Ecuador

Old Dec 26th 2023, 3:20 pm
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Before I submit anything about Ecuador - where my son and his girlfriend are living at the moment - is anybody in BE interested in the place? Retiring there? Visiting?
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Old Apr 7th 2024, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Ecuador

Yes. Im interested in going there for 6 months if I can find any work there .
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Old Apr 7th 2024, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Ecuador

Originally Posted by Mickety Mackety
Yes. Im interested in going there for 6 months if I can find any work there .
I don't know anything about working there. Depends on what kind of work-skills you have, I guess. You would need a Work Permit, I know that. Parts of the country are a hippies' paradise, I'm told, and they wouldn't be working.
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Old Apr 8th 2024, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

I lived and worked in Ecuador for 10 years. Happy to answer any questions. You should be aware that the economic and security situation there has unfortunately deteriorated in recent years.
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Old Apr 9th 2024, 12:05 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

Originally Posted by HLJ
I lived and worked in Ecuador for 10 years. Happy to answer any questions. You should be aware that the economic and security situation there has unfortunately deteriorated in recent years.
That's very interesting! What work were you doing, to keep you there for so long? My son and g-f are down in the south of the country. Very cheap rentals there, because they're owned by "rich gringo hippies", I read somewhere. Also it's peaceful down there, away from the cartels. Why did you leave? My two are applying for Permanent Residence, and I'm looking at it as a candidate-place to spend my last days. (I'm 84, and getting less mobile by the half-hour!)
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Old Apr 9th 2024, 12:22 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

What work could a native speaker of English get there ? Not interested in work permits and all that ...just temporary casual kind of work.
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Old Apr 9th 2024, 1:56 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

Originally Posted by Mickety Mackety
What work could a native speaker of English get there ? Not interested in work permits and all that ...just temporary casual kind of work.
If you don't have a visa that permits you to work, then you can't work.
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Old Apr 9th 2024, 3:28 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

Id love trekking in Ecuador (think Cotopaxi etc) but the current political situation gives me pause for thought. It seems to have gone from one of the more stable South American countries to a politically unstable place in a relatively short order.

https://www.reuters.com/world/americ...or-2024-01-10/
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Old Apr 9th 2024, 6:26 am
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I'm a university professor. Sometimes, I teach English, sometimes, I teach content in English, plus other stuff like course development, exams, and so on. We left because we wanted a change for many reasons. At the time, we intended to go back, but during COVID they changed the visa regulations, so a permanent visa was cancelled if you were out of the country for more than 2 years. It used to be 5 years. At that point, we'd already been out for more than 2 because of travel restrictions, so we took it as a sign to move on permanently. I'd still consider retiring there, but I'd be reluctant to work there again.

In terms of work, pretty much the only option is going to be English teaching. If you are fluent in multiple languages, you might be able to get sales work in the tourism industry, but not guiding or anything like that. Wages are low, but so is the cost of living if you don't blow all your cash on 'foreign' (i.e., American or European) imports and restaurants. There are language schools that hire for 6 months (In Quito: EF, Inlingua, EIL, Fulbright, but their building was damaged in one of the quakes, and I'm not sure what's happening there now. In Cuenca: CEDEI, and probably others, there are a couple of places in Loja, but I don't know names.) Most of the bigger towns will have somewhere.

Language schools will usually get you a cultural exchange visa. There are no work permits, some visas allow you to work, some don't. On paper, Ecuador very much favours workers' rights. If you do work illegally, the risk is almost entirely with the employer. However, in practice, it's hard to get anything enforced if you have problems. It's very common to have disputes over pay. If companies are having cash flow problems, they just don't pay employees, and it can go on for months. The government do it as well. It's pretty much a normal part of life. If you stick around, working without getting paid, you'll get the back pay when they get their act together, but if you cut your losses and leave, you won't. That's what did it for me. I just got so tired of having to fight to get paid. For my husband, it was the nepotism, leading to incompetent management. Basically, just corruption everywhere, at every level, and constantly, in one form or another.

The hippy towns are mostly around Vilcabamba, but personally, I'm not a fan. The actual hippies are fine, but there are also a lot of crazy end-of-the-world preppers, and some of the foreigners who claim to be peace-loving hippies are involved in the drug trade and don't even really bother to hide it. Dumb and risky at the best of times, but pretty much suicidal in the current climate. I suppose you could say some of the coastal towns have a hippy vibe, like Montanita, but that's mostly just kids, nothing nefarious.

If you want to stay long-term, it's relatively easy to get your own visa as long as you have a bachelor's degree from a brick-and-mortar university. They have relaxed the rules a little for online qualifications, but not much. The retirement visa is also straightforward.

I loved the country though, the people, the lifestyle. The climate in Quito was perfect for me, and after a while you forget that you can't breathe. I enjoyed living there, and I wouldn't discourage anyone from going on the understanding that crime has really rocketed everywhere. Yes, there were things I hated by the time we left, but if you stay anywhere long enough, there will be something that grinds you down.
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Old Apr 14th 2024, 12:17 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

Originally Posted by Giantaxe
Id love trekking in Ecuador (think Cotopaxi etc) but the current political situation gives me pause for thought. It seems to have gone from one of the more stable South American countries to a politically unstable place in a relatively short order.

https://www.reuters.com/world/americ...or-2024-01-10/
Well, Ecuador is a big place - a bit bigger than Great Britain, I think. My son and his girlfriend are enjoying it immensely where they are (in the Loja province), and aren't in any danger, they assure me. They're both seasoned travellers, so I believe them. And as I said earlier, I'm thinking of retiring to there, if they stay.
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Old Apr 14th 2024, 5:27 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

Originally Posted by Gordon Barlow
That's very interesting! What work were you doing, to keep you there for so long? My son and g-f are down in the south of the country. Very cheap rentals there, because they're owned by "rich gringo hippies", I read somewhere. Also it's peaceful down there, away from the cartels. Why did you leave? My two are applying for Permanent Residence, and I'm looking at it as a candidate-place to spend my last days. (I'm 84, and getting less mobile by the half-hour!)
Evening Gordon.

You probably wouldn't wish this for several reasons but I rather hope you make it to the King's Telegram. That means plenty of years to spend near your son or to enjoy where you are still. Mobility can be overcome .


Edit to add - this is actually an interesting thread about a place I know nothing about. Makes a welcome change.
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Old Apr 14th 2024, 7:47 am
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With regard to political instability, this is actually the norm for Ecuador. There was a 10-year period (2007-2017) when Correa was President, for better or worse. He was followed by Moreno, who served his full 4-year term, so PAIS Alliance was in power for 14 years. But the majority of Presidents haven't even served one full term. They were either ousted part way through, or they took over after someone else was and then weren't re-elected. The same party won't usually get in for a second term, let alone for 14 years. The Correa years were the anomaly. A revolving door of Presidents and political parties is normal.

The current President, Noboa, is a young, inexperienced nepo baby. I don't have high hopes for him, but the bar is pretty low. The previous one, Lasso, was the Banking Minister when Ecuador's banking system collapsed in 1988. He changed the law to make the government responsible for banking debts and made his money buying up people's credit notes for cents in the dollar. The government had to pay them all out to him in full eventually, so the Ecuadorian citizens got screwed twice, and he still ended up as President eventually.
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Old Apr 14th 2024, 4:55 pm
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HLJ. Your post #11 is very much the most interesting post on this thread. Thanks for taking the trouble! I will copy and send it to my son, because it will tell him stuff that he doesn't already know, and that is always useful in a new place. As a young man (20 years or so ago) he lived in Mexico and learnt Spanish there. Mind you, it was Mexican Spanish, and I don't know how close that is to Ecuadorian Spanish. I'll have to ask him. He was in a few video commercials of international products, which the agency sent to other Latino countries dubbed into the colloquial Spanish of each - except for one of them: Bolivia, I think. That surprised us both.

Did you learn Spanish when you were in Ecuador, or did you speak it already? I don't know much about the place - hence this thread. I don't speak any foreign languages, unfortunately. I can "get by" in a few, for brief periods - schoolboy French, pidgin German, very limited Spanish - but only and always with a dictionary handy!
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Old Apr 15th 2024, 8:51 pm
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Default Re: Ecuador

I barely spoke a word of Spanish when we first moved there. I was conversational by the time we left, and I can read it pretty well, but I was never fluent. Mainly because I spoke English at work and at home, so I didn't have the exposure or motivation to do better. I think Ecuadorian Spanish is probably the clearest and easiest dialect to understand, at least in the Sierra, not so much the coastal accents. Certainly, someone who speaks Mexican Spanish will have no difficulty understanding Ecuadorian Spanish, though they might have to adjust their pronunciation in order to be understood themselves. The main difference will be the vocabulary, as there is a lot of Kichwa influence and loan words.

I expect your lad already knows a fair amount about Ecuadorian politics. Grassroots politics is huge, and it's impossible to live there for long without hearing a lot about it. When Presidents have been ousted in the past, it was usually at the demand of the citizens. If enough people think they are not doing a good job, especially if they think they are not keeping their election promises, there will be a huge surge of protests against them. The ruling political party only gets a short period of grace before people will deal with it themselves by storming the Presidential Palace, dragging the President out, and demanding new elections. It doesn't happen these days because once it's clear where popular opinion is heading, the party votes the President out themselves ASAP so that they can install a new leader of their choice.

Although, there was a popular debate when Moreno was President. He was paraplegic after getting shot during a botched robbery years ago. He became extremely unpopular in the end. Correa's supporters hated him because he had turned against him, and Correa's enemies hated him because he was still PAIS Alliance. The conversation was being had that you can't storm in a drag a guy in a wheelchair out, no matter how bad he is, so they had no leverage to force a vote. It's debatable whether he would have lasted a full term if he hadn't been in a wheelchair.

Another story for you. I said the Correa years were stable, but they weren't without drama. We were there in 2010 when the police tried to stage a coup. (It started as a protest against wages/benefits but quickly escalated.) The military backed the government. It was a crazy couple of days with the police and military fighting each other, and people taking advantage of the lack of law enforcement with banks getting robbed and widespread looting. President Correa, against all advice, went down to the police headquarters in Quito to address the very angry crowd, calling them traitors and cowards, which went down as well as you would expect. Then he proceeded to rip his shirt open to show he wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest and taunt them to shoot him if they had the guts. So, someone shot him in the chest with a tear gas canister. He then, weirdly, got taken to the police hospital, of all places, where he was essentially held hostage for hours. But the twist is that there was a faction within the police that had plotted a proper assassination attempt against him. Depending on which version you believe, holding him hostage at the hospital might actually have saved his life because the assassination couldn't be carried out as planned.

So you can see why it's kind of funny when people talk about how shocking the 'current' political instability is.
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Old Apr 16th 2024, 1:50 am
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Default Re: Ecuador

Thanks again, HLJ, this time for the political background. I always find that sort of thing interesting. Fortunately, my son has outgrown his youthful obsession with civil rights etc, wherever he's living. And now he has a good woman to hold him back, anyway! He's coming to spend a couple of weeks with me soon, so I'll ask him about the politics; but I really don't think he's interested in it now. He's outside the scope of the cartels, where he is; so I should be OK there too, when I go.
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