Tag Archive | "Peguche"

Ecuador Exports Update


Ecuador exports include arts and crafts from the Cotacachi and Otavalo area.

Our upcoming Ecuador exports tour visits these areas as well as San Antonio and Peguche briefly so delegates can learn possibilities for starting a business exporting the Ecuador arts and crafts from these areas.

During the Ecuador export tours delegates meet  little known producers in Cotacachi and close by,

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Here a sculptor at the Fuentes Brothers workshop delicately chisels a Christs head.

The same skills used to carve amazing artistic pieces are also applied to more practical products such as this furniture below.

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San Antonio and Quito are two centers of furniture production

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We visit the workshop of Jose Cotacachi. A delegate poses alongside Jose after purchasing the center wall hanging.

Since the Ecuador export tour does not have time to visit all the producers we invite them to put on an exhibition at Meson de las Flores.

When word gets out that an exposition artisans come from all parts of the area.

Here are a few who regularly appear.

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Artist Montero produces exquisite watercolors for as little as $25 such as those below

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Local weaver displays tapestries – why not have your own design woven locally?

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Hand knit woollen sweaters prove a big hit time and time again at $15

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Totally natural medicinal and beauty products from the Amazon are distributed by our very good friend Alberto Verdezoto. Prices are eye poppingly low and Alberto and Didier (the herbalist) are looking for distributors in other countries.

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Mario is a local jeweler with fantasy designs always realises several sales of pieces such as those below

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Juan produces wonderful pre-colombian designs on recycled card

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A local family of musicians make and sell instruments, pan pipes at $2 each at a local workshop

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display them .. the large tubular horns at left are small compared to the 35 foot horns used to announce village meetings

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The crafts people also play and dance during supper – using the very same hand made instruments, such as charangos, a small guitar-like instrument, which used to be made using armadillo shells.

Now they are no longer made like that here in Ecuador because armadillos are an endangered species.

Our Ecuador export tour helps those interested in creating earning abroad and is our first tour of 2010.

Gary

Join our Ecuador  Export tour this January.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Then stay on for real estate tours. 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.

We just added four South coast Ecuador tours that can help you gain extra savings with a multi tour pack.

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

If you plan to attend six or more seminars or tours in 2010 an International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 56 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) for only $2,999.

The International club fee rises to $3,500 this month  so enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999. Save $501.

International Club 2010

Attend our 56 investment, business, Spanish, real estate and export, courses and tours in 2010 with one small enrollment fee.

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

Here are the 56 courses and tours you can attend free. Plus there is even one more savings you will see below.

Jan.   8-11     Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18     Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20    Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23    Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Join us in February or March.

Feb. 11-14   Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.

Feb. 15-16   Travel to and visit Quito
Feb  17         Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19   Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20        Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22   Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24  Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27  Cuenca Real Estate Tour

Mar. 11-14     Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Mar. 15-16    Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18     Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic tour
Mar. 22-23    Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26    Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 28-29   South Coast Real Estate Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010).  Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth $40,947.

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

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

I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses which are valued at $40,947!

International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

International Club 2010 Membership  Enroll here

Ecuador Export Tour Update


Here is an Ecuador export tour update that continues our thread on ways to earn globally with small international businesses.

Ecuador-export-tours Our Ecuador export tours visit many Ecuador markets… textiles in Cotacachi and weavings in Peguche, leather in Cotacachi… wood carving in San Antonio de Ibarra. Here is our last group arriving in Otavalo.

This update is provided by Maggie Beesley, a former Ecuador export attendee who now exports regularly from Ecuador.  She will conduct the July 4 Ecuador Export Tour:

Hi Everyone!!!

How many of you are packed?  I stay packed.  July 3rd is right around the corner.  Pack smart, bring a larger suitcase than you need, and be prepared to buy another big one ($8) to get all your treasures home.  We are already saving, aren’t we?

Yesterday, my husband and I returned from Puerto Rico and let me tell you about the prices there!  Wow!  Maybe we should all be taking our treasures to Puerto Rico to sell.  I saw so many things we are going to see in Ecuador and were they ever expensive in Puerto Rico!

Now on to our Import/Export adventures.  On one of our days together (July 8) we’ll visit the town of Otavalo and the market there.  This market is the largest indigenous market in all of South America.  The reason we are going on Wednesday is…not as many shoppers and much better prices than on a Saturday.  We like those better prices, don’t we?  While in Puerto Rico I saw a summer cape which I have bought all over Ecuador for $10.00.  In Puerto Rico, also at a market, that same type of cape was $42.00, and it was not near as pretty as the ones we are going to see in Otavalo.  Do you see the profit there?

I also just finished going through my latest Coldwater Creek Catalog, where they are having a 50% off sale and have some gorgeous earrings on sale now for $35.00 to $40.00.  Folks we are going to see much prettier ones for $5.00 and maybe up to $10.00, plus no sales tax or shipping charges.  The same is true for necklaces, scarves, and purses.  Buy that extra bag in Ecuador for $8.00, which I also saw in Puerto Rico for $40.00 to get home in and more and more of the wonderful savings.

Another day we are going to the Village of Peguche, which is the Village of the Weavers.  There are three things we will want to do in Peguche.

First, we will want to visit El Condor where people will be weaving as we watch a weaving exhibition.

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Weaving at El Condor.

If you have never seen anyone weave on a wooden loom, it is fascinating, very complicated, and can take many days to complete a blanket, or a cape.  A lot of work!  How the people sit there and do this craft for hours on end is beyond me, but they do and the weaving is gorgeous.   Did I mention, the weaving is done with their hands for the pattern and the tightness of the weave is controlled with their feet?  No electricity here, just the rhythm ….clickity-clack,  clickity-clack…which is the sound you hear throughout the village.  We’ll also experience how the natural dyes are made including Cochineal, the rich wine color that only the emperors had in ages past.  (A little secret it is made from crushed up cactus bugs!)

Also in Peguche is an artist, Jose Cotacachi, who does wall hangings.  He exports to the United States and is shown in very high end stores at very high end prices.  You too can do this.  His work is breath taking, and the detail, well you will see what I mean. These sell to high in art galleries also.  Very easy to pack, just roll up your purchases and put them in that extra bag you bought.   Jose will ship to the U.S., but it is much cheaper to buy that $8.00 bag and do it yourself.   Jose actually has three different workshops in Peguche, and we will visit them all.

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Jose Cotacachi at his loom.

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He loves his work.

Depending on time, we’ll determine the next thing we do, so I am just keeping it a secret.  I don’t want to rush anyone in this town.  Every time we go to Peguche, people always want to go back.  I hear too many times, “I wish I had bought that, or I didn’t see that one”.  So on this trip, we are going to try and see it all.

We will go to San Antonio de Ibarra, the Wood Carving town. One of the stores in San Antonio does gold leaf on statues…Some of these statues go to very important places in Europe and it can take a year or more to complete one statue.  Also, one small woodcarver studio (dirt floor) hosts those direct from the Louvre in Paris…bringing pics of their treasures to be copied!

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Master Carver Marco Lopez.

Many of the towns in Ecuador are known for a particular craftsmanship. We will be in the heart of the Crafts Trail, just minutes away from the major markets.  Otavalo is the Indigenous Market town, Peguche is the Weaving town, Cotacachi the Leather town and San Antonio is the Wood Carving town. The particular talent… skill of each town is handed down generation to generation, family to family. Should a future generation of young people decide to leave the town and do something completely different the skill could be lost forever.  You know it is going to happen, that is why all the things we see are so precious.

Our first complete day in Cotacachi we are going to meet Roberto the man who grows and exports those wonderful Ecuadorian roses to so many of you in the United States. You have seen the roses in Gary’s emails.  Roberto is going to tell us how to get them, and how to have your own Export business with roses.  (Some past attendees of this course have done quite well selling roses direct from the source.  And, a big thing, Roberto’s roses are all from green plantations…your wedding clients will love this.  We will also be working the entire Leather Street (ArtePiel), which is only a three block stroll from El Meson.  So many stores, both sides of the street, and all just a little bit different.  There is also a small outdoor market we will visit in Cotacachi where I have gotten some great leather items.  This is going to be a “get outside in the sunshine day”, do some walking do some looking, and do some buying.

For all you guys coming along, one of the first stores we will visit is where you get those fabulous leather jackets and coats.  The secret word in this store is…”I know Micky”, or “Micky sent me” which could bring about that extra discount we all want.  I believe Micky will actually be in Cotacachi while we are there so we will all get to meet her and here about her businesses in Florida all from products bought in Ecuador.

To add to your packing list ….things to be sure and bring with you to Ecuador…
Comfortable walking shoes
Sunglasses
Sun protection
Sun hat
and not to be forgotten, your ATM Card!

Do not bring Travelers’ checks, or any checks like that. Do not bring $100 bills (hard to cash).   Cash works, and remember they use our dollar, so there is no converting to another currency!  (This is another great surprise and help…no need to worry about currency fluctuations!)

See you all in July.  Happy traveling!

Maggie

Ecuador-export-tours Our tours show how to earn income globally but are not all business.  Our last group took time to visit Otavalo’s main square and…

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the Otavalo Cathedral where we…

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visited and…

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remembered the riches… plus…

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met a man who reminded us that when we do business globally we do more than just make money for ourselves.

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International trade in native crafts helps enrich everyone.

We hope to share this opportunity with you.

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 Lake Property for Sale


Ecuador Lake property offers opportunity.

Yesterday’s message looked at Ecuador & Water and some Ecuador lakes.

One of the great aspects of Ecuador is its Andean lakes.

One of the nicest lakes in Ecuador is Lake San Pablo near Otavalo and Cotacachi.

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San Pablo Lake.  San Pablo Lake has always been a source of these reeds which are made into reed sleeping mats.

Otavalo is two hours north of Quito and is perhaps the most prosperous area outside of Ecuador’s big cities.

Otavalo is an Indigenous city on the Pan-American Highway and this town sits on San Pablo Lake… about 15 minutes from our hotel Meson de las Flores.

Views of …

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San Pablo Lake which is…

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1,400 acres of surface and reaches 210 feet in depth.

This region is cradled between two volcanoes — Imbabura (15,026 feet) and Cotacachi (16,292 feet) and in Indigenous terms is one of the most sacred areas in the Andes.

This area enjoys a perennial springlike climate, with daytime highs in the low 70’s and nighttime lows in the 40’s. Flowers bloom year-round and farms get two or three crops a year.

There are two dry seasons, June through September and about a month at Christmas.  The two wet seasons however are not really all that wet.  Even in this wet season, weeks can go by without rain.

Otavalo market is the largest indigenous market in South America featuring… wool, cotton  and alpaca scarves and sweaters, homespun cotton pants, blankets and almost anything else that can be made on a loom was for sale, as well as simple wooden toys and handmade stuffed animals.

San Pablo lake is one of the largest in the area and is  less than two miles southeast of Otavalo.   Mt Imbabura rises from the San Pablo Lake on the opposite side of Otavalo in a succession of steeply pitched farm fields, topped by rocky slopes that disappear into the clouds.

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View from San Pablo Lake property for sale.

The Lake runoff forms the Peguche River which flows a short distance until it feeds Peguche Waterfall. This waterfall is considered sacred in pre-Inca times and used today for infant baptism. This then flows through a park eucalyptus grove into the  weavers’ village of Peguche.  The falls are  still celebrated at the beginning of “Inti Raymi”, (sun festival) when thousands of people visit them to take the “Baño Sagrado” or sacred bath as part of a purification ceremony.

Merri and I have been conducting real estate tours in this area for a decade and rarely do we find properties on San Pablo Lake for sale so I was delighted when this request for advertisement came through.

“Dear Gary,  My name is Patricia Portilla Boling, I read your emails with great interest as I am originally from Quito, Ecuador, but have lived in the US,  since my father accepted a job with the World Bank in Washington DC.   Though we have been in the US for a long time, we kept few properties in Ecuador. One of them is on San Pablo Lake, Otavalo. This is water front property and is very beautiful.    We are interested in selling this property and ask if it is possible to adevrtise this property with you.   I hope that this finds you and your family doing well that I hear back from you in this regard.

Here are the details of this lakefront property for sale.

22,000 square meters (about 5.43 ares) with house. The land can be used for business, home, or a lake house.

Located 58 miles from the Capital, Quito which is 4 hrs. by plane from Miami, Florida.

There is fishing, hunting, boating, sightseeing, camping and hiking in the area.

THE PROPERTY HAS A COMPLETE INFRASTRUCTURE

The house is fully furnished and was built in the 1970’s  with 2,895 square feet construction in 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2 living rooms, 2 dining rooms, kitchen/nook area, game room, porch and balcony. The  care taker quarters are attached, plus a garage (for boats and car). The land includes 900 plus feet of lake front.

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2,895 square foot house on 5.43 acres on San Pablo Lake, Otavalo for sale.

TREES:  Fruit, pine, eucalyptus and palms.

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B-B-Q  on San Pablo Lake property for sale .

Bordering neighbors:  YACHT CLUB and Imbabura Mountain.

NEGOTIABLE  Could be included:  3 boats and all furniture.

CLOSE BY ATTRACTIONS: Otavalo City, Indian handcrafts’ markets; Yaguarcocha Lake (Car Racing Track); Cuicocha Lake, located inside a volcano; City of San Antonio: Wood Crafts; City of Cotacachi: Leather Crafts.

The asking price is $250,000

CONTACT:

Mrs. Monica Arcos
Orlando, Florida
Telephone: 407-328-4777   (leave message)  or

e-mail: pportb@hotmail.com

or

MonkeyArcos@Gmail.com

Gary

See Ecuador lake property on our upcoming Ecuador real estate tours.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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 Joys


Readers continually ask me about the joys of Ecuador… and I reply that Merri and I first love the  people… then the land and of course the great weather, low prices  and opportunity.

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The sweet people of Ecuador include this weaver.

Yet there are some other bigger more important internal benefits of living in Ecuador or anywhere different around the world.

Ecuador-joys Here is another weaver in Peguche, Ecuador. We visit both on our Ecuador export tour

Our daughter Francesca who has been living in Swaziland sums it up in the note below.

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Ecuador musical instrument makers.

The Joys and Challenges of Traveling & Living in a Foreign Country
by Francesca Scott

If you’re into self development and personal growth, I highly recommend a stint traveling or living in a foreign country, and if you’re in for an additional challenge, a country that speaks a language different from your own.

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to travel frequently since I was a child, and traveling overseas has now become a way of life, having lived and/or worked in 12 countries since I graduated from university 10 years ago.  In every new country I travel, I experience a whole range of joys and challenges that leave me incredulous at the beauty and diversity of both humanity and our planet.  It becomes almost addictive, the ongoing realization through such experiences that, while we are all so incredibly different, we are also profoundly similar. That no matter what you eat, what language you speak, whether you have lived through poverty, wealth, war or peace, that a parents’ love for their child, the humiliation of failure, the contentment of a stomach well fed and the smell of freshly cut grass are universal.

To me, the challenge of living overseas is to have the courage to overcome what can at times appear insurmountable differences between your own ways of living and interacting and those of a different culture – to accept the awkward, the alien and the contradictory.  The joy is that in doing so, you sift through much of what is social engrained and culturally specific to your own upbringing, and begin to see the values that are common to all humanity, as well as the values that are uniquely important to you.

A few qualities that you are likely to foster in your journey of personal and international exploration include:

–          Humility.  Living in a different culture to your own will inevitably result in your looking like a complete idiot at one time or other, and if you’re like me, on a daily basis, which can be quite a humbling experience.

There will be boundless opportunities to use the wrong word, wear the inappropriate attire, break some cultural taboo. When my mother worked as an au pair in France, she told her host family that she was ‘pregnant’ (pleine), rather than ‘full’ (plein), after a tasty meal they had served her.

Even within the same language, there are abundance of opportunities for confusion and embarrassment.  When traveling through North Carolina with my family, we stopped for a snack.  I asked in my usual English accent for four waters.  The lady at the counter looked bemused and darted around the back.  She returned soon after, explaining apologetically that they didn’t sell ‘otters’!

–          Gratefulness. I am full of boundless gratitude for the generosity of the friends and acquaintances, in pretty much all the countries where I have traveled, giving me the benefit of the doubt that I was not actually trying to insult them when I made yet another cultural gaffe, but it was merely that I am a clumsy ignoramus.  In Swaziland, where I have been living for the past two-and-a-half years, it is considered extremely rude to hand over food with your left hand.

It took me a good few months to realize this, before someone shyly pointed out my indiscretion, and it then another few weeks before I managed to train myself not to do it instinctively.  Never once did my friends or colleagues show me overtly their distaste of my behavior, although, once aware of this culture, I noticed a looked of suppressed surprise on the odd occasion that I forgot myself.

I, in return, committed myself to not taking offense when confronted with what were, at times, behaviors or situations that were personally quite offensive, such as the practice of polygamy (in Swaziland) or having to eat snails of a remarkably large size (in Nigeria – they were about the size of a tennis ball!).

–          Open mindedness. For me, one of the most amazing things about traveling or living in a different culture is learning that so many of our most fundamental assumptions about life are in fact only that – assumptions – socially engrained from birth onwards. My time in Swaziland has expanded my horizons incredibly in this sense.

Most Swazis have so little materially, in fact 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line (one dollar a day), which is tragic by any standards.  However, their sense appreciation of life that is not filled with material things is impressive, while their hope for the future, even in the most desperate of circumstances is remarkable, and certainly puts my daily irritations and stresses into perspective. Their strength of community is also a refreshing alternative to the urbanized and individualistic societies in which most of us live in the west.  Every country I have been to, has provided me with unique insights.

If you’re game for some personal exploration, combined with international adventure, I would highly recommend getting out your atlas and passport.  With an open mind, genuine interest in learning something new, and a conscious effort to engage with the people in your selected destination, unforgettable experiences are no doubt in store. Certainly, I will always cherish experiencing different countries and cultures, and aspire to emulate the cultural aspects I admire most, in some small way, no matter where I call home.

My experiences of different countries have truly enriched my life, and have undoubtedly made me a better person. There have been blunders and unintended insults along the way, but every one of them has been character building, and the laughter and joy has far outweighed any tears.
Ecuador-joy

The joys of Ecuador include the happy children. Here they play football on the beach in Manta.

Ecuador-joys

Here Ecuador children are a joy playing football in the Andes.

May, wherever you go, you find joy.

Gary

Learn  more about Cotacachi business ideas at our July 4-8 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Another Ecuador joy is learning together.  Here a group of delegates relax at Meson de las Flores after a day’s tour.

Ecuador-joys

Enjoy savings by attending our real estate tours at the same time.

July 4-8 Ecuador Import Export Tour
July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

We provide discounts for delegates who attend two or three courses and tours in a month.

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.

Plus during the month of April, (this offer expires April 30) enjoy  our extra 2-4-1 savings.

Because Merri and I will not be conducting the July tours, our 2-4-1 offer lets you attend the July 2009  Ecuador export tour free if you enroll in one of our three International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ courses, in July, October or November that we will conduct.

You get two courses for the price of one.  Enroll in any of these courses that Merri and I will conduct below and choose any one of the three July tours free.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

There is no need to  hurry either. If you are not sure about attending two tours,  sign up and attend the July export tour now… then we’ll knock the tour fee off our International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ courses, in July, October or November fee later.

You can also still take advantage of the two or three course discount as well.

For example, if you choose to attend all three of the July Ecuador tours… both real estate and export tours, then you can have the two or three courses discount and still attend a July, October or November International Tangled Web Business & Investing Made EZ course free.

The 2-4-1 offer expires April 30 2009.

We hope to meet you in North Carolina or Ecuador.

Gary