Villas project shown below.

More on Mindo

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

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

mindo ecuador

Here is a shot of the cloud forest near Mindo taken from our front yard at Rosaspamba.

Mindo is one of best places in the world to watch birds.  Mindo sits in a cloud forest only an hour and a half from Quito.

ecuador-birding

You can watch the clouds walk across the tree tops in the Mindo cloud forest.

Due to its critically important role in the conservation of numerous rare and endemic species, Mindo was designated South America’s first Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International in 1997. Mindo is an area of historic ornithological studies, where early collectors and ornithologists discovered or collected many species.

Mindo lies within the Chocó Endemic Bird Area (EBA) and Chocó Biogeographic Region, which is considered one of the world’s richest biogeographic areas.

This area supports the largest number of restricted-range birds of any EBA in the Americas, over 50 species being endemic to the area.

ecuador-birds

The Cock of the Rock often observed in Mindo and Intag.

Mindo is also home to the greatest number of endemic montane birds of any place in the world (Birds of Ecuador, Ridgley and Greenfield).
2000-2005 Christmas Bird Count (CBC) – sponsored by the Audubon Society.

Mindo has been among the top three highest bird counts in the world for the last six  years. This is with over 2,000 locations participating. Each location is a 25 kilometer radius, and the count lasts for 24 hours. Mindo had the highest count in the year 2000 with 350 bird species recorded, and in past years has exceeded the 400 bird species mark.

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

Mindo offers many other activities beyond  birding.  There is tubing on the rivers, horseriding through the forest , hiking, gliding through the forest canopy  suspended on a zipwire.   Mindo has a rich variety of wildlife, a butterfly farm, and a huge variety of flowers… especially orchids. All this is serenaded by tropical sounds… frog concerts Bird songs parrot flock sing and katydids hum at dusk.

When in Ecuador, Mindo is a must-see.  The climate is warm all year round.  The wettest months are January and April,

At all times though, you’ll see hummingbirds and tubing is best in January through May when water levels are high.

Rain does not stop visitors because the temperatures range from 60ºF to 75ºF.   Rain storms are common throughout the year,  a benefit in a world that is increasingly starved for water.   The climate is driest from May – September.  July – October are the busiest months for overseas tourists, but weekends and national holidays throughout the year find many Quiteños in Mindo.

Delegates on our Quito Mindo tour visit the Arboretto Riverside Villas (ARV), a novel concept in ecotourism presold villas.   ARV is made up of 36 custom homes, to be built within an extension of 25  acres.   Carlos Tobar, our Quito Mindo tour director is one of the developers of this project and has built the first model home, which delegates visit during the Quito Mindo tour.

quito-real-estate-for-sale

Prices start at $150,000 for a 1,300 square foot custom home built on a lot of an average of 10,000 square feet.

quito-real-estate-for-sale

The key characteristic of these homes is their transparency and the way they are immersed in nature:

quito-real-estate-for-sale

Each house has its own outside Jacuzzi, that allows residents  to enjoy nature in the warmth of their own deck that projects into the forest.

quito-real-estate-for-sale

This project suits those who want access to a modern, city but desire  a more relaxed way of life in a smaller town and natural habitat.

This is just one more example of Ecuador’s diversity and our Quito Mindo provide an opportunity to experience the many facets that Quito and Mindo have to offer.

Gary

Ecuador Visa Changes


Ecuador tourist visa enforcement has changed.

The excerpt below from our Ecuador Living Visa Update shows something important  about Ecuador visas that you should know.

Ecuador-real-estate

Ecuador is a beautiful country and offers many benefits… such as excellent low cost housing.  Here are delegates on one of our real estate tours looking at real estate in Imbabura.

In the past… visitors could stay for 90 days on a tourist visa.  Then they could renew the tourist visa with a one day exit. This meant that tourist visas allowed stays in Ecuador up to 180 days a year.

No more.

A new type visa has been made longer stays easier but the relaxation of tourist visa enforcement has been withdrawn at the same time.

One reader discovered this in a very harsh way when leaving Ecuador after spending the Christmas holiday at their condo in Euador. This reader had been in and out of Ecuador three previous times in 2009 attending to renovations and furnishing the condo.  No one stay was longer than 30 days.  The between times on visits was a matter of months.  On the fourth trip the total time for 2009 was 104 days. None of those stays was for more then 30 days.

At Quito airport the reader was prevented from leaving the country and was told by the immigration official at the exit booth, that the maximum annual stay could be no more than 90 days.

The reader had to pay a fine of $200.

Even worse was told not to return to Ecuador for nine months and that to be allowed back would require a special visa from a Ecuadorian consulate in the US.

One of the immigration attorneys we introduce to our readers explained:

Usually non Ecuadorians have been able to stay in Ecuador as a tourist for 90 days. After they used these first 90 days, they used to get 90 days more as a tourist if they requested an extension at an immigration office prior of expiry of the first 90 days.

Several months ago immigration changed its policy. Now instead of renewing a tourist visa for 90 days they grant a 180 day Commercial Acts Visa.

In a way this new procedure makes it more convenient (though more expensive) to stay for longer periods

If a non Ecuadorian wants to stay in Ecuador in any one year for more than 90 days with a tourist visa, they can still apply to the immigration authorities for an extension.  If they leave Ecuador in their first stay of the year before reaching 90 days, BUT anticipate returning in that same year, and that return stay will take them beyond 90 days total in that year, before leaving, they should petition the immigration authorities either prior to leaving the first time, or before returning to Ecuador via a local consulate office near our overseas home (USA, Canada, England etc).

These changes in immigration policy are actually changes in strictness of enforcement of the procedures, not the procedures themselves.

The easiest approach though is for those wishing to stay more than 90 days a year in Ecuador to go to an Ecuador consul and apply for the Commercial Acts Visa, good 180 days travel in a calendar year.  This allows a total of 180 days stay in Ecuador without any extension beyond the 90 day maximum under a tourist visa.

The fee for the Commercial Act Visa is $230 per person.  Given the growing restrictions and/or increased enforcement on the tourist visa and extensions beyond 90 days, this is a good  option for those who want to maximize their time in Ecuador but who do not with to apply for a full resident visa.

There are some other immigration points to observe. These are outlined along with an explanation from our immigration attorney on how to use Ecuador visas now.   You can obtained the Ecuador Visa Update as an Ecuador Living subscriber.  See details here.

Make sure that your visas are in order and that you understand all the procedures if you plan to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days in a year.

Gary

Join Merri and me plus nine other speakers and contacts this February  at a seminar that shares ways to invest, do business and live in Ecuador or globally February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $3,500.  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $3,500 Enroll here

International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190

Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.

Gary Scott 2010 Schedule Update


Here is a 2010 schedule  update.

We have made two changes to our 2010 schedule.

First, we added four Salinas Ecuador real estate tours to our 2010 schedule.  Mar 28-29. 2010 – May 28-29, 2010 – Sept. 20-21, 2010 – Nov. 22-23, 2010.

Second we have switched dates between our June-July mid coast and Imbabura tour.

An Ecuadorian couple wished to be married on the beach at Palmazul where we center the mid coast tours.   We were delighted to accommodate the lucky couple and send our congratulations to them.

Here is…

ecuador-wedding

an…

ecuador-wedding

Ecuador wedding at…

ecuador-wedding

Palmazul that Merri and I were able to enjoy  when preparing for a previous tour.

ecuador-wedding

The new June July dates are to travel to Ecuador and Manta June 28-29

June 30-July 1  Mid Coast Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)

July 3-4  Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)

Here is our 2010 schedule.

Arrival dates are always one or two days earlier. Please double check with us before booking flights.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida – International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Feb. 15-16   Travel to Quito
Feb. 17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb  21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Feb. 25         Travel to Cuenca
Feb. 26-27   Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

May  13-14     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May  22-23    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
May  28-29    South Coast real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

June 24         Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27    International Investing and Business North Carolina  ( $749 or couple $999)
June 28-29   Travel to Ecuador and Manta
June 30-Jy 1 Mid Coast Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
July 3-4          Imbabura Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
July 6-7          Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
July 9-10        Cuenca Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)

Sept.   3-6      Ecuador Export Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept.   8-9      Imbabura Real Estate Tour  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 11-12     Coastal Real Estate Tour   ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 14-15     Cuenca Real Estate Tour    ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 17-18     Ecuador Shamanic Minga  ($499 or couple $749)
Sept 20-21      South Coast Real Estate tour ($499 or couple $749)

Oct.    7          Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10     International Investing & Business North Carolina ($749 or couple $999)
Oct.   11-12    Travel to Quito and Andes
Oct.  13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  16-17     Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct.  19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 22-23     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Nov.    4-7        Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Nov.    8-9       Travel to Quito and Andes
Nov. 10-11       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 13-14      Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 16-17      Quito-Mindo Real Estate  ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 19-20     Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov  22-23      South Coast Real Estate Tour (($499 or couple $749)

Dec.   3-5       Ecuador Shamanic Mingo  ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.   7-8       Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec.  10-11    Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 13-14     Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 16-17      Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Enjoy extra savings with a multi tour discount.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even better join the International Club. the entrance fee for 2010 is $3,500.  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth tens of thousands of dollars free..

You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses is shown above.

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

You may well wonder why I would make such an offer and ask why the cost is so low? Let me answer this question frankly and from the heart.

First, it helps us do a better job for you. We feel greatly enriched when we can really help our clients improve their lives. We have learned through years of experience the best way to do this is to meet with you regularly. We can best help you learn how to improve your health and wealth through continual expansion of knowledge.

Second, we gain enormous fulfillment from the many friendships we form through the years. Our friends have enriched our lives tremendously. Let me explain this in more detail.

As a member, you will be part of our international family that meets intensively over the next year to examine ways we can make our lives better. Our goal is beyond just having money. Our goal is to have quantum wealth… good health… wealth and fulfillment through service.

Though I give all course delegates my very best, I cannot help but to do a better job for those who come again and again. As we meet often; your particular wants, needs and desires become clear, and it is easier for me to point you in the right direction.

Another phenomenon is that repeat delegates help each other! They get to know one another, help each other learn, share their insights, make contacts and gain more wealth.

Out associates in Ecuador, are experienced business people who live or work and conduct our real estate and export courses.  They can also act as your local backup for the business.

Lifestyle for Two. There is more! I have learned at my courses that many repeat delegates were couples.

We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO!  You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)

Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  $3,500  Enroll here

Ecuador Real Estate Tour


Our Ecuador real estate tours help you learn about Ecuador real estate in a safe… non biased, fun and efficient way.

You enjoy…

Ecuador-scenery

beautiful places from mountains to…

Ecuador-scenery

the sea with hidden…

Ecuador-scenery

treasures like this thermal spa near our hotel in Cotacachi…. where you can soak and relax as you learn about Ecuador real estate.

Return to a life of simpler times with the people of Ecuador who are…

Ecuador-scenery

friendly and…

Ecuador-scenery

wonderful from many…

Ecuador-scenery

cultures.

Find good value with Ecuador real estate.

Condos for example in Cuenca for example are as low as $42,000.

cuenca-ecuador-hostel

One high rise near Quito offers condos for $29,999.

The living room of this Quito condo.

quito-real-estate-for-sale

The dining room leading to the kitchen area

quito-real-estate-for-sale

The bed room comfort

quito-real-estate-for-sale

On the coast the condos near the beach have an asking price of only $23,000.

These condos near a nice beach are under 500 square feet in size. Yet have three bedrooms, one bathroom… plus

ecuador-condos

this living kitchen area.

ecuador-condos

Ecuadorian rooms…

ecuador-condo

are often…

ecuador-condos

small,  but I guess you would not expect a mansion for $23,000 US dollars.

In Cotacachi… a three bedroom, three bathroom unit in Prima Vera I is available for $59,000

and a studio condo with this huge balcony and incredible views is offered at $47,500.

Ecuador real estate

You’ll see houses like this…

Ecuador real estate

with this view for…

Ecuador real estate

for $69,000.

Yet my guess is you’ll not buy the lower priced units because Ecuador offers the opportunity for luxury at affordable prices that are no longer available up north.

First, let’s consider other benefits you gain… such as chances of a better price… no matter where you are at any price level.  A big benefit in our Ecuador real estate tours comes from the fact that we are not real estate brokers. We do not accept commissions and do not allow our staff to accept commissions on the sale of real estate.  We have been buying and selling our own real estate and doing business in Ecuador for 14 years and ask those whose property we show on the tour to give discounts to our delegates (as we are known to bring many buyers and do not charge commissions).

You are also more efficient! There are few road signs in Ecuador… few organized brokers and even fewer who speak English… multiple listings are almost non existent.

We review what real estate is on the market and plan routes in advance so our delegates can see the most in the shortest time. We have English speaking staff with delegates on the tours at all times.

We make sure that sellers have their properties available. (A bad habit Ecuadorians have is often to not have the property open on time.)  Our staff are with you on the tour at all times… calling ahead… making sure that sellers are at their properties… or diverting to a property where an owner is prepared.

Visitors who try to find Ecuador real estate on their own drive around… get lost… see little…  and without inordinate amounts of time have no price basis on which to compare.  When they plan to buy they have little experience to know if the people they are dealing with are trustworthy.

You reduce your chances of being ripped off. We avoid showing property that in our experience is out of line price wise or quality wise.  We provide contacts with brokers, attorneys architects etc who have shown themselves to be trustworthy.

We share 41 years of experience investing globally and 14 years in Ecuador.  When we arrived in Ecuador nearly a decade and a half ago, we have already been conducting real estate tours for decades in many other countries including England… Switzerland, Isle of Man…. Belize and the Dominican Republic. We had bought and sold dozens of properties, including many abroad.  So we already knew what to look for… kinda… yet…

ecuador real estate

here is a check for $72,000… I lost this payment completely because I did not know one simple rule about buying Ecuador real estate.

I just outlined that error and shared that one simple rule with our Ecuador Living subscribers. Learn how to subscribe and get that rule here.

The friendships you gain on our Ecuador real estate tours can be invaluable.

You gain the power of sharing in many ways… from Merri and me… we have trained out staff and speak with tour delegates with televised conferencing.

People on tours tend to have common interests and be like minded souls

A delegate at a previous tour described this benefit when she wrote:.

You were so kind to make arrangements for a ride with the other delegates from the Charlotte airport. They were so nice to me and so helpful, by the time the weekend was over I felt like they were my long lost brothers. Monday morning we all had breakfast at the airport together and I was so sad to see them go, I was sad the weekend was over, perhaps sad is not the right word for how I was feeling perhaps Gratitude is a better way to describe it. Grateful for having the opportunity to share the weekend with such wonderful, like minded Human Beings. Thank you Merri and Gary…………..Thanks to you I now have new hope and a new direction to move forward in my life. Thanks to you I am so ready to move to Ecuador and begin a new life. I just have to figure out what I am going to do and how to do it……… I know by attending your classes and conferences that through education and due diligence I will make the right choices.

This delegate’s comments about “belonging and feeling like a brother” to the other delegates is a wonderful refrain we have heard from our readers, year after year.

The importance of delegate friendships first showed itself decades ago when we took a group to Vienna, Austria. One of our older delegates, had some sort of attack. The first fear was heart trouble. Several delegates took him to the hospital. Others stayed with him there. I don’t think that delegate was alone for a minute!

What impressed Merri and me was that no one asked the delegates to help this man. The friendships of delegates sharing many courses had just grown so strong that it was a natural reaction, just as if a family member was ill. Fortunately, it was only travel fatigue and the delegate didn’t miss a session of the course!

When you join our tours, you become part of a special family. Another delegate at one of our seminars wrote about this and said:

“Thank you for the enjoyable and informative courses. I am pleased to be part of your international family and look forward to continuing my education at the next course.”

His feeling struck a familiar chord. It has always been one of my greatest satisfactions to see how much fun delegates have getting together, sharing information and making friendships. These courses somehow draw together like-minded souls. For this reason some delegates come back again and again. They come to learn, but also to be with their many friends made at the courses.

When like-minded souls get together again and again to discuss a common purpose, magic happens! I can’t explain it in any other way-but it is true. In a way our meetings are almost like family reunions. Perhaps it is getting together and reflecting on what has been said and what has been happening. Learning with those who are also interested in the world creates thoughts that multiply the value of what we gain. This is hard to describe but results are most powerful and wonderful!

You save hard earned dollars because our $499 tour fee is a bargain. Your alternative s to do what Merri and I did when we first arrived in Ecuador.  We hired a nationally certified guide and had him drive us everywhere… to the big cities… the jungles… up and down the coast.  We traveled with him for weeks to create our report.

This was okay… because this is our business… but…

if you hire driver with a car driver for just four days… you’ll have spent MORE just on the guide and transportation as you would have on an entire tour.  English speaking guides with a car normally cost $130 a day plus hotel and food.

You also be more comfortable and save in other ways. Our Ecuador real estate tours help you learn the ropes in Ecuador. We know which hotels are good and which are bad. We know which restaurants will serve good food quickly and which are tourist traps.   You’ll be safer and more comfortable because the very personal nature of our service not only helps you save money but makes your trip to Ecuador more comfortable and secure.

One delegate on a recent tour sent this note.

Merri,  I don’t know how you and Gary give such great individual attention, but I sure appreciate it.  Preparing myself for this trip and the even greater spector of preparing for a life outside the US does not come without a bit of anxiety.  I am so thankful for yours and Gary’s kindness, attention to detail, and responsiveness.  It makes it all seem a little more manageable!  I’ll plan on spending at least the first 2 nights at the Radisson unless we are day two out of Quito.  I will verify my flight with Bonnie.  Thanks again Merri.  Jim

We hope to help you in Ecuador soon.

Gary

Join Merri and me plus nine other speakers and contacts this February  at a seminar that shares ways to invest, do business and live n Ecuador or gloabally February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $3,500.  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $3,500 Enroll here

International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190

Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:

Apr. 12-15   Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.

Imagination for Ecuador Real Estate Profit


Imagination is one of our most powerful assets that can help create Ecuador real estate profits.

In fact imagination can help create profits anywhere.

ecuador-wonders

Right Handed Conch

Thoughts on imagination sprang from a recent message about Ecuador Wonders and how right handed conchs reflect a reality though the  golden mean.

That recent message mentioned a very old and dirty, but perhaps rare, Lightening Whelk found in our back garden.  A friend, who is a jeweler, sent a note about how to make this whelk a beautiful decoration and added this thought.

Ecuador-wonders

Great, Gary,  Sounds like the right place to display it.  I love the metaphor.  It echoes your and Merri’s stated love of old things and bringing them into service!  Chuck

His comment led to a thought about Ecuador real estate profit because this is how Merri and I use our imagination to create profits in real estate.  We buy old properties we love and bring them into service.

Profits and fulfillment in business depends on knowing thyself AND knowing your position on the business bell curve.

Recent human evolution has come in increasingly fast bell curves… sped along by technology that introdcues new and new ways to become more efficient.

The pace of  each new idea’s introduction begins when an innovator spots how the new idea can create a trend.  Innovators rarely bring products to market profitably.  They are too early in the curve.

The profit in the trend starts to accelerate when early adapters catch on. Early adapters are forward thinking members of society who have the respect of the establishment.  When they begin to use an idea, the chances of it catching on drastically grow. This is the time to invest before the early and late majority accept the new mode of thought.  Finally the skeptical mass and laggards come on board.

Merri and I are early adapters and despite having written about why I am investing heavily in Florida AND in Ecuador right now, readers continued to ask questions like this:

I read with interest your e-mail regarding your reasoning for disposing of some of your Ecuador real estate holdings. Perhaps I missed something. I didn’t see where you actually came out with your rational on this decision. While I understand that no investment is “for ever;-)”  Is it your position that the market there is about to crest or, is it your feeling that there may be substantially more profitable investments in the other markets you refer to?

Here is my standard reply:

Our Ecuador property is doing really well.  For the last year or so our vacancy has been almost zero other than occasional days when one renter is moved out and another in. Rentals are hard to find and I have 18,991 (as of today and growing) readers who are interested in Ecuador.

Our rental properties and hotel are doing very well, but Merri and I are not good landlords. There are two types of business people… pioneers and settlors. Pioneers… that’s us… who buy, fix and move on. Settlors keep and rent.

We travel too much and love fixing things up… but hate dealing with tenants so have always made our wealth via capital gains buying low… fixing and selling as we are doing with our condos.  Plus there is a US tax consideration.  US Income is taxed at about 50%… US Capital gains tax is 15%.

For a variety of reasons, beginning with our grandson turning seven at the same time that Florida property prices collapsed , we are now investing in Florida and spending less time in Ecuador.

This reply does not mean I believe that Ecuador real estate prices are high or that they will fall.

In fact the history of my real estate investing suggests the opposite. Merri and I usually sell way before any peak.

Take a history of some of my better purchase and sales as an example.

I purchased a house next to this one in London for $35,000…. bare floors… no light fixtures… panels streaked… leaky roof… unkempt yard etc.

I fixed it up, painted, carpeted, tiled,  french polished the paneled room  and sold it for $253,000. Yet the buyer (who still lives in the house I think)  could now sell it for millions.

london-house

Merri and I have done very well and are perfectly happy because we know where we are on the bell curve… as early adapters.

We bought this wonderful Naples, Florida home for $265,000. The house was built in 1914, had not been lived in for 15 years and was almost in ruin.  Yard gone… old knob and tube electrics frayed…. galvanized plumbing rusted… roof  leaky. We fixed all this (and more) and sold it for well over a million dollars.

Ecuador-florida

The purchasers sold it two years later for twice as much!   Then the price rose even more.

I bought this condo building when it was a concrete shell, without windows… without doors… without plumbing or electrics…. without pant or tile or finish on the floors.

I completed the construction and sold the units for a profit. Now these units are at a premium and rising.

Our publishing and real estate activities have done well for 40 years from three simple steps.

Step #1: Spot new trends.

Step #2: Enhance that trend with imagination.

Step #3: Take profit early and find the next new trend.

There is plenty of space for early adapters in Ecuador.  There is plenty of space for early adapters in Florida as well… and California and Arizona and many… many places around the world.

The key to your success is to know yourself… do what you love and keep adapting as these infinite variety of trends we call the world evolve.

This reality applies to all industries. Here in Florida we have orange groves. We grow oranges and sell them. Yet others take orange seeds and raise saplings. They sell saplings… not oranges.  Other nurseries take the saplings and grow them larger and sell small orange trees.

In the real estate business, I know brokers. I know some developers that buy land and get it rezoned to sell on to another developer who will build.   Each has a place in the curve.  Each does well…  especially when they know what their role is and enjoy serving in this specialized way.

Gary

Join Merri and me and our webmaster, David Cross, Thomas Fischer, my investment adviser Anders Nielsen, Joe Cox, my tax adviser and many other contacts for business, investing, health and Ecuador this February at a seminar where we share ways to invest, do business and live that protect wealth as they bring joy, satisfaction and better health.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

You can gain discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on coupleThree Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) rises to $3,500 at about noon EST today .

The International club fee will rise to $3,500 at noon January 26, 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501 extra before noon January 26, 2010.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999  until noon EST.  Your attendance fees at all courses are waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $2,999 Enroll here

Ecuador California


Ecuador and California connect.

This is the last day to gain the largest savings on our courses and tours.  More on this in a moment.

First Ecuador & California. Last October, a message at this site looked at Ecuador Florida

The Ecuador Florida connection makes sense.  Ecuador’s nearest US gateway is Miami… just 3 hours and 45 minutes north.

However there is also a place where Ecuador and California also connect. This Ecuador news came along in the process of investigating Ecuador building codes and writing last week’s message Ecuador Earthquake Facts and Figures.

That message looked at Quito and the fact that one great breakfast place in Quito is Techo del Mundo… “Top of the World.”

ecuador-earthquakes

Here I am enjoying breakfast in this…

ecuador-earthquakes

great restaurant… one of the highest places in Quito overlooking…

ecuador-earthquakes

the city and sitting on this…

ecuador-earthquakes

cliff!

Since Ecuador is on the ring of fire, sitting in a high rise building, on the side of a cliff, begs the question… “how safe are Quito’s building codes”.

Friends from around Ecuador have shared valuable information about Ecuador’s building codes and Carlos Tobar who conducts our Quito Ecuador real estate tours sent this valuable information about Ecuador and California. 

Hi Gary,  I spoke today with an architect and an engineer who are actively doing construction work in Quito and other cities in Ecuador and they both coincided in pointing out that the first thing to consider when thinking about earthquakes is that Ecuador is located on the Pacific Rim of Fire and, as such, is an area prone to earthquakes.  This is an undeniable fact that any country that borders the Pacific Ocean must live with.

Having said that, they explained that building codes regarding the structural integrity of high-rise apartment buildings are based on California construction codes.  They explained that such norms are ingrained in the educational background of civil engineers because those are the codes that are taught in colleges’ Engineering schools.

Of course, you have the potential risk of running into an unscrupulous builder who cuts corners and tries to save money in the construction process by using less than recommended re-bar diameters, or by hiring a cheap structural engineer who will recommend anything; but that is exactly the reason why it is important to work with experienced professionals who may charge a bit more, but who deliver a higher quality product and who stand behind their work.  The structure of the construction (house, condo, or any other) may end up costing more, but the trade-off will always be worth it.  Regards, Carlos

This is good advise for buying in Ecuador or anywhere!   “Do your homework when you look at real estate and make sure you buy from reputable people”.

Carlos just finished conducting his first Quito Mindo real estate tour and we had some great raves from delegates.

Carlos sent this note:

Dear Merri and Gary,  We finished the first Quito – Mindo tour as planned yesterday and it went quite well.  We had 15 people.

We were able to show them an ample variety of what Quito has to offer, from the lower-end, lower-priced priced small condos in the northern suburbs of Quito starting at around $30,000 to a high-class Arrayanes Golf & Country Club development with houses in the neighborhood of $250,000 to $300,000 that have an 18 hole golf course country club as their back garden in Puembo (close to the new airport area), passing though a brand-new $105,000 range condo in the northern part of Quito and a recently rebuilt condo complex in the Plaza de San Marcos in old town colonial Quito.

We also took an hour or so to visit the Church of the Society of Jesus Christ which is on the list of UNESCO 100 most important buildings in the world. We also walked along the Plaza de la Independencia, in front of the Cathedral and the Presidential Palace.

On the second day we drove to Mindo and visited the model home and the overall project.

This trip was a great experience and we will only improve it even further as we gain more field expertise.

This Quito Mindo tour was really a very enjoyable experience and the people on the tour were just great).  Carlos.

On the subject of the $29,999 Quito condos, a number of readers have questioned how this is possible.

I have not seen those Quito condos, but here I am with Ecuador real estate tour delegates looking at condos just off the beach for $23,000.

When we first began looking at these units on Ecuador’s coast, a number of years ago, they were $18,000.

These are under 500 square feet in size.  Yet have three bedrooms, one bathroom… plus

ecuador-condos

See more on this at Ecuador Beach Condos

Learn more about the February 2010 Quito Mindo tour here.

Gary

This is the last day to gain the largest savings on our Ecuador tours.

Join Merri and me and our webmaster this February  at a seminar and share ways to invest, do business and live that protect wealth as they bring joy, satisfaction and better health.

Join us with our investment advisors and tax attorney February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

Or Join us all year long and save.   This the last day to gain the largest savings on our Ecuador tours.

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 January 25 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501 extra before January 25, 2010.

Because holiday expenses often tighten the winter cash flow, you can enroll with three monthly payments… $1,025 in January… $1,025 in February and $1,025 in March 2010.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $2,999 Enroll here

Ecuador & Sunday Review


See a review of last week’s messages below.

Ecuador-christmas-roses

Ecuador Valentine’s roses can be ordered now for delivery on either Wednesday, February 10 or  Thursday, February 11, 2010.

Here is what one reader shared aboutthe Ecuador roses he ordered.

Gary,  Here’s what my mom had to say about her roses: “I can’t tell you how many people have enjoyed the beautiful roses you sent. Every other day I have taken a few up to the Big House and then I change them. Can you believe they are still so pretty? I keep them in the sunroom so I can see them as I work in the kitchen-cold in there and just right to keep the roses. You do not know how many lives they have brightened including my own.”

This was her 4th thank you email! You can use the quote if you want- it’s not a sales pitch, just a real response to those Ecuadorian beauties.  Bruce

See more about Ecuador Valentine’s roses here.

Important note: There is just one more day to join the International Club & save $501 extra. See how to save $501 here.

Weekly Review.

Saturday, January 23, 2010. There are many Ecuador wonders such as…

ecuador-wonder

these shoes that tell a tale of…  Ecuador Wonder

Friday January 22, 2010. Ecuador beach house near Salinas for sale.

Salinas-house-for-sale

See Near Salinas Ecuador house for sale

Thursday January 21, 2010. Learn Ecuador earning ideas and image updates of the Falconi homes being built in Cotacachi.

ecuador-house-for-sale

See Ecuador Earnings Update.

Wednesday January 20, 2010.  Ecuador’s land is rich. Food is produced in every nook and cranny.

ecuador-safety

See Ecuador and Economic collapse.

Tuesday January 19, 2010. Here is an idea for the ultimate small overseas business freedom:

ecuador-imports

See the Ultimate Overseas Small Business Freedom

Monday January 18, 2010. See why breakfast at Techo del Mundo is one of my favorite meals and why earthquake worries will not stop me from going there.

Ecuador-bed-&-breakfasts

May your day be filled with rest.

Gary

Join Merri and me and our webmaster this February  at a seminar and share ways to invest, do business and live that protect wealth as they bring joy, satisfaction and better health.

Join us with our investment advisors and tax attorney February 11-14  at Quantum Wealth -International Investing & Business Made EZ, Mt. Dora, Fl.

You can also come on with us to Ecuador.

February 15-16 Travel to Quito and tour Quito

February 17     Travel Quito to Manta

February 18-19  Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

February 20 Travel Manta to Cotacachi

February 21-22 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

February 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour

February 25 Travel Quito Cuenca

February 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Or join us in March 2010

March 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.

March 15    Travel to Quito

March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi

March 17-18  North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

There are four days left to gain the largest savings on our Ecuador tours.

The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.

You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.

Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349 Save $149 on couple

Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours   $1399 Couple  $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more

Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours   $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more

Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours  $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more

Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours  $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more

Even Better.  Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 January 25 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501 extra before January 25, 2010.

Because holiday expenses often tighten the winter cash flow, you can enroll with three monthly payments… $1,025 in January… $1,025 in February and $1,025 in March 2010.

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and a guest of you choice can attend courses worth $40,947.You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses here.
International Club 2010 Membership $2,999 Enroll here