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Living on the Leading Edge


Living on the leading edge can be fun… interesting and lucrative as well.

super spanish course images

Walking here, along the edge of our North Carolina farm, can be beautiful but it’s easy to get lost in the wilderness too.

In our current era there are so many leading edges that it is hard to keep up!  Also many leading edges are sharp!

Merri and I know as it seems we are always stumbling (or being led-depending on how you wish to look at life) into something new and somewhat unknown.

!When Merri and I began our seminar business, our courses were about international investing.  In the 1970s and 1980s almost no one else was talking about this arena.  Wow!  Some people really hated us for that.  They thought it was crazy… this idea of investing globally and totally unpatriotic.  I had to learn how to deal with hecklers in this era.

Finally by the 1990s the investment establishment was catching on about the time our global investing research  led us to Ecuador.   Oh dear, when we had moved on to seminars about investing in Ecuador and then tours about Ecuador real estate how some of our readers did howl!  They felt we had gone crazy… again.

Our Ecuador business helped us see the need  for a better, easier way to learn Spanish and our Super Thinking + Spanish courses began.  Once again many wondered if we had been eating too many fruit loops when we declared that people can learn to speak Spanish in three days.   They wondered if we were crazy until we decided to teach others to teach learning Spanish in three days.  Then they knew we were crazy… or so they thought.

Yet look at these results from the leading edge.

One delegate who attended a recent Super Thinking + Spanish course taught by our Super Teachers, Shawn and Suzanne Bandick, in Mexico wrote:

super spanish course images

We would like to share three quotes below that can help you learn a key factor that brings true success when living on the leading edge.

The first was by Bob Dylan in last week’s message about how to gain from cultural differences.

What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.


The second quote is from the Abraham Hicks’ website:  You’re not going to have a lot of people you can talk to about this. There is never a crowd on the leading edge. 

The third quote is a poem from the great poet, Rumi, (bolds are mine): These spiritual window-shoppers,  who idly ask, How much is that? Oh, I’m just looking.  They handle a hundred items and put them down, shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping, But these walk into a shop, and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment, in that shop.

Where did you go? “Nowhere.” What did you have to eat? “Nothing much?”  Even if you don’t know what you want, Buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a large, foolish project, like Noah.  It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.

The key to successfully living on the leading edge is make sure it is YOUR leading edge.  Be true to yourself because when you are… you gain the enormous added energy of conviction of purpose.

With conviction you’ll find that you’ll care what people say when you see that you are fulfilling your purpose.

This is why Merri and I are pleased to see about these Super Teachers and the Super Thinking + Spanish courses they are providing.

Here are a few quotes that do matter to us… from delegates of courses conducted by our Super Teachers.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote about his courses with Mark Frakes:

Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week,and I’m on to a new career.What is my new career? Still formulating,but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons. Mark was a very capable leader and teacher,and his choice of Daniella as a pronunciation coach was well received.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language;the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.We all,and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.Last year I spent six weeks in Ecu and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home.You do what you say you will.There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks.The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.You did,and I look forward to other courses that you offer,and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.Thanks to Mark,who you chose well to represent your program.

Best regards,Denis Molloy.  Actually I now answer to my course acquired name of Antonio.For that I am also grateful. Love, Antonio.

Another wrote about Glenn Sterling’s course:   Buenos Dias, Gary y Glenn,

Below is a testimonial for Super Thinking Super Spanish. Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course. In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish Super Learning.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

The course was taught in English by Dr. Glenn Sterling, a witty, engaging, retired chiropractor, and Alberto, his Ecuadorian side kick, who made sure we learned to pronounce everything correctly.  After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Thinking Super Spanish. And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Learning is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.

During the course of the day and night, humans experience four types of brain waves: alpha, beta, delta, and theta. It turns out we learn best in alpha state. Research has shown that alpha state can be induced by meditation, listening to Baroque music (or any music that has about 60 beats per minute) and by taking a theanine (the active ingredient in green tea) supplement.

Getting into alpha involves slowing down and relaxing. So, class includes baroque music and guided journeys to support relaxation. Imagine learning while relaxing and having fun. That’s not how I remember school!

The brutal truth: In recent years, I’ve rarely relaxed (No wonder I have high blood pressure!) and, suddenly, I’m aware of it. Why?

1. Since early April, I’ve been living in a small town in a country with a slower pace of life and I’ve been affected by it. Positively, I’d say.

2. In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (www.sundaybaroque.org). What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from Mexico wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.”

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it. It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.”

“I liked how simple it made speaking Spanish. Shawn and Suzanne are amazing teachers. They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. I would definitely recommend this course. Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you. This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.”

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning. The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price. The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless. To Shawn and Suzanne, thank you so much. You are gracious hosts and wonderful teachers. I learned so much. Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment. I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary. Being new to Mexico, I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better! Muchas Gracias!”

“I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word! Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning. Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I learned a lot of new vocabulary and the class gave me an opportunity to practice my Spanish, especially the pronunciation – thank you Guillermo. I would recommend this class because Shawn and Suzanne you are great teachers, the original way of teaching the language, and the pronunciation practice.”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach. I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish, I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

It was a very enjoyable class.”

“Thank you Shawn, Suzanne and Memo. It was a great learning environment. I liked that it was not strict and regimented.”

“Marv and I both absolutely loved the classes.“

Spiro Michas taught in Montevideo.

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After Day 1, one delegate (self-described as ” no previous ability to communicate in Spanish at all”) was able to fully express himself with the hotel staff in Spanish; as well as the taxi driver and bakery in Spanish – all in the morning before arriving for class on Day 2!

On Day 3, another delegate reported having had a full conversation the night before with his Uruguayan girlfriend completely in Spanish.  Thoroughly impressed, the ecstatic young lady told him “Whatever you’re doing in this class for the past two days, it’s working.  Don’t stop!”

After Day 3, Spiro received this note from one of the delegates:  I think the class gave me confidence to go out and try to make things happen on my own with bad Spanish. Since class I went to the Direccion Nacional de Migracion to renew my cedula (greencard) on my own, and also went to a doctor who interviewed me and prescribed care for my needs all in Spanish. It wasn’t smooth, pretty, or comfortable – but thanks to a better confidence to try – as a result of the class (and the patience and kindness of the people of Uruguay) both missions were accomplished in Spanish.”

The average written evaluation ratings collected after completion of the Montevideo class:

1.3             On a scale of 1-4 (with 4 being highest) when asked to rate level of Spanish prior to course
3.7            On a scale of 1-4 (with 4 being highest) when asked if they would recommend this course

Evaluation Comments included:

“Can now communicate on a basic level”
“Course has encouraged me to start using Spanish more”

“Good presentation, instructor communicates well, was easy to understand, created a good class atmosphere”

After the Vancouver course taught by Ernest Neumann we received an amazing email.  One of the registrants had a medical matter that posed difficulty with concentration, attention and focus.  They had a doctor’s prescription (legal in Canada) for medicinal marijuana.  Following they emailed us and said that taking the first joint of the medicinal marijuana the delegate realized it was no longer necessary and made the decision that he no longer needed this and due to the complete life changing alteration he had experienced was a result of the class!

Rick Brown who taught in Toronto wrote this:  Well, we’re done for the first day. It seems to have gone well. I have arranged a tour of the adjacent Military museum for tomorrow immediately following class. People are having a good time and I’m amazed at the Spanish coming out of them already!!

Here is one more rave from a Mexico course.
super spanish course images

You can get more details on any of these Spanish courses below by clicking on the links.

June 15-16-17 Sarasota, Florida  Super Thinking  + Spanish (Teacher: Mark Frakes)

June 29-30-July 1  Washington DC  Area  Super Thinking + Spanish (Teacher: Karen Zhussanbay)

July 6-7-8 Sarasota, Florida   Super Thinking + Spanish (Teacher: Mark Frakes)

July 27-28-29 Vernon B.C. Canada  Super Thinking + Spanish (Teachers: Shawn & Suzanne Bandick)

August 10-11-12  Madrid, Spain  Super Thinking + Spanish (Teacher: Spiro Michas)

August 15 – 16 – 17  Panama City, Panama  (Teacher Robert Girga). See details here.

August 20-21-22 Marbella, Spain   Super Thinking  + Spanish (Teacher Spiro Michas)

October 24 – 25 – 26 Panama City, Panama  (Teacher: Robert Girga).

Nov. 2-3-4   Mt. Dora Florida   Super Thinking + Spanish  (Gary & Merri Scott)

Dec. 3 -4-5  Panama City, Panama  (Teacher: Robert Girga).

To gain the ability to communicate in Spanish in just three days is definitely on the leading edge. We invite you to join us or any of  the Super Spanish teachers!

Gary

Ecuador Lake Property for Sale


Ecuador Lake property offers opportunity.

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

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

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

Ecuador-Lake-Property

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

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

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

Views of …

Ecuador-Lake-Property

San Pablo Lake which is…

Ecuador-Lake-Property

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ecuador-Lake-Property

View from San Pablo Lake property for sale.

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

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

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

Here are the details of this lakefront property for sale.

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

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

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

THE PROPERTY HAS A COMPLETE INFRASTRUCTURE

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

Ecuador-Lake-Property

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

TREES:  Fruit, pine, eucalyptus and palms.

Ecuador-Lake-Property

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

Bordering neighbors:  YACHT CLUB and Imbabura Mountain.

NEGOTIABLE  Could be included:  3 boats and all furniture.

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

The asking price is $250,000

CONTACT:

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

e-mail: pportb@hotmail.com

or

MonkeyArcos@Gmail.com

Gary

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

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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

Cotacachi Crime Concerns


Numerous readers have sent Cotacachi crime concerns which we share here.

You are a salesman.  A salesman will tell you anything.  You know it is dangerous to live down there. Gayle

I often get notes like this …usually from people who have never been to Ecuador.  Galyle has one point correct for sure.  I have been a salesmen going on 41 years and always considered it a privilege to sell things I truly love and live myself…like Cotacachi Ecuador.

Really the village does not need selling. Cotacachi sells itself. All I have to do is tell the truth…so I sometimes get comments like this.

I visited Cotacachi and your hotel Meson de las Flores. It was exactly as you described it. I felt safe the entire time I was there. Thank you!  Monica

We’ll review more comments on Cotacachi crime in a moment…but one thing that is not a crime in Cotacachi or Ecuador is the great quality and cost of food. I just returned from Oregon and spent some time on the coast. Dungeness crab was $28 a pound…smoked salmon $19 a pound.  That seems like a crime to me!

The wonderful lakes around Cotacachi means we have great fish.  This is Lake San Pablo.

Cotacachi-fish

Here is a high Andean lake above Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-fish

and the trout they catch there.

Cotacachi-fish

Back to crime…let’s read what some people who live in Ecuador say about crime.

Hello Gary, Here’s a New York Times article you may have seen about an Ecuadorian man who was beaten and stabbed to death in New York. He was basically killed for sport…a hate crime.

Personally, I’ve been a crime victim a few times in Ecuador. During my six years there, I lived and traveled among the general population in a large city. I used the public transit system, the local markets, the bus stations… In this situation, you’re bound to be unlucky sooner or later.

But even in the worst of areas, I never worried for my safety. All I lost was money–or replaceable items–and I never carried any more than was necessary. I didn’t (and still don’t) worry that I’ll be killed or beaten for fun, or because I’m the wrong color or nationality.

My personal experience has been that Ecuadorians are basically non-violent people. They steal out of need. What little I lost likely went to feed a family… Best regards,  Lee

I agree with Lee. When you talk to people who have lived in Cotacachi or most parts of Ecuador…they’ll agree…petty theft is a problem from which you must protect…but hate crimes basically do not exist and violent crimes are rare.  Another reader who was a visitor to Ecuador wrote this note.

Hey Gary, first time in Ecuador, flew down from Quito to Guayaquil, heard how dangerous it was everywhere, been walking the streets day and night.  I wear a $15,000 gold watch. Today, I rented car, drove to Montanita.  Tomorrow, I am driving north, along the beach coast, then back to Guayaquil for a few days then over to Peru.   I´m from Mobile.   We have several shootings, stabbings, hit and runs a week, along with other crime. The bottom line is that most crime comes from just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. One of my next trips is Caracas, murder capital of the world…and yes, I am alone and over 60.  I will be in the Dominican Republic for Christmas and New Years, surfing with my kids. Bobby.   The only thing I suggest is it is better to burn out, than rust out.

I urge more caution than Bobby takes but could not agree more with his philosophy of enjoying life and embracing the incredible riches we have in today’s society instead of wasting away worrying about what bad could happen. Life is too short!

Back to fish. Merri and I love to accompany our chef, Santiago, to the Thursday fish market in Ibarra. I can buy about 20 pounds of crab for the same price as one pound in Oregon and it is really fresh!  One of our favorite jobs is helping the chef!

Cotacachi-fish

We also love watching the fishermen at work when we are on Ecuador’s sea.  Here is our last Coastal real estate tour watching the fishing on the Chone Estuary at Bahia.

Bahia-fishermen

There is a big modern town behind these Ecuador fishermen…

Bahia-fishermen

but they are pretty low tech!

Bahia-fishermen

Just canoes and poles…no gas surcharge here.

Bahia-fishermen

The fishermen who fish outside our hotel in San Clemente are even more low tech…no boat!

San Clemente-fishermen

We took our last group for a sea food meal in Manta.

Manta-fish-meal

Where this most expensive dish on the menu…a full lobster meal was $12.

Manta-fish-meal

My grilled fish was $6. That was no crime!

Which brings us back to Cotacachi crime. 

This reader who lives regularly in Cotacachi wrote:

Gary,  As you now I have traveled to Ecuador and the Cotacachi area many times over the last several years; nine times I think. I have always felt safe even during the evening walking about Cotacachi and have never felt threatened there or in Quito or the coastal areas. I always try to be aware of my surroundings and the level of cautions I may consider appropriate as I would anywhere in the world I am traveling, for example, in Quito I usually put my wallet in my front pocket. However, reading the accounts of crime in the area lately, and I appreciate your alert, I felt a little concerned as a North American. In the interest of thoroughness on this topic my alarm is that the message is we are being targeted. This may be obvious. As anywhere the perceived affluent are vulnerable. In this culture we stand out and In this sense we present opportunity and perhaps in the perpetrators mind fair game. I would only say that a common sense realistic awareness of taking precautions in unfamiliar areas in an unfamiliar culture is important. I think that you and Merri provide a real service with up to date information for safe travel and areas to live and lodge in Ecuador. Your tours also provide an excellent environment for safe guided travel.

Since I have had so little trouble with any sort of crime in Ecuador what I tend to recall are the simple unexpected kindnesses which I have encountered.  One time while  shopping at the Otavalo indigenous market unknowingly I dropped a small package only to turn around to see a little indigenous child running up to me tugging at my sleeve with a smile and handing it to me. Another time at the bank in Cotacachi I was  trying to cash a $100 bill – can be difficult as many know due to the fear of counterfeiting from Columbia. There at the bank after waiting in line for an hour only to be refused change due to that I did not have an account or permanent address they said; I left in exasperation. Unknown to me a young woman was observing  and having empathy for my plight had withdrawn an extra 5 twenty dollar bills from her account and rushing down the street to find me offered them to me in exchange for the 100 dollar bill. “De Nada” she said.

These are a few of the experiences of innocent kindness in Ecuador and of the Ecuadorian people that I choose to remember over my fears of crime. Thanks for keeping us aware and informed in our travels and adjustment to new and unfamiliar areas and culture.  Jim

Here is another note from a gringo who is resident in Ecuador.

Gary, I would like to add the following on crime in general in Ecuador. I have spent the past 9 years living in the Mariscal neighborhood of Quito, 6 months each year.  Many consider this a likely neighborhood to encounter crime in Ecuador since there is much tourism, thus many opportunities to rob people who actually have money or valuables on them.  I walk the streets until about 10 PM.

Ecuadorians are gentle peoples: They are not Cali, Caracas or Miami.  The indigenous peoples who inhabit the provinces north of Quito are among the most stable, economically affluent, and culturally integral of any class of people in Ecuador.  Crime is minimal as it is in most small towns in the USA.

Crime in Ecuador tends to be petty thievery, taking a backpack or purse from a cafe, stealing “things” which are left in the open unguarded.  Ecuadorians are not  a “gun culture” as exists in the United States.  It is beyond their imagination that a person would rob and kill another for a pair of tennis shoes.  It is further beyond their imagination that a young person would mass kill his classmates at school, and that the state would continue to allow unlimited access to hand guns and semi automatic weapons.The crime of Ecuador is based more on poverty, although there exists a cultural flaw in many people committing petty theft even when they do not need an item. These events are rarely associated with violence to people.

I’m a street smart kid (63) who grew up in Chicago’s south side and I know that Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, New Orleans, and just about every major and “medium size ” US city is far more dangerous that most any city or neighborhood of the largest cities of Ecuador.  Only 2 cities of Ecuador have any significant crime, Guayaquil and Quito, and then only selective neighborhoods.   Almost all the people I know who have been robbed (6 or 7) in Quito have been men walking home drunk late at night oblivious to using their normal street senses.

Gary, if you do a follow up, feel free to include my comments.

I agree that the Mariscal neighborhood of Quito is one of the riskier areas due to tourism…and that it is not the nature of Ecuadorians to be violent.  We love the people here…the great scenery…the wonderful food…the low prices…the colors like these ice cream vendors in Bahia serving our last coastal real estate tour.

Bahia-Ecuador-workers

Plus we love the warm weather.

This is the final point. I was in a West Jefferson barber shop today and read the local paper.  This is as small town USA as you can get. Nine people were on the front page…all arrested for dealing drugs…cocaine…heroine…meths.  Then Merri saw a real live mountain lion run across our field. Then we visited our neighbor who showed us photos of five bears roaming the neighborhood.  I feel totally safe here and would not hesitate for a moment to invite people to come up (just watch the ice on the road).

So I can live in complete safety here…even though there is crime…in this.

snow

Or go to Cotacachi and San Clemente where the crime may be about the same…more or less…but in this.

Ecuador beach

and this

cotacachi-sun

at about a fourth or fifth the price.

So here is the salesman speaking. “Visit us in Ecuador. You will be glad you did!”

Here is a comment from a delegate at our last course:

Hi Merri:  I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how much myself and all of our “extended family” enjoyed the course that you, Gary, and all of your competent staff put on earlier this month.  I am really just getting my feet back on the ground and I think that we are finally there.

Gary was awesome as we expected and gave me as really a beginning investor many insights and new ideas to think about.  I am speaking for myself, Charles, Jose as well as Rebecca and Betty who joined us after the Galapagos Islands.  You showed me that you are an expert planner and really went  out of your way to accommodate  us especially when we had people coming in at different times.

Francisco stood out as well.  Of course, “our man” Steve the excellent tour guide and all around helpful person.  Last and not least was Ray who also handled so much on the fly and did it well.
Ray really helped with the leaving process.  Also I will keep in touch with him about the possible medical conference I may put on at La Mirage 2010 in August if it comes together…..lots of work and much to work on to make it happen.  We really enjoyed your hotel and the hospitality.  It was  memorable. Thanks so much and we hope to keep in touch and continue with Gary’s newsletters!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Sincerely, Jim

Merri and I hope to serve you in Ecuador this sunny winter.

Gary

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

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

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