Latest Activity

I agree with Bob that the best way to minimize Ecuador currency risk is to limit USD,s in Ecuador including bank accounts, real estate, auto, etc. Should the government decide to drop the USD as it's currency or place more restrictions on sending USD out of Ecuador (currently 5% tax), the cost of leaving Ecuador can be sizeable.

Jesse, my intention is not to "pick an argument with you". What touch's a nerve with me is a poster being criticized for expressing their opinion and sharing experiences. The reason this site exists is for an open and free sharing of information.

Perhaps what you believe is negative is reality based on experiences of individuals that are more familiar with Ecuador. Lets let each individual reader be aware of alternative views.

fdmcg posted on the thread PETS business on the Ecuador forum

Jesse, I believe referring to Michele as "negative" for sharing her opinions in unnecessary. You made a comment on another topic accusing those with less than glowing comments on Ecuador as not wanting other gringos to move to Ecuador.

Lets let readers interpret individual postings on their own.

jessekimmerling wrote:

Lately, there's been a lot of negativity on these forums. Some of it is a legitimate response to all the people with unreasonable expectations and silly ideas, but there are also those who simply don't want more people to discover this place. They moved here to get away from N. America or Europe, and now they don't want other gringos to follow in their footsteps.

Jesse, my comments were based on my wife's family owing a hostel in Quito. We sold the business because it happened to be on a valuable piece of land that an adjacent business wanted. The price of the land was 20 times what we could earn from the hostel (EBITDA). I do not believe owning a hostel is a good idea for a retired couple because they want to "stay busy and really enjoy meeting people" however suggested how they can make this decision on their own.

Please do not attempt to attribute my comments to a desire for others to make or not make Ecuador home any more than I would accuse you of being a shill for International Living.

fdmcg posted on the thread PETS business on the Ecuador forum

Jesse, we all have different life experiences and expectations. The intent of this site is for each individual to express their opinion and for readers to see both sides of reality.   

Let's let everyone voice their own opinion unconcerned about being attacked because their view perhaps differ from ours.

Hal, there is no lack of B&B's in Ecuador (aka "Hostel"). You are competing against locally owned/managed hostels which charge $20-25 and low end properties which charge $5-8/night. Owning these properties is basically "buying a job" that will demand your constant attention. Your potential financial upside is if the real estate value grows. Not an attractive way to spend your retirement years.

If you still want to try it out, I suggest getting a job managing an existing property to learn the business with goal of potentially buying the business after you know what you are getting into.

fdmcg posted on the thread attention expats in Canoa on the Ecuador forum

suefrankdahl wrote:

As far as Spanish where else can I start but with a Latin American Spanish book other than actually being there? For me "barrios" were Puerto Rican ghettos in NYC. .

Sue, I agree with Leonard that "barrios" refers more to a "neighborhood" vs a slum. It is an economically neutral term. I have never seen slums in Ecuador that compare in size to Brazil or Venezuela.

In addition to a Spanish book, I suggest watching Spanish language TV shows, especially soap operas. After a while you pick up common phrases and expressions. (my wife learned English watching cartoons while babysitting a nephew.) The biggest hurdle learning a second language is having sufficient self confidence to speak words that sound strange to you and accept you will make mistakes. It is humbling however as Leonard points out, the effort will endear you to the locals.

BlaenauBoy wrote:

Thanks for the cost breakdown Maria.

Would you or anyone else be able to give me a cost of schooling ( in Quito )?

Also, as someone who works as a paramedic in the UK what work/wages is there in Ecuador?

As an expat with an Ecuadorian wife, we returned to Quito in 2005 to care for her ailing mother. Based on this I would recommend against moving here:
1. As they say "you can never go home". I am sure your wife has fond memories of bonding with family and the comfort of living in her culture. Reality is over time relationships change and your wife's expectations are different than when she last lived here.
2. Education for children is expensive and job opportunities are very limited.
3. Your ability to find a job as a paramedic is probably good however the compensation will be poor.
4. Any relocation requires acceptance by both parties. Obviously you have strong (and realistic) concerns which will resurface on a daily basis.

Best of luck.

fdmcg posted on the thread attention expats in Canoa on the Ecuador forum

worleyld wrote:

My Spanish is very poor at best. If it is spoken slowly and without colloquial slang phrases, I can follow most conversations. Unfortunately due to a brain injury it is hard to formulate a response, and even harder to get my mouth to work with the words.

However if you are a genuinely open person that shows respect and humility, you will be welcomed with open arms, a big smile and they will bend over backwards to try and help. The fact that after just a few months almost everyone in town knew me and would wave and say high is a testament to that.


Leonard, I applaud your acceptance of learning Spanish as an integral part of assimilating into the local culture. It is not easy.

fdmcg posted on the thread Sending money home from Ecuaor on the Ecuador forum

I use bank to bank if over $10K. US bank will need:

Ecuador Bank Name:
Ecuador branch Address:
City: Quito Ecuador
Account Number:
Beneficiary: Name on Ecuador account.

fdmcg posted on the thread Happy Camper on the Cuenca forum

Howard, great to hear the acclimation is going well. It is especially good you are making learning Spanish a priority. This will make everyday life easier and permit you to better enjoy what Ecuador offers.
There will be "bumps in the road" however your patience will be rewarded.

fdmcg posted on the thread Las Olas on the Ecuador forum

Norbert, I hope this community works out for all parties involved. At this point to make an investment in the project is a "gamble" that the project will be completed and attract sufficient others to be a financial success. I would only do so if I was comfortable that a total loss on my investment would not significantly affect my quality of life. The option is to defer the investment until the project is completed and success is apparent. The increased cost is "insurance". If you are making the investment now because you can't afford the higher price later, you probably should not be risking the investment.

fdmcg posted on the thread Sending money home from Ecuaor on the Ecuador forum

"If anything given Ecuador's new friendship with China, and well basically complete dependence on China, it would seem rational for the country to convert over to the Yuan"

J, I assume the above is intend to be a joke. If/when Ecuador drops the USD as it's currency its strong preference will be to replace with its own currency which it can print as much as it wants. It does not have that option with either the USD or Yuan.

fdmcg posted on the thread Sending money home from Ecuaor on the Ecuador forum

Josh, it is my understanding you can carry out of Ecuador up to $10K in cash without paying the 5% tax. I believe it is reasonable to assume the 5% tax will increase until the USD's leaving the country are less than those entering the country. The Ecuador government is attempting to limit imports (and as a result USD's leaving) with high import tax. For an expat, the best protection against these taxes is limiting their USD investment in Ecuador.

fdmcg posted on the thread Sending money home from Ecuaor on the Ecuador forum

The 5% tax assessed by the Ecuadorian government is an attempt to restrict USD from leaving the country and similar to measures in place in Venezuela and Argentina. It is reasonable to assume this tax will increase as imports outpace exports and the possibility that the USD replaced with the "new sucre".

You can circumvent the 5% tax by arranging with an individual wanting to bring USD into Ecuador to place those funds in your US bank account in exchange for you transferring your USD into their Ecuadorian bank account. Obviously you would need to have a trusting relationship.

My recommendation to expats is to limit USD in Ecuador bank accounts, use a US credit card to pay Ecuadorian expenses (preferable w/o a foreign fee) and rent vs buy until you are 99% confident you will make Ecuador your permanent home.

fdmcg posted on the thread Ready or not here we come on the Cuenca forum

Howard, I suggest you give yourself a few days to acclimate to the altitude and culture shock. Plan on eating light, staying close to home and listening to your body.
Enjoy the experience.

fdmcg posted on the thread The negatives about retiring in Ecuador on the Cuenca forum

Mike, in addition to the chilly weather, the window/door insulation is poor. Most get heat from fireplaces but wood is pricey and many do not operate very well. Best solution is wearing sweaters and sweat shirts, electric blankets and flannel sheets. Given the choice I prefer the cooler temps than heat/humidity or snow.

Nancy, we had a maid for five years which like all things in life has benefits and disadvantages. We liked house was always immaculate, everything was in its place, an excellent meal was ready at 1PM,  we had fresh bread and juice mornings, errands were run, luggage was packed and unpacked and closets were organized like a department store. They can also provide companionship. This took a month of training by my wife in cooking and use of household equipment. The downside is the cost and loss of privacy. In our building with 11 units, we are the only one without a maid. Some have 2. I suggest you hold off making a decision until you see them in action.

fdmcg posted on the thread Guayaquil Airport on the Guayaquil forum

Muneca, don't take the questions personally. As an Americans living in Quito, I get asked the same questions by US immigration in Miami.

nancy roman wrote:

Hello, I am new to this blog and I am trying to learn as much as I can and do my research about Ecuador before making the move.  Some of my concerns are as follows and I appreciate beforehand sharing your thoughts with me.

1.  The climate is very important to me as it affects me emotionally.  I would like to know which town has the best weather, cool to slightly warm and little rain periods.

2.  What are the legalities involved in hiring a helper for housekeeping?  How much do they get paid?

3.  How is traffic in Cuenca?  Is it easy to drive,?

Thank you so much!

1. I suggest Arrayanas, a suburb of Quito.

2. All get paid minimum wage. With benefits about $5k annually. There are legal steps which are manageable.

3. Cost of car is 2 to 3 times USA so most expats do not own relying on buses and cabs. This is possible however not convenient with safety concerns. Cuenca downtown streets are tight with traffic similar to most metro areas.

fdmcg posted on the thread Las Olas Ecuador development on the Ecuador forum

Rastadan, I hope everything works out for you in this project. From my perspective, your options are to buy now or when the project is substantially complete. The advantage of buying now is potentially a lower price and perhaps a better selection of properties. The advantage of buying later is assurance the project will be completed. I would insist on a significant price discount to "pay" for concern project will not be completed.