Archive | Ecuador for Investors

7 businesses I would put in Canoa, Ecuador right now

Disaster breeds opportunity.

The ying and the yang, there is a positive side to everything if you look for it.

This fact has became particularly clear to me since I started investing in currencies online (more on that soon).

But particularly since the earthquake last April, here are 7 businesses I personally would consider putting in Canoa (if I had the time to do so).

1. Rentals- So I’ve heard from sources on the ground, since the quake acceptable American-quality rentals are few and far between.

2. ATM- Everyone I know who lives in Canoa complains there is no ATM, solve this problem somehow and you will be rewarded.

3. Coffee shop- A good one with inside and outside tables, right on the ocean, with WiFi and good pastries, yea, I’d like to see something like that here (think Sweet and Coffee).

4. Liquor store- with ample selection of both foreign and local liquors and wine plus a whole bunch of other hard-to-find edible goodies like thai curry powder, Heinz ketchup, etc.

5. Late night street food, but something different (like a taco bus)– Right now the late night options are limited to average hamburgers on the street, shwarma (kebab), and pizza (moan).  How about a taco stand or pita pit, that’s what I’d put.  Add hot dogs and you can appeal to the local crowds too!

6. Chinese food (Chifa)- According to sources, no Chinese in town currently, could be a big hit with both locals and foreigners.

7. Bathrooms/showers on the beach- Especially since the quake pretty much non-existent.  Def. a need.

So, what are you waiting for? Give it a go!

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

Earthquake rebuild update from Canoa, Ecuador

This week I had the pleasure to chat with a friend that has lived since June of last year in Canoa, Danial Turner (not a property owner there).

He said he’s noticed a lot of changes in the picturesque town of Canoa, Ecuador on the north Ecuadorian coast which happens to be one of the hardest hit towns by last years April quake.

Hard to get an official count, but many agree about 30-40% or more of the town’s buildings came down.

According to Danial, he said Canoa is rebounding nicely, with a lot of vacant lots where buildings/houses used to be.

No more tent cities now as was the case when he arrived in June of last year.

He said the enormous government project which was going to occupy a whole city block on the beach has now been nixed. (Thank God.)

He said basic services are now fine, electric and water outages are rare, and the town even has city sewage treatment, a service most places on the Ecuador coast lack (they use septic tanks).

Carnival last weekend, normally a holiday weekend that produces a packed house for the town, was underwelming but not bad.

Many businesses have re-opened like the Surf Shack, an expat mainstay, where they have gringo nights on Tuesdays and he himself cooks on Thursdays (Danial is a retired world-class chef).

Friday night try the Suki bar where they have a new cook from England who is doing a great job.

He said there is a big new grocery store in town doing well also.

And that many of the condos owned by expats to the south of town have been repaired and are occupied once again.

He said security is not an issue as a big gringo he has not had any incidents and that the waves are still as good as ever!

He said tourists and expats have started to trickle back but still not coming in the numbers they were before the quake.

Big, new construction projects are still generally non-existent. Sounds like the big money is still spooked.

So next time you’re in the area give Canoa (one of my favs) a shot! You’ll be glad you did.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

The 1 hardest thing for a nice guy doing business in Ecuador

I’ve got a confession to make, I’m a nice guy.

If you’ve ever met me you know, kinda short, kinda soft-spoken, generally nice.

And being nice in a place like Ecuador isn’t necessarily a virtue, it’s a handicap.

But I’ve done pretty good here economically (so far) in spite of it.

As I covered earlier this week, Ecuadorians are GREAT people, but it’s a bit more animalistic down here during conflicts, they have to see it in your eyes you mean business, they have to taste it, or they’ll try to walk all over you.

You can’t rely on the police as much to have your back.

Specifically, in the businessworld in Ecuador (a country where negotiation is common), the biggest challenge for me as a nice guy is to hold firm on my price when people ask for discounts. Especially when I really want to sell. Sometimes I’ve even found myself discounting before people even ask. As a nice guy you want to be accommodating, but that’s a big no, no!

​​​​​​​You have to value yourself and what you’re doing.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

Surprise flight connection that could save you BIG getting to/from Ecuador

Recently, I helped an Ecuadorian friend buy her ticket from Ecuador to Israel.

And I learned something interesting.

To or from most places in the world, right now, it is FAR cheaper to fly there from Bogota than from anywhere in Ecuador.

Bogota is WAY more connected than Quito, and right now Quito is getting way more connected than Guayaquil.  (In the last two weeks alone two big direct routes to New York and Europe have been moved to Quito.)

And now, as I reported last month, we can get to and from Bogota cheaply from Quito with the new budget airline Wingo.  Last I checked, $150 RT Quito-Bogota.

In this particular case, prices from Quito to Tel Aviv for her was around $1600 at the cheapest. From Guayaquil even more.  But from Bogota just $1000!  And buying the Wingo ticket for $150 she ended up saving almost $500 on the round trip to Israel.

So, especially if you are coming from far away, or trying to go far, research connecting through Bogota, and buying a separate ticket with Wingo from there to Ecuador, you just may save a bunch!

For instance, from Bogota to Miami right now one way $157 with Spirit Air.  Can’t find that from Ecuador.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A

Dodging a shark: The dangers of buying vacant land in Ecuador

“Oh, man, here he comes again.” I said to an Ecuadorian friend as I saw my neighbors big black pick up pull up to my property near Salinas on the coast.

The car stopped, he got out and walked up.

I had previously explained to my friend that my neighbor used to be the owner of the whole hill I was on overlooking the ocean, and that he had sold a lot to the person that sold to the person that sold to me.

But now he was hassleing me because he said on my deed is only 500m2 yet in actuality my lot is closer to 700m2 if you count the downward slope onto the main road from my main lot.

Now, he was bothering me to pay him for the extra 200m2 I was occupying or he would sell that to someone else.

Yet, most of that space is un-usable anyway because it was too close to the main road.

But consulting in the municipal of Santa Elena where the deeds are registered, they told me actually mis-measurements of lots are quite common and don’t mean much.

So, this time as my neighbor walked up once again to hassle me, he was intercepted by my Ecuadorian friend who got in his face and told him to get lost and stop trying to take advantage of a naive foreigner (me, at the time).

That’s all it took.

He never bothered me again.

I learned something from that about how things work down here. Ecuadorians respect force or threat of force, and that’s about it.

Strength, in other words, not necessarily the “oh it’s the right thing to do” ethics that may be enough in places like North America where you can rely a bit more on the legal system and the police to help you out.

So, how can you prevent situations like this?

Buy lots that have CONFIRMED time-tested boundaries marked by older looking fences, GPS coordinates specified in deed, or landmarks outlined in deed. Talk to the neighbors to confirm before buying if possible.

And it sure helps to have some local friends.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

How to save on your income tax in Ecuador

This week I filed my income tax return in Ecuador due every March (impuesto a la renta).

My accountant charged $30 and was done in 20 minutes.

It was so quick because she already handled my monthly sales tax declarations and already had the paperwork on hand.

Based on the monthly tax declarations for all of 2016 she quickly pumped out the annual return and submitted it.

When you file if you have employees insist that your accountant submits the form declaring how much you pay to employees.  That will lower your tax burden greatly.

If you show less than $11k in profits for the year you pay ZERO income tax in Ecuador.  And it’s a sliding scale on up to the highest tax bracket for folks who make more than $115k profit who must pay 35% tax.

See the 2017 scale and read more here. 

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

How to see the coast of Ecuador without a car

By far the easiest way to see the coast is renting a car, but if you are like me when I first got here and intimidated by driving in a foreign country, I don’t blame you!
The good thing about Ecuador is you can bus it and be just fine.

IF YOU ONLY HAVE ABOUT A WEEK…

Most fly into Guayaquil.  From there I suggest taking the shared taxi company for $10 a person, 2 hrs, to Salinas.  They leave from the Ramada in Guayaquil.

Skip Playas if you don’t have a car.  Too off the beaten path.

Head straight for Salinas, the taxi company drops you off right at the malecon (boardwalk) whereas the buses only take you to Ballenita which is a nearby town and you have to catch a $5 cab there to Salinas.

Stay as long as you like then catch a cab to the bus terminal in Ballenita ($5) and catch a chicken bus north to Montanita-Olon (1 HR, about $3).  There are also direct buses Guayaquil-Montanita if you wish to skip Salinas.

From there on up to Puerto Lopez you can hop on hop off buses as you like at beautiful beaches like Nunez, San Jose, Ayampe and Las Tunas. The buses only run until around 7pm though and pass every half hour or so!

From Puerto Lopez you can catch a motorbike-taxi to Los Frailes Beach or in the other direction also minutes away Salango. very nice!

And there you can hop on a bus going north to Puerto Cayo (45 min) which has some great places to eat seafood on the beach and enjoy the view of the islands offshore.

From there the easiest, best route for non-car people is to catch the bus inland to Jipijapa and onto PortoViejo (1 hr).

I suggest sleeping in either Puerto Lopez or PortoViejo as the options in the other places in between are suspect.  From there you can go to Manta to catch a plane back to Quito.

IF YOU HAVE LONGER THAN A WEEK…

Or from PortoViejo you can venture north.  I’d skip Crucita as it is a bit hard to get in and out of there by public transport if your plan is to beach hop north, and instead check out San Jacinto-San Clemente (1 hr) Beach which is right on the busline from PortoViejo to Bahia.

From there I’d catch a bus north to Canoa (20-30 min).  Another beautiful surfing beach.  That’s where I’d stop my journey as buses heading north from here are few and far between (unless you have a lot of time.)

IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN A MONTH…

Head north from Canoa to Pedernales where i would not stay, just connect north, then skip Cojimes (too hard by bus), and go straight to(3 hrs) Mompiche-Portete. 

From there skip Muisne, the Galera area, and even Same (too hard by public transport) and head straight for the Sua-Atacames-Tonsupa (1-2 hrs) area just south of Esmeraldas where when finished soaking up the sun and eating seafood you can then catch a 6 hr overnight bus to Quito.

That’s how I’d do it without a car (and I have many times!)

Other beaches not mentioned here (like Manta!) I’d skip cause they are just too dang hard to access via public transport if you are going north-south or south-north up the coast.

971 Alfonso Tobar y Tulio Garzon Tababela PICHINCHA 593 ECUADOR
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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Why you should start a tourism-related business in Ecuador now

2017 is the time to start a tourism-based business in a place like Ecuador where 80-90% of the foreign tourists are American (aka from the USA).

Why?

Because this is going to be a great year.

Being in the industry myself, I can’t help but notice the uptick in travelers so far this year.

Never before in the last 10-15 years has the dollar been so strong, the (DOW) markets at record levels and real estate strong all at once.

In other words, peoples 401Ks look great, their real assets on paper greater, and the dollar is stronger than its been in over a decade meaning you can buy more abroad. And people are realizing it.

Now, the strong dollar may have an adverse effect when drawing Europeans, Canadians and others outside the dollar zone, but who cares when your market is 80-90% Americans in a place like Ecuador?

So if you ever dreamed of opening a tourism-related biz in a place like Ecuador, now is the time to do it!

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

How much should you pay a caretaker for your beach house in Ecuador?

Good question.

Not much.

I’ve owned several properties on the coast of Ecuador, and currently own one for sale.

All I can say is how much I pay. I pay a local guy $10 a week to go to the house once or twice a week at different times and check if everything is OK, dust and sweep up a bit, water the plants and just kind of spend a bit of time there.

That’s it.

He also shows the home to interested buyers upon request. So one important requirement is that he has and answers a cell phone.

Like anything in Ecuador, always try to pay the locals the going rate, or a little bit better, or they will probably label you a rich gringo, get greedy and want more and more and more.

Best to ask other locals how much they pay for similar services before paying yourself.

NEVER have the mindset of, “well, in the USA we pay this much for a similar service, so anything less would be a deal”.

Newsflash: this ain’t Kansas anymore, think like that and you will overpay for sure!
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Posted in Expat Lifestyle

The difference between Cuenca and the rest of Ecuador

Most foreigners who move to Ecuador, move straight to Cuenca.

It’s a nice place, but it’s actually quite similar to most of the other colonial mountain towns in Ecuador.

So what’s different about Cuenca to me as an occasional visitor?

The variety and quality of cuisine options from all around the world.

World-class chefs from all over with hole in the wall eateries abound.

Compared to the rest of Ecuador, even Quito, the (good) food options are usually limited to the beans, plantains and rice and your choice of dead animal.

I’m not complaining, I love Ecuador food. But if you get the itch, I’d say try Cuenca.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

Is this the best rental investment in Ecuador?

Many new expats in Ecuador gaggle over how cheap the rents are here.

Yet are unpleasantly surprised by how pricey the same properties are to purchase.

It’s true.  It often doesn’t add up.

But there are some opportunities here to make a nice rental return on a purchased property.

So far, I have one of the best returns I have seen in Ecuador renting in Guayaquil short-term.

I keep the place very booked (at least 90% occupancy).

It’s a 1 bedroom suite in a nice building with good location I paid $75,000 to purchase.

After I pay the $123 condo fee and $60 or so monthly electric bill there remains around $1000-1200 a month profit.

And I rent for just around $40-50 a night.

That’s about a 16-19% annual return.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

When is best to visit the coast of Ecuador?

Today, I’m checking in from Puerto Cayo, about an hour south of Manta where i have one house and a few lots for sale.  

And holy sh#t it’s hot as I type this the beads of sweat roll down my fingers.  

This time of year on the coast (from January to March) it rains almost everyday, then the sun comes out and is super hot and humid.  

Yet from about June on through to November-December it can get quite brisk (by Ecuador standards) and overcast everyday yet it doesn’t rain at all.  

But for me, the BEST time to visit is April-May.  You have the sun and the sapphire blue water without so much rain and humidity and heat.  

That’s when I’d plan on spending more time on the coast!  

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

10 tips I’ve learned the hard way from 1 year of managing an AirBnb rental

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I just passed the 14 month mark owning and managing rentals I promote primarily on AirBnb in Guayaquil. 

Previously, I had never done anything like it.

I’ve learned a lot.  Here’s a few things that first come to mind to help you keep your rental filled.

1. A little goes a long way.  Reading the reviews of my competition, I saw it’s actually easy to beat similarly-priced conpetition in your area, most of the other owners (especially in Ecuador) don’t care enough to include the basics like extra toilet paper, hand soap, hair dryers and extra hand wash clothes.  Details count. Think like a hotel.

2. Work the guard.  Preferibly have a rental in a building or gated community that has a 24 hr guard where you can leave the key/elevator card and who can help with basics like calling taxis.  This way, you will get ALMOST ZERO calls!  Better yet, I’ve learned the hard way (as there is no one to receive the key from outgoing guests) to put a door lock that has opens with a passcode you can reset after each guest.  Just email each guest the code of entry before they arrive.

3. Use signs.  Another great way to limit the amount of calls you get from frustrated guests (since you are not on-site) is to SIGN UP everything in the apartment like the WiFi code, how the hot water works and Cable and more. Also include a user guide with building and vicinity information.

4. Maintenance dude. Have a local maintenance guy you can call on demand to go fix things in the apartment when necessary. You pay per job, cheap in a place like Ecuador.

5. No small kids.  Deny people with large families and small kids. You just can’t trust it, too many moving parts or charge a higher deposit.  For a short rental its just not worth it.

6. Don’t accept walk ups!  Only accept people who book and pay ahead of time like through a site like AirBnb.  This way you verify their identity and have a certain go-between should something go array.  I’ve found people who pay with a credit card tend to be honest, reliable people compared to folks who pay in cash off the street for this type of rentals.

7. Reject short stays booked way in advance. Reject bookings for just one or two nights made months in advance!  Very important if you only have one or two units.  Learned this the hard way.  You don’t want to have to reject a month long booking because one night is booked half way through the month! Keep your options open.  Accept shorter bookings last minute only to fill your space.

8. High prices, big discount pricing.  To further deter shorter stays which tend to be less profitable and more hassle (without outright prohibiting them) set a HIGH nightly rate and offer LARGE discounts (like 40-50% is fine) for stays over a week or month which encourage longer stay guests and give them a “Oh, I got a deal” feeling.  And this way if you did get a shorter stay rental it ma be profitable enough to accept for you!

9. Find a local cleaner.  Find someone local who you can pay to go clean upon demand.  In Ecuador, I pay $15 to someone to go clean a one bedroom apartment I rent.

10. Reviews!  Let the client review you first on AirBnb, especially if you have something negative to say about them, cause once they review you, you review them and from what I see it is not editable by either side.


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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

1 Ecuador investment that beats the stock market

I’ve never been a fan of investing in the stock market.  

Especially now that it’s at record highs (terrible time to buy in).  

There’s just too much you or I don’t know, and too many others that know so much more.  

Instead, especially for a steady passive income I’d suggest to anyone it’s best to start a business in a place like Ecuador.

Like something new I’m looking into this week from Guayaquil.  

My 3-point formula is simple.  

1. Find a product or service you know well.

2. Someone local you can trust to manage or partner with who will front their time, all while you front the know-how to get started and capital.  

3. And about $5-10,000 only (you won’t be buying any property, just leasing).  Start with the basics, then scale up add equipment with the money you make in sales. 

Bonus tip: Ignore or selectively forget everything you learned in business school, where all they do is teach you to get analysis paralysis.  

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

Top 3 scenic routes in Ecuador no one knows about

Working with tourists and new arrival expats in Ecuador on a daily basis at my hotel near the airport in Quito, It never ceases to amaze me how everyone comes to Ecuador for an adventure, thinks they are adventurous yet are quick to follow the same beaten path of everyone else. 

Same goes for when they rent cars and drive in Ecuador.  

For instance…

-From Quito to the coast, most go through Alaog-Santo Domingo- Chone.  Lame and dangerous (lots of trucks, traffic and landslides.) And for anyone who has passed through Santo Domingo, you know it’s a sh#t hole.  

1. Instead, go from Quito through Mindo, Los Bancos, and on to Pedernales (or cut down to Chone/Bahia).  Much more scenic, less traveled, no trucks, with nice pit-stops along the way like the middle of the world monument and Mindo.  (Almost takes the same amount of time, maybe one hour longer than S. Domingo route).

-From Quito to Guayaquil, most go once again through Santo Domingo and on down through Quevedo and Babahoyo.  

2. Instead, go from Quito through Latacunga on down through La Mana-Quevedo-Babahoyo.  The descent is breathtaking, be sure to do it in the daytime, and the road is good and there are almost no trucks or traffic.  

-From Quito to Cuenca most go straight down the pipe through Ambato, Riobamba then Alousi.  HORRIBLE way to go.  No places to eat.  Always foggy, very curvy and dangerous, lots of trucks.  

3. Instead, go the way NOBODY goes, but I just did, and it was great.  Go from Quito to Ambato, then on to Banos then on to Puyo in the Amazon region and on down to Macas and then over to Cuenca.  Took about the same amount of time as the normal route mentioned above (7-8 hrs), yet NO traffic, NO trucks and NO fog.  Plus, much better scenery and more good food options along the way.  The road is new, great and straight for most of the way!  For a long time the road was bad so I think that is why most Ecuadorians don’t use it.  You can even see orchids along the sides of the roads as you go. 

Now you too can go the road less traveled by in Ecuador.  

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

The best new-age way to find furnished rentals abroad for expats

When moving to a new country, in this case Ecuador, as a new expat you are going to face a problem.  

You don’t want to live in a cramped hotel room for extended periods of time with no kitchen.  

And all the cheapest rentals that you’ve read about online (like the $200-400/month ones in Ecuador) are unfurnished.  

Most do not want to jump right in and invest thousands in furniture.  

But over the last few years another alternative has popped up meant mainly for travelers but I see it as even MORE advantageous for new arrival expats.  

AirBnB.com  

With AirBnb you can find short-to-medium-term rentals at reasonable prices with all the services and furniture already in place.  

Plus, you avoid the biggest problems new expats face when renting from Ecuadorians in Ecuador.

Faulty construction (you can just move if you don’t like it since you are not locked in for the long-term).  

And the landlord not returning your security deposit when they should.  It is the NORM in Ecuador.  

When renting through AirBnb if you pay a security deposit the money is held by a third party (AirBnb) and returned to you by them upon exit like should happen.  

And while you are in an AirBnb rental you can learn your new city and then begin to search for a longer term, cheaper, unfurnished option as you go.  

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A

The biggest mistake new expats make before they even get to Ecuador

“Oh, man. What did i get myself into?” I said to myself as I arrived to my new craigslist rental I found online which ended up being on the wrong side of the river in a ghetto of Santo Domingo, in the DR.  

That was the scene for me a few years ago when moving to the Dominican Republic.  

But I see it all the time.  

The BIGGEST mistake new expats make is they often find a long term rental (and begin paying it) before they even move to Ecuador.  

I’ve seen some even pay a rental for over a year before arrival.  

Big mistake!

Often, they will arrive and for one reason or another not like it wasting all money already paid and losing their security deposit.

It’s hard to grasp how it would be living somewhere long-term by a few online photos or even a short visit.

So I say WAIT until you get to a new country to find a long-term place to live.  If you make a bad choice in hotels who cares?  It’s just for a few nights.  

Tomorrow I’ll give you an even better alternative.  

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Posted in Ecuador Q&A

The first 10 things gringos notice in Ecuador

 

“T.I.E. This. is. Ecuador.”  I find myself often telling my brother (from the USA) who is currently visiting Ecuador for the first time.

The things he initially notices crack me up when I’m just used to it being here a few years now.

Here were a few things he noticed first in Ecuador, and found strange…

1. Grass growing on power lines in Ecuador.  Unexplainable.

2. Ghetto glass.  Or broken bottles cemented into the tops of property walls to prevent break ins.  Interesting idea.

3. Whole extended families on motorcycles.  Slightly illegal in the USA, he found it strange the sight of a father, mother and two kids and the family dog on one motorcycle in Ecuador.

4. Street dogs humping in the street.  A common part of any Ecuador landscape. This one he found particularly hilarious.

5. Random cars with police-colored strobe lights.  Not exactly legal in USA.

6. Pissing in Public.  The ease with which male Ecuadorians pull up in public was impressive to him.

7. Cars parked on sidewalks making the pedestrians walk in the street.  A common sight in Ecuador.

8.  How close the buses whiz by you when biking on the road in Ecuador, literally they pass just inches away.  This one made him flinch.

9. Cars pulling other broken-down cars with a rope.  Not precisely legal in the USA yet a common sight in Ecuador.

10. No windows (or TP) or any ventilation of any kind in many gas station bathrooms in Ecuador.  The hot, humid stench of one particularly on the coast will make you want to shower right then and there.

T.I.E.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

1 Cell Phone-Related Biz-Opp In Ecuador

“I’m starting to think this is hopeless.” I thought as I visited the fifth store dedicated to selling cell phone protective cases in Quito (Ecuador’s capitol city).

You see, in Ecuador, just like the cars on the road, due to the import restrictions there is a very limited variety of cell phones available locally.

And the cell phone case stores cater to only the most popular brands and models of phones in Ecuador.

Yet, there are many people like me who brought their phone from somewhere else. And my poor-little Motorola smart phone is not a common make and model here.

And it’s da-n near impossible to find a case for it.

But I’m not the only one, there are A LOT of people who bring a phone to Ecuador.

Good luck finding a case for it!

Searching online I had slightly better luck, but the one store I found across country said they were sold out of my case, but could order it and it would be here in a month!

I can only imagine what it’s like in the smaller towns of Ecuador to find a case for their phone.

I think this is an opportunity for someone.

You don’t even need a store front. Selling online in Ecuador would be enough.

This is one example of an under-filled niche in Ecuador. There are many similar ones.

I’d focus on what you know…

Why do I share this idea?

Because I already have a business at the current time and I need a case for my phone before I break it!

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

Why I Really Moved To Ecuador

Oh, man.

I’ve been avoiding this question ever since I started this blog a few years back.

Yet, this is the first thing people ask me, how did a guy from Cleveland, Ohio end up in Ecuador?

Lie every time.

OK, maybe not “lie” but I always give a very vague, “blow off” answer like, “came to visit, liked it”.

I think many expats have reasons for moving abroad which aren’t exactly “bragging material”.

My reason was probably a lot different than yours, too.

So, do you want the long or short answer?

The short answer goes back to why I moved abroad in the first place… the women.

At age 22 when I left the USA for good… going out, partying, dancing, drinking, and dating primarily occupied my mind.

Of course, as I’ve gotten older my reasons for living abroad do and have changed, I’m not proud of that original reason, but in high school I got no love, man. Picture a young guy dressed for a party walking through sand dunes in the desert. Definitely graduated high school a virgin. It was rough.

College was better, though.

But my dating life really took off when I graduated and moved abroad. It pays to be different than the local norm, what can I say?

But the long answer of why i moved abroad and also chose Ecuador is more complex.

I was invited to Ecuador initially by an Ecuadorian friend I had made living in Madrid, Spain. He picked me up from the airport and we went to a friends house where a national soccer game was on and I just meshed right in with his group of friends. I was 22. And MAN Ecuadorians that age know how to party!

From day one I was already enamored with the fun-loving, welcoming Ecuadorian people.

Then I left Ecuador and lived in other countries in Latin America and Asia, but I kept coming back to Ecuador to visit.

Then, I read something online while living in the Philippines about how to sell e-books online for cash, so i wrote one on Ecuador real estate, where I saw potential (back in 2008-09).

And it sold.

And because of it I started a blog on Ecuador while not even living there, just based off my past visiting experiences. And it grew until one day I was sitting in China in 2011 thinking, what am I doing here? Let’s go back to Ecuador and grow this thing… Ecuador was just beginning to be touted as the NUMBER 1 retirement destination in the world by many international publications.

So I came back.

This last time you could say the reason was this blog, then with an Ecuadorian friend I started a business in Guayaquil, bought some property, sold it, bought some more. Then, started a business on my own in Quito.

Snow-balled from there.

So my reasons for moving to Ecuador changed over time, which will probably happen to you.

Now, the reason I STAYED here primarily was for my blog and as I see it more opportunity than the USA offers me.

Before I left the USA, my only real job in the USA was as a telemarketer for a mortgage company in Oceanside, CA for about one month and a half. I hated it. You see, i majored in something vague and the only opportunities I saw for myself in the USA were sales, real estate agent, sell insurance or financial advising.

To me, all that just looked like that phone I had to stare at when i tele-marketed. Putting on a tie everyday and pushing the iron-coffin to work everyday in rush hour wasn’t for me.

Down here I’m the star quarterback!

Literally, as the leader of an American Football club in Medellin, Colombia (before I lived in Ecuador) I discovered guys in soccer countries mostly throw like girls. They never developed that skill-set, and I was the de-facto quarterback with the rifle arm (compared to them). In the USA I was never the quarterback.

And of course, I met someone special. But I also LOVE the food, the mild warm climate, the laid-back people, and of course the low cost of living. I like the foreigners that travel here too, usually the more adventurous ones compared to the fanny-pack-wearing-Cancun-resort-types.

I don’t think moving here just cause it’s “cheaper” is a good reason in and of itself. But hey, not like my initial reason was any better!

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A


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