The basics are cheap in Ecuador: food, water, utilities, gasoline, natural gas, shelter.
Consumer goods are expensive in Ecuador (much more so than North America): Clothes, shoes, electronics, perfumes and liquor to name a few things.
The reason is the protectionist import policies the current government has imposed with strict regulations and high tariffs.
But this has created an opportunity for the casual traveler to Ecuador that I think VERY few are taking advantage of.
You see, if you bring just one or two units of any one item the customs officials will deem the items as for personal use only.
No problem. Wave you on through.
And at the same time there is a BUNCH of people in Ecuador (Ecuadorians and foreigners) running businesses that I’m sure would be willing to exchange their services for an item they want/need brought from the USA.
Pay your trip with barter, basically.
Instead of exchanging cash for a service you are offering a service for a service.
First, you could plan your trip and decide what you want to do and where you want to stay.
Then, you could email the travel providers you plan to work with (hotels, car rentals, tour providers, AirBnb hosts, etc.) and see if they would like something brought from the USA, they could pay you back just what you paid for the item based on your receipt and give you their service (like a hotel night) free in exchange for you bringing the item (s) down to them.