Tag Archive | "Colombia"

Ecuador Politics & Reality


Will Ecuador politics lead to this?

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or is this the more likely result of Ecuador politics?

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See below a batch pf Ecuador pictures and why I lean towards the politics of dancers in Ecuador.  First some words about Ecuador politics.

A reader sent this note asking about Ecuador political realities.

Mr. Scott, I want to thank you for the reports that you are sending me about Ecuador politics. I had decided to come there the first week of April and check things out. Then I saw on the news, here in the US, that the President of Ecuador is becoming just like the President of Venezuela, another dictator that will ruin the country and make it very undesirable and unsafe to live there. I would like for your honest opinion on this matter.  Sincerely,

Here is my Ecuador politics reply.

I never believe much of what I read in the news anymore. When I see how the US, especially the CIA treats Latin politics and Ecuador I am surprised there is not more hostility to the US.

Many readers read a lot of bad stuff about Ecuador politics and Correa and how he is not renewing the US lease on the Manta air base that started in 2000.

What the news on Ecuador politics does not report is what the US has been helping Colombia do from that base.

For example the news up north has not reported on an article at Commondreams .com written by the Environment News Service. Here is an excerpt:

Ecuador Sues Colombia to Stop Anti-Coca Herbicide Spray

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands- The government of Ecuador today filed suit at the International Court of Justice against the government of Colombia, in an effort to stop or restrict aerial anti-coca spraying that has allegedly sickened people on the Ecuadorean side of the border and harmed livestock, farmland, and sensitive, ecologically diverse rainforest areas.

The lawsuit follows seven years of persistent but unsuccessful diplomatic efforts on Ecuador’s part to convince its neighbor to the north to establish a 10 kilometer (six mile) no-spray zone along their shared border.

Colombia is expected to argue that the aerial fumigation of illegal coca farms, which provide the raw material for cocaine production, is a linchpin of the war on drugs.  Ecuador claims that the chemical sprays have sickened its people, poisoned farmland and damaged ecologically sensitive areas.

At a press conference in Quito announcing the lawsuit, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Maràa Isabel Salvador said, “With the purpose of establishing the existence and dimensions of the afflictions suffered by Ecuador as a result of these and past fumigations, last year President Rafael Correa created the Ecuadorian Scientific Commission, comprised of eminent scientists from our country.

“The results of the commission’s work have been crucial to reaching the irrefutable conclusion that Colombian aerial fumigations have had noxious effects on our people and our environment,” she said.

“There is no doubt that the fumigations conducted by the government of Colombia constitute a grave violation of the sovereignty of Ecuador and of the most basic principles of international law,” she said, “which prohibits a state from causing harm to the population, land and well-being of a neighboring state.”

Since spraying began in 2000, Colombia has refused to consider such measures, the lawsuit asserts. Instead, its planes and helicopters loaded with herbicide have flown right up to and sometimes directly over the border, releasing chemicals designed to eradicate all forms of plant life.

The spray has drifted to the Ecuadorean side, where villagers have reported feeling the mist settle on their skin. People in Ecuadorean border communities, many of them poor subsistence farmers or those raising small cash crops, have suffered skin lesions and rashes, burning eyes, nausea, dizziness, respiratory problems, and intestinal bleeding. Some have died.

Ecuador alleges that the spraying has killed livestock and crops, forcing the abandonment of villages, while harming ecologically sensitive areas of high biodiversity.

Nearly one third of the country’s territory is protected or park land, and Ecuador is estimated to have the highest average biological diversity of any nation on Earth.

Since 2000, the United States has been financing the aerial spraying of coca crops in Colombia, which is the world’s leading producer.

According to the lawsuit, Colombia has refused to disclose the exact makeup of the herbicide it uses, though the active ingredient is known to be glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl). The active ingredient is reportedly combined with other chemicals to make aerial sprays more potent.

Ecuador protested the violation of its territory as soon as spraying began in 2000, and has sought to resolve the countries’ dispute through negotiation and diplomacy.

As a last resort, it submits its argument to the International Court of Justice, whose jurisdiction is confirmed by the American Treaty for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, also known as the Pact of Bogotá, to which both Ecuador and Colombia are parties.

Ecuador has been an active partner against illegal drugs. It is the only Andean country with virtually no coca crop. Yet they have to put up with this even though Colombian government officials agree that the aerial spraying against coca plants is largely ineffective.

Nor did the northern news make much mention when Colombia bombed Ecuador territory to kill a FARC commander that had taken refuge in the hinterlands of Ecuador.

I wonder how the US would have reacted had Mexico dropped bombs in Arizona to kill Mexican criminals there?

Nor have the northern news reported much of the details outlined at antiwar.com in an article by Kintto Lucas entitled  “CIA Infiltration’ Charges Prompt Shakeup in Ecuador’s Armed Forces”

Here are excerpts:

QUITO – President Rafael Correa’s allegations that intelligence services in Ecuador had been infiltrated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have led to a shakeup in the armed forces of unforeseeable consequences.

The current crisis broke out as a result of Colombia’s Mar. 1 bombing raid of a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) camp in Ecuadorian territory, which led to a brief rupture in relations between Ecuador and Colombia and sparked a regional crisis that was quickly overcome through dialogue.

At least two other members of the Ecuadorian high command have also offered their resignations, said Camacho.

Ponce, the new defense minister, said “this is not setting the stage for a witch hunt, but for a healthy critical exercise of transparency. The stability of our democracy is not based on cover-ups but on the courageous analysis of our actions.”

He also urged the armed forces “to undertake a generous review of their structures and practices.”

On Saturday, Correa denounced in his weekly radio broadcast that the CIA “has totally infiltrated some of Ecuador’s military intelligence bodies.”

According to the news report, when it began to be revealed that the armed forces had previous knowledge of the Colombian air strike on the FARC camp in Ecuador, several military officers complained internally that the intelligence service had not passed on the information.

Local media outlets reported that military intelligence had been following Franklin Aizalla, an Ecuadorian citizen who died in the attack on the FARC camp, without informing Correa.

On Mar. 17, Correa and then defense minister Sandoval learned from the press that Aizalla had been under surveillance, which Colombia’s right-wing President Álvaro Uribe had been aware of for some time.

Colonel Pazmiño’s curriculum indicates “very effective training by the US and Israeli security bodies,” wrote Ecuadorinmediato, which added that “he handled military intelligence operations in a nearly autonomous manner, without duly reporting to his superiors, many of whom were unaware of those actions.”

He also said that, “besides the CIA’s infiltration in the armed forces, it is essential to take a look at what is happening in the police, who have traditionally had the closest ties to US security policies for the region.”

Former US Southern Command chief Charles Wilhelm said in 2000 that after Ecuador signed an agreement leasing the air base in the port city of Manta to the US military, one of Washington’s aims was to “reorient” the Ecuadorian armed forces.

The officer who spoke anonymously to IPS said “part of that reorientation was the modification of the training received by the Ecuadorian military, to make it more similar to the training received by the Colombian army.”

A few days after the Mar. 1 bombing of the FARC camp, the Colombian magazine Cambio reported that members of the Ecuadorian police intelligence services had helped locate the camp.

More recently Ecuador accused an expelled Mark Sullivan, the U.S. Embassy’s first secretary in the office of regional affairs and stated he was in charge of CIA operations here.   Ecuadorean officials claim he meddle in the assignment of senior police.

The US denied this CIA allegation… but why am I not convinced?

Having said this, the Presidents in Ecuador have been bad for the entire 14 years Merri and I have been here. This has made little difference to day to day life.  Go to Garyascott.com and type Correa in the search engine as I have written several messages about him.  He is the best I have seen so far.

I believe that many of his policies are incorrect but he is the first President here that I believe will be reelected in April.

He is smart in that after just two years in office he is running again while he is popular instead of waiting the normal four years.  I believe he will be reelected now. In two more years…who knows?

He has been providing free housing for the poor.

They are little 240 square feet affairs.

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given free.

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These little houses are everywhere on the coast.

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Let me be clear about Correa. I do not like many of the things he has been doing… but then again I do not like many things that Obama is doing either.

Obama and Correa have much in common… youth… energy and inexperience.

Anyone looking for a place to live where the country has only good politicians may be in for quite a search.

Let me also be clear about my position regarding the USA.

A reader recently asked:

Gary, Just curious – if you love Ecuador so much – why is legal address in NC, USA.   Why a non-profit entity in the US!

My reply kind of says it all.

Does one have to dislike one country because they love another?

We have lived in Hong Kong,  England, Europe, The US, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and have enjoyed them all.    If there is one key theme in the thousands of messages we have sent to our tens of thousands of readers about global living is that diversification, people and value are keys aspects in our beliefs.

We love Ecuador and live part time here.We also love North Carolina and live part time there.  We make no bones about our love for America and how we live more there than in Ecuador.

We reported recently how we are shifting our focus back to Florida and why at Ecuador shamans & truth … value and people… plus diversification.

Those three themes value… people… diversification are our politics.

This is our North Carolina home.

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This, Meson de las Flores is our Ecuador home. Note how the US and Ecuadorian flag freely fly, side by side, with those of many other nations.

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Each makes the other better!

We do not get much into politics here. We just enjoy the life… the sweet people… the warm weather… the good food and low cost living and let the politicians and the newscasters play their games. They have very little effect on life here.

In fact bad Ecuador politics in many ways make life better for retirees here.  Bad politics screw up the economy leaving people poor and keeping the cost of living low.

I hope that changes. I would like to see more people in Ecuador prosper but that probably will not happen soon.

Low oil prices… reduced remittances from abroad and a global economic slow down will challenge Correa over the next four years if I am correct and he is reelected.

The bad economics will put Correa under pressure and he’ll make mistakes. He may even come off as a brash hot head.  Does this make him a dictator? Not that I have seen.  Will it make any difference in my life or the other gringo’s living here. Probably not.

In fact if there is anyone to fear it is the NEWS that misleads you and tries with its spin to lock you into a narrow point of view. Life is good out here… make no mistake about this.

While many are living with the crowds and stress and snow and high prices… thinking there is danger here… a growing number of us are enjoying the sun… low stress… low cost and a good life without big brother.

While so many are stressing out up north, here is a group of new residents here in Cotacachi who decided to take the day train from Ibarra to Salinas.

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Off they go!

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Sun… ecuador-political-reality

blue skies and friendship… plus…

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happy entertainment when they arrive…

ecuador-political-reality joy… color and

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good food to share.

None of us are worried much about dictators and these soldiers here.  See my upcoming story about this one next week!

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However, you should come take a look, see and feel for yourself.

Gary

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 

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Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

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Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador to name a few of the place I have lived.  Everywhere I have been… too numerous to share here, I have been able to work.

All I need is my laptop.

That’s all you need too… a laptop to be free!

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from writing.

Another benefit is income.   Writing has brought me both our farms, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example of earning potential is my friend Hugh Howey.   He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.

Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on Amazon.com.  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

Sometimes Hugh and I get together at my  farm and play chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like High are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations.  In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course “International Business Made EZ (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

We provide two emailed courses  “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell and be a Self Publisher” and “International Business Made EZ”.

We include the “Self Fulfilled Writing and Self Publishing Course” because there are two reasons to write, when you have something to say or when you have something to sell.  In this day and age many of us want to do both, make a statement that makes the world a better place and earn something extra in the process. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

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David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “International Business Made EZ” course
  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within the first three months for a full refund . 

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a quarter of update lessons $79.   Click Here.

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a full year of update lessons $299.  Click Here.      

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” that you will receive on MP3.

 

Ecuador Quinoa Recipe


Ecuador quinoa recipes are a specialty of our chef, Santiago, at our hotel Meson de las Flores.

Here is Santiago with a quinoa cake he often bakes to welcome our course delegates to Ecuador.

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Santiago and Meson will be on Ecuador’s national TV March 9th.

Ecuador’s rich soil, 365 a days of sun adds to the nutrition of the food grown here.

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Quinoa is one Andean food, a high protein grain…the only complete vegetable protein. Here is quinoa in the field…

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and harvested.

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Quinoa is a high protein replacement for rice or most cooked cereals.

Nicki Goff, a good friend, neighbor of ours in Cotacachi and  a graduate of our publishing course, just wrote about quinoa.

First, she wrote this:

Gary, Your writing course is being put to good use! I’ve articles on ezinearticles.com as well as hubpages so far, trying to make one post
per day. My plans are to continue writing, with a blog in the near
future focused on all aspects of healthy diet.

I loved reading this.  You can get this writing course free when you subscribe to our internet course, Tangled Web.  Learn how to enroll here

See how to have the $299 Tangled Web course free also below.

Here are excerpts from Nicki’s Quinoa article.

Introduction to Quinoa

Quinoa (keen-wah) has its origins in the high upper Andes. The Incas credited quinoa with medicinal and magical properties, and held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as “chisaya mama” or “mother of all grains”. The Inca emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using ‘golden implements’. It has been in continuous cultivation in Colombia. Ecuador. Peru, Bolivia. Chile and Argentina for over 6000 years. Both the seeds and the young leaves can be used as food.

During the European conquest of South America quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as “food for Indians,” and its cultivation and use was actively suppressed, due to its status within indigenous ceremonies. Today, it is returning to commercial favor as a grain in these countries, although it still shares first place with corn as the primary indigenous grain.

Quinoa is close to being a perfect food source in the balance of nutrition it provides. Not a grain but a seed, quinoa is related to the leafy vegetables, Swiss chard and spinach.

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein – 12% to 18%, one of the best sources of complete protein in the vegetable kingdom. Quinoa is a source of all essential amino acids, including the amino acid lysine which helps the body produce protein. Lysine also helps the body process the protein in the quinoa and in other foods. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products.

Quinoa is a great source of B vitamins, potassium and riboflavin. It’s also a good source of zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin E and fiber.

Mango Quinoa Salad

This is my all-time favourite quinoa recipe. It serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish.

* 1 cup quinoa
* 2 cups water
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 mango
* 1/2 cup cucumber
* 1/4 cup blanched almonds
* 2 tablespoon roasted pumpkin seeds

Dressing:

* 1 teaspoon Ghee (clarified butter)
* 1 teaspoon turmeric
* 1 lime or half a lemon, juiced
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash quinoa and boil in water for 10 minutes, Let sit until quinoa absorbs all the water. Fluff with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.

Peel the mango and cut into cubes. Dice the cucumber, and add to mango along with the almonds and pumpkin seeds.

To make the dressing, heat Ghee in a small pan and fry with turmeric for 30 seconds, then let it cool. Add the lemon or lime juice. Mix in olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Add the cooled quinoa to the mango mixture, pour the dressing over the salad, and toss.

Chilean Quinoa Tabouleh

* 2 cups Quinoa
* 4 cups water
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 2 tsp minced garlic
* 1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked
* 1 cup finely chopped red onion
* 4 plum tomatoes cut into (1/2-dice)
* 1 cup diced (1/2 inch) cucumbers
* 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice

Place Quinoa in a medium-sized pan, add the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. The Quinoa should be translucent. Remove from heat and fluff it with a fork. Transfer the Quinoa to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the quinoa with the salt and pepper and stir, folding from underneath the grains. Fold in 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the oil. Gently fold in the cilantro and garlic. Toss the avocado with remaining tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Fold the corn, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado into the Quinoa. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve at room temperature within 2 hours of preparation. Serves 8 to 10.

You can read Nicki’s entire article on quinoa with more recipes including Quinoa Salad Pita Pockets and Crunchy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cookies.

Quinoa is also great with fruit and we have just about every kind here in Ecuador.

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Almost all of the time most fruits are really ripe…

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These are some shots I took at the daily Cotacachi market.  I large bag of pears is $1.

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These huge, syrupy mangos maybe 25 cents each.

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Huge papays $1.

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and tropical fruits I cannot even name…but…

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each is fresh, ripe and delicious.

I think many of our delegates come here just to eat!

Until next message, may all of your food be healthy and a treat!

Join us in Cotacachi or the coast for our March or June tour.

Enjoy the holidays festivities in March.

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March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

March 16-19 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

On the import-export course we’ll look at hundreds of Ecuador crafts.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

We’ll visit properties for sale like this excellent hotel with huge gardens in central Otavalo.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour
June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

We’ll enjoy numerous shamanic ceremonies.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

On the real estate tours you’ll see property available nowhere else because sellers come to us first since we charge no commissions.  Here is one of the Vistaazul condo blocks.  totally purchased by our readers at a rock bottom price because they were sold without commission.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

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

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

We have great social times n our tours as well.  Delegates love sharing with one another. Here is one of our groups enjoying a coffee break in the courtyard of Meson de las Flores.

Ecuador-beach-river-property

Future 2009 Ecuador courses:

Get our web based course FREE if you join us in Ecuador this March or June.

This new course entitled “Tangled Webs We Weave – How to Have Your Own Internet Business” is available at $299.

This is a bargain. Merri and I have been traveling and doing international business for 41 years. We have had a web based business for over ten years. You can share everything we have learned for just $299.

However if you sign up for any three of our in person courses below, you can have The Tangled Web course free.

Enroll here $299

July 3-6 Ecuador Import Export Expedition
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Ecuador and the Dollar


Since 2000, the US dollar has been Ecuador’s currency. Could it be that now Ecuador and the dollar might part ways?

Many readers have written and voiced concern that Ecuador might stop using the US dollars as its currency and return to a new sucre.

This may or may not happen. I previously did not think it would, until recently President Correa vowed that Ecuador would continue to use  the US dollar.

Lesson one of our Multi Currency Investing course points out that a general rule of currency investing is to expect a currency to devalue (or in this case change) soon after the responsible government swears that it will not.   See more about our Multi Currency Investing Course

Perhaps.

The current strength of the greenback alters the fundamentals.  If the dollar remains strong it is more likely that Ecuador will go off the dollar in  2009.

A continued low oil price could also have an impact on a decoupling decision for two reasons.  First, Ecuador’s President Correa will be under extreme pressure to deliver local promises he has made to the public.  Without high oil prices he has no money to deliver the goods.  His public excuse could be to blame America and the US dollar.  A return to the sucre would allow Correa to print money he needs for local promises right now.  This would only give him a short term boost but if he is desperate this might happen to make him look better.

Secondly, low oil  prices will diminish Ecuador’s foreign exchange reserves and the nation’s ability to pay foreign obligations and debt.  Correa has proven he is willing to jilt long term obligations.  A bond default slams the door in the face of someone who gave you something in the past.  However it is a bit easier to beat up on creditors of the past than those you need to deliver goods now or in the future.  If you do not pay them, they stop sending the goods!

Correa will not want the country running short of the supplies it needs to run on a day to day basis.

Let’s watch for Ecuador’s  reserves versus its short term obligations as an indicator of when Correa might pull the dollar plug.

If Ecuador and the US dollar do part, we must ask, so what? For many, this switch back to the sucre would be good.

When Ecuador originally Dollarized those who suffered most were the urban poor and citified middle class.  When the sucre was Ecuador’s currency and it devalued… wages were always raised at the same time. This meant that basics like food, clothing and subsistence shelter did not really cost more. Inflation at the base level was not real.  Certainly Western imported goods cost more…like TVs, cars and computers.  This mattered little to the urban poor because they never had a chance for this stuff anyway.  The middle class emigrated in droves to Spain and Italy.

Dollarization made inflation real!  Politicians could print more sucres to raise wages with inflation…but they could not print more dollars.  The poor in the city reeled.

The poor in the country who worked in agriculture did well though.  The price of crops rose.

Then the US dollar began to collapse versus other currencies.

The falling dollar helped create business opportunity.  One friend who owns a flower exporting business told me that the flower business in Ecuador was good due to the dollar fall versus other Latin America currencies, especially the Colombian peso. Colombia is one of Ecuador’s largest competitors in roses and bananas, two of Ecuador’s largest exports.

The cost of Ecuadorian products became lower even in the U.S. when compared to products from countries (such a Colombia) where the currency had strengthened against the dollar.

As the dollar falls versus other Latin America currencies, Ecuadorian products become less and less expensive in global terms.

Now of course the dollar has gained strength and this hurts Ecuador’s export potential.  The strong dollar is the rock…the low oil prices…a hard spot.  Correa and Ecuador’s economy are caught between them.

Also a new sucre, though less convenient,  would probably be good for expats.

A full report sent to our Ecuador Living subscribers explains what this would mean to expats and the Ecuador real estate market. You can subscribe here

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jyske Gobal Asset Management will join us Feb. 13-15 for our course International Business & Investing Made EZ

Join us and then stay on for a real estate tour Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

We’ll view this hotel. It has a huge front porch.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. Subscribe to get this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

Join us at a course in Cotacachi to learn more about multi currency investing.or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

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

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

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

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

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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

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

Wealth and Longevity Tip


One secret to more wealth is to live a long, healthy, productive  life. There are two scientifically proven ways to accomplish this as I explain below.

Biologist Siegfried Hekimi learned how to lengthen the average lifespan of tiny transparent worms from 15 to 20 days (the equivalent of increasing a human lifespan from 75 to 100) and confirmed what many scientific studies have found. There is a link between metabolism and lifespan. Eating less can slow the metabolism down. This is the only way that scientific research has shown to live a longer life. But there are some other secrets that help as well.

I have been an investment newsletter writer and publisher and seminar organizer working for nearly twenty years and am continually looking for new places to invest. But in this process I have come across an amazing array of healers and alternate health methods as well.

I have learned and used them and think that many have paid off. This shows up every time I talk about our two oldest daughters who are well into their mid thirties. People often look confused and when talking to them they acknowledge that they think Merri and I are in our mid forties. They are wrong by more than a decade. But more important we feel good and have not been to a Medical Doctor with illness in twenty years. Our energy and vitality is so good that often our kids have a tough time keeping up!

Now I have no way of knowing or proving that we aren’t just lucky at the gene pool, but I don’t think so. My Dad passed at barely sixty and Merri’s Dad even much younger.

So perhaps the cleansings, exercise, meditation and diet alteration, herbs, vitamins and botanicals we use have had an effect (the problem with this is we won’t really know).

One thing I can see is that most of the ones we have found best actually aim at altering the metabolism! So this would make sense.

Surprisingly one of my biggest health adventures began when I Was in the process of looking for business and investing opportunities in Ecuador. This tiny South American country contains such diversity that its Pacific coast to Andean peaks terrain has the same bio-diversity as all the territory ranging from the equator to the Arctic Circle. This and its equatorial location also means it is the closest source to North America of maximum daily direct sunlight and rainforests that produce amazing botanicals.

Merri and I visited this country looking for investments and never imagined how this journey would improve our health. After our first two journeys to Ecuador, I became fascinated with the fact that some of the valleys there have special qualities, which enhance longevity. Residents in these valleys reach extreme ages.

Further research brought us to an article written in the January 1973 National Geographic entitled, “Every Day Over 100 is a Gift” written by Dr. Alexander Leaf. This article was written about the three valleys-one in Georgia (then USSR), one in Pakistan (Hunza) and the valley of Vilcabamba, where 1,080 people per 100,000 lived on average to be 100. The article compared this to three per 100,000 in the United States. More important those who reached a ripe age (even over 100) remained vital, sexually active, still work and participate regularly in the community.

This National Geographic article shows pictures of some of the world’s oldest people. For example, a picture featured one of Vilcabamba’s patriarchs, Miguel Carpio, getting a haircut. Carpio was aged 123 and Said, “I would not like to be young again, but if I could take 15 years from my age (be 108 again)- wonderful!” Another picture showed Hermelinda Leon, aged 94, who labors at the Vilcabamba bakery. The cover picture was a trim Jose Roa who at 87 years slogs daily through Ecuadorian ooze to make adobe.

These valleys offered not only ideal living conditions, but also special waters acclaimed in many global scientific journals.

This greatly peaked our curiosity and we started looking for ways to visit this valley. We found one reason these people lived so long was because they were isolated from the rest of society. Few people knew neither where the valley actually was nor how to get there.

Finally we found a guide who could take us and during the trip met a great Andean healer. We were so impressed that two months later we returned by air (less than four hours from Miami) with 14 of our friends to Quito and bused to this wise man’s village.

There we learned how these healers begin their apprenticeship when they are still children and are sent for training throughout the region to Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Central America and Venezuela to train with the greatest healers in each country. They receive intensive training until they become Taita Yatchaks, (Father of Fathers). Taita Yatchaks are healers of great purity.

We met many of these healers across the country and spent nights in healing lodges, sharing in cleanings and balancing rituals and enjoying healthful Andean exercises and diets. Then we were asked by the Yatchaks to help pass this knowledge onto the Western world.

We began taking groups to stay in beautiful old haciendas in Ecuador where they could stay and meet with Andean healers. In these sessions we met under huge willow trees by the Paute River and listened to the Yatchkas share their secrets about health and longevity. Everyone was touched.

On one trip something very special happened as I was talking with one Taita Yatchak about the longevity valley of Vilcabamba and why people lived so long there. He explained there is a special energy in these valleys, which was put there by the old ones. (“Abuelos” is the word he used.)

So we spent over a year living and working with this Taita Yatchak to learn these secrets.

Here is one Andean Health Tip.

Essential Oil Deodorant for Natural Health

Here is why I am excited about the essential oil deodorant Merri and I use.

Merri and I lived and worked with this Ecuador Yatchak for seven years.

ecuador shamans

This photo was taken after a purification ceremony at a sacred spring.

One of the main ways this shaman helped restore our health was through purification.  He had us walk in mountain mists.  “The negative ions in the mists attach to free radicals and purify the skin to cleanse us from the inside out,” he said.  Another purification was of our blood.  He fed us herbs, minerals and a low calcium diet.  There was almost no dairy served.  We used watermelons, pineapple and sweats to purify.

One of the most important lessons gained is that the first rule of good purification is “Avoid getting impurities in your body in the first place!”

Everyday living bombards most of us with all types of toxicity, from the air we breath, to the water we drink, even the receipts at the supermarket may be toxic.  Merri and I compensate for this by taking care in what we eat, drink and especially breathe and put on our skin.  The fastest way for any element good or bad to get into the blood stream is via the lungs and the skin.

Now there is a better way to replace a toxin with a purifier.

Since it is difficult for most of us to avoid toxicity in the West, this message looks at a longevity alternative and begins by showing how in the early 2000s, due to strict FDA  regulations, the government has approved a product that may encourage cancer, create dementia, Alzheimer’s and complicate kidney problems.

The FDA issued a final rule which said “over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirant drug products are generally recognized as safe and effective and not misbranded as part of FDA’s ongoing review of OTC drug products”.  I suspect that part of this ruling was influenced by scientists with the Personal Care Products Council, the trade association that represents the cosmetic and personal care products industry.  They have claimed that “antiperspirants can be used with high confidence of their safety. They’ve been used for many years, and there’s no evidence that suggests a problem“.

Many people use over-the-counter antiperspirant drug products every day because almost everyone does.  That’s the way its seems like it has always been.  Is this wise or simply the massive repetition of an error?  We assume that the FDA exists to protect us, but must ask this question, “How much should we trust?”

The FDA’s claims of safety are not entirely correct, because antiperspirants contain aluminum. 

An article at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment helps clarify the risks of placing aluminum under our arms every day. (2)  This article says of aluminum, a main ingredient in antiperspirants, “What’s it good for in humans? Simple answer: not very much.  Except for possible involvement in some enzymatic reactions, aluminum “has no known function in the human body.”   While there is little or no upside for aluminum in the body, there is a most definite downside: aluminum is a neurotoxin.

The Aluminum Downside

The Duke article (linked below) contains numerous links to a number of negative health effects, including impaired mental and motor function, Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases, and bone diseases.  It points out a number of questions about aluminum’s impact on human health and explains there is not much study on aluminum antiperspirants.  Then it says: So, while the FDA regulates antiperspirants as over-the-counter drugs and deems them safe, it hasn’t based its decision on a large body of work specifically examining these products.  So rather than a stamp of approval, FDA’s aluminum regulation seems more an indication that, given the ubiquitous nature of aluminum, exposure from antiperspirants isn’t believed to be unsafe.”

Antiperspirants and Disease:  It’s the Pits

In other words there’s no definitive answer.  There are links between aluminum and disease, yes.  There is a link to Alzheimer’s, dementia, diminished thinking and cancer but, no study provides specific proof of a direct link between antiperspirants and these problems.

We can see the risks of aluminum more clearly at a different government source, the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. (3)

This agency’s report on aluminum says: Workers who breathe large amounts of aluminum dusts can have lung problems, such as coughing or changes that show up in chest X-rays.  Some workers who breathe aluminum-containing dusts or aluminum fumes have decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system.

Some people who have kidney disease store a lot of aluminum in their bodies.  Sometimes, these people developed bone or brain diseases that doctors think were caused by the excess aluminum.

Although aluminum-containing over the counter oral products are considered safe in healthy individuals at recommended doses, some adverse effects have been observed following long-term use in some individuals.

Studies in animals show that the nervous system is a sensitive target of aluminum toxicity.

Then there is the question of  parabens.

A health warning from Mercola.com (4) says:   99% of Breast Cancer Tissue Contained This Everyday Chemical (NOT Aluminum). Recent research found higher concentrations of parabens in the upper quadrants of the breast and axillary area, where antiperspirants are usually applied, suggesting they may contribute to the development of breast cancer.

The data from this latest study, the most extensive examination of parabens in human breast so far published, confirms previous work and raises a number of questions on the entire parabens, personal care product and human health debate, particularly relating to the source and toxicological significance of the paraben esters.

Merri and I have not used antiperspirants for decades.  We eliminate a potential toxicity and use purifying essential oils instead.  F

We mix tea tree with other essential oils in a base of organic jojoba oil and use this under our arms instead.

This essential oil formula acts like a deodorant and helps improve rather than decrease natural health. 

Let me begin by saying that essential oils have not been evaluated by the FDA as cures for any specific illness.  This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.  It simply a common sense approach to assume that putting organic, all natural essential oils under your arms is better for you then chemical laden deodorants and antiperspirants.

The essential oils in the formula are:

Tea Tree  (Melaleuca alternifolia) – broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, fungi. (The #1 First Aid Oil for skin infections and tissue issues of all kinds.)

Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) – antiseptic, antimicrobial, deodorant, anti-inflammatory. This #1 Balancing Oil for the central nervous system is highly antiseptic.  Great for balancing skin bacteria and combating odors.

Lemon (Citrus limonene) – antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, antibacterial, tonic. The Oil of Sunshine to cleanse our skin, lift our spirits, and combat negative smells. Lemon is an exceptional antiseptic with a joyful aroma.

Geranium (Pelargonium roseum) – deodorant, fungicidal, antiseptic, antibacterial. The Soothing Oil for calming down skin irritations and our nervous system. The rose element in this Geranium is nurturing to our physical and emotional state … our whole sense of well-being.

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) – anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, anti-fungal. An Oil of Antiquity renown for skin and wound care. Used in healing unguents of Ancient Egypt. Also known to instill tranquility and peaceful effects on many levels.

Use a purifier rather than a toxin and save at the same time.

You save first because you can also throw away expensive colognes, perfumes and face cremes as well as deodorants.  You save money as you gain a chance for better health.  Only one or two drops of each oil are required so a bottle goes a long way. One bottle lasts for a couple of months for me.  If you use it for the face as well… obviously it will go faster.

The price is already low, but during the sale the price is less than half that charged for 3 ounces of  women’s DERMAdoctor Total NonScents Brightening Antiperspirant.

More importantly this could offer a lifesaving savings.  According to answers.yahoo, the treatment cost for stage 3 non-hodgkin’s lymphoma can easily exceed $300,000 so cutting off  potential health problems at the pass can really make sense.

Merri and I love the refreshing smell and feel of this spray that eliminates the need for perfume, cologne and antiperspirants that may contain unhealthy chemicals.

Gary

We cleanse internally as well as explained below.

Beyond Chelation

Vitality Force provides a simple (and incredibly low cost) amino acid that can help improve cardiovascular systems, increase memory, improve vision, enhance vitality, expand energy and extend lifespan.

A delegate at one of our courses was a doctor in his eighties but who had the energy and looks of a much, much younger man.  When asked about his secret of youth he said his vitality was based on several factors.  A few of them you would expect, such as good diet, sufficient exercise and plenty of activity in a strong, purposeful life.  Then he explained another secret of his youth and energy: chelation.

This youthful doctor told us he had been running the largest I.V. chelation center in the United States from Hawaii. Hardening of the arteries is such a huge problem in our modern world that he was making a fortune.

Then, he said, he had learned about a vitamin-mineral formula that was so effective that he shut down his clinics and exclusively used this simple formula which he felt had better results than I.V. chelation therapy.

Years of research are behind this comprehensive cardiovascular nutritional supplement, designed to maintain and promote vascular health, mental and physical well being.

That client and doctor friend gave us a month’s supply of this formula.  He thought it would be excellent for us and would help us with traveling also.  Merri and I tried this product ourselves and felt better and better.

We have made it a point to take heart healthy supplements since.  We love the savings we enjoy with the mixed supplement we use.   It is so much less expensive than all the numerous other vitamins and minerals that we had been taking.  We actually were spending less!

The system we use is so convenient.  Everything is in one simple scoop of powder we take daily.  Especially when we travel we just bring along a packet for each day we are on the road.  No more loading up pill boxes or bringing bottles (or suitcases full of bottles) of vitamins and stuff.

As is so often the case when we like something we start talking about it and pretty soon, a batch of friends were taking Vitality Force and telling us great things about their experiences.  They reordered so much of it through that I decided to make it available to all my readers.

Let me begin by saying that Vitality Force has not been evaluated by the FDA.  This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease and should only be taken as a food supplement.  Having said this, I share information about Vitality Force below.

This supplement combines over two dozen ingredients, known to have beneficial effects, into one total cardiovascular support program.

Vitality Force’s main ingredient is L-arginine.  Studies have shown that L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, an important cardiovascular signaling molecule.

What is L-Arginine?

L-Arginine is the biological precursor of nitric oxide.

The medical establishment has known about the benefits of nitric oxide as nitroglycerine and amyl nitrite which creates a flood of nitric oxide have been used in medicine for over a century.

Nitric oxide is an important signal and effector molecule made by the blood vessels’ lining. The endothelium is exquisitely sensitive to the physical and chemical conditions inside our blood vessels. When the endothelium senses heart-healthy conditions, such as physical activity and low cholesterol, it releases more nitric oxide.  That’s good because nitric oxide expands the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and decreasing plaque growth and blood clotting.

In 1998, three research scientists won the Nobel Prize in medicine when they discovered the natural nitric oxide cycle in our cells.  Nitric oxide is essential to a vital natural cycle at the cellular level.  It is so  important in neuroscience, physiology, and immunology, that one year it was named “Molecule of the Year”.   Research into its function led to a Nobel Prize for discovering its importance as a cardiovascular signalling molecule. The nitric oxide cycle especially helps the heart.

Nitric oxide is the simple molecule that improves the flow of blood to the heart body and brain, It also increases energy and stamina, relieve  stress, strengthens the immune and digestive system, plus improves clarity of mind.  Nitric oxide improves the health of the inner wall of a blood vessel, keeps vessels pliable and elastic, dilates blood vessels keeping blood flowing smoothly, relax blood vessels, keep platelets and white blood cells calm and prevent them from sticking to the vessel wall, prevent oxidation, slow plaque growth, suppress atherosclerosis and melt away plaque that already exists.

There are many benefits from removing plaque from the body:

  1. Helps to prevent arteriosclerosis (Hardening of the arteries)
  2. Helps to rejuvenate your cardiovascular system
  3. Helps to improve conduction in all degrees of A-V heart block
  4. Helps increase American life expectancy
  5. Reduces blood pressure and blood cholesterol
  6. Improves circulation
  7. Improves vision and hearing
  8. Improves liver function
  9. Improves skin texture and tone
  10. Helps prevent abnormal cross linking of molecules that age tissue
  11. Helps to relieve symptoms of senility by increasing circulation to the brain
  12. Helps to relieve pain, hypoglycemia, phlebitis and scleroderma
  13. Dissolves fats in plaque lined arteries
  14. Helps make blood slippery and prevents abnormal blood clotting
  15. Helps to increase tissue oxygenation

Anti-Aging, Longevity, and Preventative Medicine are the Future!

With our knowledge of alternative medicine doubling every three years and our technology advancing exponentially, we are entering an age where we are able to probably turn our biological clock backwards!  Instruments are now in use that can measure the functioning of each of our physical organs and new high potency nutritional supplements, hormonal balancing, and advanced oral chelation products have become available which can enhance the functioning of our organs and help prevent heart attacks and fight many of the auto-immune and degenerative diseases that are plaguing modern society.

There is one more benefit.  That is the savings and convenience.  Vitality Force is much more than just an all natural solution for cardiovascular health.

The formula includes the highest quality arginine, vitamins, minerals, and other immune boosting ingredients. It works by dilating the blood vessels to allow more oxygen and nutrients to flow freely throughout the body.  This helps improve the  bio-availability of all nutrients and helps enhance your other supplements that you may already be taking.

I like the powdered form because research suggests that consuming liquid nutritional products provides significantly improved absorption, (80% vs. 20% from tablets).

Vitality Force supports:

* Cardiovascular health

* Healthy immune function

* Anti-aging properties

* Improved energy levels

*  Dilated blood vessels to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to muscles and the cardiovascular system

* Increased efficiency of oxygen utilization for energy production

* Enhanced numbers of mitochondria to actually produce energy

The Vitality Force formula includes:

  • L-Citrulline
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin C
  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B12 (methylcobalamin)
  • Folate
  • CoQ10
  • Omega 3
  • Resveratrol
  • Potassium
  • Chromium Polynicotinate
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Fulvic Minerals
  • AstraGin™
  • Fructooligo Saccharide
  • Stevia

vitalityforce

(Click on image to read the label.)

I get all these ingredients in Vitality Force from one daily scoop of powder!  I take mine first thing each morning and can feel a big positive difference in my vitality.

The Ultimate Key to Vitality

Taking Vitality Force provides almost every vitamin and mineral that we were previously taking in separate form.

Merri and I have actually reduced our spending on vitamins and minerals.  The powder is tasty, easy to use and one container has a month’s supply, which at $44.95 makes this a very inexpensive way to get most of the vitamins and minerals you already take as you gain the chelation benefits.

Vitality begins with activity including physical activity.  Many factors in modern living inhibit our physical activity.  There is a lot of stress to maintain a lifestyle.  Modern conveniences like the computer, electricity and car make it easier not to exercise.  There is also a difficulty in obtaining vitamin filled and rich, healthy food.  All of this saps vitality and can lead to a negative health spiral.  We feel badly so we eat comfort food and sit.  This makes us feel worse and the negative spiral deepens.

One way to break bad habits and a negative health spiral is to generate more nitric oxide.

One way to generate more nitric oxide is simply by taking a scoop of Vitality Force each day!

Vitality_Force_Product_Page_Graphic1

Learn more or order the food supplement Vitality Force.  The price is $44.95 when you order one container.  I recommend ordering two. The price drops to $37.95 and two months’ supply will give your vitality kick start a better chance.

This special offer provides a 10% discount for our readers.  Simply add the code SAVE10GS

To order Vitality Force click here

Gary

(1) Is Your Deodorant Drugging you Every Day

(2)  blogs.nicholas.duke.edu/thegreengrok/antiperspirants/

(3)  The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.

(4)  Dr. Mercola article 99% of Breast Cancer Tissue Contained This Everyday Chemical (NOT Aluminum)

 

Ecuador Bond Default


Today, December 15, 2009, we’ll know for sure if Ecuador has defaulted on some of its bonds. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa threatened to do this once before…and did not.

This time I believe he will.

This will be good…for many…because despite the default, Ecuador’s sun will not go away.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will the beauty of Ecuador’s mountains like this one we climbed.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will it stop the smiles of Ecuador’s happy people like these potato farmers we met on the hike.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will the hard working energy of the crafts people in town like Otavalo (shown here) cease.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor the richness of the land like this Intag forest go away.

Ecuador-bond-default

Nor will the wonder of the longevity valleys like this Intag plain end.Ecuador-bond-default

Ecuador’s bond default may create profits in two ways….one in the global bond market. The other gain will be in Ecuador.

Many readers have sent me a link to last week’s Bloomberg December 12, 2009 article by Stephan Kueffner which says:

Correa Defaults on Ecuador Bonds, Seeks Restructuring.  Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa halted payment on foreign bonds he calls “illegal” and “illegitimate,” putting the South American country in default for a second time in a decade.

The government won’t make a $30.6 million interest payment by Dec. 15, when a month long grace period expires, Correa told reporters in his office in Guayaquil. The $510 million bonds due in 2012 plunged to 23 cents on the dollar from 31 yesterday and 97.5 cents three months ago.

“I have given the order that interest payments not be made,” Correa said. “The country is in default.”

Though Ecuador is a small country, the size of France, with about 11 million people, its bond default may slow the recovery of the bond market during this global economic downturn.

Latin Bonds already have strong yields.  Look at the high yields on medium term denominated in US euro and US dollars!

Currency   Bond                Country             Yield

EUR     8.5  24/09/2012     BRAZIL             7.49%

EUR     7.375 03/02/2015   BRAZIL            8.38%

EUR     11.5   31/05/2011   COLOMBIA      8.17%

EUR     5.375 10/06/2013   MEXICO           7.28%

EUR         7.5  14/10/2014  PERU               9.02%

USD        10.25 17/06/2013 BRAZIL           6.24%

USD     8.25 22/12/2014      COLOMBIA     7.42%

USD     9.875  06/02/2015    PERU             7.57%

Ecuador owes about $10 billion to bondholders, multilateral lenders and other countries…not a lot by global standards…but  Ecuador’s bond default could cause a ripple down in Latin bonds and create even higher yields.  If so, I’ll buy some today.

The bonds and yields above are from Jyske Bank’s bond list of last Friday. These are indications not recommendations.    You can get up-to-date bond information from:

US investors at Jyske Global Asset Management.  Contact Thomas Fischer at fischer@jgam.com

Non US Investors at Jyske Bank. Contact  Rene Mathys at mathys@jbpb.dk

The next opportunity is in Ecuador. Many readers have asked questions like:

Ecuador is defaulting on its bonds. Any problems because of this? Is this good or bad?

This is a question much like, “Is the US federal $800 billion bail out, good or bad?”

The answer is yes and no.

First, remember that Ecuador defaulted on bonds once before in 1999.   Everything fell apart. Bank’s shut down. The country ran out of gas.  Times were terrible.

The country remained a great place to live. The cost of living collapsed. Help was easy to get. You could buy real estate for a song. So the answer to “Is this good or bad?” depends on who you are, how much money you have and where it is invested.

The Bloomberg article points out that Correa says of the default:

“I couldn’t allow the continued payment of a debt that by all measures is immoral and illegitimate,” Correa said. “It is now time to bring in justice and dignity.”

A debt commission Correa formed last year said in a 172 page report in November that the global bonds due in 2012 and 2030 “show serious signs of illegality,” including issuance without proper government authorization. Correa invoked the 30- day grace period on the interest payment last month, saying he wanted to analyze the commission’s findings.

Correa, 45, said the government will present a restructuring proposal in coming days. “We want creditors to recoup part of their money,” he said.

Personally I think this is true, but is the wrong approach.  I have long been a defender of Correa.  He is much like Barrack Obama, young, smart, energetic, from a poor background, who worked his way to the top with a mandate made possible by minorities….based on promises that probably cannot be kept.

He is trying to make improvements..but can he?

Obama cannot change the previous American debt and some of that US debt, in my opinion, is as immoral and illegitimate as can be.  If previous Ecuadorian politicians broke the law and created incorrect loans…Correa and the people of Ecuador should punish them.  They should recoup what they can from those people…but to punish lenders will simply stop lenders from lending to Ecuador.   This will hurt the nation, long term, as a whole.

The Bloomberg article goes on to say:

“Ecuador is moving further into isolation,” said Vicente Albornoz, head of the Cordes research institute in Quito. “The hardliners in the government won.”

“Ecuador is a serial defaulter,” said Arturo Porzecanski, an international finance professor at American University in Washington. “They defaulted in the 1980s, 1990s and this decade. A lot of other countries have had one or two defaults, but Ecuador tops them all.”

Correa, who holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has said he will not sacrifice spending on health and education to pay the debt. Ecuador’s foreign obligations are equal to 21 percent of its $44 billion gross domestic product. Argentina’s debt, by comparison, was equivalent to 150 percent of its GDP when it defaulted in 2001, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Oil, which has plunged 67 percent since July amid the global financial crisis, accounts for about 60 percent of Ecuador’s exports. Finance Minister, Maria Elsa Viteri, said on Nov. 18 the country’s fiscal accounts remain “strong and healthy.” Ecuador had $5.65 billion in cash reserves as of Dec. 5, according to the Central Bank.

The default was triggered by the combination of the decline in oil with “a ridiculous ideology,” said Claudio Loser, the former director of the International Monetary fund’s Western Hemisphere department, who now is a scholar at the Inter- American Dialogue. “The financial need wasn’t so great that it was forced to declare a default,” Loser said.

The South American country has defaulted six times since it separated from Gran Colombia in 1830, according to “Debt Defaults and Lessons from a Decade of Crises,” a book published in 2007 by Federico Sturzenegger and Jeromin Zettelmeyer.

“It’s a final blow to external investors, and particularly any energy investors that may have retained interest or had future plans to attempt an investment in Ecuador,” said Enrique Alvarez, head of Latin America fixed-income research at IDEAglobal Inc. in New York.

I believe this default will hurt Ecuador’s overall economy…and help expats who live and invest there in small ways. When economic conditions drop, prices become lower. Labor is easier to find. Everyone is more willing to serve and work hard…if you have money.

Merri and I were living in Ecuador when the sucre collapsed falling from 3,000 sucres per dollar to 24,000 sucres per dollar. This roller coaster reduced the cost of food, clothing, shelter, staff, everything local. Wages were down. Bargains were everywhere!

Merri and I were loved because we stayed. We spent. We provided jobs.

Life can actually be better in hard times…especially if you have your income and investments OUT of the depressed country.

There is a caveat. If conditions deteriorate too far, law and order can break down.  Short term this will make Ecuador’s life better. They won’t have the loan to repay…but long term, as they become more isolated from the global economy, this will hurt.

Ecuadorians are basically friendly, non violent people so I do not have any great concern about this. This is based on experience. I have lived in places where people were not quite as easy going, like Hong Kong in the 1960s when there were riots and bombing in the streets.

My belief if that Ecuador will remain a great place to be…especially for now.

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

We’ll view this hotel if it has not sold. It has a huge front porch.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. If you subscribe, you can have this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

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

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

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

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

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

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

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

Ecuador Beach Real Estate Pictures


Ecuador beach real estate still offers great sun and sea values. Here are several delegates on one of our Ecuador beach tours looking at beach view lots for $12,500

See pictures of property we view on our tours.

Ecuador-property-tour

How is this for an Ecuador “on – the – beach” front yard?

international-club-coast-view

Would you like this type of sunset view on Ecuador ’s coast from your front room?

ecaudor-sunset

Would a one minute amble, if this were your local Ecuador beach property restaurant, do good for your heart…and soul?

ecuador-coastal-tour-beach-dining

What if the food came fresh from these fishermen who set out to sea?

ecuador-coastal-tour-fishermen

to bring back seafood like these shrimp so large that two make a meal…for just a dollar?

ecuador-coastal-tour-seafood

Is this close enough to the beach? Remember that tides and high waves diminish as they grow closer to the equator and this beach is on the equator…in Ecuador . There are no hurricanes on the equator and much less worry about coastal erosion.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you’ll want to attend one of our 2009 Ecuador Coastal real estate tours. All of these pictures were taken from Palmazul Spa in San Clemente, the central departure point of our Ecuador Coastal Property Tours.

Merri and I have scoured Ecuador for 13 years and have driven its coast, top to bottom, again and again. We have taken thousands of people on real estate tours here. We finally settled in the high Andes …but have not forgotten the beautiful Pacific. We have a house in the mountains and our apartment here in the sea.

Our apartment is top floor, left side, here at Palmazul Spa.

ecuador-real-estate-tour

The Spa is also the clubhouse for the Vistazul condos. Merri and I purchased some of these condos as well.  Immense value in my opinion. Here is a picture taken from Palmazul Spa at one of our real estate tours. Delegates are visiting the first Vistazul condos as they were being finished.

ecuador-coastal-tour-condos

These are 1,200 square feet, two bedroom, two bathroom condos selling at $84,000 including clubhouse membership for tour delegates.

ecuador-coastal-tour-condos

Here is one of our groups taking a closer look. These are just one of many properties we’ll view on our tours.

We’ll see some more of the Ecuador beach real estate our previous tours have seen in a moment.

The builder, Kjetil Haugan is a Norwegian who moved to Ecuador after being the administrator of Atlanta’s Olympic Village. He has become a prominent businessman, owning the largest Spanish school in the country along with several Galapagos cruise ships.

Kjetil and Jessica have taken good care of our groups many times and we have always been pleased.

The owners of the houses here will enjoy the spa as their community center…all the spa facilities will be available to home owners. Nice…living in a spa on a beach, Palmazul. Tennis court, pool, beach, fine dining, exercise room and all.

ecuador-coastal-tour-tennis

Here is a shot taken from one of the Vistazul condo rooftops.

ecuador-coastal-tour-terrace

and a picture taken from the top of the condos at sunset. Imagine this view!

ecuador-coastal-tour-rooftop-views

We look at all types of property for sale in this area.

We cram in as many properties as we can without neglecting time for fun. Many of us hit the surf in front of Palmazul each morn. Here I am. Come on in. The water is warm!

ecuador-coastal-tour-surf

We also take walks on the empty San Clemente beach.

Ecuador-coastal-tour-beach tags

or a dip in the pool.

ecuador-coastal-tour-pool

What specific properties will we see? I do not know. We research the tour just before we start, inspecting land and buildings that are for sale at that moment so we can maximize the efficiency of your trip. Our goal will be to find a cross section of property…land like this lot we saw on a previous tour.

In the end you enjoy are three days of travel with like minded souls led by experienced travelers and real estate buyers (Merri, me and/or trained staff), who know the area…who can provide you with all the important reliable contacts you need…attorneys…property inspectors…architects and brokers who can work with you…in English.

I cannot guarantee you will find a property you will love. Even if you do, I’ll probably try to talk you out of rushing in. What I can guarantee is a savings of time…trouble and many miles and many properties to see on wonderful surf and sand.

The tour fee includes the course, all bus travel, plus pickup and return to Quito airport if required.

The fee does not cover internal travel or round trip air fare from Quito to Manta, accommodations or food. Quito Manta round trip fares are $98 at time of this writing. Palmazul is $90 per night (plus 22% service and tax) including a full breakfast and dinner). A typical lunch is $5.

ecuador-real-estate-tour

Join us and our hound Ma on the beach…

Jan 24-27 $499 Reserve here $749 For two

March 16-19 $499 Reserve here $749 For two

See dates for all our 2009 Ecuador Real Estate Tours here.

Ecuador Crime Update


A number of emails about Ecuador crime have come in such as the one a reader sent below.

The people of Ecuador work hard. The indigenous code is “Do not be lazy – do not lie – do not steal.” The people is what we love most about Ecuador. Yet we get this…

Ecuador-worker

“Gary Recent reports (today) of attempted murder of American tourist.
does little to inspire confidence in Ecuador. You need to publish this story!”

The story is entitled, “Vicious attack turns couple’s dream trip to nightmare
Oregon man critical but stable after being stabbed on Ecuadorian beach”

This article tells about a man who was stabbed in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

You will not read Ecuador crime stories like this at our site. We prefer to publish useful information that help readers avoid crime. “After the fact” horror stories have little value, but shock value.

Ecuador is a country of great beauty. Here is the Cotacachi Cathedral near where we stroll every evening and at dawn.

cotacachi-sunrise

The article above did not help the man avoid being stabbed. Had he read our site (shown below) perhaps he would have had a different experience…impossible to tell.

There is an even deeper issue if you travel to Ecuador…anywhere in the world…or even around your home.

I am not sure why this particular crime became international news. Had this stabbing happened in Oregon, it may not have even made the local news.

I know. I grew up in Portland Oregon and there was plenty of crime there. What city may I ask does not have crime? Where in the US is a stabbing or even shooting (unless it is in a school or involves many people) that makes the global news?

Here is the bigger point.

Anywhere you go, even the city near where you live has places where you are more likely to be involved in a violent crime.

The people of Ecuador are by nature, sweet and gentle…but yes there is crime in Ecuador…like everywhere…just not as much violent crime as in many places.

Cotacachi hombre.

Ecuador-man

I regularly post warnings for my subscribers and recently wrote about Ecuador crime and safety. See a review of this warning here.

However, though one has to be careful wherever you go, that article shows that Ecuador is not even in the top fifty nations for murder rates. Colombia is #1, Mexico is 6th, Costa Rica 19th and the US 24th.

This is one reason why we recommend to our readers not to go too close to the Colombian border when they are in Ecuador.

In fact for the past year we have had a posting at our site (offering our real estate tours) that warns about Esmeraldas (where the man from Oregon was stabbed) in particular. That warning says:

Warning #3: Colombian Guerillas

Plus we avoid Esmeraldas…too close to the Colombian border. When you are in doubt about an area, a simple rule of thumb is …”follow the missionaries”. They are a fearless lot, going places where most people won’t. If missionaries won’t go somewhere, you probably should not either. The Latin America Missionary web site recently wrote about Esmeraldas:

“Miami (LAMNS)—New reported threats against Americans in Colombia are once again causing U.S. missionaries to be careful about their movements. Along Ecuador’s coast near the city of Esmeraldas , Batchelor reported that missionaries have had to take caution.”

See the entire warning and how to join our Ecuador coastal tours here.

Ecuador feels safe. You see children out walking playing, day and night.

Ecuador-children

boys…

Ecuador-children

and girls

Ecuador-child

This is why our Ecuador Living service is so important. I grew up in Portland, Oregon the same state as the man who was attacked. So I know if anyone had asked him about going to Portland he would have warned them to avoid parts of Burnside Street. If one hangs in the wrong places on Burnside, there is a chance to be robbed, stabbed AND shot.

In June when Merri and I were visiting my mom, we had an unusual experience.  We wanted to go to a pharmacy near her house to buy some bandaids but were told my mom that the store only had daylight hours.  Well, that surprised us because we’ve thought that pharmacies would be open 24 hours.  “Not true,” she told us, “too dangerous”.

Our 40 years of experience in global travel and more than a decade in Ecuador means that Merri and I have a lot of safety experience to share.

Many families have moved to Cotacachi Ecuador from the US and Canada. Here is a group on our real estate tour viewing San Miguel homes.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel-visit

We have helped over 3,000 people to Ecuador in the past decade and never had a single violent crime. Our close friends in Ecuador run a travel agency and the largest Spanish school for thousands of young people. Ditto…not one physical assault.

This is in part because we know which areas to avoid and we let our readers know.

Esmeraldas is considered dangerous. I know that and so do any readers who read what I write.

Ecuador is not a place of violent crime. Ecuador is also not a place of drugs. This is interesting and some people are surprised. Ecuador is very strict when it comes to crime and drugs.

A September 30, 2008 Miami Herald article entitled “U.S. ambassador says Ecuador solid on drugs” said: “The U.S. ambassador to Ecuador says the country’s anti-drug efforts influenced the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to extend a trade promotion program in Ecuador for another 10 months.”

Ecuador’s government is also cracking down on crime right now.

Another Cotacachi hombre.

Ecuador-man

Recent news articles have interpreted this police crack down incorrectly and claimed that Ecuador’s government had declared a State of Emergency. This is not quite correct.

One great asset Merri and I have developed is an extensive network of friends across the country who can provide us grass roots information. I have asked around, “What does this state of emergency mean?” and here is what a number of our Ecuadorian friends explained:

Our friend and attorney wrote about the State of Emergency:

“The reason is to fight the surge in violent and non-violent crimes in cities such as Manta, Guayaquil and Quito.”

A businessman from Quito wrote:

“This declaration of emergency, must be construed for what it stands. More than a radical mobilization effort (which it does involve among other things), it is a way to bypass bureaucracy in the purchase of equipment for the police.”

Anther coastal businessman wrote: “Yes, there is a state of police emergency due to a wave of violence lately including an attack on a US couple in Esmeraldas. You see more police in the city and more controls.”

An American who lives on the coast wrote: “I have an e-mail from Cuenca stating that he will explain when I get there but not to worry — Ecuador is always in a state of emergency. My friend’s father in law is a cop and hasn’t mentioned anything. Normally they are first to know and wear fatigues when there is a state of emergency. No fatigues.”

Steve, our man in Ecuador, wrote: “Gary this is NOT a ‘State of Emergency’ – which has all kinds of undertones such as curfews, withdrawal of democracy and all kinds of other draconion measures. This is, from my reading of yesterday’s El Commercio anyway, an emergency police operation. Right now there are university student demonstrations in Manta against the violence – in other words they are saying that the police/government aren’t doing enough. Hence, probably, the police operations. A long term resident American with a business in La Mariscal was shot dead last week in Avenida Amazonas in Quito. He was carrying $7,000 takings (!) and probably resisted the robbers. This is not viewed as a big thing here. It was only on page 17 of one newspaper ‘El Telegrafo’ and I can´t find any mention of it at all in La Hora today except they have replaced the two police chiefs in Manta and are tightening up on all report procedures and sending in an elite hit squad to break up organized crime – so there´s a positive – they’re doing something about the problem.”

Another businessman wrote: “Just, just to comment on this email from Steve..the American guy that was shot had a bar in the Mariscal area and it was most likely a contracted job..two men on a motorbike shot him from a distance..I do not think it had to do with the money..at least that is what I heard from my messenger boy who saw the shooting.”

For the record Mariscal Sucre is one of the areas, as is Amazonas Avenue, that we recommend to avoid. We get a lot of flak for this because this is the main tourist area…lots of great bars, hostels, even the Hilton Hotel. So this area is promoted a lot…but we lived there and know that the tourists attract the thieves.

This is another important point about not just Ecuador but all travel and being a tourist. The danger comes from being in places you do not know.

Merri and I know Cotacachi well. Here is Merri with Ma leading some friends into the village.

Ecuador-cotacachi-entrance

The infrastructure is not deteriorating here. More police. Now free education and here is the new road installed in the center of Cotacachi.

Ecuador-street

Some people feel that tourists are target in Ecuador. They are right…but tourists are targeted everywhere because they are in a places they do not know.

Having lived abroad for most of my life, I have almost always been a tourist. When I lived in Hong Kong I was one of the minority…the white, long nose, foreign devil swimming in a yellow sea. There we had to worry about Teddy boys…gangs that fought, and of course being robbed in Wan Chai and the tourist areas.

Here I am with the first Hong Kong sales team I built 40 years ago. Can you spot who stands out?

sales-team

When living in Europe and the UK I was a foreigner there as well…and robbed a couple of times until I caught on. One night I really made mistake in Amsterdam…had to barricade myself in the hotel room…in a district where I should not have been…Oops.

When Merri and I moved to North Carolina, we were foreigners there also. Our real estate broker helped. “See that bar there,” he said. “Do not go in there…unless you want to deal with Bubba and his pool cue when he asks if you’re from around here.” We do not drink so this was not a problem…but it was good to know.

Even stranger, I am now a foreigner in suburbs where I grew up in Oregon. Rockwood Oregon is not like it was. My sister has had to tell me where not to go..my old stomping grounds…and I did not know! My mom has had several break ins at her house of 50 years. We have had no robberies in Ecuador.

There is a huge opportunity these fears about Ecuador crime or anywhere create.
When an area has a problem, most people paint it with a broad brush. Yet most dangerous areas are measured in blocks not miles.

One reader from the Esmeraldas area pointed this out when he wrote:

“Thanks for the follow up and for Steve’s follow up as well. Also, remember we live 25 klicks south of Esmeraldas which in Ecuador is a long distance. I have checked with my contacts in Tonsupa and so far nothing of significance other than a terrific cash offer for a piece of land we own just off the beach.”

You can often find bargains in really safe, good areas that inexperienced investors avoid because they do not know which blocks to avoid and which are good.

This does not mean that Ecuador is for everyone.

I doubt that you will find any place where there is not risk, if you do not take care. Yet I always recommend for anyone to come to Ecuador if it does not feel right.

Go to places that seem exciting to you. Do not travel just because you dislike where you are. Travel because you have overwhelming excitement about where you are going!

Then, wherever you go, be careful. Remember that you have to go through a learning curve in any place that is new.

If Ecuador sounds exciting, please do come, look and see for yourself. Most who do and the many families who have moved here feel pretty darn safe…because we have learned where and where not to go.

If you do come to Ecuador, I have established a full time full support research and assistance team to help Ecuador Living subscribers in any way required. Part of this team are multi lingual Westerners so we understand the Western cultural needs as well as those of Ecuador. We know the typical mistakes that our friends from the US and Canada make when coming down to begin and can help you avoid them.

Here are some pictures that one of our delegates took in Cotacachi.

Ecuador-view

You can subscribe to our Ecuador Living service here.

Regards,

Gary

Join us in Cotacachi this winter.

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

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

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

Ecuadorians love music.

Ecuador-music

They love flowers and beauty.

Ecuador-flowers

They are friendly.

international-club

They are very religious. Here is the cathedral next to our hotel.

multi-currency-Ecuador-cotacachi-dawn

Cotacachi-Statue

Here are Merri and me with our Ecuador family and Godson, “Quinti Ananki” (King of the Hummingbirds).

ecuador-family

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

Ecuador Travel News


Ecuador travel news just became better for our Ecuador Living subscribers in two ways.

Ecuador airfares are not high in the first place. For example, the fare for the three hour 45 minute flight from Miami to Quito Ecuador for our November International Business Made EZ course on November 4, 2008 is only $486 on Lan Airlines. This is a reduction from a year ago when fares for the same flight were $565.

Yet Ecuador travel may become even less expensive. Miami Ecuador fares are likely to fall because Aerogal is about to fly from Miami to Quito.

Aerogal is an Ecuador airline based in Quito, Ecuador. Originally it flew passenger and cargo flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, but has expanded dramatically over the years.

Aerogal now flies from Guayquil and Quito to Manta and Cuenca (as well as the Galapagos) plus Colombia.

Last December Aerogal began a nonstop service from Guayaquil to Miami but then suspended this service just six weeks later because of low passenger loads.

Now Aerogal has new Boeing 757-200 airplanes that will allow the restart of the Miami service. The Aerogal Miami-Quito flights begin again December 7, 2008.

Last December when Aerogal started this service, a fare war began. American Airlines dramatically dropped its fares. Watch for them to do this again!

Aerogal has a young, dynamic President, Gabriela Sommerfeld, who has been working to increase the domestic routes as well as launch international flights to New York and Miami. This fact creates the second bit of good Ecuador travel news.

Gabriela Sommerfeld

The second bit of good Ecuador travel news is better schedules and lower fares from Quito to Manta.

Palmazul, the hotel where we have our condos on the beach has entered into a program with Aerogal so that they can issue coupons in packs of 16 at a special price. The normal fare is $140 round trip but the coupon brings the price down. Because so many subscribers travel to Manta we are buying these coupons so we can pass the savings along to our subscribers.

If you subscribe to Ecuador Living you can get your fare reduced from $140 to $115. As an Ecuador Living subscriber you save $25 per round trip flight.

Even better Aerogal has a new better itinerary from Quito to Manta.

MONDAY TO FRIDAY
QUITO – MANTA-MANTA- QUITO
07:15 08:15
12:55 14:00
18:20 19:20

SATURDAYS
07:40 08:40
12:55 14:00

SUNDAYS
07:40 08:40
19:15 20:15

Aerogal has new, better airplanes plus the better itinerary.

Airlines that fly into Quito from the US include:

Aerogal

Avianca

American

Copa

Continental

Delta

LanEcuador

Taca

On the subject of Mariscal Sucre airport, this is one of the nicest emerging market airports Merri and I have ever used. Clean carpeted jetports take you to a shiny marble clad, rose decorated immigration area where the officers politely and efficiently welcome you to Ecuador . Baggage arrives promptly and customs rarely looks at your baggage. We are often from the deplane to our waiting van in less than 30 minutes. The entire process is quiet, well organized and the baggage handlers treat us well.

The new nearly 4,000 acre airport we expect to be even better. Because it is about 45 minutes closer to Cotacachi, this adds some great opportunity for real estate in our area now. We look at this in our real estate tour. See below.

The new airport scheduled to open in 2010 is about 15 miles west of Quito and that much closer (about an hour of travel saved) to our province. This airport will sit at about 7,500 feet altitude compared to Quito ’s 9,500. This lower altitude and elimination of noise reduction procedures (due to being away from town) means larger loads can arrive and take off.

The Manta airport also creates some special real estate opportunity as well. See why here.

Since our Ecuador Living service includes a free night stay at our hotel El Meson de las Flores the first time you stay three nights (a $72 value) and at Palmazul on the beach (a $139 value), you more than save the price of subscription with just the air fare and hotels savings.

Learn about many other benefits you gain as a subscriber at Ecuador Living.

Until next message, may you find good fares wherever you go.

Gary

Join Merri, me and Jyske Global Asset Management at one of our courses. We review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio plus investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

Enjoy the beauty of the Andean countryside.

Visit the wonderful crafts markets and save on your Christmas shopping.

See beautiful property in our area for sale.

Plus we’ll see homes at San Miguel and Prima Vera II.

cotacachi-ecuador-san-miguel

Primavera II $46,000 condos.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condos

Nov 10-11 Cotacachi-Imbabura Real Estate tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

Then travel to the coast and enjoy this Pacific surf that in November is warm!

Enjoy Ecuador ’s empty beaches.

November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour;
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour

See discounts for two or more of these courses and tours

Multi Currency Risk Premium


Getting a multi currency risk premium is important because the government bail outs that will be announced in the weeks ahead, whatever they will be, will accelerate inflation. Multi currency risk premiums will help beat the price increases which have already been bad enough.

Emerging real estate and emerging bonds (seen below) are two ways to gain some extra multi currency premiums that can help fight this rise in costs.

The three main multi currency investments that fight inflation are:

#1: Commerce. (normally equities but sometimes bonds as shown below).

Prices have risen on these condos, but still offer an incredible value, plus until October 1, Kjetil is offering the original price (a $10,000 savings) to Ecuador Living subscribers.

For details on the units below contact Thor Anderson at thor@sanclementeecuador.com

#2: The raw materials required by commerce (commodities).

#3 Real estate (required in commerce for production and consumption).

Some real estate markets offer a better risk premium than others. This is what I like about Ecuador. So few people have been there so the majority of the investment market get it wrong. They misunderstand the politics, the people, the rumors of crime, the entire ambiance of the place. This has kept Ecuador real estate prices low. Prices are beginning to rise but are still low in terms of Latin America where a deluge of US, Canadian and European investors are now arriving.

This is why I have been harping on the $79,000 condos (where Merri and I bought) north of Manta.

Ecuador-beach-condo

I doubt that investors will ever see prices this low again in our life time for the quality of construction and so much green space. There are only 63 units on 12 are that include 5,000 fruit trees and an organic vegetable garden. (This one shown above is of course not quite finished.)

Ecuador-beach-condo-clubhouse

Plus such views like this sunset shot I took.

Ecuador-beach-condo-sunset view

Prices have risen on these condos, but still offer an incredible value, plus until October 1, Kjetil is offering the original price (a $10,000 savings) to Ecuador Living subscribers.

For details on the units below contact Thor Anderson at thor@sanclementeecuador.com

However during times (like now) when there is a lot of volatility, some investors need a place to park cash while they wait for the picture to clear.

Where is safe when even money market funds have risk?

The answer is “every type of investment has risk…especially now”. The key is to at least be properly paid for taking it.

Here is a simple fact that can help you spot distortions so you get the maximum bang for your at risk buck.

Industrialized economies seem unable to increase their output at any rate better than about 3% percent a year on a sustained basis. This seems to be a universal standard of human evolution.

This is a huge fact as it means we should not expect major economies to grow faster than about 3%.

This is a baseline that can help us sort out whether an investment has extra or too little risk premium because the baseline for safe savings than should be about the same as industrial growth…3%…if the money supply is keeping pace with the economy.

Bank accounts and government bonds, for example, are perceived as the safest investments (especially if government guaranteed). A look at their long term history shows that they pay about 3%. So if a bank account or government bond pays less…in the long term it’s bad. If it pays more…that’s better. Yet the idea is that bank accounts will not really make money. They will just keep up with growth…at 3%.

Knowing this, rather than wasting time trying to avoid risk…which cannot be done, we can assess risk and what we are paid to take it instead by asking:

#1: How much risk is there in any particular investment?

#2: What perceptions do the market have of the risk?

#3: What risk premium is due?

To get real growth requires taking risk. If an investment appears to be less safe than the safest (that pays 3%) the less safe investment will pay more than 3%. The extra payment is called a risk premium.

Bonds pay more than bank accounts because they are perceived to be less safe. Stocks pay more than bonds because they are perceived even riskier. Emerging market stocks pay more than major market stocks. Emerging market bonds pay more than major markets bonds.

Over the long run, bonds issued in countries and currencies perceived to be stable pay 5% to 7%…if they are issued in their own currencies.

Stocks in major countries should pay 7% to 10% annual return in the stock market as a function of global growth, long term earnings growth plus risk premium (above bank accounts and bonds).

To attain higher growth than 7% to 10% investors must either increase risk, trust luck or spot distortions.

This is good because the market is almost always wrong. Most investors always trying to avoid risk. Most investors dump their wealth into investments that are perceived to be safe. This creates excessive demand and lowers value and actually makes the perception wrong.

Knowing this helps wise investors spot trends created by distortions.

For example, right now short term bonds denominated in Euro issued by major market governments pay about 4.25%. One can increase yield by about 50% by buying emerging government bonds. Here are yields on some short term bonds denominated in euro.

South Africa 2013 6.22%
Philippines 2010 6.19%
Romania 2010 5.16%
Brazil 2012 6.03%
Colombia 2011 6.15%

It is not likely that any of these governments will default on their bonds in this short term…so at a time when equities are very volatile this could be a good place to get out of the US dollar, park cash in euro and still make a bit extra.

We are reviewing five emerging bond portfolios in our online multi currency course this week. You can learn them as a multi currency course subscriber

Until next message, may you get a premium for everything you do.

Gary

I’ll also review these emerging bonds and review my entire portfolio and all this thinking next weekend. October 3-5 in North Carolina at our International Investing and Business Course. Why don’t you join me.

The course was fully booked but we had many late applications and have have moved to a larger meeting room so still have space.

Join me with Thomas Fischer of Denmark’s Jyske Global Asset Management, who was a currency trader for years to review our multi currency portfolio thinking for the year ahead.

To help our subscribers meet and learn, we are giving all delegates at the North Carolina course a FREE year’s subscription to our online multi currency course. This is a $249 value.

This will not be all work-no play. We selected this particular weekend as the most likely to be beautiful with the autumnal leaf change. The colors are glorious.

autumn-gold

Here delegates at a previous course chat during a coffee break.

blue-ridge-leaf-change

Gary

Join us in North Carolina next week end October 3-5 and save $249. Enroll here.

Or join us in November to inspect Ecuador property for sale

Vistazul-Ecuador-beach-condos-model

Our September 17-20 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour was sold out as was our September 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour was sold out.

Our Oct 14-18 Ecuador Import Export Course only has a couple of spaces open.
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-import-and-export-tour

We still have space in November

Join us in Cotacachi at El Meson de las Flores.

cotacachi-daybreak

Nov 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

See these condos at $46,000 in Cotacachi.

Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estat

Dine with delegates at the Vistazul clubhouse.

Ecuador-fishng-view-4

November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour

Ecuador Currency Tip


This Ecuador currency tip can save you big bucks in Ecuador or any time you need a foreign currency.

I recently spoke at a seminar in Mexico and realized that I have become lazy about carrying multi currencies. Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar so no currency exchange is required coming or going.

I maintain British pound and Danish kroner investments so when I travel to Denmark or England, our two most frequently visited places after Ecuador, I already have the correct currency available in cash.

So when Merri and I arrived at Cancun airport, I realized Mexican pesos would be needed! Ouch. Avoid converting currencies at airports. The forex exchange rates are usually bad.

If you are frequently exchanging currencies the costs can be high, so here is a multi currency, conversion tip sent to me by a trusted friend.

“Gary, It costs me about $1500 a year just to send money to the UK and Sweden in bank and FOREX charges! A friend in Australia recommended www.ozforex.com – you select a buy and sell currency and beneficiaries (destination bank accounts). So far it looks like I’m going to more than halve the annual costs of sending money and their rates seem much better. For example $1500 with current method gives £794.74 but with OZForex, £842.25 – 6% better rates and only A$15 transfer fee.

Ecuador Cash Tips

The US dollar is Ecuador’s currency. Paper money is identical but both US and Ecuador coins are used. Ecuadorian coins minted in Ecuador are the same in size, weight, workmanship and color as US coins but have different reliefs and are only legal currency in Ecuador.

You can bring dollars with you. They work well except $100 dollar bills. These are accepted only with caution. Outside major cities sometimes it is impossible to cash $100 dollar bills. There is a lot of counterfeiting of $100 bills in Colombia, so the Ecuador Central Bank issues a list of valid $100 bill serial numbers. If the serial number of your $100 bill (even though it is real) is not on the validated list, you may not be able to use it in many places.

Bills that circulate in Ecuador are the $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The coins are the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, fifty cent piece. Plus the one dollar coin is very popular in Ecuador. I always wondered where all the Susan B. Anthonys went!

Ecuador prices are low and vendors are poor. They do not have a lot of change. When Merri and I go to Ecuador, we take rolls of quarters and a lot of $1, $5, $10, $20 bills.

Ecuador Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks are not accepted at this time. You usually need to go to the forex houses or banks to cash them. The commission charged varies between 1% and 4%. And often banks will no longer accept these checks as South America is inundated with forgeries. In Cotacachi, no one will accept a traveler’s check

We never even had an ATM card in the US but found that this is a good way to access cash. We also have a safe in all our rooms in Meson de las Flores and Hotel Quito offers free safety deposit boxes so when we arrive, we just put all our cash, wallet with credit cards and passports in our safe box. Then we just have a bit of cash like $20 or so in our pockets.

Ecuador ATM’s

Merri and I live off of ATMs in Ecuador.

ATM’s are in almost every village in Ecuador and are compatible with international credit cards.

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

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm

This bank is on Cotacachi’s second smaller plaza.

Ecuador-multi-currency-plaza

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

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-sign

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

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-cathedral

There are two Cathedrals in Cotacachi and one bank…a nice ratio.

However there are two Cotacachi ATMs. The second is on the main street 10th of August.

Here is a map of Cotacachi.

cotacachi-atm-map

Our hotel, El Meson de las Flores, is by the Cathedral insignia. The bank and ATM are marked by the red box.

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

When using an ATM take the same precautions you would anywhere. Merri and I do not withdraw cash alone at night. We keep our password hidden. We observe the people around and make sure the machine is working correctly. If we were to note anything odd in the surroundings or the machine, we would not use our card.

This has never happened. We have never had a problem but still always take precautions. The safest ATM’s are those that are found inside banks and shopping centers.

Ecuador Credit Cards

Credit cards can be used at most hotels, restaurants and in most shops, but not in the markets. Places that are recommended for the use of credit cards are first class restaurants, hotels, gift shops, shopping centers and travel agencies. Not all places accept credit cards. Ask before buying if you do not see a Visa or MasterCard sign. Amex is not seen much outside the major cities.

Vendors are gouged by the credit card companies. Some businesses charges extra, up to 12% to cover the cost of this fee they have to pay…so you can often bargain by offering cash.

Money transfers

Bank transfers take at least three working days. The bank sending the money charges a commission for the transfer, usually $30 to $60. Western Union offers quick and efficient money transfers but is much more expensive. For example a Western union wire of $1000 to Quito, may cost $85.

Merri and I do not have a bank account in Ecuador even though we live there half the year. There is one excellent bank that has a US subsidiary and the subsidiary has offices in Ecuador so you can bank in the US but access cash in Ecuador. We are compiling a complete report on “How to Bank in Ecuador” for our Ecuador Living subscribers now.

You will receive this report free when you subscribe to Ecuador Living.

Until next message, may all your money be easy to access and good!

Gary

Our September 17-20 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour is sold out.

Our September 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour is sold out
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

Our September Spanish Class is sold out.

Oct 14-18 Ecuador Import Export Course has a few places left.
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-import-and-export-tour

We still have space in November.

Nov 7-9 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

Nov 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

November 12-15, 2008 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour