Tag Archive | "the Philippines"

Retire in Ecuador for Healthcare


Many people will retire in Ecuador for healthcare reasons.

A huge demographic retirement problem looms. Population and economic numbers will drive many boomers to retire in Ecuador or other low cost countries like Ecuador where they can afford the healthcare.

The first boomers turned 60 years old in 2006. Now about 4 million more reach that age every year for the next 18 years.

This boom of retirees will swamp the retirement and healthcare systems that our parents enjoyed.

This means that those who want to retire need new strategies.  One strategy is to retire in Ecuador or at least some country where healthcare may be more dependable and affordable.

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One reason people retire in Ecuador is the scenic beauty. This is a view from our hotel Meson de las Flores.

The demographic distortions are increased because boomers have a better chance of  a long life than their forefathers.

Improvements in healthcare  extend the expected average lifespan of boomers to 22.5 years.  Yet this healthcare is becoming so expensive, it is out of the reach of many.

A longer life expectancy means higher potential  healthcare costs.  Medicare and private insurance are becoming more expensive.   Fewer employers will be able to continue giving healthcare benefits to retirees.

More and more people will be forced to finance their own healthcare. This retirement healthcare can be so expensive, one illness can destroy a lifetime of savings.

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Health care in Ecuador is less expensive in part because of lower real estate costs. Very nice houses like this built on the small river in Cotacachi are less than $90,000.

Excerpts from an article in US News & World Report entitled “A New Look at Healthcare Costs in Retirement” by Emily Brandon explains the problem better:

Health benefits for retirees are a relic of the past. Fewer than a third of current workers have any employer subsidy for retiree health insurance, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

A new analysis by the nonpartisan EBRI puts the number for a couple currently age 65 at a staggeringly high $635,000, and that doesn’t include long-term-care costs. EBRI also calculated that a 65-year-old single man will need $331,000 and a single woman $390,000 to be almost completely certain of covering all out-of-pocket retiree health costs.

The article (see a link to the full article below) explains that this amount was up from a previous estimate of $225,000 needed to cover healthcare costs in retirement.

My experience is that those who retire in Ecuador find their medical, dental and pharmaceutical costs run about 20% to 25% of those in the US.

Plus there are many free health care benefits for Ecuador retirees.  See Ecuador Retirement and Healthcare.

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These new condos being built at Primavera provide low cost homes ($75,000) for those who retire in Ecuador.

Many will also retire in Ecuador for better healthcare care.

One Ecuador retirement healthcare concern goes beyond the cost.

Ecuador retirees want the care.

Many people do not like the way Western healthcare has evolved. They will not use the traditional healthcare system even if they can afford it.

A reader just sent me this note…not about Ecuador retirement…  but about a benefit of overseas healthcare for those who are retired.

Hi Gary, This is your expat friend in Manila. You are so correct about US medical care.  I couldn’t help but feel the US health care system failed my retired dad miserably.

The feeling I had was that hospitals try to avoid patient care liabilities. My dad had also purchased a term care policy, which could not be utilized until 90 days of documented out of pocket expenses. Same feeling, you call the insurer, and you are referred to their legal department.

Dad had always said socialized medicine was a bad idea, so our entire family followed.  But after this first hand experience of critically needing US medical care for an elderly, very loving dad, who this time around – needed help.

Dad risked his life in the Philippines to serve our country, as a photo-reconnaissance pilot, in WWII. He deserved better than that!

I feel like I am in much better hands here in Manila, the nursing capitol of the world. If I were in my dad’s situation I would get dedicated care from loving caring human beings, just like in Ecuador. Dentistry is the same here too. Cheers!

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The Catholic cathedral next to Meson at sunrise. The church helps with healthcare.

One US healthcare problem is that the great emphasis on specialization and insured medicine has depersonalized the care.   Liability concerns have further blocked the doctor patient connection.  The system seems  uncaring… too systematic… too numbers oriented and too lacking in compassion.

This is not the situation in many other countries including Ecuador where the health care is not only inexpensive but very caring.

Here for example are some sorts of an Ecuador retirement nursing home where the doctor and nurses even dance with the retired residents.

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See more on this at Retire in Ecuador & Nursing Homes.

The onrush of boomer retirees will place a strain on the US healthcare sstem, push up the price and reduce the care. Many will retire in Ecuador or other countries for lower costs and more care.

I am doing a Retire in Ecuador questions and answers so send your questions about Ecuador and retirement.

Gary

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

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

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

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

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

Read the entire article “A New Look at Healthcare Costs in Retirement at” http://www.usnews.com/blogs/planning-to-retire/2008/06/05/a-new-look-at-healthcare-costs-in-retirement.html

Global Investing and Ecuador


My global investing and business began 41 years ago May 2, 1968 and eventually led me to Ecuador.

My background as son of a zoo keeper did not leave me prepared.

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Here is a newspaper clipping of my sister Sandra and me feeding a baby lion we kept at home… one of many lions and tigers we raised.

Let me share 41 years of multi currency investing and a couple of important facts I learned that may help you… including what’s happening with the swine flu in Ecuador.

I arrived in Hong Kong in the night, the tropical air so soft it was a velvet mist.   Thick evening scents in the fragrant harbor and mellow insects purrings in rhythm with the cacophony of the great city!  What a an exotic adventure.

Kai Tak was Hong Kong’s airport then and being American born and bred, I knew nothing about investing aboard.

That was my first airplane trip, first time out of Oregon. Portland to Vancouver, Tokyo to Hong Kong.  I melted in my heavy woolen blazer, was weary and afraid but excited too. An incredible global investing journey had begun… and continues to this day.

Here I was, 21 years old.

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Here is the first stamp in that first passport. That stamp you might say was my first international investment.

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That first stamp makes a point by the way about how to enter and initially work or invest in a country.  That first stamp was issued May 2, 1968 and allowed me to stay in Hong Kong until June 2, 1968.

I worked in Hong Kong for quite some time on tourist stamps… coming in for a month at a time.   I was developing sales teams in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines at the same time so a month was plenty of time before I exited.

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Here is one of my first sales teams… this one in Hong Kong led by John So Kwok Kee (far left – you can guess which one I am).

I built teams from the north in Japan down through Thailand.  One of the salesmen we worked with in Thailand, Brian Tracy, returned later to Canada and has had great success in the sales education field.

Starting a business, investigation or residence with a tourist visa is a pretty good idea. This is usually the easiest, most efficient, practical way to begin so you can be sure what you are doing and how you’ll develop a more permanent stay if you want one.  In many cases… such as mine… a permanent tourist system is simply the easiest and best.

I began my business in Hong Kong this way and for years I also lived and worked in England on tourist stamps before obtaining my permanent residence there.

A reader recently sent me this note about Ecuador tourist visas.

“Gary, When I was staying at the Hotel, someone mentioned that you do not
have a residential visa for Ecuador.  Is this correct?  How do you
spend as much time in the country as you do?”

Here is my rely:

“I spend less than 6 months a year in Ecuador.

“We have heard from others who come stay for 90 days, leave for just a day or two (especially just over the border in Peru or Colombia)  and come right back that there are difficulties.

“Our experience is that every time we come to Ecuador we are given a 90
day visa.  However we do not stress this system. For example we may stay 70 days and then be away for weeks or even a month or so.  Then return for 20 days or so.. then leave for another month etc.   The immigration officers look carefully at the total number of days by the end of the year and to help them, I keep a list of each day we have arrived and departed and the page number in our passport… so they can efficiently see we have not been in more than 180 days the maximum allowed on a T-3 tourist visa).

Be careful not to overstay. One reader reported that having done so he was denied entrance upon his return and were not allowed to return to Ecuador for one year.

We have a full report on Ecuador visas and an immigration attorney who helps our Ecuador Living subscribers.

I am also preparing a report for Ecuador Living subscribers to answer this question from a reader yesterday.

“Hi Gary, Wonderful timing, we had tickets to fly from Guadalajara to Quito yesterday, but were stymied by the fact that Ecuador (and Peru) are refusing passengers from Mexico.  We understand Ecuador’s borders  will be closed for a month to non-residents flying in from Mexico.

We had thought about flying back to the States and then flying to Ecuador, but an electronic scan of our passports would show we’d been in Mexico and we’re not sure what would happen.  Any insights?   Thanks!

You can obtain these reports and answers as an Ecuador Living subscriber. Learn how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Back to Hong Kong.  I began there selling US mutual funds.

When arriving there 41 years ago there is no way I could have known how exciting the next decades would be, how much information, facts, figures, ideas and insights on how to invest globally would be gained. Had I known the mistakes to be made I would probably have run!

Then I moved east again to England and Europe… trying many things.

Thankfully all the trials, tortures and errors were mitigated by much fun and an earnest endeavor to live right and learn.

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Here is a newspaper clipping of me  with a business partner in my London office on Artillery Row selling square inches of Graceland… not really a very good idea.

Later I imported Rolls Royces and Bentleys from England to the US… a better idea.

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One goal at this site is to share basics of global investing and living an international life learned over these 41 years. Global investing has changed so much during this time and is changing even faster now.  I am continually forced to rearrange my thinking strategy and tactics at a faster pace.

We offered health courses at our North Carolina farm. Here I am with our son, Jake, with one tactic we taught… a morning dip in a cold creek after exercise… yes that is snow on the banks and no… this not surprisingly did not sell very well either.

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Our food as medicine courses taught by Merri in her teaching kitchen at the farm had better attendance!

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For almost 15 years now we have been conducting courses in Ecuador. Here I am this year in the meeting room at the Cotacachi museum next to Meson de las Flores on an Ecuador export tour.

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This continual evolution has helped Merri and me, our readers and our income continually grow… through good times and bad.

Yesterday April 2009 for example ended with anoter record month for our internet sales.  Our 2009 sales (April month on month) were up 48.01% over April 2008, which in turn were up 24.04% over April 2007 sales.

Our sales in the first four months of 2009 were up 81.75% over Jan through April 2008 which was up 26.20% over 2007.  Learn how to develop an internet business that can grow like this here.

The reason we have survived and progressed amidst this never ending update is that the little stuff shifts and evolves, but the fundamentals remain immutable.

Investing globally is not a panacea, but expanded horizons are. Life is a trip and we have an entire globe to enjoy the ride.

Two years ago on May 2, 2007, I wrote:

History suggests that this is a time when chances are increased for panic and sudden drops in investment markets. Investors who have proven themselves nervous short term thinkers are highly leveraged, in thin, over purchased markets that are easily sinkable boats treading the dangerous waters of May though October when tradition says the currents will most likely be treacherous and surrounded with lots of storms.

Now, that this risk has proven true, history also suggests that we have a once in a life time opportunity.

The way to cash in on this incredible opportunity is the same way I suggested avoiding the collapse two years ago. I wrote then: “One way to get good international investments is to take a long term, expansive international view.”

My first trip abroad 41 years ago was significant because 1968 was the beginning of a new era for world stock markets. When I arrived in Hong Kong the world of investing was dominated by Wall Street. That was about to end. 1968 was the year when the Hong Kong Stock Market began to explode upwards along with Tokyo’s market. What a ride!

The Heng Seng Index was then 100 and rose to 18,000. Anyone who steadily committed money to this market then made a fortune.

I can sum up my investment basic investing and advice in seven sentences.

#1: 1970s. Invest in real estate, gold, silver Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

#2: 1980s. Invest in real estate, the Tigers, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore Malaysia and South Korea as well.

#3: 1990s. Invest in real estate South America (which led me to Ecuador).

#4: 2000s. Invest real estate, China, India and emerging markets including Ecuador real estate.

#5: Always have an expansive view.

#6: Use stop losses during peaks.

#7: Have an international investment view. Never overextend. Don’t trade too much, just hang on.

This philosophy has reaped millions for Merri and me. Had we been more expansive, we would have an extra $20 million or so.  However our conservative approach to business and investing also protected us during the recent melt down of 2007 and 2008.

This may be time to begin taking advantage of the recovery. Panic is subsiding but values are still high. The huge excesses of the US and other government’s will at some stage begin to seriously erode the purchasing power of currencies.

I remain highly diversified from a currency point of view.  Here is my current currency breakdown in my liquid portfolio that represents 43% of my total portfolio.

An excerpt from a recent Multicurrencyinvesting.com lesson explains why when I wrote about the currency distribution of investments:

Here is my currency distribution:

Danish kroner    24%
Euro                     24%
British Pound      8%
US Dollar            12%
Canadian Dollar 3%
Norway kroner   4%
NZ Dollar             3%
Sweden kroner    7%
Brazil real             3%
Hungary Forint   6%
Turkey Try            6%

With more than a third of my liquid position in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian kroner, my Scandinavian  position is seriously over weighted in terms of global market size.

One reason is because these are such small countries located on the sea.  This means that their histories are composed of  travel and trade.

A nation’s heritage reflects in the value of its currency strength. This fact helped me answer this question from a reader.

“Gary, Will  future strength in DKK be bad for equities denominated in that currency?”

Here is my reply.

Most of the Danish companies you would buy are global companies.

Because Denmark is such a small market any large Danish company is doing most of its business out of Denmark  so a lot of their success depends on the type of business business and where the company actually manufactures and sells its products.

Plus look at the margins built into the product.

One benefit in Scandinavia is their very highly educated population. A recent Time magazine article shows that Finland (not Scandinavian but Baltic and Finland’s currency is the euro – otherwise I would have Finmark in my portfolio as well) ranked number one for educational performance of 15 year olds in math. Denmark was number 10, Sweden number 15 and Norway number 23… all ahead of the US (number 25).

Finland was number one for reading performance of 15 years olds as well.  Sweden number seven, Norway number 10 and Denmark number 16. The US was number 15.

This means that the products produced in these nations will tend to be high value.

For example, Novo Norsk makes insulin.  I suspect that the margins are substantially high.

Ditto for novozymes that makes enztymes for environmental purification.  These are firms where there is likely to be a great deal of value added into their product.

Vestas, makes wind turbines. and may be more affected by a strong kroner if they do a lot of manufacturing in Denmark but are having and sales in the US and especially if their competitors manufacture in the US or other countries where the currency is weak.

I am updating the value of major and emerging markets now at multicurrencyinvesting.com and will be revaluing our green and Danish portfolios in upcoming lessons.  You can subscribe to our Multi Currency Portfolios Course here.

I have increased my Ecuador real estate to 22% of my total property.  The balance is in US property and I am looking to add more US property now in Florida and or Savannah.

If you have real estate in central Florida or Savannah that you would like to swap for real estate in Ecuador… let me know.

I have held a high cash position for over a year but now agree with Warren Buffet who recently wrote about business and opportunity:

Clinging to cash equivalents or long-term government bonds at present yields is almost certainly a terrible policy if continued for long. Holders of these instruments, of course, have felt increasingly comfortable – in fact, almost smug – in following this policy as financial turmoil has mounted. They regard their judgment confirmed when they hear commentators proclaim “cash is king,” even though that wonderful cash is earning close to nothing and will surely find its purchasing power eroded over time.

Now is the time to convert cash into investments that will appreciate with the loss of cash’s loss of purchasing power… stocks… commodities… real estate or your own business.

This leaves all of us with a lot to do after 41 years of a global life.

I feel healthier and more energetic then 41 years ago.   Maybe I am not wiser… but I am more experienced and seem in a better position then when I took that first trip.

Merri and I look forward to the next 41 years… and we look forward to sharing them with you!

Gary

This is the schedule of Gary our 2009 Ecuador information tours, courses and seminars.

May 16-17 Ecuador Coastal Tour

May 20-21 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

May 22-24. Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour

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 Shots & Global Comments


Here are some shots of Ecuador and comments from readers about our recent Ecuador Joys & Global Thoughts article.

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Here is a photo taken of a proud Ecuadorian cheese maker.  Our next Imbabura real estate tour will view this organic farm and Swiss cheese factory for sale.

The first reader wrote:

Gary, A fine letter from a daughter that has learned some important things about life at an early age.  Of my three summers in Mexico(1965-70) working on a Peace Corp style project in 18th century mountain life, from those rural  Mexicans I learned what it meant to be an American. Before Mexico I had no context  about the values and way of life that I was living.  I presumed the world thought and lived more or less like we lived.  Jim

This is a great point. To me one of the greatest pleasures from my global lifestyle is a broadened horizon.  The US is such a vast country and huge market, that in the years I lived here, the focus has always been inward.   This seems to restrict many from seeing alternatives and other great ways to live.  Don’t get me wrong. I love the US and enjoy living here.  This is one great way of living… but not THE way of living and certainly not the ONLY way to live.

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This is a shot of Andean musicians who regularly serenade our diners at Meson de las Flores.

Another reader wrote:

Hi Gary,

I really enjoyed Francesca’s message about her experiences in various cultures and countries.  In 1985 I went to Saudi Arabia where I was the only American working at a UN designated Arab Training Center, upon graduating from USC.

It was just the thing I needed to give me the itch for all things international ever since. From there, I saw a good bit of Europe, then I worked for a Japanese electronics trading and assembly company, where I traveled most of Asia. Since then, I have been a self supporting ex-pat. I married my wonderful Filipina wife in the Philippines where I have resided these past 10 years.

She is like me, I like to try almost any type of food offered (well I passed on raw Camel’s milk because I heard it was an almost definite prescription for diarrhea). The wealth of experiences and international friends my wife and I share has provided a perspective I could never have obtained if I had never ventured from Southern California or The States.

So both Francesca’s and your daily messages resonate with me. I found Francesca’s message to be spot-on. I only wish more American’s could experience living outside the box (US)  Cheers!  Jim.

Jim lives in the Philippines… another great place to live especially for those in the Western US.

ecuador-shots Ecuador bamboo ready for construction scaffolding.

I thought this reply from a friend of 50 years (we grew up together in Rockwood, Oregon) who now teaches in China.

Gary,  I challenged my students to examine political incorrectness through humor.  Each of many classes were to ‘turn the tables’ in their humor.  And did they ever.  Here are but a few examples (often I corrected the grammar, but I never changed the meaning or focus).  The form of the jokes are an ‘imagined’ press conference to question China’s actions:

Q:  Do Chinese eat dogs?

A:  Yes. We eat a lot of dogs; and cats,too.  Especially on your “Thanksgiving Day”.  Turkeys are our favorite pets. We regard turkeys as human’s best friends.  In China only the most uneducated eat turkeys.

Q:  Why don’t you clean up the pollution in your air and water?

A:  Why don’t you clean up ‘Love Canal’ and 1000 other sites without closing the offending factories and moving them to China.

Q:  Why do you keep lending money to the USA even in light of the financial crisis?

A:  Why does a dog chase his tail?

Q:  China is becoming strong. Does your government want to take over the world?

A:  Yes, absolutely.  As soon as we become powerful enough, we hope to invade Iraq and Afghanistan; Viet Nam, Panama, Granada, Pakistan and Somalia are also on our wish list.

Q:  Why doesn’t your government give Tibet back to its monks?

A:  We keep Tibet only as a favor to the USA.  The monks want peace through repatriation, that is, equivalently, they want to help the Seminoles take back Florida, the Souix and Cherokee and Iriquois and Nez Perce to take back their homelands.

Q: Are the products made in China very cheap?

A: Yes, but if we were we using black slaves, the price would be even cheaper.

Q: You have 1.4 billion people. Now what do you want to do with it?

A: Find a new planet. Kill the native people there, and move in.

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Ecuador lilies. Learn about Ecuador Mother’s Day lilies here.

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Ecuador has excellent potters and entire pottery villages. Ecuador pottery comes in all shapes and forms. We look at its report potential in our July Ecuador export tour.

Gary

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Delegates enjoying a coffee break at Meson de las Flores on one of our tours.

Join us and visit Ecuador with our April  2-4-1 tours this May and July.

See great May Ecuador airfares  here.

We have three Ecuador tours scheduled for May and July 2009.

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24

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Delegates viewing San Miguel.

Merri and I will not be on these tours but we do want to meet you. So to make sure we can meet, we will let you attend these either one of the May real estate tours free if you enroll in one of our three International Made EZ  courses, in July, October or November.

You get two courses for the price of one.  Enroll in any of these courses that Merri and I will conduct below and choose either May real estate tour free.

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Mansion we’ll view on real estate tour.

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina + Tangled Web

Nov. 6-8  IBEZ Cotacachi + Tangled Web

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The real estate tour will view a new listing on this lake.

You can enroll in one, two or three of these courses below

Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour May 16-17. $499 Enroll here.   $749 For a couple.

Imbabura-Cotacachi Real Estate Tour May 20-21.  $499 Enroll here.  $749 For a couple.

Ecuador Amazon Herbal Tour May 22-24.  $399 Enroll here. $499 For a couple.

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Organic wine and Swiss cheese made in Cotacachi and enjoyed by delgates.

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.

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Roses shown in a presentation on how to export Ecuador roses.

Learn about our July 2009 Ecuador export tour 2-4-1 deal here.