Tag Archive | "Spain"

Cotacachi Spa Day


If you plan on visiting Cotacachi Ecuador add a day for a Cotacachi Spa day.

The spa life is amazing in Cotacachi … for one reason … La Mirage…and now… they have made it better with a remarkable spa day…that provides three treatments in a day at an incredibly low cost.

La Mirage is a Relais and Chateaux spa and has a variety of treatments… 17 to be exact.

For example here is the Amazon treatment.

Cotacachi Spa

Each room is a separate suite filled with antiques and with its own fireplace. Each is hidden and tucked into the gardens.

Even though we own our own hotel we send many of our guests to stay there.

We try to send all out guests to use the La Mirage Cotacachi spa…especially now that they have a Cotacachi spa day.  Our guests are raving about it.

Take for example how La Mirage describes just one of its treatments:

“Cofan Spiritual Ritual of the Amazon

“Inspired by the Indigenous Inhabitants of Ecuador’s Amazon and their use of native plants of the rain forest.

“The sounds and smells are combined in such a way that at the end of the ritual your body and spirit are in harmony and ready to experience this ritual of life.

“First you enjoy a tub infused with guayusa and ishpingo leaves, both plants found only in the Amazon.

“These essences are known by the Amazon people for their stimulating qualities. They are used in their rituals to heal the inner organs.

“In addition the ritual adds mineral salts, lemon grass and essential oils.

“The body is exfoliated with the guayusa and ishpingo leaves while in the tub.

“Then you are given a 50 minute full body massage using more special oils and techniques with various sizes of bamboo sticks. This 90 minute treatment costs $65.”

“The soak and massage are performed in a chamber especially designed to enhance the spirit and sound of the Amazon,”

I tried this treatment myself.  Wow. You start when you step from a  tub built in the Amazon cave with a – hidden – deep – in – the – rain – forest atmosphere. The room, from the huge Amazonian carpet hung in a wondrous frame to the drooping vines and bamboo has a vague moodiness. You really do feel Amazonized … forest lost … surrounded in gold tinted warmth … camp fired in a deep mysterious woods.

I hope these photos share at least part of the secret – cave – in – the jungle feel I felt, warm, oiled, hidden and secure.

Enter into … the Amazon.

Here is the carpet.

Cotacachi Spa

The massage therapist awaits you for an immersion in the sacred plant oils … guayusa and ishpingo.

Cotacachi Spa

Guayusa, native to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, is in the holly family, related to Yerba Mate and Yaupon Holly. The leaves have the highest caffeine content of any known plant. When immersed, in addition to the stimulating effects on the skin, the essence enhances dream recall.

Ishpingo is the Quichua word for a type of native Ecuadorian Cinnamon tree found only in a small region of Amazonian Ecuador. The oil is an anti oxidant with antibacterial and antifungal activity.

The oils from these plants blend in the hot water to create a buttery, waxy feel…the aroma being akin to exotic cinnamon and spearmint … a delight that prepares and transports you into the deep forest feel.

Cotacachi Spa

The oils create a stimulation … dream like quality, while they cleanse the body and skin.

Then it’s time to enter your inner sanctum … the massage room.

Cotacachi Spa

The massage comes in two parts, beginning with the head and face while wrapped in heat … the Amazon sweat!

Then comes the full body massage given with Bamboo rollers, sacred music of the Andes and a crackling fire.

Imagine this would be just one of three treatments you would have in a day.

Here is the deal

You visit the spa and can use its swimming pool, exercise machines, steam bath, and rose petal covered jacuzzi for the entire day plus take

one 25 minute treatment.

one 50 minute treatment and

one 90 minute treatment.

One treatment offered is called Lavender Luxury. Another the the Ecuadorian Volcanic Clay Bath.

The lavender treat begins with a 20 minute soak in hot water and lavender (grown at La Mirage) then a lavender herbal wrap and finished with an hour long lavender massage.

You can also enjoy the exquisitely beautiful round meditation room with a roaring eucalyptus fire. Wow.

La Miarge also has a grape massage.

Grape massages fall under the category of Vinotherapy, the practice of using wine by-products for spa therapy.   This practice originated at the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in Martillac, a town in the Bordeaux region of France. During a visit to the chateau, Joseph Vercauteren, a local pharmacology professor, was appalled to see the winery throwing out tons of seeds and skins from grape crushings. At the time, he was patenting a process using grape seed oil for skin care products. The professor’s visit led the Cathiard family to build a hotel, restaurant, spa and a line of skincare products”. They have even opened Spa Caudalie, a member-only spa in Las Vegas.

This must be good because whydontyou.com says “Les Sources de Caudalie’s Vinotherapy Spa was voted the number one European Hotel Spa in the 2004 Condé Nast Readers Spa Awards. Treatments combine the soothing nature of hydrotherapy with the anti-oxidant properties of grapes.

The spa is often filled with dignitaries. The Queen of Spain stayed there.

One day I saw four US Senators and actor Kevin Bacon visiting… all at once.

Another favorite of mine is… the Chocolate massage…. which in my opinion this is much better than actors and politicians.  This treatment lasts 100 minutes and begins with several face and skin scrubs. The skin is our largest eliminative and most absorbing organ so this beginning clears away the old and prepares the skin to absorb the nutrients and anti oxidants in the chocolate.

Then the face is coated in a chocolate soufflé foam. Chocoholics beware! The smell drove me to consume my Christmas given bag of chocolate when I got back to the hotel. As the foam sits, the body is then painted in chocolate and put in a hot body wrap. As you soak in the warm chocolate the masseuse massages the head scalp and face. Finally all this is removed and ends with a full body massage. I came out glowing…though as mentioned craving chocolate!

You pay only $125.00 plus 22% service and tax for all three treatments.

A selection of low calorie food can be prepared and served poolside (extra).

You can learn more about Cotacachi Spa here.

Call 593 02915-237 or  593 o2915 077 to reserve.

or email mirage1@mirage.com.ec

Until next message, may all your massages be good.

Gary

Visit Cotacachi, La Mirage and attend our  Ecuador Export Tour and our North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour

2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple  $1,349.    Save $149 on couple

Join us at many seminars and tours in Ecuador, Florida or  North Carolina… in 2010.

See details about each of our seminar and tours below… then see our December special that allows you to attend them all FREE.

For International Investing and Business.

For Super Thinking + Spanish

For Ecuador Shamanic Tour

For Ecuador Export

For North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi

For Manta & Mid Coast

For Quito & Mindo

For Salinas & South Coast

For Cuenca

Join us all year long… seminars and tours in North Carolina Florida and Ecuador.   Gain discounts by attending multiple seminars tours.

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

These extra tours create a dilemma for me. See how below.

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

These four new south coast tours and our six pack tour price create a bit of a crisis here.

As you can see above a six pack costs $3,099.  This is already a really low price for a tour that last up to 21 days (under $150 a day).

But as you will see below, our International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend up to 56 courses and tours in 2010  (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.

Which would you choose… 6 courses and tours for $3,099 or those same 6 courses and tours plus 50 more for $2,999?

“Duh,” I said when this was pointed out to me.

So our only solution is to raise the International Club membership to $3,500… still a terrific deal… but $501 more than before.

Save $37,457…plus $501.  I will not raise the International club fee until January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999.

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

Cotacachi Mayor’s House


Recent messages looked at how Merri and I search for Cotacachi real estate.

The road paving we have been tracking is now done.

cotacachi-real-estate

In two directions…

cotacachi-real-estate

in less than two weeks.

We keep our eyes open every day and the search pays off.

Today, near Primavera II condos…

cotacachi-real-estate

Around the corner from Cotacachi’s Mayor’s house (which is for sale) …

cotacachi-real-estate

we spotted two old houses for sale.  This one is $25,000.

cotacachi-real-estate

and this, $36,000.

cotacachi-real-estate

These fixer uppers have huge lots, in the center of the village. They may be real sleepers.  We’ll see as we’ll inspect them on our Imbaburra real estate tour that begins tomorrow.

You can gain Cotacachi real estate information and Ecuador real estate contacts as an Ecuador Living subscriber. See details here.

Speaking of sleepers, this excerpt from today’s password protected multi currency course shows why European shares may be sleepers as well.

Here is the excerpt:

This multi currency update has three portions. First we see anther inflation indicator. Second we update our search for value. Third we end with some answers to questions from lesson one of our new updated primer course.

Recent inflationary events include the support by US authorities of Bank of America with a guarantee of liquidity and capital. B of A faces losses of up to $118 billion dollars.

The government gets shares in the bank worth $20 billion.  In other words the government stumps up about $88 billion (that it does not have).  This is inflation.

Citibank in trouble as well.

Jyske Global Asset Management wrote in its last market update three days ago:

Fears of further credit losses and rumours of another large US bank being nationalized dragged the international stock market down this week. The New Year rally last week is already forgotten, and investors are anticipating new lows in 2009.

Citigroup Inc. posted an $8.29 billion loss, only a few days after the announcement of their plans to sell the control of Smith Barney to rival Morgan Stanley.

Sales at U.S. retailers dropped in December for the sixth consecutive month (first time since 1992) and the most in three years.

S&P cut Greece’s long-term credit rating to A- with a stable outlook, due to its public and private debt and the budget deficit. The downgrade makes Greece the lowest rated country in the Euro zone.

Market participators are now speculating whether a Euro exit may become an option for some members of the Euro-bloc, analysts view Greece as the weakest economy within the Euro zone.

The European Central Bank (ECB) Thursday cut the Euro zone interest rate to the lowest level in more than 3 years.

As expected the main policy rate was cut by a half percentage point to 2%. The Danish Central bank followed the ECB with an even bigger cut of 75 basis pts to 3%.

#1: Falling interest rates are indicators for increased activity in share markets.

#2: Combine this with the fact that stock funds saw huge redemptions in 2008.

#3: Add in the next fact that international equity funds were among the most redeemed losing about a fourth of their total assets in 2008.

U.S. stock funds only had redemptions of about 10% of their assets.  Bond funds on the other hand experienced positive flows in 2008.

This increases my enthusiasm for international shares…especially in Europe.

Low interest rates plus markets that are oversold plus inflation all bode well for shares.

There are four ways to fight inflation; real estate, your own business, commodities and equities.   So depressed international equities in an atmosphere of low interest rates spells opportunity.

These three factors are the elements that create value because value investors are generally bucking the trend.

This is why last year my biggest equity position was in the Jyske Invest European Equity fund.  I picked a fund that was invested mostly in markets that Michael Keppler of Keppler Asset Mangement viewed as having the best value.

Keppler has changed some of his rankings this month so let’s review the change and see if my position still makes sense.

Let’s look at the geographical breakdown of the Jyske Invest European Equities fund I hold now.

This fund has departed quite a lot from the synchronicity it enjoyed with Keppler’s top values when I invested two years ago.  The fund’s portfolio is spread here now:

UK  24%
Germany 16%
Switzerland 13%
France 12%
Spain 7%
Netherlands 4.5%
Sweden 4%
Spain 4%
Finland 3%
Italy      2%
Greece 2%
Denmark 1.5%
Norway 1.5%
Luxembourg .5%
Ireland  0.5%
Austria 0.5%

The fund’s managers report says:

There are prospects of uncertainty in 2009. The world economy is struggling
and the optimism has turned into pessimism. Central banks and  governments have been busy introducing rescue packages and  interest-rate cuts. The help has been offered, but is it sufficient and when will it begin to show an effect? We
expect that 2009 will bring wide swings in the equity market. A lasting upturn is not likely to be just around  the corner. We are still looking at a longer period characterised by uncertainty before the optimists outnumber the pessimists.

For the fund we prefer cheap shares with prospects of earnings growth. That type of shares has historically yielded the best returns.

Though this fund no longer has the same value synchronicity with Keppler that it previously had, I’ll continue to hold this as I plan to increase my equity position. I can balance this fund’s holdings to better match Keppler’s rankings by adding Hong Kong, Singapore, Italian and other funds or ETFs.

You can learn more about Keppler’s market updates and the ETFs we use in our multi currency portfolio as a multi currency susbcriber.

Until next update, good global investing

Gary

Join Merri, me and Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management at OUR INTERNATIONAL INVESTING & BUSINESS COURSE IN ECUADOR. We review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio plus investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

Gary

Your own business is a  good way to secure purchasing power. This is why Merri, our webmaster and I decided to create a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster.  There is a special offer on this new course that expired to the general public last Tuesday…but is still available to you.  See the offer here.

Get this course FREE if you join us in Ecuador this February.

Feb 9-11 Beyond Logic Keys to More Wealth & Better Health

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura 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 join Merri, me and Thomas Fischer of Jyske Global Asset Management, July 24-26, 2009 in North Carolina for International Investing and Business Made EZ

Ecuador Air Fare Excerpts


There is good news on Ecuador air fares. Right now Lan which has regular flights to Ecuador is offering some Guayaquil and Quito air fare special deals. We’ll look at these air  fares in a moment.

We are certainly very happy to be here after reading this report from Richard Goebel, our manager at our North Carolina farm.

Ecuador-air-fare

It was cold this AM.  -4 degrees and with the wind chill -20 degrees F. I broke up a fight between a hawk, a chicken and the rooster. Only feathers lost.
though the small black chicken is gone. Plus we lost two mallards last night or one male and a female. The cold is bringing out the predators. Another exciting day on the farm. Your friend Richard

We were happy to learn that the little black chicken was found. She ran off when the hawk came and is now sleeping in the pump house with our cat Alice.

Before looking at that Ecuador air fare war remember you can get fresh Ecuador valentine roses shipped to your home.

Second,  here is an excerpt from Yesterday’s password protected multi currency courses that shows why  Ecuador may be a good bet now and why using the special February low cost Ecuador air fare may be wise.

The multi currency excerpt begins when a reader asks:

Why not just keep your money in gold/silver?  All fiat currency will crash sooner or later.

Here is my reply.

Re gold. I’ll have a friend who is one if the world’s gold experts do a feature password protected lesson on the state of gold shortly.  I have often thought of just buying gold myself and forgetting all this work of keeping up.  If for no other reason this has such simplicity. However, though history shows that gold always adjusts for inflation eventually… history also shows that gold can have huge price swings that may last for decades.

I know one client who cashed out his portfolio and just bought  gold about 30 years ago when the price was $860 an ounce.  So we have to ask, when is sooner or later?
I know another client who bought a lot of gold and then had it confiscated when he tried to cross a border with it.  His crime… just having  a lot of gold as far as we can tell.

Plus if you live outside of a major city how often do you have to run to a metropolis to sell some gold?    How about the security risks?

I have a little more faith in the resiliency of mankind every day.  Sometimes when we have more turmoil than expected, it is hard to see how things can get better. Yet in every decade, the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, there has been a crash and after the crash, a recovery.

I am not a gold bug  or real estate or share bug.   I am a VALUE BUG.  I like value and find it exceedingly hard to know gold’s real value.

I also like diversification and have created a hedge for each potential situation…for things to get better or worse.  So I have some gold. have some equities…but not all that much.

It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds.  For now I’ll not buy too many Amero futures or blocks of gold.   Nothing to date suggests to me that this downturn is any different than any others.

I do keep some gold socked away. I do live on a farm where I can feed myself in case of an extreme global currency dislocation.  The farm however is a lifestyle situation and makes no comment on my belief on global affairs.

I have not abandoned my core belief that there are four ways to fight inflation and currency turmoil.  My portfolio is based on these beliefs.

History suggests that we can always succeed in:
#1: Our own business.
#2: Real estate
#3: Commodities
#4: Equities (ownership of other people’s business)

You can read this entire password protected lesson as a multi currency subscriber.

Now the low Ecuador air fare. Here is an excerpt from today’s password protected Ecuador Living report.

Lan Ecuador seems to be starting an Ecuador air fare war.  For example their site says, if you fly down Saturday February 7, 2009 on flight EL517, you leave Miami  at  5:10pm  and arrive  in Quito at  9:20pm.

You can attend our Beyond Logic and International Business Made EZ courses, then return Monday February 16, on flight XL516 leaving Quito at 9:20 am and reaching Miami at 1:25. The entire fare INCLUDING TAX  is only $421.51.

Plus right now Lan let’s travelers bring a third suitcase to Ecuador FREE!

This is a good time to visit Ecuador because the price of oil is low and Ecuador’s oil dominates what happens in Ecuador.

This low oil price and two other important factors canhelp Ecuador real estate prices rise.

When Ecuador’s currency was the sucre, it crashed in 1999.  Real estate prices simply rose as the sucre fell.  The instability caused b the currency collapse created some great real estate bargains because Ecuadorians rushed out of the sucre into property.

Now the low oil price can boost real estate again…plus there are two other boosts.

The first real estate boost come in the form of Cholo Boys. This is the name for Ecuadorians who left Ecuador during its 1999 economic plight… manly to Italy and Spain. They earn there, return and invest in real estate.  Now they are returning to Ecuador. Even Ecuadorans in the US are returning to Ecador…beause life here is good.

The other upwards pressure on Ecuador real estate is the Nort American expat market. Hoards of gringos are coming down for a warmer and easier low cost lifestyle.  I know. Our hotel is full almost all the time now.

All of this buying pressure turns Ecuador real estate into an international commodity. This makes the prie of real estate ere less vulnerable to local economic declines.

I believe this enough that I bought an extra unit at Vistazul when I heard the news that Correa might default on Ecuador bonds.   I own more condos there than anyone else and may buy more…six condos and an apartment in the hotel itself…plus two of my daughters each (on my advice) bought a condo.  Plus I just made an offer on more property in Cotacachi.

Due to the drop in the price of oil, President Correa recently said that he plans to restrict imports to help stem the outflow of dollars and offset the tumble in oil, the country’s biggest export.  He cannot afford to do it and as a trained economist he knows this.

Oil prices are now lower than in 1999, when adjusted for inflation.    The low oil price in the 1990s helped push Ecuador into default and caused a couple dozen banks to fail. This was when the country dropped its currency, the sucre, in favor of the dollar.

Correa plans to revise investment plans and trim spending on public-sector salaries and pension plans to help cope with the global economic slump.   He is cutting back on minimum wage raises and  subsidies  for the poor.

In short, times may become tougher in Ecuador. This means those who have money to invest will find the greatest value!

Visa Change,

When you come down be sure to check visa rles. Recently the visa attorney we refer readers to told us  that there are new Ecuador visa regulations. He said there is a lot of confusion as two government agencies wrestle with each other for control over immigration.

Many people do not need a visa if they are staying less than six months (180 days) a year. When Americans, Canadians and British enter Ecuador, they are automatically given a 90 day T-3 visa. This is the visa that Merri and I always use.

This T-3 visa is non-renewable.  You must leave by the expiry date.

Be careful about this.  In the past there was just a modest fine.  If you stayed over your due date you could pay a small amount extra when you left.   This is no longer true.   The fine is $200…but there is another catch we just learned.

We talked to a friend who overstayed his 90 days and paid  the $ 200 fine when he left in December. He flew back last week, was stopped at the airport and deported back to the United States because he did not know this rule!

You can learn the new rule and read a password protected, complete report about how to get visas as an Ecuador Living subscriber.

Plus the Ecuador Living report shows  how to have Social Security give you a letter of proof so you can have an Ecuador residence visa.

Learn about being an Ecuador Living subscriber.

Until next message, good Ecuador Living to you.

Gary

Last week we began tracking how fast the municipality gets work done here.  We saw day one of a dirt road where construction was obviously about to come.

Day two.  The action had begun.

cotacachi-real-estate

Day three and the first phase of the road is almost done.

Ecuador-social-security

Day four its even more complete.

cotacachi-real-estate

Day seven (Sunday there was no work) and the road is fully paved.

ecuador-air-fare-wars

Plus the intersecting road is well under way as well.

Ecuador-air-fare-wars

See in Sunday’s update how I was caught in this parade when I went out to take the latest road shots.

Ecuador-air-fare-wars

We’ll have a dozen shots like the picture below.

Join us in Ecuador this February.

Feb 9-11 Beyond Logic Keys to More Wealth & Better Health

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura 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-air-fare-wars

Ecuador and the Dollar


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

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

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

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

Perhaps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then the US dollar began to collapse versus other currencies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary

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

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

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

ecuador-real-estate-risk

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

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financial Experience, Skill and


Financial common sense is important no matter how much financial skill and financial experience one has.

This is one reason I enjoy working with Jyske Bank.  They apply great doses of common sense.

When the sub prime loan scandal shook the global financial industry Jyske had very little exposure.

When  New York financier Bernard Madoff  generated a fraud of $50bn, I was surprised to see how many major banks and investment managers were duped for billions!   How can  experienced, supposedly skilled investors and money majors, do something so dumb.

I knew that Jyske Bank would be better than this…but I  had to ask Jyske if they had invested with Madoff.

Here is their reply.

“We did not have any exposure however some of the other big banks did (Danske bank and Nordea) also a big Danish pension company.

When someone can make 10-15 percent every year without a losing year it
should raise some questions! I always say if it is to good to be true ..it is!

This is why my confidence in Jyske as the main bank that protects my wealth has grown over the past two decades.

Those who were ripped off were not yokels. Look at this list of institutions that internet news says  lost a billion dollars or more.  I am excluding a host of banks and huge investors who lost hundreds of millions.  These firms should have known better.

Spain’s Banco Santander, which owns Abbey and Alliance and Leicester, said its hedge fund unit invested nearly 4 Billion of client funds with Bernard Madoff.

Fairfield Greenwich Group  invested $7.5 Billion.

GMAC chairman Jacob Ezra Merkin’s Ascot Partners  invested most of its $1.8 Billion.

HSBC is reported by the Financial Times to have a potential exposure of about One Billion dollas.

Kingate Management Ltd  invested $3.5 Billion dollars.

Again and again I have observed Jyske sidestepping financial debacles while their competitors lose through the smple lack of  finacial common sense.

My hat is off to the management of Jyske Bank for avoiding Madoff.   Often the pressures of competition lure investment maagers and banks toward great deals that seem too good to be true.  Jyske was not sucked in…beause of their good common sense.

Gary

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

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

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

ecuador-real-estate-risk

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

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi Currency Investing Ahead


Multi currency investments fight inflation and can enhance wealth but require a long view .

There is a screech owl that lives in our barn and the way I watch him is sort of how I invest.

Can you see the owl?

To begin, an investing idea starts with a speck of thought…seeing the whole picture, but without many details.

Then it’s time to connect dots to see a closer picture.

Then we begin gathering information so the focus is closer…

until we can finally zoom in.

At this stage when we have zeroed in, we can act.

One big idea I have been tracking and investing in, is water. Now I am zeroing in on a new sub interest…water desalination.

An article sent by a reader entitled “Australia Turns to Desalination Amid Water Shortage” by Michael Sullivan first piqued my interest.

The article told how the Kwinana Desalination Plant, near Perth, produces 40 million gallons of drinking water per day from the Indian Ocean.

The article says:

Perth, with a population of about 1.7 million, is growing 3 percent a year — about 750 families a week move to the city, says Gary Crisp of the Western Australia Water Corp.

The Kwinana Desalination Plant south of the city opened two months ago. The facility, the first of its kind in Australia, covers just a few acres in an industrial park next to the ocean.

The water is sucked in through a pipe about 650 feet offshore in Cockburn Sound, at a rate of about 0.1 meters per second, says project manager Simon McKay.

That is slow enough to let the fish escape, but fast enough to provide nearly 40 million gallons of drinking water each day — roughly 20 percent of Perth’s daily consumption. That makes the plant the single largest source of water for the city.

McKay says it doesn’t take very long for the seawater to be ready for the tap — about a half-hour from the time it comes out of the ocean until it’s processed and distributed.

Desalination plants have been around in places like the Middle East for decades. But they’ve always been expensive to build and expensive to run. New technology has made them cheaper and more efficient, but they still consume a large amount of energy.

Environmentalists in Perth balked at the idea of using coal-fired plants to provide power for the one here, forcing the Water Corp. to find a non-polluting, renewable alternative. It found that alternative — wind energy — near the town of Cervantes, a three-hour drive north of Perth.

The Emu Downs Wind Farm houses 48 wind turbines, each as high as a 15-story building.

Kerry Roberts, the facility’s general manager, says Emu Downs is among the top 10 or 20 sites for this type of energy alternative in Australia.

“If you look at the combined output of the wind farm at maximum wind speeds — 24 to 28 miles per hour — you’re looking at an output of close to 80 megawatts,” Roberts explains. That’s enough power to run Perth’s desalination plant, 160 miles to the south.

This successful marriage of renewable technology and necessity has Crisp, of the Western Australia Water Corp., thinking big: “I predict that desalination will account for at least half of Perth’s water in the next 30 years.”

Other water-stressed seaside cities in Australia are taking a serious look at desalination, as traditional water sources dry up because of lack of rain. Sydney, on Australia’s southeast coast, is expected to commission a plant even larger than Perth’s in the next few months.

Nonetheless, the desalination boom extends far beyond Australia’s shores. McKay — the man in charge of getting Perth’s plant running — will soon be off to Muscat, Oman, to build another. His company’s order book is filling up quickly, he says, and he doesn’t expect that to change in his lifetime. Neither does Crisp.

“The world is going reverse osmosis,” he says, naming projects proposed from California to Spain.

Looking around, I found that one of the largest desalination plants is not far from where I lived (Naples) for years, Tampa Florida. The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination facility is an integral part of the Tampa Bay region’s drinking water supply. This is claimed to be a drought-proof, alternative water supply that provides up to 25 million gallons per day of drinking water to the region.

There are large desalination projects underway in California as well. However a look at the top 50 desalination projects show that the majority of them are in the Middle East.

Desalination is a sector that is bound to grow. It is estimated that 2.8 billion people live in areas of high water stress and this number is expected to increase by 50% over the next 20 years.

Areas of greatest concern include India, China and the Middle East.

There are two forms of desalination, evaporation and reverse osmosis (salt water forced through a filter under high pressure). There are already over 10,000 desalination plants going, mostly in the Middle East.

There are huge expenditures underway for desalination and wastewater purification and a number of companies are cashing in on this fact.

General Electric may be in the lead. It purchased Ionics, which builds desalination plants and makes filter membranes.

The French company Veolia Environnement (VE) is a major desalination plant and membrane supplier. This company earns over a third of its revenue from water businesses. The Japanese chemical company Nitto Denko (6988.T) is a large membrane supplier as is Dow Chemical (DOW), DuPont (DD), and GE.

Desalination plant builders include Italian Impreglio (IPGOF), South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (DOHIF), French Suez (SZEZY), German Siemens (SI), and Spanish construction companies Acciona (ACXIF) and Abengoa (ABGOF).

We have written often about Singapore-listed Hyflux (HYFL) which makes filter membranes used to purify water and builds desalination plants. Hyflux is building a 500,000-cubic-meter per day desalination plant in Algeria, which, when completed in 2011, will be the world’s largest. Hyflux is also building 40 water treatment plants in China, where it gets 81% of its revenue. This share is in our Green portfolio as is Japan’s Kurita Water Industries (6370.T) which builds desalination plants and sells other water purification equipment, getting all of its 205 billion yen [$2 billion] in revenue from water-related businesses.

Canadian H2O Innovation (HEO) makes filtration membranes for wastewater treatment. Austria’s Christ Water Technology (CRSWF) sells desalination and other water purification equipment. American Water (AWK), is in New Jersey and ran the desalination plant in Tampa, which is the largest in the U.S. Energy Recovery in San Leandro, Calif. has also sold shares to investors.

Desalination plants are expensive and create local opposition for several reasons.

First, they produce a waste of highly concentrated salt water that can destroy the surrounding ocean habitat. Second they require a lot of energy which if created by coal, creates air pollution.

The third concern, perhaps the biggest is concern for the organisms that are killed by the process of withdrawing seawater. Tiny fish larvae and plankton are killed in process.

Te nature of our existence is such that we cannot eliminate our foot print entirely. very solution to environmental problems seems to create others. Let’s hope that technology will help make desalination one of humanity’s solutions…not problems. Since desalination can produce fresh water where there is none, and water is one of the few items in daily life that has no substitute, I be looking to invest in companies that provide fresh water with minimal impact on the environment.

Once I find such a  company,  will have identified one of many filters we should use when we review value.  We look for shares of companies that have a product or service in a wave of the future…such as desalination.

Then there are still many questions to answer to determine if the share offers a good value or not.  The questions include:

#1: Are the shares traded in a good value market?
#2: Does the share trade at fair Price to Earnings and Price to Cash Flow ratios?
#3: Does the share pay a good value dividend?
#4: Do the shares have a good value relative to their previous price?
#5: Does the company have rising earnings?
#6: Has the share price been rising?
#7: Is the company’s management good.

My feeling is that desalination will grow especially, that which is provided by wind energy, which is often available at the ocean and in semiarid parts of the world.  Shares in companies that answer yes to the questions above  will be interesting places to invest.

Until next message, good global investing to you.

Gary

Learn more about economic safety this November. Join Merri, me, Steve, Kjetil Haugan or Thor Anderson of Vistazul and Peter Conradsen of Jyske Global Asset Management in Cotacachi Ecuador. We’ll review economic conditions, Ecuador real estate, my entire portfolio and investing and business ideas for the months ahead.

Nov 7-9 2008 International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/international-business-made-ez-ecuador

See the wonderful balconies in the Primavera condos at for sale at $46,000 in Cotacachi.

multi-currency-Ecuador-condo-interior

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

Then travel to the coast. Enjoy the Vistazul swimming pool on Ecuador’s Pacific.

Picture 9

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

See discounts for two or more of these courses and tours

Ecuador Crime


Ecuador crime & safety.

A reader just sent me this note about Ecuador crime.

Hi Gary, My husband & I have been reading everything you’ve sent on Ecuador & it sounds ideal. We were all excited about it as a prospect to move from the US to until we saw the US State Dept. website & what they
had to say about crime, rape, robbery & disease! It sounds awful. Have you seen it & what would you say in regards to? Thanks.

This is a good question that affects us all.

I replied:

I have written numerous times about risk during any travel because we all increase our risk when we go places we do not know. There are places of great risk in Ecuador as there in in New York, Seattle, Miami, LA or any city anywhere in the world. Yet people in these cities live fine because they know where to go and where not to go.


The State department correctly focuses on the most negative part of any country and they should. However there are vast parts of Ecuador that have been perfectly safe for us. This is a huge part of our service helping our readers know where readers have ad journeys and where they have not. Merri and I have taken several thousand people to Ecuador without a single violent crime. Where we live, we feel safe being out any time. Children are seen day and night playing, walking…on their own…without fear. I would let my grandchildren go more places in Cotacachi Ecuador than in the suburbia of Rockwood Oregon where I grew up.

However everyone has to make their own decision about the realities of risk.

Ecuador people are generally happy like these girls in Cotacachi.

ecuador-indigenous-girls

Ecuadorians are not violent people by nature. Even the worst reports suggest this.

Ecuadorians are friendly people.

Ecuador-friendly-people

The Overseas Security Advisory Organization wrote in their 2008 rpeort about Ecuador crime entitled “Overall Crime and Safety Situation”.

The criminal threat for Quito and Guayaquil is rated “critical” by the U.S. Department of State. Non-violent crime is the most common problem encountered in Ecuador, but police statistics show a significant increase in violent crimes. Reports of murders, rapes, kidnappings, carjackings, armed assaults, and burglaries are becoming more frequent throughout the country. The U.S. Mission to Ecuador personnel and other American citizens are routinely victimized by crime. The Regional Security Officer (RSO) continues to receive numerous incident reports from U.S. Mission personnel and American citizens detailing criminal acts committed against them, their families, and friends. Police reports show that in more and more cases, criminals are using some sort of weapon in the commission of their crime.

Children play safely in the streets night and day in Cotacachi.

ecuador-safe-children

The Overseas Security Advisory Organization report goes on to say:

Fortunately in the majority of these cases, the weapon is used for intimidation purposes only, with the result being that cooperative victims are seldom injured. Gratuitous violence is generally rare throughout the country, but is becoming more common in the larger cities, especially in Guayaquil.

Public transportation and tourist areas are still the locations with the highest crime rates, although the RSO office receives incident reports from different locations throughout the country. The RSO office recommends that visitors bear in mind that crime can impact anyone, anywhere, at any time, and thus should exercise normal security precautions throughout the country.

Observations/Trends

Ecuador is considered a critical crime country and hundreds of Americans are robbed each year. Weapons are readily available and criminals are frequently armed.

Ecuadorian people are not violent.

ecuador-happy-people

The Overseas Security Advisory Organization report adds:

Violence is rare as long as the victim cooperates. There is no evidence to suggest that Americans are singled out for crime, but some Western foreigners are perceived to be wealthy, causing them to be targeted by criminals. In two of the incidents, the victims were approached by perpetrators who used improvised schemes to approach the victims. This tactic is increasingly common, meaning that visitors should be wary of all requests for assistance

I wish I could report that Ecuador is crime free. Even more I wish that the world was crime free. Even more I wish I could report that crime in the USA and around the world was diminishing.

This is not the case.  Crime is growing in many places.

A recent USA Today article pointed out growing crime problems in America’s suburbia. It said:

Suburban neighborhoods are becoming refuges for those outpriced in gentrifying inner-cities.

Devastated by the subprime mortgage crisis, hundreds of homes have been foreclosed and thousands of residents have been forced to move, leaving in their wake a not-so-pleasant path of empty houses, unkempt lawns, vacant strip malls, graffiti-sprayed desolate sidewalks and even increased crime.

Many homeowners not only cut their own grass but also trim the yards of vacant homes on their streets, hoping to deter gangs and criminals from moving in.

Other residents discovered that with some of the empty houses, it wasn’t what was growing outside that was the problem. busted several pot homes with vast crops of marijuana growing from floor to ceiling.

The white picket fence of an American dream has faded into a seemingly hopeless suburban nightmare.

Tomorrow’s message looks at how these shifts in suburbia creates opportunity.

The point in today’s message is that crime is everywhere. in Ecuador as well as the US.

Ecuador crime has some positive aspects.

Ecuador crime typically is not violent. See the worst 50 countries for murder. Mexico is 6th, Costa Rica 19th, The US – 24th, Finland – 30th, Portugal – 33rd, Malaysia – 34th, South Korea – 38th, France – 40th, Australia – 43rd, Canada – 44th, Italy – 47th, Spain – 48th, Germany 49th.

Ecuador is not in the top 50. Statistically your odds of being murdered are higher in all the countries above.

Metals detectors are not required at Ecuador schools.

There have been no shopping center shootings!

Yet here is the decision everyone must make. Do you want to travel or not? When you visit unfamiliar places you increase your risk of being a crime victim.

To reduce risks when you travel see ten safety rules

We hope to help you avoid crime in Ecuador by taking you to places full fo color fun and laughter like this parade in Cotatacahi.

Ecuador-fun-people

Gary

Learn how to learn more about Ecuador her

Join us Oct 14-18 for our Ecuador Import Export Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-import-and-export-tour

Visit Ecuador markets.

Ecuador-vendor

We still have space in our November courses and tours.

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

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

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

Ecuador Spanish Fluency Made EZ


Ecuador Spanish fluency can be made EZ course as our Spanish course teacher Steve writes:

Being in England for 4 weeks I’m aware that my Spanish has tailed off a little. If you don’t use it then you lose it as they say.

I knew this would happen before I came; it did last year too. But I have made a couple of phone calls in Spanish, swapped some emails in Spanish so that all helps.

Now that I am fluent in Spanish (which doesn’t mean perfect by the way) I intend to keep hold of this language for life. That shouldn’t be difficult as long as I live in Ecuador, which I intend to, and even if, at some point in the future, I move away from Ecuador I still think I have the techniques to stay on top of the language; the same techniques we now use to teach Spanish in our Ecuador Spanish course.

I remember wanting to speak a foreign language at a young age, perhaps after watching an early evening movie at the legs of my parents. I also remember lying in bed at night as I ‘practiced’ an imagined fluency in another tongue. As I lulled myself to sleep, a torrent of rhyming nonsensical words burbled softly (less anyone hear my silliness) and rapidly from my lips as I pretended I was speaking foreign languages in far-off lands.

And then I dreamt of nonsense in nonsense lands.

Yet there were two large stumbling blocks.  I had no natural ability in languages andthe education techniques used in English grammar schools were not fun.

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I have not forgotten the painful experiences I had learning Spanish so now I look for fun ways to teach. It’s an on-going process but you can see how our Spanish Course delegates below have fun as they string out sentences after just 4 days in class. My role was to step back and let them enjoy the process as I take photos as my native-speaking assistants, Carmen and Julio, gently prompt from the sidelines.

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Spanish is probably one of the easiest or maybe even the easiest language to learn. I didn’t really appreciate this until I learned from Merri some of the techniques that she had unveiled as she learned Spanish many years ago in Mexico.

The fact is there are roughly 4,000 words which are very similar and some are exactly the same in English. Knowing this is an encouraging start. Knowing just 17 simple rules gives us these 4,000 words and allows us to add those rules to our ‘tool bag’. We learn how to learn the rules.

We have to know how to pronounce the words but again Spanish is simplicity itself once you learn the rules of pronunciation. Spanish pronunciation is simple because there is a profound lack of exceptions to the rules. Every word is pronounced according to the rules and apart from the occasional strange place names there are no funny exceptions.

Consider the English words ‘rough’, ‘bough’, bought’, ‘through’ and ‘though’ – the ‘ough’ part is pronounced 5 different ways … pity the English language learner as they have to decide how to pronounce any new word they come across with ‘ough’ in it.

My aim when teaching Spanish, and even when speaking, is primarily communication. When I taught English for nearly 4 years in Quito, to students ranging from children to diplomats, the most common complaint was that though they could read and write the language they were to embarrassed or afraid to speak the language. I nearly always found this was because they were confused after having ‘swallowed’ too many grammar pills.

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Granted, some grammar is necessary but I keep it to the absolute minimum. We do this by using about 15 starter phrases and learning how to say ‘I’ or ‘you’ in these phrases and then working with verbs in their base form such as ‘to eat’. We also learn ‘finishing phrases’ which are normally expressions of time and places. So we learn quickly how to say “I want to eat lunch now”, or “Do you want to visit the doctor later?”

This is communication at it’s most basic, but what I’ve found is that as in most endeavors in life, success breeds enthusiasm and confidence, which in turn breed more success. There’s nothing more dispiriting than not being even able to spit out a sentence after 2 or 3 months at an evening school apart from “My name is Steve”, “I live in Ecuador” and “I am ?? years old”.

On the other hand, we learn how to ask questions, express our desires, needs and preferences by the third day of a 5 day course.

Then of course, we have to remember what we learn. Advanced Learning techniques were first brought to the world’s attention by Lozanov, the Bulgarian master, who the SuperLearning books were famously written about.

As far as I’m aware we are the only people who offer a beginner’s course in a Spanish speaking country that incorporates Lozanov’s methodology to relax and aid speedy learning. We also emphasize getting out into the community to practicing what we learn AND incorporate a simplified content to get you communicating many times quicker than the normal.

I’ve taught all age groups from teenagers to eighty year olds. One of my aims is to build confidence and enthusiasm so that when you leave you are motivated to continue studying.

This is what S and K said after our course in June. They are a couple 78 and 64 years old and tour in Spain virtually every year but had always had difficulty mastering the language.

“We loved the property tours and found that the Spanish course was just right for us. Indeed, we have both been motivated to learn more. We have bought little mp3 players and we each have all 6 of your Super Thinking Spanish CDs already downloaded and in use …. I’m also going to get hold of a Michel Thomas course and put that on as well. So thanks again for providing such an inspirational starter course. (Of course, major thanks to Merri and Gary for having the knowledge to make it possible – but your delivery of it all was just right)”

Even as I contemplate the mystery of how I learned a language and then the even more amazing transformation (for me) to teaching a language, I just give thanks that through a series of synergies I’ve been able to find support, techniques and methods, not to forget a wonderful location in Cotacachi, where it’s all come together and I’m able to help others to communicate in Spanish.

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We have one more Spanish course this year next month in September.

Sept 23-27 Ecuador Spanish Course
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-spanish-course

September 17-20 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour; Quito Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour

Sept 28-29 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-real-estate

See discounts for attending more than one Sept. course
https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-tours-savings

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

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

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

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

International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun Part II


International investing and business have proven themselves over the past 40 years to be profitable. And even more than the profits are the broadened horizons, fulfillment and fun!

Yesterday’s message International Investing and Business Made EZ & Fun looked at why International investing and business should be a fun filled process…not a dull boring set of numbers.

One reason for this is that those who live a fulfilled, involved fun existence are likely to be healthier…with less need for expensive pharmaceuticals and medical treatment.

This makes life better plus can save huge amounts of cash.

This is likely to become even more important in the years ahead for those who live in much of the Western world.   Existing medical systems are already filled with problems.  Inflation and aging populations will make the problems even worse.

At the turn of the decade, The World Health Organization analyzed the world’s health systems. The WHO used five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states.

The five performance indicators were:

* Fairness of financial contribution.  While private health expenses in industrial countries now average only some 25 percent because of universal health coverage (except in the United States, where it is 56%), in India, families typically pay 80 percent of their health care costs as “out-of- pocket” expenses when they receive health care.

* Overall Level of Health.

* Distribution of Health in the Populations:  the average level – goodness – and the smallest feasible differences among individuals and groups – fairness.

* Responsiveness: respect for persons including dignity, confidentiality and autonomy of individuals and families to decide about their own health as well as prompt attention and access to social support networks during care, quality of basic amenities and choice of provider.

* Distribution of Financing.

The study revealed that U. S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries.  The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on health services, ranks 18th.  Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy.

Here is the WHO ranking.

1         France
2         Italy
3         San Marino
4         Andorra
5         Malta
6         Singapore
7         Spain
8         Oman
9         Austria
10       Japan
11       Norway
12       Portugal
13       Monaco
14       Greece
15       Iceland
16       Luxembourg
17       Netherlands
18       United  Kingdom
19       Ireland
20       Switzerland
21       Belgium
22       Colombia
23       Sweden
24       Cyprus
25       Germany
26       Saudi Arabia
27       United  Arab  Emirates
28       Israel
29       Morocco
30       Canada
31       Finland
32       Australia
33       Chile
34       Denmark
35       Dominica
36       Costa Rica
37       United  States  of  America
38       Slovenia
39       Cuba

Most of the readership of this site live in countries where the medical system is not even in the top 15 countries!

This means that many of us, (especially us boomers now in our 60s), may want to rely on a good lifestyle to keep our health…not the medical system.

The cost of this medical system is another reason we want to have independence
rather than reliance on government funded programs.  We’ll see why next message.

Until then, may your international investing and business be good…and fun!

Gary

Learn about our next International Investing and Business Course in North Carolina

Ecuador Ecuador Import Export Course

International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador