Tag Archive | "Imbabura;"

Ecuador Exports

Our main April conference is our Ecuador Export Expedition on April 12-15, 2010.


See how weaving stories into Ecuador tapestries enhances value.

Adding income earning power is important to many of us and Ecuador exports is one way to make extra money because they come in many forms.

At our Ecuador Export Expeditions we look at how there are three ways to create value in exports…

First, one can buy a product as is… like this


Ecuador carpet.  You can buy them in a number of markets. This shot was taken in Otavalo Market.  These carpets are beautiful… as is and you can bargain hard to get a good price.  Yet they are just carpets.

The second way to export and enhance value is to modify the product.

Most Ecuador tapestries have symbolic geometry so if you take a special tapestry like this…

double woven design and modify it… even with just a story… you enhance value.  For example the sacred geometry, animal protein of the wool and extra thickness could make this a special yoga pad.   Now the product is worth more than just a carpet.

The third way to add value is create your own product. Here is Merri at…


the Cotacachi museum at a recent course showing a full length vest she had made from…


a carpet.  Now this is much… much more than a rug and can be sold for much more!

Here is another… make from scratch… Ecuador export that will suit someone.

I did not own a suit for more than twenty years. My blue blazer is classic and the microfiber sport coat bought a decade ago or so has survived more miles crumpled in an airplane than I can guess. With these two pieces I always managed to get by.

I start our seminars with a coat and maybe… on a rare occasion a tie, but they are quickly abandoned for perhaps a  sweater or anything that lets the blood flow all the way to the head without any knots getting in the way.

Yet Ecuador export ideas are so good that I was forced a couple of years ago when our daughter Francesca was getting married to buy a hand made Ecuador suit.

I ambled just down the street from our Hotel Tierra del Sol (formerly Meson de las Flores) with a friend Todd Smith.  Todd was also in need of a suit and he took a photos of his and my brand new custom-made threads that cost only $130!

Here is David… our tailor,  a friendly man hard at work on the sewing machine.

20070401a.jpg 20070401b.jpg

Todd picked out a fine, gray, wool material for his suit… his was the finest material the tailor had available so his finished product was higher $210. (Todd splurged on the best. My more modest French wool rann only $130).

The tailor has a batch of modern men’s fashion catalogs that you can flip through and he makes any design you like.   If people send measurements, he can even make a suit for someone without them ever having to come to Ecuador!   They submit their measurements, select a material and a design, run their credit card, and two weeks later a new suit arrives in the mail.

Here I am with Todd and our new suits then.

20070401c.jpg 20070401d.jpg20070401e.jpg

Now our youngest daughter is getting Married.  Congratulations Ben and Ele!

This will be a summer affair in the Cotswolds so I figured that a light wool summer suit would be required.

I told David the tailor I only had a week. He delivered exactly on time.


I like it. A perfectly…


fitted suit of finer wool ran the price to $250… still a bargain.

Here is a great Ecuador export idea. When I lived in Hong Kong 30 years ago tailored suits there were great and cost about $150. Many business people made a living traveling Europe, the US and Canada to fit people for really great, low costs suits.

Now, I am not sure that travel is even be required.

A great Ecuador export idea is “The virtual tailor from Ecuador. Hand made suits for less than some US shirts!”

This is a business idea that should suit someone!

Learn more and meet David the tailor at our upcoming Ecuador export course.  Here are details.

Arrive in Quito for the Ecuador export course no later than April 11, 2010.

Your Flight Data:  As soon as you enroll, please send flight data so our tour guides can make all your arrangements.  Quito has a beautiful airport, easy passage through Immigration and on time arrival of bags.  There are carts available.  After collecting your luggage, just stay to the right and move slowly through the hall.  There is no inspection of luggage but there is an X ray scan for luggage at the end.

You will pass through glass automatic doors and start up a slight ramp.  An agent will need to see your baggage claim checks before allowing you to pass through.

The Radisson Hotel will be there with your name. If you were to be on a different flight or have any troubles, don’t worry, they will be able to find you.  If all else fails, take a taxi directly to the Radisson or catch their shuttle, which is just outside the Arrival Halls.
If you are going to the Mansion del Angel, the driver will be there with a sign with your name and will transfer you directly there.

If you would like to come early and/or just come straight out to Cotacachi (avoiding the high altitude of Quito), we can have a driver meet your plane and bring you on out ($55).

We will make the reservations for you at the Radisson or Mansion, our price is a lot lower than on the Internet ($120). Our price for this 5 star hotel is only $68 plus tax.  Just let us know your room needs.

Departure:  You will be returning to Quito in the late afternoon of April 15 and can depart on flights that evening or the next morning, April 16.

Schedule: Depart April 12 from the Radisson at 9:30 a.m. The course begins right there in Quito.  There are many interesting things to see and learn in Quito and on the trip down to Cotacachi. We start at the exquisite Olga Fisch Gallery and Museum with a lecture accompanied by the products themselves featuring the finest techniques, textiles, jewelry in Ecuador…and additionally the museum pieces from the private collection.

Hotel Data for the Course:  For the course, we will stay at Hotel Tierra del Sol (formerly Meson de las Flores) in Cotacachi.

At the hotel, you’ll enjoy our inn filled with flowers and sunshine, roaring fires at night.  It’s a 180+ year old hacienda converted into a small hotel.  The conference will be held here, and this will be our home while we travel around.  Meson de las Flores belongs to the Land of the Sun Foundation and is the seat of the foundation activities to help the indigenous. All proceeds from Meson go directly to the indigenous of the area and supports their projects.
Meson is $59 per room, plus 22% Ecuadorian tax including a sumptuous breakfast.

We have wireless Internet here so feel free to bring your own laptop.  The wireless works in the courtyard, rooms, balconies, all over.  We also have a free phone to call back to the US, Canada and all of Europe.  Everyone can utilize these no fee services to stay in touch.  We have a safe in every room and the water is good…although we furnish free bottled water also.

Tierra del Sol is the oldest of the hotels in Cotacachi by at least a century and was purchased by our foundation 4 1/2 years ago.  It is clean, comfortable, charming and full of character…but is certainly not pretentious or grand!  It is a country inn, where Gary and I live and where everyone is treated as part of the family.  We are grateful for your attendance and for your support in our projects and look forward to having you here in the the Andes.

Tierra del Sol (formerly Meson de las Flores), Sucre and Garcia Moreno, Cotacachi, Ecuador.  Telephone: 011 593 6 291 6009.  email: mesondelasflores@gmail.com

Calling from inside Ecuador:  06 291-6009   Also, you can call Tierra del Sol through a NC number 1-336-792-4767.  Be sure and give this number to your loved ones also.

Conference Itinerary and Schedule:  The tour starts at 9:30 a.m. from the Radisson.  Bonnie Keough, a very accomplished exporter and lecturer will be your guide.

This month we are happy to announce our incredible Bonus!  Bonnie Keough with Franklin Sandoval have created that makes it ultra easy for you to send goods in boxes back to the USA.   This is a great opportunity, unheard of in the country and from my point of view from any country!  Thanks to Bonnie!

Daily:  Full breakfast at 8 a.m. Tierra del Sol. Course begins at 9 a.m. at the Museum next door.

We welcome a guest speaker who is Maggie Swartz from Charleston SC.  She is an extremely successful exporter from Ecuador and makes a tidy $75,000 annually on her exports.  She will speak, demonstrate and answer questions…a delightful lady with worlds of experience.

Itinerary:  After 12 years of traveling, digging, exploring and enjoying ourselves all over Ecuador; we invite those of you who want to really get out there and experience the Export Trail.  You’ll gain exciting ways to increase your security, independence, freedom, wealth and well-being while helping this very deserving country and its indigenous people!  What a joy!

Each day we will have lecture with invaluable contacts, speakers, ideas and plans.  Then, we’ll head out to nearby stunning surrounding areas. We’ll enjoy the green patchwork mountains and the sacred province of Imbabura.

We’ll go to the markets, famous and obscure; visit the known and unknown…those who hand make, hand craft one-of-a-kind goods.  We’ll meet the artists, designers, creators, craftsmen and visit them in their workshops, homes and markets.

Otavalo (the most successful and colorful Indigenous market in all of the Americas) is a delight and we will meet a host of wholesalers.  We’ll also visit the charming and small village of the weavers, Peguche, where the sound in the air is the clackety clack of the looms. We’ll head out up the Pan American Highway to San Antonio de Ibarra for its world famous wood carvers and furniture makers.  This year we scored another win by being allowed into Diana Carrasco’s personal workshops…she is the leading designer of Cuenca.  Ah, the flower growers are everywhere….ready and packaged for export…we’ll host Roberto who will help all with the exportation of flowers and with the tips of selling/marketing/wholesaling/retailing of over 25 kinds of flowers.

And of course we are centered in Cotacachi with its famous leather market!

We have searched, scoured and scrounged our way across this tiny Andean country to find special products and goods that you can export in a suitcase and make outstanding profits. We’ll travel through the Andes Highlands on the search for that special something that will make your eyes gleam with delight…both for its uniqueness and salability.
Broaden your horizons as you increase your bank account. Help the poor and gain more fulfillment and fun. Improve the quality of your life, expand your horizons and reduce the tax you pay as you increase asset protection by having an overseas company and overseas income!

The goal of the course is to give you more than just knowledge.  The course brings you real, usable knowledge and the after course support so you can put the knowledge you gain into action right away.

The Andean Export Expedition combines experience, theory, practice and contacts Gary and I have over thirty years experience living, working, importing, exporting and conducting businesses overseas and 15 years of doing business in Ecuador.

This course promises to bring joys and wonders into your life as well as helping the indigenous.  Please let us know how else we can be of service.

Keep in mind, we will all make your reservations as soon as we have your arrival data.

Gary & Merri

Our Ecuador export tour starts April. 12-15 with our Ecuador Export Expedition Tour ($499 or couple $749)

Here are clay figurines that you will see on the Ecuador export tour.


These clay necklaces at the gallery are great models for Ecuador exports as well.


Stay on and look at Ecuador real estate opportunity.

Apr. 17-18   Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21  Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24  Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the balance of our 2010 schedule.

May 9-12       Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Cotacachi Ecuador
May  13-14    Ecuador Shamanic Mingo
May  16-17    Imbabura Real Estate Tour
May  19-20    Coastal Real Estate Tour
May  22-23    Quito Real Estate Tour
May  25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

June 24       Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27    International Investing and Business North Carolina
June 28-29    Ecuador Travel & Andes=
June 30-Jul 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 3-4      Coastal Real Estate Tour
July 6-7      Quito Real Estate Tour
July 9-10     Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Sept.   3-6   Ecuador Export Tour
Sept.   8-9   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Sept. 11-12   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Sept. 14-15   Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Sept. 17-18   Ecuador Shamanic Mingo

Oct.    7     Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct.   8-10   International Investing & Business North Carolina
Oct.   11-12  Travel to Quito and Andean Tour
Oct.  13-14   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Oct.  16-17   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Oct.  19-20   Quito Real Estate Tour
Oct. 22-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Nov.    4-7   Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida
Nov.    8-9   Travel to Quito and Andean Tour
Nov. 10-11    Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 13-14    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Nov. 16-17    Quito Real Estate
Nov. 19-20    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Dec.   3-5    Ecuador Shamanic Mingo
Dec.   7-8    Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Dec.  10-11   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Dec. 13-14    Quito Real Estate Tour
Dec. 16-17    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Cotacachi Safety Facts

Here is some important information about Cotacachi Ecuador safety facts.

A recent message outlined a Cotacachi robbery and this note expands on this as I would not want anyone to miss the beauty of Cotacachi because they were concerned about crime. Here is the entrance to one of the safe Cotacachi hotels (Rancho Santa Fe) you will see listed below.


I mentioned the Cotacachi robbery in a message entitled Cotacachi Crime.   One Cotacachi resort owner read and wrote about that message:

Gary, I read with interest the report which your man in Cotacachi STEVE MERCHANT wrote you with concern to crimes in Cotacachi. Two points, which I believe ought to be considered for correction.

One is the fact that he is referring to a robbery AT A RESORT of about $ 40,000. That statement could be  damaging to any hotel owner, you mentioned that a “resort” was mentioned but not by its name, Lueva.  The owner of Lueva however, was in Mexico at the time of the robbery.

The other statement is that when Steve  went to the police in Ibarra  to report the robbery of the chicken farm, and had the opportunity to view the police book referring to about 180 or so crimes. But when writing it to you it sounds that 180 crimes were committed in or around COTACACHI since no reference is being made to the capital of the province. At least that is the way I was interpreting his writing.

The murder he is referring to within an indigenous community (caused by the fact that after a party where everybody got drunk, they started to attack each other with machetes and while one died several others were taken to the hospital for treatments) But the way Steve describes it to you sounds like the person was murdered for another reason and that might scare people away from Cotacachi.

You might not agree with my observations, but I thought I would give it a try anyway.  Best wishes from Cotacachi to the two of you. Take care.

I could not agree more with this resort owner and wish to add three important points about Cotacachi safety.

Here is another shot of Rancho Santa Fe.


The first point about Cotacachi safety is about the geography of Cotacachi.  Cotacachi village which I normally refer to in our messages is just one of many communities in Cotacachi Canton (county). The village is just a small area of about 7,300 people. The county is a much larger geographic area and covers about 1,000 square miles in Imbabura Province (state) .

The village of Cotacachi in my opinion is very safe…as are the hotels and resorts there. These resorts and hotels include our hotel Meson de las Flores, the La Mirage Spa and Garden Hotel, El Arbolito and Rancho Santa Fe. These are the accommodations where we usually book our readers and seminar delegates.


We feel safe walking to and from any of these hotels and resorts and any others that are in the village, day or night in Cotacachi Village. Meson de las Flores is right in the center of town (across from the police staion by the way).  This courtyard is enclosed.


La Mirage is in a wonderful area and has 10 acres of fully walled exquisite gardens.


There is bird life of every type at La Mirage, from peacocks to hummingbirds…safe and serene.


The spa is one of the best in the world…and at excellent prices.  See some of the treatments here.


Here is the pool at La Mirage.  Merri and I have been friends with the owners for over a decade and take weekly spa treatments there, which are in our opinion the finest in the world.  We always walk to and from these treatments, enjoying the town and the walk.  We hold La Mirage to be the most beautiful, most delightful and healing place that we have ever known worldwide.

This leads to the second point… the place that was robbed is some distance outside Cotacachi village.  I normally do not make negative comments about any particular place so left out the name of this spa on my last message about Cotacachi crime.  I have not visited the spa for some years and did not even know it was still open.

This third point I hope puts Cotacachi safety in perspective.

The area of Imbabura is almost the same geographical size as Multnomah County, Oregon where I grew up in middle class suburbs between Glisan and Stark Street. My 86 year old mom still lives in the same house (for 48 years).   Merri and I were just there visiting mom.  During our short visit…three murders occurred near by.  I copied a December 1,  2008 article from the  Oregonian…Portland’s leading newspaper.

When Portland detectives began to canvass the neighborhood after the Nov. 23 fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man in a Southeast Stark Street apartment, they interviewed Roland Jackson Dir, who was walking to his home about a block away.

Six days later, on Saturday, homicide investigators were called to investigate the violent death of Dir, 54, whose body was found in his apartment at Southeast 155th Avenue and Stark Street.

The proximity of the two homicides, following the unsolved stabbing death of 37-year-old Amatha Mendive-Boyle, discovered Nov. 14 behind a nearby church, has area residents on edge.

Three murders in two weeks in just an area near the safe suburbs where my mom lives…all unsolved.  Police say that the murders are probably not connected which to me is even worse!

Compare this to one robbery outside Cotacachi village in an area that we do not consider safe…one murder from a group of drunks fighting in an area and situation where few westerners would ever be and 183 crimes in the entire county.

Merri and I feel safer walking in Cotacachi village than in our hometown suburbs. Yet I feel safe there in Multnomah County as well.  I would have no hesitation recommending that you take a stroll along any of the Portland sidewalks and bicycle paths.

There are growing number of bicycle paths by the way thanks in part to a fellow high school student…Earl Blumenauer.  Earl was two years behind me at Centennial High so as a lowly sophomore when I was a senior we did not speak much.

Earl went on to great stuff…becoming an Oregon Congressman who has pushed cycling as transportation.

When he moved to Washington, D.C., 12 years ago he decided to ride his bike to Congress every day.  He states that he has burned over 300,000 calories and saved $94,000 in car costs, 206 gallons of fuel, and 4800 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Through his efforts Portland has expanded its bike lanes and routes throughout the city so people in Portland use their cars much less than the American average.  Blumenauer says this translates into savings of more than $2500 per year per family and that there should be a bicycle master plan for cities large and small.

There is speculation that Earl Blumenauer will be the secretary of transportation in an Obama administration. If so, expect even more biking.

One word of warning about this and walking around Multnomah county…nude cycling.  Here is a report, also from a recent issue of the Oregonian.

A Multnomah County judge has cleared a Northeast Portland nude bicyclist of criminal indecent exposure charges, saying cycling naked has become a “well-established tradition” in Portland and understood as a form of “symbolic protest.”

Judge Jerome LaBarre said the city’s annual World Naked Bike Ride — in which as many as 1,200 people cycled through Northwest and downtown Portland on June 14 — has helped cement riding in the buff as a form of protest against cars and possibly even the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

This is not an activity that is kind to the human form…so when you can find a sunny day to walk in Oregon, a greater worry than crime may become the shock from seeing a nude cyclist!

As an added note, one of the facts Merri and I are most proud to see is that not one of our many readers who have moved to Ecuador has purchased a car…we all walk or ride a bike…but not nude!

The point I hope you will see is that reports about crime get so blown out of proportion that you can let them ruin your life if you want.   There are so many things we cannot predict.  I could never have expected that crime would grow as it has where I grew up…or that one of the fellow students at my school would become a bike riding Congressman and maybe even a cabinet member…or that people would ride bikes nude in Oregon.  So live life to the fullest.  Keep in mind until last week, the 137-year-old Leopold’s Cafe, on one of Mumbai’s main shopping thoroughfares, was long a favorite place for tourists.  There are no guarantees and no way to predict how safety will change.

Crime is everywhere…know it and avoid it.  If you know where to go…most parts of the world have plenty of safe havens.  So whether you travel to Portland Oregon, Cotacachi Ecuador…or wherever..enjoy the journey, but also take care.

Until next message, may all your journeys be safe.


Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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