Goodheartotavalo says that there was"recent exodus of 'gringo expats' living" in Cotacachi. Why did the exit?
Hello there Mr. Texan. I didn't know there was a Cotacachi forum! In any case, Azbuceadora has made a good point and what I wish to really say is the "Exodus from the United States" TO Ecuador--in other words, the phenomena of the 'great coming', so to speak. Vilcabamba, Cotacachi, Cuenca are big gringo relocation places in the Andes, with of course, Salinas, Manibi, and other coastal areas, and Quito and Guayaquil. Places like International Living and other promotional operations have billed Ecuador as "the cheapest and best place to live on earth." This is of course, not completely true. They come, and they go. Ecuador hapens to be "very much in style" right now. There is always the "honeymoon" period, where their illusions of living a cheap life do not always pan out. People forget that this is a Spanish speaking country and it's difficult for anyone to manipulate well in a country in which they cannot wholely communicate with the locals. As one would think, Ecuador looks quite civil, but there is a huge underlying cultural difference. I would highly recommend the book by Nicholas Crowder, called "Culture Shock--Ecuador." Nicholas Crowder also has a number of educational and entertaining websites pertaining to the many facets of Ecuador. He has a site also where he interviews authors who have written books on Ecuador. I do recommend to any potential 'expats' to research Ecuador very well, also to take a good 3 week investigatory trip, before they decide to pack up and move here.
As was Panama, San Miguel, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador will probably absorb a few serious ones, but until people really do live here, they cannot completely know the cultural differences and the true lay of the land. I have lived here for over 30 years, way back when we were the only gringos in the whole province. Ecuador is a Beautiful and enriching country, with so many opportunities, but like everything, it also has the 'other side of the coin.'
Good luck to you!
Very good point Margareth. Ecuador has a "good side" and a "dark side". Better to investigate well first, and then move. Prior to all it would be good to manage to learn good Spanish, so expats can communicate directly with the people.
I know plenty of expats here that dont speak Spanish.... I can not imagine my self leaving in Minessota and not speaking English.
Occasionally someone posts on the Ecuador forum, or I meet them in person, wanting to move here without knowing hardly anything about the country. They have dreams of living cheaply, they picture themselves restoring an old hacienda and serving fresh-baked muffins in the morning to their guests, learning Spanish, painting, raising chickens and goats (with no experience with either), starting a small organic truck farm--seriously, I´ve heard all this and more! They think their lives will suddenly be full and happy and interesting, but I tell them that if they´re bored and unhappy with their lives at home, moving here isn´t going to magically change things.
Very well said, Azbuceadora. Marketers such as International Living are really leading alot of these poor unsuspecting people astray with their "pie in the sky" description of Ecuador and recently said it was the Best Place in the World to Retire! I recomend that folks come here for a nice 3 week visit, try to see as much as possible, the coast, the varying parts of the andes, talk to alot of people, perhaps read and interexchange on some of the "expat forums" (Expat Exchange and Yahoo Expat Forums, as well as others). It really is pretty much a must to be able to speak some spanish if you do think of relocating here. Good luck to everyone in their quest!
I dont think there was an answer to the question "Why did the gringo expats linving in Cotacachi exit", can anyone elaborate on this.Edited: 03 November 2010, 21:21
Taking up on the "Off topic " of the attempt to market the 'Good Life' dream to US folk as mentioned by azbuceadora in #3. This was done in Mexico and the misery is spreading south.
It happened in "Europe", first Spain and Portugal then east to Greece and the Balkans and the ex comecon countries. It happens where land and the cost of living is 'cheap' . If there is sunshine so much the better.
And it almost invariably ends in tears. People lose their savings and their houses and return 'home' wherever that was with dreams in tatters and penniless.
Exactly the same pattern as described above. No or little attempt to learn the language or respect customs, little attempt to assimilate and the result is ghettos of ex Pats playing Bridge all day and moaning that the "English" Newspapers are late again and the News on TV is in a foreign language.
Not a queston of dark side and light side. It is a matter of sharp operators marketing 'worthless' land to the dozey gullible gringos who think the grass is always greener than where they are.
I am one of those gringos considering Ecuador as a possible place to live for three months in the winter. I recently lived in Peru for 5 weeks and have done a lot of traveling in Latin America, although my Spanish could be much better! That said, I am not looking for a country that will magically transform my life in the States, which is fine as it is. I'm looking for a place with a good climate and a vibrant culture because I am definitely not up for a gated community in Florida filled with golfers! I will be traveling to Ecudador in Feb. to check out Cotacachi and the coast. A few questions....how long a drive is it to the Pacific from Cotacahi? Is it advisable to arrive without reservations at either place in Feb.? And lastly, does anyone know what the prospects are for ESL teachers in those specific areas?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice.
In the winter months the coast will be hot and humid. Cotocachi, like Quito, is springlike year round.
Define "vibrant culture." Concerts? Theater? Clubs/cafes/restaurants? Ex-pat community events?
If you're looking to teach for just the few weeks you'd be in residence, consider volunteer work; it's highly doubtful you'd be hired for such a short term. Even if you were, the pay would be pretty minimal.
Thank you so much. It was good to read a realistic view of living in Ecuador and I am going to Amazon next to buy the book you suggested. But I have never felt like my true self in the US and I have traveled to many countries with very diverse populations. I am a white woman outside but not white at all inside! I have lived in indegineous cultures and find them more civalized than many Western societies! Still, this may not be the place for me to live out the rest of my life?
This is great information! Again, thank you. JoyEdited: 12 November 2010, 00:13