Next Expat Meetup: Halloween Pub Crawl, Sat. Oct 30 in Quito

Looking to meet new people, make friends and integrate into the expat newcomer community of Ecuador? It’s free…all ages welcome!

Next meetup will be at 8pm in Mulligan’s Bar in the Mariscal district of Quito…afterward, pub crawl to nearby bars celebrating Halloween…costumes not necessary but would be fun…

Please email me via the contact page to confirm attendance or leave rsvp in the comments…thanks, your host, Dom

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Cuenca Fixer-Upper Country Home – $35,000

Sorry, this property is no longer being listed…

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San Clemente Beach House – $50,000

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Behind the Scenes of the Police Riots in Ecuador

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, on Thursday, there was a large police riot (led by the police!) in Ecuador.

The crazy day started with thousands of police officers storming the airports in Quito and Guayaquil, temporarily closing off all flights.

They then took to the streets, refusing to work. From there they preceded to the police headquarters. There, they met with the president, President Correa, who went to try to convince the police to stand down.

The riot initiated because the police thought Correa and his government had just passed a law cutting their bonus benefits. But in reality, the law doesn’t do this, just channels the funds in a different manner. The thing is none of the police had actually read the new law.

They let themselves be influenced and used intelligently by Correa’s clever (and rich) opponents who skewed the new law to mean what they wanted it to.

And it worked.

The police almost ousted the President. Their was an armed confrontation and the President had to go to the hospital for a brief moment. Once in the hospital, he had to be rescued by special-forces army troops.

The day after, on Friday, the police commissioner of Ecuador resigned (probably forcibly) and a new one has been appointed. The police went back to work, and everything returned to normal.

The reality of the situation is that Correa and his administration has done way more for the police force then any past administration, hands down. He has multiplied the number of policemen. He has doubled, tripled, maybe even quadrupled the salaries and given them new equipment, cars and uniforms. In the end, I think the police realize this and that’s why their little stink was simply to make a statement, “look at us, we matter.”

Honestly, from the ground in Ecuador, I can say civilians where never put at risk during the incident.
It may be hard to understand incidents like this if you haven’t spent much quality time in Latin America. In the USA, we have an ordered system of checks and balances if things go array. The government listens to the people ad most feel as if they have a say.

But in many countries in Latin America, like in Ecuador, the people at times simply don’t think the government listens to them unless they protest, raise a stink, and block some streets. These protests rarely turn violent, and are a common occurrence from the border of Mexico all the way to Buenos Aires.

All in all, I wouldn’t let things like this get in the way of your dream, which may be that big move to hot, sassy, colorful Latin America – where men are men and governments are scared!

Saludos, Dom

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Home Insurance in Ecuador De-mythified

In the US, we insure everything from home warranty companies with the best reputation only. Sometimes, we buy insurance for our insurance policies, down here in Ecuador, the people don’t have that “insure-everything” mindset. Unlike the Houses for sale Hua Hin, the houses here aren’t insured by their real estate agents.

In fact, a very small percentage of the locals even have home insurance. And the rest do not even have proper shelter, let alone house insurance. The impecunious in other countries have government support in the form of Section 8. One in need of proper shelter can approach & apply for a section 8 waiting list, if it helps mentioning. It could be due to Ecuador being a poor, developing nation, or simply a difference in culture. Locals simply don’t see the need. However, insurance is essential whether it is on home or your pet. It must never be taken for granted. Visit the website to know how you can opt for their various insurance schemes.

It is true that Ecuadorian housing structures tend to have a much larger percentage of concrete than American ones, making them more solid, and that Ecuador is nicely tucked out of hurricane paths and rarely hit by strong earthquakes or wild fires.

This has created a buyer’s market where insurance offered by companies like Frontlight Insurance Services is still relatively cheap and the companies are constantly recruiting heavily with discounts and promotions.

Home insurance works similarly to that in the US, with a few twists and turns.

First off, it is difficult to get an exact figure of how much you will pay before you purchase a property, because how much you pay is entirely based on the assessed value of your home by an inspector for that specific insurance agency, and they don’t tend to be willing to assess a home before it is purchased.

Which leads me to the first big difference between Ecuador and the US…in Ecuador, the insurance companies do NOT insure the market value of the home, taking into account how much you paid for the place due to the area, they insure purely the cost it would take to rebuild the structure of the home.

With AIG, the leading home insurance provider (and one I recommend) in Ecuador, a building with an assessed value of $30,000 would pay $90 in premiums annually. A $70,000 structure would pay $195 anually, and a $100,000 structure would pay $270 anually. (Figures as of 2010)

With payment of the premiums you receive coverage against fire, natural disasters, earthquakes, the falling of trees, floods and all the other normal stuff.

In the event of a disaster, you would have to pay a 2% deductible (minimum $800).

But it is important to note that the figures mentioned above are to insure the structure of the home or apartment only, the belongings within the home would require a whole separate policy.

As my mom said of her time in Venezuela, if its not tied down, forget about it. It is pretty much the same in Ecuador, a peaceful place indeed, but robbery is common.

So, to insure $8000 worth of belongings against fire, and $4000 against robbery (they can’t take everything) you would pay an annual premium in addition to the one for the structure itself, of $90.

To insure $25,000 of belongings against fire or flood, and $12,500 of that against robbery, you would pay $270 annually.

In the case of robbery, you would have to pay a deductible of 10%, minimum $200.

To inquire further or to hire a policy, I recommend my bilingual personal contact, Katty Mejer in Quito, 099822232, kmasesores at (tell her Domenick sent you) I also recommend you to check the First American Home Warranty options.

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