Tag Archive | "Guayaquil"

Cuenca Real Estate


Cuenca Real Estate

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Cuenca real estate offers excellent quality and value for exapts visiting Ecuador. Here is a shot of downtown Cuenca.

One of the first cities that Merri and I visited when we began looking for Ecuador property was the Spanish tile roofed colonial city of Cuenca which sits in a broad valley surrounded by lush green mountains. I have always loved the real estate opportunities in Cuenca and am happy to report we can now share this with you in our upcoming 2010 Cuenca real estate tours.

Here is an example why Cuenca is such a popular place.  Our friends, Bill Bushnell and his wife, Leita Hulmes live in a spacious and modern condo in Cuenca within walking distance to the historic colonial city center.

Cuenca condo building
Cuenca Condo building

Cuenca condo living room

We’ll look at more Cuenca property pictures below.

Cuenca is easily Ecuador’s (and perhaps all of South America’s) most beautiful city with a distinctly European look and feel. In a previous
article I reported that MSN has named Cuenca the best retirement city in the world.

It is both modern and classic in its architecture. This is an aristocratic town with hard workers and a solid middle class. The downtown area is remarkably clean and is built around a central park bordered by a huge golden cathedral with brilliant ceramic domes. There is a sense of order in the narrow cobblestone streets which for the most part run on a grid. The markets are filled with color and exotic design, and there is no sense of crime or poverty found here.

Tall Willows and Eucalyptus are abundant along the river banks of the four rivers running through its center where you’ll see locals washing their
colorful clothes. Red tiles on white stucco sparkling in the brilliant sun are the predominate vista.

Cuenca has perhaps the largest North American population in Ecuador though it is a much smaller city (350,000) than Quito or Guayaquil which have many millions of people. It’s large enough to offer almost all goods and services one could want without the hustle and bustle of a big city.

The beautiful sites are not the only joys Merri and I have experienced  in Cuenca. Property prices are startlingly low. Values have certainly risen
since we first began looking almost 15 years ago, yet asking prices still seem like bargains.

For example brand new apartments just down the road from the 5 Star Oro Verde Hotel are offered at just $42,000.

Here is that condo, just…

cuenca-ecuador-condos

four blocks from the center of Cuenca.

cuenca-ecuador-condos

Quality is not lacking.

Here are some more shots of our friends Cuenca condo with all hardwood floors, cabinetry and top quality fittings and additional lighting.

Cuenca condo hardwood finishes

There’s is a 1,690 square foot condo cost  that they bought for under $100,000.

Cuenca condo studio
the studio

The views from the 5th floor living room of the Ecuadorian Sierra Mountains show Cajas National Park in the distance.

View from Cuenca condo

There is space throughout this Cuenca home.

Cuenca condo master bedroom

Hardwood excellence is seen throughout this Cuenca house.

Cuenca condo kitchen

Currently there is a lovely first-floor 2-BR apartment located just across  the Tomebamba River from Cuenca’s historic district. It is within walking distance of El Centro which is Cuenca’s version of Central Park and is offered for $35,000.

If your preference is a house, only four blocks from downtown there is a new 4 bedroom, 4 bath house with 1991 sq ft of living space on 1/3 of an
acre for $77,000.

Another delightful opportunity in Cuenca is within a 10 unit gated community where there are only two townhouses left. The 1600 sq ft 3BR, 3
bath units have solid wood cabinetry, doors and windows and feature an open floor plan connecting the living area, dining room and kitchen for
$89,900. These units are within walking distance of supermarkets, shopping malls and some great restaurants for which Cuenca is renown.

Here are the these brand new condos, outside and…

cuenca-ecuador-condos

in.

cuenca-ecuador-condos

You can find superb spacious country homes in an area called San Joaquín which is known for its agricultural heritage still evident today. Numerous
farms and livestock abound in this area just 10 minutes from downtown.

Here houses sit above the city on gentle slopes with commanding views offering tile, hardwoods and marble, plus exquisite workmanship not found
in the U.S. Yet prices are as low as $145,000.

Just a few kilometers down the road from Cuenca is Challuabamba which has seen a fair amount of new construction in the last few years. It is a
slightly lower than Cuenca so is a bit warmer. Because of the highway, it is more accessible than in the past and many locals have moved out of the
city to be in a more rural locale. New homes range from the low $70s to over $200,000 so there is a wide variety to be had.

In the country you may find the best buys as is the case in most parts of the world. In-town prices are always higher than in the country and if
living closer to nature is your preference, you can have a large hacienda with plenty of land for farming and livestock at unbelievably low prices.
We’ve seen prices starting at $1.50 a square meter ($15,000 per acre) for land featuring stunning views, flowing streams and rich dark soil.

Yunguilla, about an hour from Cuenca via the newly paved highway, is one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. It’s like a Swiss mountain
valley covered in Irish emerald green – all in South America! Explosions of white pampas grass line the road and paisley swaths of forest and
cotton wool clouds cover the broad valley floor. Huge waterfalls spring from the hillsides like gigantic white snakes crashing hundreds of feet.

Here is a shot of Yungilla.

yungilla-ecuador-condos

Currently there is a house with outstanding views sitting on just over an acre. It has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths in 2045 sq ft with an asking price of $80,000 or how about 5 acres with a river running along one boundary for $35,000.

Further on you can find plantations with entrances lined with sugar cane, bananas, mango, papaya, mango, naranjilla, babaco, orange, lemon, lime,
yucca, coffee plants, bread fruit, guavas, achote, grapefruit, coconuts and all the vegetables you could eat. Also abundant are avocado, bamboo,
corn, potatoes and tomatoes.

These veritable gardens led to rustic old farm houses graced by birds of every type, humming birds, toucan, choco, bromeliad fly catchers,
tanagers, finches and animals include agouti, tapir, fox and deer.

You can find land with horses, cows, pigs, numerous dogs, chickens and even llamas which are indigenous.

I viewed one plantation there some years ago that had its own .7 kilowatt hydro electric turbine and sugar cane crusher, distillery where they
distilled 50,000 liters of schnapps a year overlooking the San Francisco river, a broad cascading mountain stream bounds the land and the smaller
Sarayunga river runs through it.

All in all Cuenca, and the area immediately surrounding it, has a great deal to offer no matter what your preferences. Whether you want to live in
an apartment, a home or buy land and build your own – it’s all possible at prices that are a throw back to times past.

Speaking of prices that are from times gone by, our friends and representatives in Cuenca, Stephen Milden and Leanna Palermo, reported today that they went to a local co-op and bought 12 bags of organic fruits and vegetables for only $20.91! If they had purchased the same items in the US it would have cost them close to $200.00 and everything was locally grown. They will be delighted to be your hosts and show you their adopted home during the first tour of 2010 which is set for January 22-23 2010.

Not only will you have an opportunity to see a cross section of available land, homes and apartments, you will be able to experience the local
culture by way of fantastic restaurants, galleries, artisan shops and a walking tour along cobblestone streets that will take your breath away.

Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s most popular towns and we look forward to sharing Cuenca with you on our 2010 Ecuador real estate tours.

Gary

See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

Join us in Ecuador

Join us at our upcoming courses and tours.

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour      $499  Couple  $749

Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 21-22     Coastal Real Estate Tour $499  Couple $749
Jan. 23-24    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499  Couple $749

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour      $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

1 real estate tour  $499 Couple $749

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

Ecuador Electricity & International Investments in Cycles


Most investors miss the importance of  cycles which are affecting international and national investments as well as Ecuador’s electricity.

See why value investing is a key to everlasting wealth and learn about Ecuador electricity blackouts below.

small-ecuador-hotels

Ecuador electricity makes Quito beautiful at night. Here is Quito as it begins to awaken.  This shot was taken at Hotel Quito.

Seeking good value is the most important goal when it comes to investing… understanding cycles helps anticipate value.

An excerpt from a recent Multi Currency Update explains why when  it says:

Take for example an article that appeared in the Nov. 1, issue of USA Today.

The headline was: Recent downturn sparks fears of possible market correction.  Drop comes despite good earnings, growth reports”

The reality is that we should expect stocks to slide with earnings growth!

The economic cycle has an impact on shares and the economic cycle is reaching the stage where we should expected equities appreciation to fall or at least slow.

This site suggested last February (2009) in Multi Currency Prediction 2009: “We are reaching the phase of the economic cycle when we should be coming out of cash and bonds and into  shares as:

* Interest rates are down.

* There is a rush for liquidity.

* Employment is growing.

* Uncertainty is high.

The chart below explains which assets are normally best in various phases of the economic cycle.

multi-currecny-predictions

Equities tend to rise when earnings have fallen or are falling.

Most investors misunderstand the fact that share pries almost always rise at a faster rate than earnings.

This means that shares tend to rise, after a crash even though an economy is faltering.

Once the economy recovers and businesses start to do better,  the big buying is over!  The big investors bought on the bad news (saw good value) and  take profits by selling to small investors who rush in on the good news (as good value falls).

Many statistics suggest that we are entering the period when reducing shares and becoming more liquid makes sense.

Interest rates and inflation are feeling upward pressure.  Bond yields have risen as have P/E ratios.  Unemployment is looking less severe.

Perhaps that USA Today article should have read: “Recent downturn sparks fears of possible market correction.  Drop comes AS EXPECTED along with  good earnings, growth reports”

You can read the full multicurrency update as a multi currency subscriber. See details here.

Value investing is most important whether buying shares or equities because predicting short term market moves is like predicting weather.

Speaking of weather… Ecuador electricity has recently been affected by the weather.  Droughts are part of  Ecuador’s weather cycles and these droughts affect Ecuador’s electricity.

Ecuador electricity at work in Cotacachi.

ecuador-electricity

Ecuador’s electricity blackouts (which have been light) are likely to persist until Ecuador’s drought subsides.

Saturday’s Ecuador Living Update entitled Ecuador Electricity Shortage suggested that we take the Ecuador government’s statement that “power blackouts would mainly affect homes and not business”  with a grain of salt.

Our friends in Salinas now confirm this fact and wrote:

“Hi Gary, You are right that not only Ecuador’s big cities experiencing electrical rationing.  Luckily in our area of Salinas we haven’t had a black out yet, but in nearby Ballenita, my inlaws were without electricity for the afternoon and evening yesterday.

“Not sure why the government would say businesses are not effected.  The evening news from Guayaquil last night showed a series of shots of all kinds of businesses that were without power yesterday, including restaurants, bakeries and doctors’ offices.

ecuador-electricity

Ecuador electricity at night from Vistazul condos

“What we are not hearing a lot of is publicity of tips for the average person on how to conserve energy.  There was a blurb on the news two nights ago reminding people to turn off the lights when they leave a room but that is about all.”   Learn more about Ecuador’s electricity blackouts here.

Gary

See the best Ecuador property for you.  Find the best real estate offers.  Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.

Join us in Ecuador

Join us at our upcoming courses and tours.

December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s  Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Join us in 2010. See our winter Ecuador real estate tours below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour      $499  Couple  $749

Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 21-22     Coastal Real Estate Tour $499  Couple $749
Jan. 23-24    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour   $499  Couple $749
Jan. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499  Couple $749

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour  $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999

Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour   $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour      $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour        $499 Couple $999 or discounted fee for multiple tours below.

Enjoy extra savings with our special early bird fees (if you enroll in November 2009)

1 real estate tour  $499 Couple $749

2 seminar courses & tours $949 Couple  $1,399

3 seminar courses & tours   $1199 Couple  $1,749

4 seminar courses & tours   $1,399 Couple $2,149

5 seminar courses & tours  $1,599 Couple $2,499

(Be sure to show in the comments section which courses and tours you are attending)

International Club attend up to 52 courses and tours in 2010 free.

See our entire 2010 seminar and tour schedule here

Ecuador Demonstrations


There were some Ecuador demonstrations last week.

ecuador-demonstrations

This and the AP photos below by Dolores Ochoa show Ecuador protesters blocking the Pan Am Highway. See excerpts of the related article below.

Merri and I are used to these Ecuador protests as they are part of life in Ecuador. Though we have not seen any Ecuador demonstrations for several years,  they represent a good part of the Ecuadorian way and I am proud of how the  people exercise their democratic rights…. peacefully… but effectively.

The French use demonstrations as well and remember France is where many of the current ideals of democracy as we know them and processes that helped the industrial revolution really begin.

Yet the French leave cars flipped and shops burned. Remember what they did to some of their royalty!  In Ecuador violence is rarely the case.

ecuador-protests

Part of Ecuador’s political problems are created because the majority of the population are very poor… and poorly educated… but they are gaining.  This is Maria…  excited to be headed on her first day to university to study tourism management through a scholarship provided by our foundation, Land of the Sun.

Merri and I have been in the midst of several Ecuador demonstrations.  Our first protest party took place many years ago in the 1990s.  We had to get a friend from Latacunga, (one of the most active places for demonstrations), to Quito airport.

There is a “moving through Ecuador road blocks art” that we learned.

ecuador-protests

Ecuadorians are by nature friendly and easy going. Violence is rare… in their protests, crime or politics. These girls attend the Topo Grande school that Land of the Sun foundation is assisting.

In that first protest adventure we were with a yatchak… in his car… a four wheel drive. This meant that  a lot of the demonstration avoidance tactics came in the form of driving down railway tracks, through football fields and for quite some distance on the grassy path that formerly was the Incan trail.

Eventually however one meets a roadblock.  On that trip the yatchak did most of the work. As gringos we stayed in the car and let the yatchak do the talking.  Most road blocks are more like street parties… the blockers only half serious. There are generally two types of demonstrators… those with a real gripe and the majority who see the demonstration as a sort of fun time.

If you meet up with the party types… usually a dollar or two is a sufficient consideration to be able to move on IF one approaches the road block correctly… never with pushiness or aggression.

If one meets up with those who have a true grievance… the process is more difficult but usually  an earnest listen to their complaint… a murmur of agreement, some sympathy and an explanation of why you need to pass through, with perhaps a dollar or two will open the block.

In that first trip, the taxi drivers had the complaint… so they were the hardest nuts to crack… but the yatchak never failed.  Gentle words… appreciation for their plight and explanation of our own problems always opened the gates.

That trip to the airport took much longer than normal… one does not rush through these events… but we were able to help our friend board his plane on time.

Our second Ecuador demonstration trip took place on the day before one of our seminars in Ecuador.  Talk about terrible timing!

We always met delegates when they arrive at the airport the day before the seminar so we needed to travel from Cotacachi to Quito.  Normally we would make the two hour trip via the Pan American highway.  But Otavalo is another major, strong point for demonstrations.

We have developed a network of friends across the country so we knew that the Pan American was tightly closed.

So we headed down the back roads with an intrepid taxi driver who knew the ropes.

At each road block I would lay down in the back seat, close my eyes and groan.  Owh owh owh.

Merri, looking as pathetic as possible, rambled on “Me esposa necesita un hospital”.

The taxi driver requested clearance to the “hospital” and offered a few dollar for the favor.

This worked half way to Quito.  However there are some road blocks that just cannot be passed.  We found such a place where one group had dug a large pit through the road.

ecuador-demonstrations

Another AP photo shows how some road blocks cannot circumnavigated.

Here I experienced a major recovery from my illness, grabbed our suitcase and we walk through the burning tires… NOT LOOKING ANYONE IN THE EYE.

The only hangup came when our hound dog Ma became tangled in the wires from burned tires. On the other side of the road farmers awaited with their pickups.   For $20, they were willing to give us a lift into town. The normal two hour journey turned into six…. but we were there, smiling when our delegates arrived.

The demonstrations (as with those last week) lasted only a day and we accompanied our delegates on the bus back to Cotacachi next day on the Pan American highway.  No one really suffered.

In short Ecuador demonstrations can range from kinda fun to frustrating… but rarely dangerous… as long as one takes their time, remains passive and avoids getting involved.   These Ecuador demonstrations, are in my opinion, a good part of Ecuador’s democratic process.

I expected political tensions to tighten in January… but they seem to be winding up sooner.

Here is my thinking why there will be more political turmoil in the months ahead.

Part of Ecuador’s political problem began over 500 years ago when the Spanish began colonizing the area that is now Ecuador. The system favored a few at the expense of the majority and has remained that way.

Today the majority of the population is indigenous….but historically have had little political power and they have the smallest portion of wealth and income. Here is a resident of the village of Topo Grande.

ecuador-protests

Slowly they have become increasingly organized and must be considered as a political power that now determines elections.  Yet due to the fact that they still remain among the poorest sector of the population, they also understand the global economy the least.

Almost every Ecuador president, since Merri and I began living in Ecuador, has been elected in part by making promises to poor people, like this lady above, that could not be kept.

President Correa is included in this definition and had two added benefits… his ability to speak Quichua (the indigenous language) and high oil prices when he entered office.

Oil revenues provide the major part of the government’s income and the high prices allowed Correa to keep many of his promises in his first years in office.

Then oil prices dropped and the government began cutting back.

This put so much pressure on the government income that in July 2009 it sold a billion dollars of oil to the Chinese.

An excerpt from a Reuter’s article entitled “Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador ties” explains as it says:  QUITO (Reuters) – Oil-hungry China is moving to strengthen ties with OPEC member Ecuador, part of a global trend in which the Asian giant is providing billions of dollars in financing to producer nations to guarantee energy supplies.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the country will receive $1 billion as advance payment for future oil sales to China. Ecuador sends most of its oil to the United States, and is trying to diversify its market.

Details remained unclear on Monday. But China, the world’s second biggest petroleum consumer after the United States, is striving to cement better ties with resource-rich Ecuador.
Chinese company Sinohydro is bidding for a contract with Ecuador to build a $2 billion hydroelectric plant in the country.

In addition, the leftist Ecuadorean government says it is in talks with Chinese companies interested in investing in the Manta air base, which the U.S. Army is due to leave in September. Ecuador wants to build a commercial airport in Manta.

According to the Chinese customs office, China imported 326,000 tonnes of crude oil from Ecuador in the first four months of 2009.

Ecuador is the fifth largest producer of crude oil in South America after Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. It produced 486,000 barrels of crude oil a day in May.

Impoverished Ecuador faces a liquidity crunch due to low oil prices. The government’s recent debt default has shut the country off from the international capital markets.

Here is how one sharp Ecuador businessman explained the problem to me.

The government took payment now on 30% of its future oil, beginning next January to balance the current budget. How will it balance its budget next year with only 70% of its oil?

This leaves the Ecuador government only two options… higher gas prices… a factor beyond its control… or a cut back which means breaking more election promises.

That’s why it made sense to me that demonstrations would start next year not now.

However I was wrong. On hearing of the demonstrations I wrote to a network of friends and contacts across the country to get people’s opinions. Here are some of the replies I received.

Business person from Manta:

Dear Gary, Today Sunday the indigenas stared to make groups in different places of Guayaquil  and especially Quito. It Iooks like they want to make strikes tomorrow and to close main roads especially in highlands areas.   Until this moment everybody is quiet and nobody worries over  that situation.  The people are asking for solutions to water problems and something more.,

I think we have to see what happens tomorrow and hope that there is nothing more than a one day demonstration.

The Real Estate Tour in Manta was very good yesterday.  The people were very nice and it looks like two couples and two men are planning to stay in Manta to see more properties.

Demonstrations have been brewing and are now taking place on two fronts.

One of them regards schoolteachers that are part of a much politicized association called UNE (Union Nacional de Educadores – or National Teachers Association) who opposes the widely celebrated regime effort to bring higher quality to public schooling via teacher examination and training.

UNE appears to be divided in this and the government is gaining ground in this legitimate endeavor.

The other front regards mostly the indigenous population (also somewhat divided), who opposes the draft for the new Water Law, claiming that it will “privatize” water, something that has no grounds.

They say that they have not been taken into account in drafting it and that it has elements for the privatization of water. Please note that the indigenous peoples of Ecuador are very dependent on natural water sources for their livelihood.

The indigenous population is adept at closing-off highways in very disruptive demonstrations.

So far it seems that the demonstrations have been mostly mild but it’s hard to tell if they will flare-up big time.

The indigenous people also oppose the new mining law on environmental grounds. The general public believes this new mining law is important as it provides environmental safeguards but also allows the exploitation of our mineral riches under a better framework. There are always tradeoffs of course.

President Correa’s Government keeps a very high level of support amongst the population and has been extremely able to defuse situations like this, even though it has had a confrontational stance.

Change brings discomfort and demonstrations are part of our culture. I hope and trust they fade away amidst inclusive dialogue.

It seems that by Tuesday the demonstrations were defused. The biggest supporters have lifted their demonstrations in order to start a dialogue process.

Some fringe groups still remain protesting but for the most the demonstrations should be over now.  Best regards,

Business Person from Puerto Viejo

Hi Gary, Sorry I could not get back to you before.

As you probably know already, demonstrations have been going on this week.  There  are several groups such as teachers (UNE), indigenous people (CONAIE), high school and university students and other small groups who have gotten together protesting against different things they consider that violate or diminish their rights:  all of them have in common their opposition to the government, although the majority of them were part of the government in the past .

Each of the group is protesting against a particular law that is about to pass in the congress:  CONAIE  are against Ley del Agua or a law which regulates water and that in their opinion privatizes the water.  UNE or the teachers are against a new law of secondary and elementary education and also against some regulations that will reduce their salaries.  Students are also against  the law of university education which will not allow to have private universities in the future.  Of course political parties are also involved in these demonstrations.

CONAIE is now splitt and having talks with the government so I do not expect their strike to be as strong as in the past.  UNE  or the teachers are the ones that seem to be stronger and they are right now in their third week of protest.

Please let me know if you need more information or comments on these issues.

Kind regards,

Vilcabamba Teacher:

How are you?  I just read a little about this problem in my Country.  You know I feel sad about it because the only people who suffer the consequences are the students, right now the public schools and some universities are closed, students are in their homes.

UNE (national union of teachers) is protesting for 3 reasons:

1) The Ministerio de Education did some kind of administrative process against the teachers who did not do a test (I do not what kind of test) before, this administrative process could cause a teacher to be fired, so, UNE do not accept this process.

2) Also UNE protests about the new reforms in the law that reduce 1.5% of their salary.

3) UNE protests because a new law says that school´s authorities should get a commission of service without a salary.  Regards

Quito Businessman

Hi Gary,  There are 2 ways to read into this:

1.  Correa is trying to clean up the mess that Ecuador’s education system has grown into over the years, with UNE, the main teachers’ association becoming a by-product of the left wing political party MPD.  He has run into opposition and this has lead to the UNE’s strike which started last week.

He is also trying to put some order into the way water rights are distributed and managed in the country, thus angering CONAIE (whom he no longer needs as a political support base because through the same CONAIE and Pachakutik he has gained direct access to the indigenous people by providing them housing, infrastructure, etc.).

Now it turns out that the UNE strike will tie into the CONAIE demonstrations, and things could turn nasty next week.

2.  Correa has become obsessed with his power, and as such is trying to get control of every aspect of Ecuadorians’ life, including education, the use of land and water, the economy in general and of the production and industrial sector (taxing importers out of business in order to support local industry).  In doing so, he has alienated many of his former allies and has made worst enemies of his former foes.  This is unsustainable in the long run and the first signs that his government is heading into severe difficulties are starting to appear.  As you are aware, Correa has a very aggressive political style, criticizing his opponents and trying to make anyone who does not support him look bad and ridicule.  This has its cost and now Correa may be starting to pay the price.

Frankly speaking, I do not know how serious that is.  The main support of Correa’s “Citizens Revolution” has been the poor people.  If they start to turn against him, I do not think he will fare very well.  On the other hand, these demonstrations may just be caused by a minority of UNE and CONAIE, in which case, they will pass and it will be business as usual in Ecuador.   It is hard to tell at this time, but one thing that is for sure is that people are starting to run out of patience with respect to Correa.  We will have a clearer picture by next Monday, because it will be possible to gauge how strong and successful CONAIE’s closing of roads turns out to be.  Best,

Loja Businessman:

University and high school teachers have been protesting the elimination of a 1.5% payment and a couple of other issues. These protests began last week.

This is normal in Ecuador particularly by the union involved. They like to do this in the beginning of the school year.

The police are involved which makes this more serious, but I don’t know how serious.

Guayaquil businessman:

Gary, I do not see it so bad.

Ambato Investor:

By the way, from reading the article, it is not so against the Correa-Government.  Nonetheless, there has been some small protests in Ambato as well.

Coastal Businessman

Gary, thanks..I am in San Clemente and no demonstrations here!

The students and the teachers have always spent most of the time demonstrating..but of course the government thought they would avoid demonstrations against them with the “peoples revolution” slogan..

The indigenous people seem to want to march again against the new mining law and the governments intent to start big scale mining operations to improve finances..

I do not think any of these demonstrations will be even close in size to what they used to be during previous governments..basically because all these movements supported the government and it’s policy and many still do..They also lack the charismatic leaders they once had.

Regards,

This last comment seems to be supported by excerpts of an Associated Press article entitled “Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws”: The Associated Press  QUITO, Ecuador — Hundreds of Indians blocked Ecuador’s Pan American highway in several provinces Monday with rocks, tree trunks and burning tires to protest new water, mining and oil laws.

Their leaders suspended the protest late Monday, saying the government had promised to talk about their objections.

The Indians contend the proposed the laws threaten their lands and will privatize water resources. Leftist President Rafael Correa disputes that view, and the ruling party-controlled legislature has been expected to approve the laws.

Monday’s protests on the main national highway paled in comparison to protests that ousted Ecuadorean presidents in 2000 and 2005.

ecuador-demonstrations

Third AP photo from this article.

Things are improving. Ecuador’s indigenous are getting richer and better educated.

ecuador-protests

Enrique is one of the excellent Cotacachi indigenous builders who is developing homes in Cotacachi. He is among a growing sector of hard working, highly successful and dependable indigenous businesses that help form a strong, integrated  middle class in Ecuador.  Be sure see to see some of Enrique’s houses at this site next week.

Ecuador demonstrations are a part of Ecuador’s democratic process.  Since moving to Ecuador I have seen many presidents comes and many go… very few serving their full term… a process I like better than having a bad president last.    President Correa has enjoyed a time without Ecuador protests because of high oil prices and his willingness to default on Ecuador bonds.  That former decision is now biting him back… along with low oil prices… so more and more are saying… “throw the bum out”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this at home?

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two seminar below.

ecuador-seminars

Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here is an email for a recent seminar delegate: Hello Gary and Merri,  I have wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed your IBEZ seminar, and to thank you both for inviting us all into your lovely home for lunch last Sunday.  Merri, again, thank you for taking the time to prepare foods especially for me; they were delicious, and I appreciate your effort!  Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable, very well done, stimulating seminar.  I came away not only with all the notes provided, but also with many ideas which I plan to begin working on now that we are back home.  Wishing you all the best,

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

ecuador-exports

We take delegates on our Ecuador seminars to Otavalo markets.  Many buy enough goods to resell in North America to pay for their entire trip.  Ecuador textiles like these I photographed in Otavalo are popular.

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the followup from our course:  Gary & Merri –
I know why I get a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling when I see your two names in the ‘From’ column of my emails!  I sincerely hope that others are getting that same satisfaction.  Thank you both again for the help and assistance in getting to Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

“Oil-hungry China moves to strengthen Ecuador tieswww.reuters.com/article/GCA-Oil/idUSTRE56C6FF20090713

www.thestate.com/world/story/962859.html?RSS=untracked
Ecuador Indian group protests water, mining laws

Ecuador Banking Notes


Ecuador banking notes from Ecuador subscribers are below.

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm

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

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

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

Ecuador-multi-currency-plaza

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

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-sign

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

Ecuador-multi-currency-atm-cathedral

Here are some Ecuador banking notes sent by subscribers.

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

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

cotacachi-road-work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Avoid cash machines not attached to banks.

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

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

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

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

Here is Cotacachi’s third ATM.

cotacachi-road-work

Jyske ATM Banking in Ecuador

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

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

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

First let’s examine safety.  How safe?

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

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

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

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

Canada
Sweden
Luxembourg
Australia
Denmark

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

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

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

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

That’s safe!

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

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

Jyske Ecuador & Global Service.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even Better Get All three Courses Free

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

ecuador-tours

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

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

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

ecuador-tours

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

Or head south to Ecuador!

ecuador-tours

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

ecuador-seminars

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

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

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

ecuador-tours

Let our friendly staff at Meson serve you.

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

salinas-condo-for-sale

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

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

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

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

Ecuador Export & Southern Coastal Tour


We have added an October Ecuador southern coastal and a northern Andes real estate tour to our 2009 schedule.

This southern coastal tour will be conducted just before our final Ecuador export tour of the year conducted October 21 to 25.  The Andes real estate tour will be conducted just after the export tour so you can attend all three.

ecuador-exports

We’ll see fine gold encrusted art on the export tour.

Maggie Beesley conducts our export tours and she just sent me this note.

ecuador-exports

Leather products of all types.

Value, Value, Value.  Today’s economy has us all looking for value in everything.  In reading Gary Scott’s emails for the last two weeks, we are all learning about ways to help our dollars to go farther, as well as how and where to get wise values.

ecuador-exports

Wood carving.

October 21st thru October 24th we will be conducting another Import/Export class in Cotacachi, Ecuador.

If you are a reader of International Living, or Gary’s Ecuador Living, you know Ecuador is rated the number one country in the Retirement Index.

What does this mean?

Value is here, prices are incredible, cost of living anyone can afford and wonderful shopping.

Who should come to the class, why you should come, and what you will learn?

ecuador-exports

Botanical art.

In other words…what is this class all about?

•    Creating income
•    Finding those “one of a kind” treasures
•    Having fun doing the above two things

Of course, those are only three things.  You are going to learn to recognize true “finds”….know what your market will buy, and get all these wonderful treasures in your suitcase home safe and sound.

ecuador-exports

Ceramics.

We all know shopping is much different today than it was this time last year.  Last year we were still charging whatever we wanted.  This year we are paying cash for whatever we want.  People never spend as much if paying with cash.  So our mission in class is to find things for your market that are affordable, attractive, AND your people will happily hand over those hard earned dollars still allowing you a nice profit.

As I said this time last year, the main question I was asked “Do you take credit cards?”

I did a Bazaar yesterday and not one person charged anything.  The phrase of the day was “if I can’t pay cash for it, I won’t buy it.”  So right away I know some of the high end items that were selling left and right this time last year aren’t going to be my main sales today.

What have I learned?

Always be prepared to offer less expensive alternatives…not less quality, just more affordable for this cash market we are in.  The Credit Card Machine that was a must last year is an unneeded start up expense to you right now.

Don’t waste your money.  Plus the beauty of cash is that there are no additional charges from your bank to process those charges.  All a little more profit for you.  Yesterday at the Bazaar there were 16 vendors and I was the only one who had a credit card machine, and it sat, meaning at the end of the month, that “sitting” charge will cost me $48.00.

ecuador-exports

Jewelry

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of many types.

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Now for this class there is a little homework, but fun homework.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT…..I want each of you to think about what you would buy today?

I am not talking about groceries.

Ladies, is it that “to die for” pair of boots on sale, perhaps a leather purse, maybe a wrap for early fall, or decorations for the December holidays?

Guys, what would you buy today? Boots, new billfold/wallet, leather sports jacket, sweater? Just think about what you would spend your hard earned dollars on.

ecuador-exports

Top quality hand made suits at really low prices. This suit in french wool cost $135.

Your needs and wants are probably what will sell in your market, and that is what we need to look for.

Knowing your market is probably the most important knowledge you will take with you when making those purchases for resale.  Many of you already know about my red cape.  I love my red cape, however up in the Northeast my buyers are a little more conservative and red is not necessarily their first color of choice.

Gary Scott told me all about knowing my market, but I just love red.  I purchased 6 red alpaca capes plus 1 beige,  1 sage, 1 tan, 1 navy, and 2 black.

Yes you guessed it.

The red capes sat for a bit, but the neutral colors sold instantly and I could have sold more.  So I lost sales, and warehoused those 6 red capes until Christmas.  Moral to this story, please know your market.

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Flowers.

Your SECOND ASSIGNMENT… Please walk around your shopping areas and notice what colors people are wearing. Go into the stores and see what is on display.  Look at every catalogue you get.  What are those colors everyone is looking at?  Purple is huge again in the catalogues and stores, but do you see your market going with the fashion trends?

Look at accessories.

Scarves, jewelry, purses, shawls and make note of the prices.  Accessories have a very high markup, and this is where we can really make our money.

You all have your assignments, so get to work.  In class I want to see pictures you have cut out of catalogues, and let’s see if we can’t find those same items in Ecuador for much better prices.  It is fun!

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Textiles of…

ecuador-exports

many

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types.

Look forward to seeing many of you in Ecuador.  By the way, if you haven’t made your flight reservations, there is what I call an “airplane sale” going right now for flights into South America. Grab those lower prices…and you just saved some money.  Maggie Beesley

ecuador-exports

Crafts of all sorts and much… much more.

You can enroll in the Ecuador Export Tour here.

Before Maggie’s Export tour you can join Amy Pinoargote and Mike Sager  for the Ecuador southern coastal tour.

We have been our expanding our focus in Ecuador and now are helping readers look in the southern coastal areas.

Ecuador beach property has always represented incredible value and this expansion means we can help readers see a much larger part of the Ecuador coast.

We are also adding an October northern Andes real estate tour as you will see below.

ecuador-beach-map

Those who have been reading our messages for any length of time know that we have focused our efforts on the middle portion of Ecuador’s beach from Manta to Bahia in the province of Manabi.

However there are many other great Ecuador beach areas that some of you want to visit.

I recently sent readers an article “SEE SALINAS LIKE A LOCAL” by Amy Pinoargote  that said:

Ecuador-beach-salinas

The Salinas Malecon area has long been a favorite destination.

Salinas is one of the favorite in Ecuador for good reasons.  It has beautiful beaches, with calm waters perfect for swimming, water sports, activities or just relaxing.   Along the Malecon, or beachfront promenade, you will find a variety of restaurants, hotels, bars and other attractions.  During the summer season there is even a giant sandcastle.  If you “tip” the sculptor $1, he will take your photo.  However, to really enjoy all that Salinas has to offer, you need to get to know it like a local.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Pose for a photo by the giant sandcastle

Salinas at a Glance

There are two seasons in Ecuador.  Summer runs from December to April and winter from May to November.  The summer in Salinas is usually sunny, with occasional showers.  Daytime temperatures reach the low to mid 80s and nighttime temperatures run in the low 70s.  The winter tends to be overcast to partially sunny, but not rainy.  The winter is actually the drier time of the year and temperatures run about 10 degrees cooler than during the summer.   Because Salinas is semi-arid, it doesn’t experience sticky, tropical humidity.  This makes a comfortable environment for outdoor activities all year long.

As with most beach towns, the dress code in Salinas is casual.  It is perfectly fine to go from beach to restaurant.  Along with your swimsuit, pack plenty of shorts and short sleeved shirts, plus pants and long sleeves if you are visiting in the winter months.   Have a sweater handy, as some days are cooler than others.

Where to Eat

The Salinas area is a prime spot to enjoy fresh fish and seafood, as well as other Ecuadorian specialties.

A great spot to sample those specialties is Delícias de Ecuador, located near the entrance to the Costa de Oro neighborhood on the main road that runs from Salinas to La Libertad.

Prices here are very reasonable.  The daily lunch special or “Almuerzo” includes a soup, entrée and beverage, usually priced at $2.50.

Don’t ask for changes or substitutions on the lunch special; it comes the way it is.  Other options include Seco de Pollo, which is chicken stewed in a tomato-based sauce, and Menestra, lentils or beans served with your choice of grilled chicken, beef or fish.

If a relaxing lunch at the beach, complete with a hammock for a post-meal siesta is your style, drive about 30 minutes north of Salinas to San Pablo.  In this fishing village you will find cabana style restaurants right on the sand, specializing in fresh fish and seafood.

Las Manabas restaurant is one of the best.  If you can’t decide what to order from the extensive menu, try the Chupe de Pescado (fish stew) or Corvina (a mild tasting sea bass), cooked to order.  Most meals run between $3 and $5.

Ecuadorians typically eat a big meal at lunch and a light dinner.

Roca Parilla is the spot to enjoy an Ecuadorian style dinner.  Located a block off the Malecon, it opens at about 6 p.m.  Place your order at the counter, then take your receipt to the grill.  Specialties, which are typically priced from 50 cents to $1 each, include:

Chuzos -shrimp, chicken, beef or sausage grilled on a skewer
Torta de Papa – potato pancake filled with cheese
Torta de Choclo – corn pancake (this one is usually a favorite!)
Muchín – a yucca croquet filled with cheese

No trip to Salinas is complete without a visit to the Cevicherías, casual outdoor eating areas a few blocks off the Malecon that specialize in ceviche.  Shrimp ceviche in a tangy salsa is a good choice.  Shellfish and fish ceviche are also available.  Be aware that the shellfish or fish will not be cooked in the traditional manner.  The citrus juice in the salsa is said to “cook” the fish.  If you have concerns about eating uncooked fish, go with the shrimp version, which is cooked.

Things to See

If you want to browse for souvenirs, visit Mercado de Artesanias, an outdoor flea market in the Chipipe area of Salinas, where you can buy a variety of Ecuadorian handicrafts.

To get a glimpse of days gone by, visit the Museo de Sumpa.  This small, but well thought out museum features exhibits of artifacts from the early residents of the Santa Elena peninsula, including the Las Vegas culture.  It also features a Las Vegas burial site of the “lovers of Sumpa,” mummified remains of two people that appear to have died in an embrace.  You can also tour a cane dwelling typical of those built by the early settlers.

Enjoy a relaxing evening drive a few miles across the Santa Elena peninsula to the Punta Carnero beach, where you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets in Ecuador.  On your way back to Salinas, pass by the Malecon of La Libertad and stop for an evening stroll.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Whether dining, sunsets or beach activities are your idea of a fun time, you will find it in Salinas.

Ecuador-beach-salinas

Gerardo & Amy Pinoargote spend their time between their home in Florida and Salinas and together with relatives are building and managing Spondylus II, a small beachfront development in the Costa de Oro area of Salinas, about 2 miles from the Malecon.

This is an area they like due to its privacy, great beach for walking, sunbathing and water sports. Yet it is just a short ride to dining and shopping in the central area.

Spondylus II  is a family business consisting of three towers. Tower A1 is sold out, except for a ground floor ocean front 1000 square foot unit. Several one and two bedroom suites are still available in tower A2, priced from $49,500 to $50,500.

Larger 1300 square foot units are also still available, priced under $110,000. Tower B has just been release for sale and features larger units (1400 – 1500 square feet), in the $120,000 – $135,000 price range.

Spondylus II offers the following amenities… beachfront pool & social area, a workout center, 24 hour security and the Pacific Ocean as a front yard.  All units feature granite kitchen counter tops, tile floors, tile baths, inset ceiling light fixtures and wooden kitchen cabinets.

Now it is possible to see Salinas like a local with Amy and her husband acting as your hosts and guides.

Amy and Gerardo Pinoargote, along with American real estate broker, Mike Sager, will conduct a Ecuador southern coastal real estate tour October 15th through 18th.

On this tour you can get to know Salinas property and the real estate along the beaches north of Salinas.

This is an opportunity to view more than a dozen properties and get tips from experts who are living in this area right now.  You save time, risk and zero in with help from those “in the know”.

The tour makes your real estate investigation efficient and productive but also allows time for relaxing in the evenings and enjoying the beaches.  Plus as you’ll see in a moment could save you thousands should you ever decide to buy in this area.

Here are a few of the properties you’ll see:

•    New 2 bedroom condo located directly on a tranquil beach in popular Salinas… $55,000.

•    3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with ocean views in the most popular complex in Olon…. $100,000.

•    Large house on a ¼ acre lot near Montanita, complete with basketball court, ample parking and caretaker’s cottage that could be a bed & breakfast… $250,000.

The southern coastal tour package includes three nights accommodations:

Thursday, October 15 –  The tour fee includes a room at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.
Friday, October 16 – breakfast, transportation from Guayaquil to Salinas, lunch, Salinas area property viewings, happy hour and night’s stay at Coco’s or similar hotel in Salinas.

Saturday, October 17 – breakfast, Ruta de Sol property viewings (Ballenita to Montanita), lunch, night’s stay at Charo’s or similar hotel in Montanita.

Sunday, October 18 – breakfast, Olon area property viewings, lunch, tour of Salinas , return transportation to Guayaquil, night’s stay at the Castel or similar hotel in Guayaquil.

The tour will be limited in size but you can assure a space and save $100 if you reserve by September 1.

If you enroll today, the fee is $499 for one $998 for two.

Tomorrow the tour fee rises to $599 for one and $1,198 for two.

See how to save even more on multiple tours below.

The tour package does not include your flight.  You should plan to fly into Guayaquil on October 15th and depart from there on the 19th.  If you are attending the export and/or Andean tour we’ll help you join other delegates in Quito.

Save 2% on real estate purchase.

We are promoting this tour in cooperation with Gerardo, Amy and Mike and when we promote outside tours, we always ask for the tour operator to give something special to our Ecuador Living subscribers.

In this case,  Amy & Gerardo will provide Ecuador Living subscribers a 2% discount on any  Spondylus II condo purchase. This is possible because we do not accept real estate commissions and ask that the benefit of exposure to our large readership (this message will reach 16,572 readers) be pass onto our Ecuador Living subscribers.

Your tour does not have to end on the southern beach. As mentioned, you can then continue to Quito and Cotacachi for our October 21 to 24 Ecuador export tour.

Still more… Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Finally you can also join our October Imbabura real estate tour October 25-26, where we have also convinced developers and real estate sellers to pass savings along to our tour delegates in the form of  discounts.  For example the Prima Vera condos also offer a 2% discount to buyers from our tours.

Join us for one, two or all three tours.  Reduced tour fees apply for attending two or three tours.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

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

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

Gary

Ecuador Scams


Ecuador scams are like scams anywhere in the world… best avoided.

There are enough scams in the world that we have no control over like… Madoff…  like Federal spending… like Social Security… like underfunded pensions.

Yet we can avoid scams  that we would otherwise bring on ourselves.

Decades ago we learned that there are many scams in investment markets which is why we have always focused on working with large, experienced global firms like Jyske Bank.

Here are delegates chatting in the courtyard of Meson de las Flores with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management during an IBEZ Ecuador course.

ecuador-shots

Yet scams go way beyond the investing community and they are everywhere… including Ecuador.

When one moves to a new place… it is hard to know all the ropes. This is a bit frightening and often leads new arrivals or investors to depend more on other expats.

This can be a huge error… because Ecuador scams… or scams anywhere are promoted as often by other expats as they are by local residents.  

People are not more honest just because they come from the same country you do.

I learned this the hard way when I moved to Hong Kong almost 41 years ago.

I had a really wonderful apartment in the mid levels of Hong Kong on Bowen Road.  “Bowen Do Ng Ho” (Bowen Road #5 – This is the last of my Cantonese!)  We had an extra bedroom we rented to a very nice American woman. She met a guy who became her boyfriend… a redheaded freckled guy I recall. He was an architect… so he said… with a San Francisco firm arriving in Hong Kong to build a skyscraper.  He was a very pleasant fellow… a “jolly chap” my British friends used to say.

Somehow, for the financing, the woman, who rented our apartment, became involved. To make a long story short… the guy (and the financing) disappeared.  Huge bills owing were strewn around town.  The woman, who rented our apartment, was devastated and left on the hook.  We had all been fooled until days after this con artist fled.  We had all felt more comfortable since we were dealing with what we thought was a “known”…someone from our own culture.

So my ears perked up when a reader wrote to me after our latest Ecuador Visa Update.

“Gary, When I read your newsletter today, I was hoping you would say something about the cost of a visa.  Unfortunately, there are people who are promising newcomers a resident’s visa for $7000.  I’ve never heard of anyone paying more than $2000 for a resident’s visa, no matter which lawyer they used.

The reader went on to say that one  couple discovered this scam and tried to back out of the contract.  This elderly couple was threatened by a lawsuit.

I do not have all the facts so cannot be sure if this is a pure scam… just really unfair pricing or if more than just a visa was offered, but $7,000 seemed awfully high if all that was provided was just a resident visa.  I immediately wrote to the three attorneys who advise us in Ecuador to check on the price.

Although we were totally unaware of any of this, it did remind us that all of us should always take care and do our research when we move or visit other countries.  This is what I wrote to the 3 attorneys that we use:

“I would like to inform readers about what is a reasonable amount they should expect to pay for a resident visa.  Could you provide this?  Regards, Gary”

The first reply came from our attorney, Dr. Andres Cordova. He wrote:  Dear Gary:  If this story is true then it’s terrible. Poor people. They can contact me immediately and I will take care of them.  I will review their case for free.  It may be possible that these possible scammers are doing things under the
table, cutting corners. This would be bad, but instilling fear on clients is beyond reproachable.

Lawyers would normally charge between $800 and $1.000 for a visa, including for a family. In some cases where there is an added complication the cost may be a little bit higher.

Some bigger law firms may charge between $2,000 and $4,000 for a visa but normally when obtained of behalf of major investors, corporate CEOs, etc.  I believe $800 to $1.500 is reasonable. We charge $800 to $1.000.  Regarding expenses, they are of about $350 per visa plus some $100 in general, for the whole family.  Best regards, Andres.

This is very kind of Andres to offer free legal assistance. He has helped so many of our readers in the past. See ways he has helped readers here.

Another excellent and reliable attorney, Roberto Moreno, wrote:   Gary,  Yes, $7000 is absolutely out of range. Depending on the visa we charge from US$900 to US$1200.  Also, it is important to inform the readers that some lawyers will just obtain visas with few requirements, especially in Guayaquil.  The risk is that the visa could be removed later on. We prefer now to obtained all the visas for our clients at the immigration office in Quito.

cotacachi-green

Gary Scott and immigration attorney, Roberto Moreno, at Meson.

Learn more about Roberto and his firm here.

The third attorney, Floridalva Zambrano wrote:

Hi Gary, This is a terrible thing!!  Your reader is correct,  the cost of obtaining a resident  visa, including attorney fees,  fluctuates between $1,200 and $2,000, being this last one a very high one.  We usually charge  about $1,300.  Checking with other attorneys  from Quito this is the the standard cost.  Hope this helps!!

Here is one of our Ecuador real estate tours meeting with our attorney, Floridalva Zambrano.

ecuador-beach-prices

Flori is one of the few attorneys with such experience that when she conveys a property, a US title insurance company will provide US title insurance.

Learn about Flori’s law firm here.

There you have it… three very reliable Ecuador law firms charge about $1,200 for a resident visa.  Whether you feel someone charging much more is a scam or not is up to you… but when you move to Ecuador or anywhere that is new… you are more vulnerable so watch out for price gouging and scams.

Gary

One benefit of an Ecuador Living subscription is that we do not take commissions or kickbacks on real estate, legal work, hotel or tour reservations… or anything.  There are no hidden agendas.   We even donated our hotel to a foundation to help promote employment in Ecuador so we do not even make a penny from the income at Meson de las Flores.    Our goal is to help our readers enjoy safe, easy, profitable, low cost journeys to Ecuador.  Learn more about our Ecuador Living Service here.

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Merri, I am sitting here with a smile on my face.  I am always amazed at the turn around that I get from my emails to you.  I know you are busy with all of the projects that you and Gary address on a daily basis and appreciate very much you making time for mine.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

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

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Early Retirement From Seeds of Change


Early retirement means something more than quitting sooner than the norm.

ecuador-airport

In a moment we’ll see details about Quito’s new airport and Guayaquil’s as well.

First let’s see how change can help you retire in Ecuador or retire early anywhere.

If change is here.. If we must adapt to change… why not make the adaption good, enjoyable and fulfilling?

Early retirement means doing something you love to do that supports your lifestyle.

Early retirement means earning in a sustainable way.

Early retirement means being free to go, be or stay wherever you desire.

Early retirement means getting our of the rat race… retiring from the fear and daily hassle that the majority face.

With this view we can have an early retirement… anywhere… at any age!

This is why we’ll share an 11 lesson course entitled International Marketing Strategies starting here.

Retire on Ecuador’s Coast

One great place to retire in Ecuador is on Ecuador’s coast. This is why we are expanding our coverage to include Ecuador’s south coast with the new October Southern Ecuador Coastal Tour.

One difference between Ecuador’s  middle coast and Ecuador’s southern coast is access.

Ecuador’s middle coast s best accessed via Quito and then onto Manta via air. Ecuador’s southern coast is best accessed via Guayaquil and then onto Salinas via van.

So I asked Amy Pinoargote who is hosting the Southern Ecuador Coastal Tour to outline details on flying to Guayaquil. Amy has lives part time in Miami and part time in Salinas so knows the journey well.

Here is Amy’s report on fllghts from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador:

Flight options from the U.S. to Ecuador expanded this year, as AeroGal, an established Ecuadorian airline, has added Miami/Guayaquil and Miami/Quito flights.  American Airlines and LAN, a highly regarded South American airline, have been flying those routes for years.  For many budget conscious travelers, AeroGal is a welcome option.

ecuador-airport

I have flown all three airlines from Miami to Ecuador and would recommend any one of them.  The choice usually comes down to schedule and pricing.

In my experience, LAN typically has larger, newer planes.  They fly non-stop between Miami and Quito.  The departure from Miami is in the morning, which has the benefit of arriving in Quito with most of the day still ahead of you.  The downside of that schedule is that it is not an option to take a domestic flight into Miami and then connect to Ecuador on the same day.  Also, LAN often does not fly nonstop to Guayaquil, but instead passes through Quito.  This adds about 90 extra minutes total travel time for the Guayaquil passengers.  The LAN return from Ecuador is in the afternoon, which provides plenty of time to get to the airport.

Because I more frequently travel between Miami and Guayaquil, I often opt for American, precisely because they offer non-stop service.  The American flight leaves Miami in the late afternoon, making it feasible to connect from a domestic flight into Miami earlier in the day.  The downside of the late afternoon flight is that it arrives in Guayaquil after dark.  By the time you gather your luggage and pass through immigration and customs, it can be quite late.  The American return from Ecuador is mid-morning.  If an in-country flight or long drive is required to get to the airport, this could be a disadvantage.  American offers non-stop service to both Quito and Guayaquil.

The newcomer on the route is AeroGal.  After having flown that airline several times in Ecuador for in-country travel with good results, I was eager to try their non-stop service from Miami to Guayaquil.  Although their planes are smaller than those used by LAN, I was pleased with the service.  The departure from Miami is in the evening, which, like American, is convenient for those who need to take a connecting flight into Miami earlier the same day.  Of course that also means a nighttime arrival in Guayaquil.  Another consideration for those traveling to Quito is that the flight is not non-stop; it passes through Guayaquil first.  The AeroGal return from Ecuador is in the early afternoon, which allows time for an early morning connecting flight or a drive to the airport.

As far as pricing goes, with advance purchase I have usually paid around $550 per adult on LAN, around $475 on American and around $375 on AeroGal.  AeroGal’s lower prices have led to good feedback from budget conscious travelers and those traveling with a large family or group.  I have heard several people say they are fans of that airline’s business class fares, which run about $700.

Although LAN and AeroGal are based in South America, both offer English language customer service and websites for booking flights and bi-lingual flight attendants and airport check-in.

LAN and American not only offer service to Ecuador out of Miami, but also out of several other large cities, including New York and Los Angeles.  AeroGal is currently serving only Miami, but has announced that service to New York will begin in December 2009.

Before booking a ticket for travel from your home town to Quito or Guayaquil, it is wise to research domestic flights to Miami.  If you can get a favorable domestic flight, you then book the international portion of your trip on LAN, American or AeroGal from Miami to Ecuador, a flight of just a little more than four hours.  This often can result in a lower overall fare, fewer and shorter layovers and a schedule that better meets your needs.  Keep in mind there are several clean, safe hotels close to the Miami airport that offer free shuttle service.  A few of the most popular are the Hampton Inn and the Hilton.  This makes an overnight layover a convenient option both with free shuttles.

The bottom line for travelers is that there are several good flight between the states and Ecuador, yet another reason to make it your home overseas.

Resources:
American Airlines – www.aa.com
LAN – www.lan.com
AeroGal – https://www.aerogal.com.ec
Hampton Inn Miami Airport – http://www.hamptoninnmiamiairport.com/
Hilton Miami Airport – www.hilton.com

Whether you arrive in Quito or Guayaquil, if it is your first visit, you’ll be surprised by the modern, clean, efficient and friendly airports.

ecuador-airport

Guayaquil’s airport is new, opened on July 2006.  The airport code is GYE and we have found that everything works well here.

ecuador-airport

Quito’s existing airport is in the middle of the city and was refurbished several years ago. A brand new Quito airport opens in 2010.  The new airport is being built on a 3,500 acre site which is ten times larger than the existing airport. The new airport will be ten miles from the center of Quito which will, add about an hours drive (though it will be closer to our hotel Meson de las Flores in Cotacachi).

The new airport on Caraburo Plateau will sit nearly 2,000 feet lower than the current Quito airport.  With the lower altitude and the 11,000 foot runway, airlines will be able to schedule more convenient take off and arrival times. The current high altitude Quito airport requires most flights to  come and go early mornings or  late evenings because cool air provides more lift.

However and whenever you plan to retire, whether you retire in Ecuador, on the farm or to some new exciting way of life… make your retirement be doing something you love.

Gary

Combining good international investing with the greatest asset of all, the ability to earn wherever you live, brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

See details of the two seminar below.

Delegates at our Ecuador seminars and tours enjoy Ecuador music.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Here are comments from one seminar delegate about the way we help: Gary & Merri. My wife and I really enjoyed the IBEZ course in West Jefferson this past July. There was a lot of very interesting information. I will be working with David Cross to help set up an internet site. I have some interesting ideas regarding the flowers.   Thanks again for such a great course.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Retire in Ecuador


Retire in Ecuador

Are you thinking that you want to retire in Ecuador?

A huge and growing legal problem that affects the way we bank and invest is forcing Americans to change their financial plans.

We’ll look at this problem and some overseas income earning ideas that can help solve the difficulty in a moment.

One of the solutions to this dilemma is to live or retire abroad and since we focus so much on Ecuador may I review three steps that anyone should  take before they make a final decision to retire in Ecuador.  (Then we’ll get to the problem).

First, visit Ecuador. This seems obvious but we have many people who tell us they have decided to retire in Ecuador before they have visited.

Second, rent a place and stay awhile before you buy or make a final decision to retire in Ecuador. The fastest way to pay too much or make a less than perfect decision about where to retire in Ecuador is to rush a purchase.

Third, create a plan and make sure it will work for you.  Do you need to earn income? If so how.  Do you have enough assets or income  to qualify for a residence visa to retire in Ecuador.  Do you have children who need schools? Do you have healthcare issues to resolve that will affect the location where you retire in Ecuador?

Here is how other readers have told us how we have helped them retire in Ecuador. 

Here are some retire in Ecuador raves  from recent visitors who are checking Ecuador out and who, plan to retire in Ecuador.

We can help you look around to decide if you really do want to retire in Ecuador. Here is what one Ecuador Living subscriber shared.

Dear Merri and Gary, my wife and I are staying here in Ecuador at the El Meson De Las Flores both for the very first time.I thought I would relate our first impressions of this most unique place called Cotacachi.

We arrived here July 3 not knowing if we would seek permanant residency or return to the U.S. Initially the culture difference was a shock,but only after a few days we found ourselves growing fond of the Cotacachi area.

The native people in Cotacachi have made us feel welcome and comfortable.We speak only marginal spanish but store vendors and even the indiginous who sell thier vast array of wonderful organic fruits and vegetables at the Mercado also are all helpful and accomodating

Ecuadorian people seem far more relaxed than many people in the U.S.

And it is true.Ecuadorian children do play together safely after dark.

Most ladies wear the traditional clothing,are quite pretty and take pride in their appearance.

On Leather street there are countless stores with gorgeous belts,boots,handbags,jackets,sweaters,etc,all usually made by the vendors who sell them. These Ecuadorians seem to be very creative and industrious. Otavalo has a huge marketplace and has a surprising bustle to it. To us, Otavalo has its own character but lacks the village atmosphere of Cotacachi.

The views in Cotacachi are incredible. If you like greenery,high mountain volcanoes and patchwork hillsides Cotacachi is spectacular. We went to the Mercado Sunday morning and the veggies and many exotic fruits for sale were beyond belief. Giant heads of brocolli, lettuce, tomatos, herbs and some fruits we have never seen before.

Best of all, so inexpensive. Three large bags about 16 dollars.The restaurants here are inexpensive but they seem to serve mostly starches (rice, potatos etc) along with chicken, beef or pork.

You can order fresh veggies if you want in most eateries.

Also,the produce in Ecuador is fresh.Locally grown and harvested right to your stomach.Certainly not shipped hundreds or thousands of miles like US supermarket produce.For any person who wants to improve their health through diet Cotacachi could be the answer.There are poor people in Ecuador, but no body appears to be going hungry.

Downsides?  Well,the traffic can be noisy and the drivers seem to have the right of way.  There are no emission standards so exhaust fumes can be a problem. Debbie and I have decided to seek residency in Ecuador.

We do live on my pension and believe we can be happy and healthy living a more relaxed lifestyle here in Cotacachi.

Also, I compliment your staff at  Meson? Everyone here has been helpful to us being our first time in Ecuador and also after a particuraly bad experience with animal customs at the Quito airport. Thank you  to Eduardo, Rosita, Consuelo, Franklin, Mauricio, Alberto, Christian the computer guy and the other fine associates at Meson. To the wonderful kindred spirits we have met, Olivia, Maggie, Jaci, Mercedes Peggy and Lee.  Again,thank you all.

Talk to a US (or Canadian) and Ecuador attorney before you retire in Ecuador.

Here is what an Ecuador Living subscriber shared about this.

Hi Merri:  I’ve been meaning to send you a note to let you know my passport paperwork was in perfect order for our 12IX Visa and we got it in two days after the applicaction was sent to Washington.  I gave my permanent visa paperwork to the attorney you recommended when we arrived in Manta and it was in order as well.  There were a couple of documents they had to prepare for us to sign and it was off to Quito with the attorney the day after we met with him for the first time.  I can’t say enough good things about your referal (and his Immigation specialist).  It was because of their help that the legal part of our experience in Ecuador has gone so well.  Thank you again for the referral and for filling me in on what we needed to do prior to leaving the States.  Believe me, most people out there don’t give you the true or whole story about the visa requirements.  Because of your advice, we saved ourselves a lot of headaches.

Another wrote about one of the immigration attorneys we refer to our Ecuador Living readers who want a retire in Ecuador visa.

I contacted the Ecuador attorney as you suggested and he gave my file to hsi asscoiate who specializes in immigration.  They responded immediately and she has been wonderful.  I think I have ordered all the documents I need certified and apostiled.  It’s taking forever to get a couple of them but I’m hoping they will arrive soon.  Until you go through this, you don’t realize just how time-consuming it is.  Thank you so much for your advice in this regard. You and Gary have been so helpful in helping us realize the potential problems and we are very appreciative.

Get to know expats in the community who can share what they have learned as they retire in Ecuador.

One Ecuador living subscriber planning to retire in Ecuador wrote this:

We arrived in Manta on May 30th and after spending a few days at the Howard Johnson’s, rented a house for a month. It was owned by a wonderful Ecuadorian woman (native of Cuenca) who moved to the Casita in the back.  We became great friends and met a lot of people through her as well as through the local Gringo organization.

We came to Cuenca a week ago and are living in a rented, furnished apartment overlooking the city (across from the Ore Verde Hotel.)  We attended the Gringo gathering Friday night and who should appear shortly after we arrived we met another one of your Ecuador Living subscrobers who we had met on the January Tour.  Never did I dream we might run into her in Cuenca.  It was great seeing her.

We know we love Ecuador and, hopefully, after out three month rental is up here we hope to be able to decide where we want to settle.  At this point, we are really loving Cuenca! Thanks, Merri and regards to Gary.

Talk to MDs and learn about the healthcare options you may need before you retire in Ecuador.

Here is what one Ecuador Living subscriber who planned to retire in Ecuador shared about this.

Here is the website for my insurance company in Ecuador.  They have clinics across Ecuador plus a number to call and talk to an English Speaking sales person.

The monthly rate for a 69 yr old – and it is $80. Plus the initial medical exam.

They do not have doctors who speak Englaish but I suspect that within all the clinics there probably is at least one, if not several doctors who speak English.

They do have connections with optmologists and dentists in other clinics.

They do not cover treatment outside Ecuador except for emergency treatment in Colombia.

Emergencies are covered all over Ecuador – say you have the misfortune to suffer a life threatening event then you would, presumably, be taken to Loja and treated in a hospital there. You would pay the cost and the insurance would re-imburse you.

All non emergency treatment needs to take place in Quito or where there are insurance owned or affiliated clinics – at this moment just Guayaquil or Santo Domingo.

Now the problem.

The problem is that Americans have lost control of their wealth.

An insidious form of of loss has been taking place for decades and now we are in the end game.

The theft has taken place in the same way the Nazis robbed the Germans of control.

A German industrialist once explained how the Nazi’s took over when he explained that very few people were Nazis.  However many enjoyed how the Nazis brought back an external German pride.  Most were just too busy to care.  The majority let it all happen at an early stage.   Too late the realization came that the Nazis were in total control.   See how this has happened to your wealth here a Bank Privacy Gone

One way to overcome the problem is with overseas income ideas.

See one Ecuador Income idea at Retire in Ecuador with Income

Big problems creates big opportunity.  The huge problem of losing our bank privacy  is creating great profit for those who move, invest or retire abroad. Whether you work invest and retire in Ecuador or elsewhere,  be sure to create ways to protect your wealth in the inflationary era ahead.

Gary

Join us at our North Carolina farm this July or October for our International business & investing seminars below. Learn more about early retirement and Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador and learn more about living and retiring in Ecuador.

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

Ecuador Iran Excerpt


A number of readers have asked about Ecuador and Iran so here is an excerpt from our latest Ecuador Living report.

Some of the ideas apply to interaction between radicals in all of the Middle East and the West and how they can affect our wealth, business and investing.

The idea that Iran is a great enemy intent on attacking us is great for selling news, but a bad leader or two does not reflect the entire population.  Many of us in the US did not agree with some of the leaders our the last administration.

IF  Iran is to become more involved in the West and that’s a very big IF, I do not see it being any great deal. The only risk Iran poses is if many people give them a lot more concern then they deserve… as certain leaders in the West gave Saddam Hussein.

I do not claim in any way to be a great global military strategist but that thinking has some support from the thinking of other  who I do think are good at strategic global thought such as… Lee Kwan Yew.

I worked and spent a lot of time in Singapore during the late 1960s and early 1970s so I recall vividly the way Singapore used to be.

Lee Kwan Yew had a lot to do with Singapore emerging from a form of colonialism that included a lot of poverty to one of the wealthiest societies in the world.

This means it is fitting to read some of Lee Kwan Yew’s thinking that could apply to Ecuador and Iran now.

Lee Kuan Yew outlines the risks of relying on the local press succinctly in a 2007 interview with  UPI’s editor at large, Arnaud de Borchgrave.

Q: So what is your recommendation about Iran’s nuclear ambitions?

A: Is it now unstoppable. They are a very old civilization. Unlike the Arabs, apart from Mesopotamia valley, they rank with the Chinese, as history’s two principal civilizations worth talking about. And I think the mullahs and others want to go back to the days of empire.

Q: So should we be talking to them at the highest level, the way Henry Kissinger went to China?

A: (Chuckle) But you haven’t got a Kissinger or a Brzezinski to do that anymore. Where is the successor generation of geopoliticians?

Q: In fact, democracies don’t produce great statesmen anymore. Why?

A: You now have, and I don’t know how long this phase will last, mass media domination, owned by a group of media barons who want constant change for their balance sheets.

Q: So the power of mass media has made it impossible for a great statesman or woman to emerge and last any length of time?

A: I’m not sure. It depends on the nature of the crisis that must be faced. When a real crisis sets in, a matter of life and death, opinion formulators realize this is no time to be pontificating, but a time to stay the course with someone who understands what this is all about.   Short of that, the media help put a leader on the pedestal and then start chopping away at the pedestal until he/she falls in disgrace. That’s part of the cycle of constant change. Watch Sarkozy in France. They hoisted him up to prominence and now they’re already attempting to bring him down through his personal life.  Well, yes. But it’s also the enormous pressure of media competition and the giant appetite for advertising revenue, what television program gets what viewership, or eyeballs, or clicks online. Never mind the consequences. If you get the advertising, you win.

Q: When I last interviewed you in May 2001, I asked you what concerned you most about the next 10 years, and you replied, “an Islamist bomb, and mark my words, it will travel.” Four months later, we had Sept. 11. Secondly you said, “China and India’s challenge to the global status quo.” Do you still have the same concerns about the next 10 years?

A: Not quite. The Islamic bomb has traveled already (in Iran). I’m not sure how this will now play out. The U.S., the Europeans, even the Russians, will have to make up their minds whether to allow Iran to go nuclear. The Russians are playing a game, posing as the nice guys with Iran, supplying nuclear fuel, and making it look as if America is causing all this trouble. But if I were Russia today, I would be very worried about Iran acquiring the bomb, because Russia is more at risk than America. The risk Israel runs is another dimension. Russia is at risk because whether it’s the Chechens or Central Asian Muslim states that were former Soviet republics, none are friendly to Moscow. Next time there’s an explosion in Moscow, it may be a suicide bomber who isn’t wearing an explosive belt or jacket, but something a lot bigger. It would certainly be in Russia’s interest to say at some future point to Iran, “this far and no further.” It could also be that Russia no longer knows how to stop it, in which case the Russians will be opening the door to a very dangerous world of nuclear proliferation. You can be quite sure that if and when Iran gets the bomb, the Middle East will go nuclear.

Q: Which raises the question of the United States or Israel bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.

A: (long silent pause) … I can express no views on that.

Q: As I travel in moderate Muslim states in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, I ask heads of state and government how many extremists, or would-be jihadis, they estimate live in their midst, also how many fundamentalists who support openly or secretly the jihadi cause. The answer is usually 1 percent and 10 percent. In a country like Pakistan, that translates to 1.6 million extremists and 16 million supporters. On a global scale, that comes out to roughly 14 million extremists and 140 million sympathizers.

A: Yes, but I do not see them winning, and by that I mean able to impose their extremist system. I can see them inducing fear and insecurity, and causing fear, but they don’t have the technology and the organization to overwhelm any government.

Q: So how do you assess the global threat since Sept. 11? What are we doing that’s right and also that’s wrong?

A: Even if we can’t win, we mustn’t lose or tire. We cannot allow them to believe they have a winning strategy, and that more suicide bombers and WMD will advance their cause and give them a chance to take over.

Q: Did Iraq have anything to do with al-Qaida?

A: Of course not, as became clear in the daily sessions the imprisoned Saddam spent with his Arabic-speaking FBI interrogator over several months before his execution. But U.S. authorities were convinced Saddam was secretly supporting al-Qaida with weapons and training and maybe even WMD. So therefore the imperative became the elimination of Saddam.

A: (Laughs for several seconds) We should learn to live with it for a long time. My fear is Pakistan may well get worse. What is the choice? (President) Musharraf is the only general I know who is totally secular in his approach. But he’s got to maneuver between his extremists who are sympathetic to Taliban and al-Qaida and moderate elements with a Western outlook. We forget that right after Sept. 11 he was given a stark choice by President Bush: either you abandon your support of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan or face the disintegration of Pakistan. There is an interesting study of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency that says 20 percent of the Pakistani army’s officer corps is fundamentalist.

A: There is very little, if anything, the U.S. can do to influence the course of events in Pakistan that wouldn’t make matters worse. Any U.S. interference in Pakistan would result in Pakistan’s four provinces becoming four failed states. And then what happens to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal? It’s a horrendous festering problem. The Feb. 18 elections may bring a little clarity and hopefully democratic stability to Pakistan, but I am not holding my breath.

Q: So you do feel that NATO’s future is at stake in Afghanistan?

A: No doubt about it. But you should also realize Afghanistan cannot succeed as a democracy. You attempted too much. Let the warlords sort it out in such a way you don’t try to build a new state. The British tried it and failed. Just make clear if they commit aggression again and offer safe haven to Taliban, they will be punished.

Q: If NATO collapsed in the wake of a failed campaign in Afghanistan, would that be a major concern of yours in Singapore?

A: Not immediately, but overall the balance of power would be upset.

Q: In whose favor?

A: China and Russia. They would be faced with a much weakened West in the ongoing global contest. I can also see the danger if America loses heart and says to hell with it all because the Europeans are not helping and the Japanese are blocking this and that, and tokenism from all the others. Let’s not forget that what we’re all enjoying today is the result of Pax Britannica and Pax America over the past 100 years. So don’t give it up.

Q: But in the Gulf, if the U.S. and/or Israel bombed Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran has formidable asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities?

A: But let me repeat, they cannot conquer you. Hezbollah cannot conquer Lebanon. They can create trouble for the non-Hezbollah Lebanese. So micro actors can cause a lot of trouble for your friends, but they can’t eradicate them.

You can read this entire report as an Ecuador Living subscriber and see why if there were to be a military concern in Latin America it would be over China…not Iran..

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Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn in an upcoming report about this huge lot and house in Cotacachi for $30,000.

There were two articles readers have recently mentioned.

The first article began, QUITO – Iran will finance two new power plants in Ecuador and extend a 40-million-dollar loan for business development, officials from both countries said Thursday, three months after the first visit by an Ecuadoran president to Tehran.

The second:  Iran, Ecuador Eye Military Ties As U.S. Prepares to Withdraw from Airbase Friday, May 29, 2009, by Patrick Goodenough, (CNSNews.com) – As the United States military prepares to vacate an airbase in Ecuador in the fall, the leftist government responsible for its upcoming departure is looking to Iran as a future military partner.

While I do not feel that nuclear power or expanded military might are good things, I do believe completely in the global economy and in expanding the wealth of all.

ecuador-iran

Subscribe to Ecuador Living and see an upcoming report on how to own this organic tomato farm with…

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trout pond.

One can argue about all the numerous conflicts in the world but if we boil it down to the few most important, one of the biggest tensions in today’s society is that there are a few very wealthy people and many, many poor.

For decades my premise for economic expansion has been based in part on the belief that most people, if given a choice, will spend their time doing positive things, like working at something they love for increased material wealth and great fulfillment rather than living a guerilla’s life.  A poor soldier’s living conditions are  generally not pleasant… the pay low… the risk extreme.  That life, however, is better than one of complete hopelessness and despair.

If Ecuador Iran cooperation can help make more poor Ecuadorians and Iranians rise out of poverty… I say…”go for it!”

There are many potential and huge benefits to be gained by bringing Iranian business to the West. Maybe Iran being closer to the West will help it integrate?  Current events in Iran suggest that many of the population would be happy to do so.

ecuador-iran

Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn about these 15 new houses on Cotacachi’s creek.

I have had an opportunity to observe Correa and the people of Ecuador react for a couple of years now.  At times I have been quite close… such as when I took this photo.

Ecuador-photos

Correa is in a strong political situation at this time. One thing that could destroy his popularity quickly would be the perception in this 90% Catholic country that he is introducing Islamic radicalism.  Therefore Correa may line up with Iran for some money… and to gain leverage in his dealings with the West… but a major integration would surprise me very much.   One bombing in an American hotel in Quito or Guayaquil and Correa’s popularity would be toast.

There have been worries about his friendship with Chavez. There are these worries of Correa with Iran. There have been worries about South America pulling away from the US dollar.

Yet so far none of these fears have affected life, happiness, opportunity, real estate values or  law and order in Ecuador.

In short anyone who never heard of or ignored all these fears and moved optimistically forward is better of than those who did not.

Most of the press are writing about the world sliding into recession. Many articles in the Western press make it sound like there’s little opportunity and great danger everywhere.

Good. Their doom and gloom creates positive global investing opportunity for those of us who can see through the illusion.

ecuador-iran

Subscribe to Ecuador Living and learn about Primavera V condos.

Regards,

Gary

We hope you’ll join us to learn more business and investing opportunities globally as well as Ecuador.

July 4-8 Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

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

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

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

Ecuador Tickets #3


Buying Tickets to Ecuador Part Three

This series on buying tickets to Ecuador began with two articles at this site.  If you missed part one see it at Buying Tickets to Ecuador.

See Ecuador Tickets 2 here.

Here is a rave from the first messages on this series.

Merri,  This message on Ecuador tckets is a good one=—thanks for your input.  Shoot, I thought I WAS THE BEST at getting Ecuador tickets!!!!!!     I use Delta, American and Southwest…..I did not have quite enough miles on American for both my son and I so we just bought the extra miles. I am using Delta miles to fly to Calgary and I am getting first class on way back for no extra miles because their coach air mile seats were taken but they had a first class seat available.  I am happy. When I get over 50,000 miles with one airline, I start using the card that needs boosting up to 50,000 —and Southwest is easy—-I like it —2 hours to Columbus from TPA——can go to Orange City airport in California – Seattle – Tulsa – now they are hooked up with  West Jet for  Calgary-!!!    but I loved Avianca and Lan Peru both.  Our airlines do not compare.

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There are many reasons to buy an Ecuador ticket. Miles of safe empty each is one. All the pictures in this message were taken at San Clemente Ecuador around the Vistaul condos. For more information on Vistazul contact Kjetil Haugan at kjetil@haugancruises.com

There are no hurricanes in Ecuador.  This surf is as bad as  have ever seen.

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Most days it looks like this.  Or at best…

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a surf to play in… .. lots of nature… birds and sun!

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Here is the third part of Merri’s tips on Ecuador tickets.

Some suggestions for Ecuador.  I find a lot of people need help on this somewhat exotic country…because there isn’t a lot of information out there.  Gary and I have lived/worked in Ecuador for going on 15 years, so we’ve learned a lot the hard way…that is so you won’t have to!

Here are my list of dos and don’ts:

1.Fly into Quito not Guayaquil (even if the flight is cheaper). Guayaquil is a big, bustling, expensive city full of a lot of things you don’t need to put up with and not much of interest to tourists as well as those who want to look for a place to live.  Quito is orderly and functional and the airport really organized.  We have good friends in Guayaquil and over the years have spent a lot of time there, but that doesn’t mean that we like it.  It also costs a lot of time and money to get up to Quito (over $100 round trip, so that usually wipes out any savings) and since most flights arrive in the evening…you’ll have to overnight in expensive Guayaquil.

The surf at San Clemente is safe enough for kids to play in.

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Merri continues.

2.Don’t fly on a Colombian Airline (Avianca and others), even if it is great deal cheaper.

For instance, right now Avianca is flying from Miami to Quito for $361 while Delta is listing at $362. (round trip).  I’ve been waiting for all of you to arrive in Quito for over 14 years and those which fly from Bogota, Colombia often don’t land in Quito, they go onto Guayaquil and overnight there…or more usual, they just stop in Bogota (unscheduled of course) and then continue in the next day to Quito.

Why do people fly with them?  Often they are the cheapest…but cheap is nothing compared to an American passport holder overnighting in Bogota and not really understanding when the next plane goes out, plus missing your ride in Quito, etc.  I always  say to people this is the prime example of false economy.

Weather can be misty with a socked in airport and Quito can be a tricky airport to land into.  (This will be remedied when the new airport is finished.  It is built on top of a plateau instead of in the valley of Quito.)  All Delta pilots who fly in there are licensed to land in any weather (but sometimes choose not to land and go to Guayaquil…but rarely.)  Colombian pilots are rarely licensed to land on instruments, so the plane just stays in Colombia and comes the next day…not ever a good thing for a traveler!  I’ve waited hours in the Quito Airport with our crew for years looking for those people who don’t arrive until the next day!

Even little children are safe on this beach.

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Merri’s notes continue.

3. Bring your own favorite non heavy snacks and just drink lots of water, skip the airline fare and the drinks…you’ll feel better and the next day not have any recovery time.

4. We never book “Multiple Airlines” tickets.  This can be a combination of all sorts of airlines and can be a reason if anything goes wrong (like lost luggage) that no one claims responsibility.  We don’t like to mix airlines.

5. If you think that Quito might be too high in altitude for you, then just hire a driver to meet your plane, bring you water and fruit and a pillow and blanket and bring you on out to your destination!  That’s what we do!

Ecuador is a charming, beautiful country…buy your tickets with care and enjoy the ride!

Let’s discuss Award Tickets vs Pay with Miles and other variations that  we use tomorrow.

Big children can play in the surf as well!

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Gary

Go to Part Four of Buying Tickets to Ecuador here

learnspanish

Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

Instant $110 discount on the course!

The “Learn Spanish in Three Day Course” is now available online.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

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

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

Here is the proof.

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

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

See examples of the words you already know below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

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

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html