Tag Archive | "Mauricio;"

Ecuador Longevity & Smalltown US Value


Ecuador has many valleys of longevity… but it is more than just the valley that enhances the long lives there. There are at least three longevity secrets.

Because of big value changes, in a moment we’ll look at real estate value in Smalltown USA compared to Ecuador property.

First, the three Ecuador longevity secrets.

Secret #1 is a restricted diet with a reduced caloric intake.

Secret #2 is live with ritual! Those who live extra ordinarily long lives seem to share this common trait. Whatever they do they do in moderation, in a very similar way and with great gusto. For example, if they drink an ounce of whiskey every day, at six o clock, they do not do this at five some days and eight others. They do not have a half ounce one day and two another. They tend to have one ounce at six p.m. every day. This instills discipline, keeps life simple (very important) and allows the body to get used to doing whatever it is it has to do.

Take Chris Mortensen one of the oldest documented men in the 1990s who at 113 said of his weekly cigar, “If you take my weekly cigar away from I am going to die”. The anticipation and ritual of whatever pleasure he received from this was far more life giving than the stress. The world’s oldest documented woman in the 1990s, Jeanne Clement, at age 122 drank cognac and ate a pound of chocolate a week (but never two).

One good ritual is to do EZ exercises that keep all the muscle groups flexible… such as the sun salute.

sun-salute

Here…

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are the…

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postures…

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of…

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of…

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the…

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Sun…

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Salute.

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You can see another example of the Sun Salute See https://www.garyascott.com/images/sunsalute.jpg

Ecuador shamans also exercise their legs.  One thing  I do when meeting an Ecuador shaman is observe his legs.  My experience is that the most knowledgeable taita yatchaks exercise their legs. They believe them to be man’s root to the earth… channels for the earth energy.

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I also notice that they walk barefoot a lot.

This taita yatchak is very elderly but his leg muscles are still highly developed and he is easily walking on rocks.

So…  whenever we can, Merri and I take off the insulation between us and earth and walk barefoot.

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An EZ leg exercise taught to me by an Ecuador shaman is called the Llama Walk.

This exercise…

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helps strengthen the legs.

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Bend one knee to touch the heel of the other foot, but…

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do not perform too many to start.  Otherwise you may have some very sore legs the next day.

Remember start EZ.

Longevity Secret #3 is to remain independent, challenged, active and needed. One of the most important features found in societies where residents are long lived is that old age is revered.

People at age 100, even 110 can still active and working!

I collect stories of long lived people… such as Max Zimmer of Los Angeles who came to the US from Austria in 1911 with only a two dollar bill. At age 103 he still had the same two-dollar bill and had built and still ran a multimillion-dollar business.

This is one reason why Merri and I focus on turning passions into profit!

Having something fun and interesting to do every day that also erases financial worries makes it fun to remain alive.

The greatest asset of all, is 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.

SmallTown USA

Today’s message was posted much later than the norm because all last week we were in Oregon helping my sister and daughter get my mom out of the hospital system where she has been since April.  We were pretty busy taking her to assisted living homes, buying her new furniture and getting her moved from her house of 42 years to her new apartment.  We managed to get this all in and send my message at its normal time, but finally yesterday the Portland-LA-Cincinnati-Tri Cities trip threw us off schedule.

I mention this because I am sure that many of you who love Ecuador (or the idea of living abroad) have many ties (as we do) here in the US.   So it takes time to make your move or the best you can do is to live abroad (as we do) part time.

Though we have always lived a global life,  last February I wrote in an article Ecuador Shamans & Truth, why Merri and I are redirecting some of our focus back to the US from Ecuador.

Never Fear! The US, especially Small Town USA, is a great place to be.   Fortunately we sold all of our Florida property at the top of the market, in March 2007, so since this spring we have been looking to buy back a winter home.

There have been some substantial changes in real estate value since 2007 as you will see  below.

We find that Florida real estate prices are still falling!

Merri writes about this process and one house we have been tracking.

This house is in Winter Haven, Florida.

On the Road again…

For all of you out there who continue to ask, “Bought anything yet in Florida?”…the answer is NO.

We’ve had a few blips on the screen with necessary trips to Oregon for Gary’s mom and courses that we’ve conducted plus our daughter, Francesca, home from Africa for a visit.  Then Jacob, just finishing up law school, came over to NC for the summer.

It’s been a busy time but a good and productive one…but absolutely no time for house hunting.

We really are serious about buying that home on the lake in Florida…and we do have to have it by November.  I’ve been feeling guilty and a little nervous because there was no time to spend on the search.

Today, I finally had a tiny bit of time and jumped right back in.

Here’s what I discovered, of the original 21 we were considering from April, only one is sold or for some reason is off the market….nothing really lost there for sure.

The others have dropped in price since I’ve been looking $50,000, $70,000, $100,000, $300,000 and one a whopping $495,000!

Hey, I ceased berating myself for not spending enough time on this situation.

Here’s one below which we will not be buying as Gary would rather be on a smaller lake rather than this extremely large lake but wow is it beautiful and look at the price!

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Side view.

We looked at it in April and thought the neighborhood was charming, wonderful for long private walks (Interlaken) and it has a feeling of being a settled neighborhood.  We loved the features of this house with its guest quarters (something high on our list), boat dock, and ambiance.

When I first spotted it, it reminded me of a house that we knew and loved tucked on a hillside in the French Rivieria…charming, low key and so so pretty.  (Actually, I fell in love with this house at its original offering price of $599,000.)

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Lake view and dock.

It’s in Winter Haven in Central Florida which offers proximity to Tampa Airport (an excellent small airport with kindness and frequent flights) and not too far from Orlando Airport.  The town of Winter Haven is filled with lakes and seems very pleasant.  The county boasts 554 lakes and the famous Chain of Lakes…16 navigable together.  Winter Haven is also 146′ above sea level.  SmallTown USA with less than 25,000 people.

The house is situated on huge corner lot with 13,000 + sq.’ and the house (although not huge) has that wonderful guest quarters!

Here it is…straight out of a James Bond movie…at the new this morning’s price of $369,000 which probably could translate into $299,000.

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I believe this is good value.

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View of the lake from one of the patios.

I like the broker a lot, Christiana Bulow, who sent it to me.  She is very good about listening to what you like, and then sending you EVERY single listing in your area of choice that fits your requirements. Also, you can just click on your “Favorites” and she’ll keep those and do exactly what she did this morning, send me one of my Favorites with a Reduced Price!  It’s fun and helpful to just look at each one of them…I saved this one on her easy to use system back in April…also from a distance this helps to learn a lot.

Her service is a concierge service…very unique and interesting…which offers a number of great details including a free moving truck, free termite inspection and a Buyer’s Guarantee.

You can reach Christina Bulow:  Christina-vwbx30547239@centralflhomesnow.com    Her phone # is (863) 207-3929.

smalltown-USA

Maybe you’ll love this one…sorry we do love it and of course Gary loves the price but it’s the wrong situation for us…so I’ll keep looking and report back!  Merri

Here is the change in value we need to consider now. In 2007 the house above would probably have cost a million dollars.  Since 2007 real estate prices in Ecuador have risen as they have dropped in the US.

This is not to say that Ecuador no longer has good real estate value.  More work in finding good prices on Ecuador real estate is required.  For example yesterday’s message South Ecuador Beach Property looks at how to have a beach condo for $35,000.  Yet this is a riskier start up way to own real estate.

This is not to say that Ecuador does not offer a much lower cost of living… better climate… a happier gentler lifestyle… just one must continually examine value… and now Florida real estate prices may be comparable to real estate prices in Ecuador.

Whether you head south to Ecuador or just to Florida we wish you longevity and good value!

Gary

Your own small, global, independent business because this can bring freedom, fulfillment and a longer life.A clear mind and healthy body are 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 one group who just conducted a seminar at our hotel in Ecuador wrote about the way we help: Wow.  We had such an amazing time in Ecuador.  That includes me, my colleague Jackie, the instructors, and all of the attendees.  Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely, and really, we owe it to you and El Meson for making it all run smoothly.  We felt so welcomed and well-treated.  Thank you.I’d also like to say that both Mauricio and Alberto went out of their way to make sure we felt comfortable.  The bus was always there for us when we were to leave, they hopped to it whenever we wanted to plan something, they made suggestions for things to do in town, and were very gracious and pleasing to be around.  Mauricio was particularly helpful when it came to making trips to nearby villages.  He was open and sharing with information about the ceremonies and ways of life of the Kichwa, and always willing to answer questions.  What a privilege for us, and a real delight. I’m hoping we’ll get to stay at Meson again some time. Thanks again.

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.

International Investing Trick


Here is a global diversification trick that may do well in the likely global economic scenario ahead. Buy good value shares internationally as markets dive during the summer dip.

In a moment we’ll look at some Ecuador health ideas… first the investing trick.

Global equity markets have been in a bear market rally for six months but are now hitting the summer blues due to seasonality.

Share prices will probably drop now. Chances are there will be a strong global equity slump at least through October 2009.

This will create extra value in equity markets and provide good opportunity to pick up high value long term.

The bear market is likely to carry on until 2012-13, but good value shares acquired during dips are more likely to spike early and have extra potential after the bear ends.

Now through October 2009 could be a good time to invest in high value shares for long term appreciation.

But which shares… in which markets?

One way to approach this is to look for extra value created by inefficiencies in markets…to find markets where the values are best.

Statistically this is the best way to be absolutely sure of the best long term returns.

There are numerous investment managers who use very strict valuation criteria (usually based on dividend yields, cash flow, price earnings) to spot the best value markets.  They then try to apply similar criteria to select good value shares in the good value market.

The next goal is to decide how much should be weighted in major market and how much in emerging markets.

Here is a comparison of the Morgan Stanley Major Market versus Emerging Market indices.

The MSCI World Index is a market capitalization weighted index that measures the equity market performance of developed markets.  It includes 23 developed market country indices : Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index includes Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

MSCI Indices performances.  Total per annum return over:

Major                            Emerging
15 years    4.10%                   5.41%
10 years  -3.85%                   9.11%
5 years    -2.77%                  11.16%
3 years   -10.81%              -00.17%
1 year      -20.81%             -27.53%
3 mos.      14.30%               27.53%

Regardless of the time frame observed,  the emerging equities almost always seriously outperformed major markets… but as a class they also dropped further in the 2008 downturn.

Here is a year-on-year comparison for the past five years.

Major                   Emerging
2003  10.74%           29.63%
2004    6.46%           16.51%
2005   26.17%           54.41%

2006     7.40%          18.23%

2007     -1.66%         25.71%
2008   -50.30%      -37.64%
2009      5.39%         34.79%  3 months

This history suggests that emerging markets deserve a substantial ranking.

However before becoming too aggressive in over weighting emerging markets, we have to keep in mind two thoughts.

First economic thought. The last 15 years has been a catch-up era when the investing world caught on to the idea that emerging markets offered great opportunity.

Second economic thought. A great deal of emerging growth came from debt financed exports to the developed world. This leaves emerging economies holding huge amounts of debt for customers who may not be able to repay the debt nor continue to buy the same volume of goods as before.

The easiest way for investors to invest in good value during dips is via a value mutual fund.

You can select a value major market fund, a value emerging market fund or a value diversified fund.

The benefit of a value diversified fund is that the professional manager decides how much to weight in emerging and major markets.

For example I just sent a lesson to our multi currency subscribers that showed a US traded international diversified value fund that has risen 36.08% in the past quarter ending June 30, 2009.  This fund is 86% in major markets and 14% in emerging markets.

Learn how to read about this fund as a multi currency subscriber.

The most valuable asset we can have in tough economic times is good health. This is why we studied Ecuador health ideas at our June tour.

Cotacachi is considered sacred by the shamans… a place of wonderful mountains that ring the valley.  This is Mt. Cotacachi to the west.

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Mt. Imbabura to the east.

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The valley is surrounded by mountains like these twin peaks…

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creating wonderful, mystic  sunrises.

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The first afternoon of the tour we visited La Mirage Spa and the Shamana Estella.

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She began a theme that the many shamans we visited confirmed.   She said that the three keys to better health, increased longevity, more energy and fulfillment are good nutrition, proper exercise and good sleep.

The purpose of the Ecuador shamanic tour is to learn ways to unlock this healthy  combination in a natural low cost way!

The second day we joined Clemencia, the Shamana of Zuleta and drove 15 minutes from our hotel Meson de las Flores to Otavalo market where we visited the local food market…

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filled with fruits…

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vegetables…

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flowers and …

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herbs.

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Here is the shamana speaking to the group with Merri and Mauricio translating.

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We learned the importance of the herbs to make good teas that hydrate the body are cedron, chamomile and lemon verbena.

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We learned how other herbs relax such as chamomile and valerian root. Plus we were told to boil lettuce in milk as a prebedtime drink for better sleep.

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On the other hand, tea from cinnamon, paprika, cloves and ginger help reduce sluggishness in digestion and to speed the system when we need to be fired up.

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You can read this entire report as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

Gary

We hope you’ll join us and enjoy Ecuador’s or North Carolina’s beauty soon.

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Sunrise from Meson de las Flores.

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

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 Sunrise Sunset


Sunrise and sunset in Ecuador can be spectacular.

Merri and I flew down to conduct our June shaman mingo tour.  We checked into our suite at Meson de las Flores.  Most flights from the US arrive late and after the two hour drive it was almost 1 am before we hit the sack.

Next morning at about 5:30, (4:30 my time- Ecuador does not do daylight savings – thank God), we rose ahead of the Cathedral bells ready to go. Ecuador’s energy does that to one.

I stepped onto the balcony. I often do my morning meditation there, feeling the crisp air… hearing the sounds of the village coming awake.

Dawn was just breaking.

Ecuador-Sunrise

I could not stop watching and grabbed my tiny Sony digital camera… and began…

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clicking as…

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daybreak began…

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to explode in…

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magical colors…

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along the skyline and…

ecuador-sun over Mt. Imbabura.

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This was a…

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spectacular way to start the day.

Ecuador has beauty in many places.  Vilcabamba is another example.

Here is sunrise at the El Atillo resort and spa.

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Imagine the sun rising over this incredible valley.

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El Atillo by the way has the oldest house in the village. It  was declared a historic building  and will  be open as a library and museum.

Manuel Vivanco, the developer of El Atillo and his family have asked the Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural to alos declare it an “Historic Building.”  This old original house of “Hacienda El Atillo” is 130 years old and was the center of a huge ranchero in the colonal era.   The Village of Vilcabamba was part of the ranchero which dates back to 1576.

See more about Vilcabamba here.

Here is the wonderful Quito sunrise, as…

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The city begins to wake.  This shot was taken at Hotel Quito.

Cotacachi has great sunsets as well. Here is the sun setting behind Mt. Cotacachi from Meson de las Flores.

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You can rent the Meson suite with this view on a monthly basis… plus we have two condos for three, six month or one year rentals that also enjoy this view.

On Ecuador’s Pacific the glamor is in the sunset like this Bahia sunset and…

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and the perfect sunsets at Palmazul like this.

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See Palmazul’s new website at Manabihotels.com

Ecuador Living subscribers receive discounts at Hotel Quito, Meson and Palmazul worth $343.  See how here.

We hope to share Ecuador sunrises like this with you.

Gary

We hope you’ll enjoy Ecuador’s beauty with us soon.  Here is what a recent delegate shared:

Hi Merry,  We really enjoyed the Imbabura and Coastal tours in May and fell in love with Ecuador!  Mauricio and Alberto were wonderful and we met some really nice people on the trip.  You did not exaggerate the hospitality of the Ecuadorians and the Meson.  We hope to return for further exploration in the next year as time allows.

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.

Or enjoy a North Carolina sunrise. here is a view from my office.

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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 Charity


See a link about Ecuador charity, giving and an Ecuador Living excerpt below.

Our Ecuador charity does not just give.   Just giving builds dependence which is not our goal. Our aim is to help the great people of Ecuador help themselves.

This is why our Ecuador charity, Land of the Sun Foundation  has had its greatest focus in the past few years on helping the hotel Meson de las Flores learn how to stand on its own.  We have helped the Meson staff take Meson from a crumbling empty shell and transform it into renewed facility and profitable operation.  All profits go back to improving the hotel or to the Ecuador Land of the Sun charity that aims to help expand business in Ecuador.  Merri and I do not make a penny from the hotel….our pay check  goes to the heart instead of  the pocketbook

For Meson’s success, we thank all of you who have visited us here.

The staff at Meson de las Flores asked me to send all of you their best wishes for UN MUY FELIZ ANO.  Here is Meson’s staff.

Meson-Cotacachi-Hotel

From left to right Meson’s staff.  Ecuardo – maître d,  Alberto – sous-chef, Consuelo – hostess, Ray – global liasion, Rosita Elena – maid, Mauricio, – night assistant and tour guide, Santiago – chef,  Franklin – manager.  Not present Rosita De la Torres – maid.

The staff of Meson de las Flores are to be congratulated. They are remarkable people who have been willing to work hard for and to deserve their success.  Here is the type of comment I continually receive about service at Meson de las Flores.

Dear Gary and Merri,  From Mesón de las Flores I am sending you my very best wishes for this coming year!!!  I am at your hotel since Monday afternoon together with two good friends and we have really enjoyed the place, the warmth of your staff and the natural food.  I have particularly enjoyed the chance to relax, to do some sightseeing in Cotacachi and Otavalo.  2008 was a very busy year for me, but also a very blessed time for which I am very grateful to God.  I thank Him for the opportunity of having met during this year people like you who has a passion  for what they do and their work benefit many  people´s live. Have a wonderful 2009!!

The warmth of the staff at Meson is a continual refrain I read like this:

Hi Gary and Merri!  I  miss Ecuador so much!  It is amazing to me that, after only 90 days there I feel such a strong connection and love for Cotacachi and all the local people and the others I met there.  I am counting the days until my return.  You promised me that I would be pampered — and El Mason and the people
there really took care of me.  I think it is good to leave Ecuador and experience “home” — it really confirms that Ecuador is a beautiful place and the people there are so warm and welcoming.  Best thing I ever did!  Can’t wait to return!  Blessings to you both,

Having Ray as our global liasion at the hotel has been a hug addition that really helps guests.  We receive continual raves about Ray:

I LOVED the market in Otavalo and came home with another extra-large Ecuadorian bag loaded with rugs and wall-hangings. A very tempting place that I visited 4-times just to give you an indication of how much FUN I had there.
We’ll have to see how our retail season goes and if I can break away for a couple of weeks, I’ll travel back to Ecuador for two weeks in April.  Ray is a splendid character and makes one feel that “our casa is your casa” during your stay. He has that manner that invites and excites and I feel he is a huge plus to your organization. Everyone really likes Ray and I miss him already and his lighthearted banter and genuine care.

Next trip I’ll bring lots of ones and fives. Even twenties were a drag. Imagine! At home a $100.00 bill goes direct to pay one bill alone or one “small” grocery shopping without blinking an eye.

This guest is not alone in praising Ray. Meson has also become a  central meetng place for the gringo community in Cotacachi. Ray organized a Christmas party and this Cotacachi resident who emigrated from Michigan wrote:

Hi, Gary and Merri.  Just a quick note to say thank you for the great Christmas Party for Gringos at El Meson!  It was a lot of fun and we were amazed at how few of the people we actually had met.  Of course we solved that by making sure we met everyone there and invited them to visit us when out our way.  We wish you a very blessed Christmas and a fabulous 2009!  Looking forward to seeing you soon, Love.

Ray seems to help guests in so many ways:

Hi Merri  Returned from Cotacachi last Thurs after a great trip.  The woman that traveled with me wants to return this summer – she could not believe how nice the area is and the friendliness of the people.  I saw my apartment and am very happy with the bed and bedding that you added.  Thank you.  Ray Manna is a super nice person and very friendly and accomodating with the guests – a real plus.  Brought over 200lbs of clothing, school supplies, medical supplies and gifts for the children and nursing home.  Everything was donated – a very warm experience and shared joy.  I wish you and Gary a Merry Christmas – hope to see you in Ecuador in the Spring.  Hugs and love

From shopping to checking out and arranging tours. Another guest wrote:

Hi Merri, We are back from Ecuador and in a serious cold spell in Alberta. It is minus 30 C this morning but is beautifully sunny. We have a little snow so at least it feels like Christmas.  I just wanted to say thanks for your guidance in planning our trip. I also wanted to let you know what a terrific job Ray did despite the fact that he was a sick as a dog. His upbeat positive attitude and willingness to help was second to none. He is a real asset to your organization.  We enjoyed our stay at El Meson and found Cotacachi and the surrounding area to be both beautiful and peaceful.  We are already planning our next trip to Ecuador and are dreaming about its warmer days. Best wishes for the holiday season.

Ray and the staff make everyone feel like part of our family…and you are…when you stay with us at Mesons, as this guest noted.

I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how much myself and all of our “extended family” enjoyed the course that you, Gary, and all of your competent staff put on earlier this month.  I am really just getting my feet back on the ground and I think that we are finally there.  Gary was awesome as we expected and gave me as really a beginning investor many insights and new ideas to think about.  I am speaking for myself and several others.  You showed me that you are an expert planner and really went  out of your way to accommodate  us especially when we had people coming in at different times.   Last and not least was Ray who also handled so much on the fly and did it well.    Ray really helped with the leaving process.  We really enjoyed your hotel and the hospitality.  It was  memorable. Thanks so much and we hope to keep in touch and continue with Gary’s newsletters! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Ray helps in Cotacachi and elsewhere as this guest noted:

Merri, We have arrived at Palmazul and it is very nice.  I would like to tell you that Tina and I had a wonderful time at Cotacachi.  The staff and service at El Meson could not have been better.  I must tell you that Ray was an excellent host and was attentive to every detail of our stay.  All of the other guests love Ray. I will report back to you after our trip in Palmazul. Best wishes.

Guest also report feeling healthier and often lose weight..even though they eat more as this guest reported:

Hi Merri:  Back home after that long flight and am already ready to return to Cotacachi.  Gary’s e mail this morning about the essential oils and other things to reduce stress.  He left out the most important thing…..Going to Cotacachi, El Meson, meeting new friends, seeing old friends, and seeing all the wonderful smiles of your staff, and  the people of Ecuador.

When I go to Ecuador, after the first day, I take no medicine, eat healthy food, get lots of exercise, and just feel wonderful.  Since I have been home..ort on my travels home, I have had a who knows what hamburger, bag of fritos, diet cokes, processed cheese and other just total crap, and I bet I have gained back those four pounds I lost in Cotacachi…in just two days.

Guest really feel healthier and enjoy our philosophy of health at the hotel.

Dear Merri and Gary, How wonderful an experience we had with you…and how much respect we have for you both.   Thank you for the extraordinary services you are offering in these times to so many.   It is rare that we feel as aligned with people as we do with you on so many fronts at once – investments, political opinions, commitment to the indigenous, ‘being healthy,’ commitment to organics/biodynamics and a religion of being kind.   Wow.  With Appreciation.

A stay at Meson seems to be food for the body and the soul as this reader reports:

My Dearest Merri and Gary,  I cannot thank you both enough for your wonderful hospitality.  I just want you to know that everything I read about Ecuador from your news letters and emails was exactly the way you described it and better…………..

The day we were all returning to Quito to go our different ways at the end of the tour, I was overwhelmed with tears because you both had been so wonderful and I didn’t want it to end.  I was already missing you and the wonderful experience I had had during your Ecuador Tour Adventure……..You both are very special and I am honored to be a part of your Group.

I also want you to know that………

I fell in Love while I was there……………..I  fell  in  Love.

I fell in love with the Country, the People, the Mountains, the Sky’s, the Thousands of stars at night, the Flowers,the Rivers, the Ocean, the Villages, the Towns, The Taxi drivers who were so helpful and wanted to speak English and practiced on me……….The Ecuadorian people who seemed to have this overall feeling of Happiness and well being that was contagious where ever we went.  From the Bus driver who stood at the door of our bus and helped each and every member of our group, everyday, get in and out of the bus. He was always smiling and happy to help.  To the Indian women, who were washing the Family’s clothes on flat stones in the River.  They looked up from their work, as our bus passed by, waving to some of us staring in disbelief………….I waved back, with tears in my eyes. They smiled at me as if to say… all is well and you are welcome……

Everywhere we went I felt as though I was surrounded by smiling faces.  Just walking out of the Hotel in Cotacache, the Native Indians of the area were dressed in their Native costume, except it wasn’t a costume, it was their way of life……….Immaculate, clean clothes, beautifully embroidered blouses with wonderful long wool skirts, colorful sashes around their waists, carrying small children wrapped in beautiful fabric on their backs.  I was in awe………. I was feeling as though I was in a time machine that was set for the mid 1850’s.  I had indeed traveled back in time and landed in Ecuador…………….The air was clean, the water was fresh, the food was healthy and delicious…………..I kept thinking, Where am I?  Is it possible?  Am I dreaming?  Is it real?

After being there for a couple of days, and easing into the relaxed, tranquil, lifestyle.  I began to notice the little nuisances of the Indigenous people I was surrounded by.

Every morning, wherever I went, I was always greeted with Buenos Dias ( good morning).  It was so peasant and  so comfortable so nice.  I  forgot about where I had come from, and my only concern was finding out everything I could about this beautiful Gentle Country of Beautiful gentle people.

Everyday was a unique Visual Experience for me.
I remember waking up to the Church bell ringing at 6am and looking out the window and seeing the mothers walking their children to the school.  All cleaned up with fresh clothes, their native costumes, and smiles.  Walking along the  hand made stone sidewalks, skirts swaying as they walked, lightly brushing the sidewalk as they made their way to the school.  Just watching them gave me a feeling of well being, and a knowing sense that all is well.   No plastic, no tensil, no cartoon characters acting like humans.  It was real,
real people, real feelings, real emotions experiencing their version of life on Planet Earth…

There were many times I was overwhelmed with emotions of humility and feelings of being honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to experience this unique Gift in those present moments.   A Gift that you, Gary and Marri, have made available to a select few. You and Ecuador have changed my life and my thinking.  Thank you, I am so grateful.

See more about Ecuador charity in an excerpt from Ecuador Living

We invite you to join us in Ecuador this year.

Gary

Our January courses are almost full but we have plenty space in February and beyond.

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

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.

Ecuador-real-estate-advertising

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.

Manta-Condo

The patio has this view.

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

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

Here is our Ecuador tour schedule for the balance of 2009.

Date                    Course                      Couples Fee

May 21-26  Ecuador Spanish Course         ($999)
May 27-28  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)

June 12-15  Shamanic Mingo Tour             ($999)
June 16-17  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)
June 18-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour         ($749)

July 2-7       Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)
July 8-9       Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
July 10-13   Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Sept. 17-22  Ecuador Spanish Course        ($999)
Sept. 23-24  Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
Sept. 25-28  Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Oct. 21-26   Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)

Nov. 6-8       International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador ($999)
Nov. 9-10     Imbabura Real Estate Tour          ($749)
Nov. 11-14   Coastal Real Estate Tour            ($749)

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

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

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

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