Updates on road closings, openings in Ecuador due to earthquake

“Dude, why is that wine bottle dancing on the table.” A Canadian friend said as we were hanging out in the lobby of my hotel near the Quito airport.

The quake was just powerful enough to be felt but that’s about it in Quito.  The bottle danced but didn’t fall over.

The lights flickered, then came back on.

And that was it.

A little tremor, I thought, and back to business as usual glad I wasn’t going to have to work without electricity (it really sucks when you have a hotel, and its so rare the power goes out here I don’t even have a generator).

I had felt earthquakes before, in southern California and other small ones since i had moved to Quito 3 years ago, but this one, while mild and no biggie so I thought, felt different.

It lasted a little longer than normal (like 20 seconds) and felt kind of “wavy” like we were riding gentle ocean waves.  The other quakes i have felt were more 1-3 second jolts making the windows snap (but not crack).

Anyway, my area (Quito) didn’t have any visible effects, but obviously the central Ecuador coast has been hit hard as I’m sure you’ve seen in the news.

Here’s an update on the road situation nationwide:

Over the last few days the highways connecting the highlands to the coast from Aloag-Santo Domingo and Latacunga-Mana have been closed due to landslides.  As of today, APR 19 they are both open, but before traveling them inquire to be sure.

The road Chillanes-Bucay is still closed.

The road connecting El Carmen – Flavio Alfaro is now partially open (one lane only).

The outlet road connecting El Matal to Jama is closed.

Other roads closed within the past 24 hrs that now report to be at least partially open for transit:

Highways connecting San Vicente-Jama-Pedernales, Puerto Cayo-Jipijapa, PortoViejo-Crucita.

The roads connecting Guayaquil to Cuenca were unaffected, assume if not listed here the roads nationwide are in fact OPEN.

Overall: I’d say trying to navigate the central coastal Ecuador realty from Pedernales-Bahia-Chone-Portoviejo for now is best avoided if possible, at best long traffic wait times are probable and at worst the roads may be re-closed deemed un-passable on a moments notice.

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Driving In Ecuador Vs The USA: 21 Major Differences

This week I had the chance to sit down with one guy who knows the roads of Ecuador better than anyone I know, Jack Abercrombie, a guy from Atlanta that works at Barkett law firm who has been living in Ecuador a few years now.

He has a truck he uses to help new arrival expats in Ecuador move large loads of goods and pets within Ecuador.  You can reach him at [email protected] or 770-828-7913(USA) or 098-743-3009(ECUADOR).

We started chatting about the differences between driving in the USA vs Ecuador.

1. No right on red in Ecuador.  Hard one to get used to.

1A. Lane-challenged drivers who just kind of mesh, its even worse on the coast in Guayaquil where the lanes aren’t even painted on the larger roads sometimes.2. Pedestrian laws.  Way different in Ecuador too.  As they should be in my opinion. Like in nature the bigger object has the right of way, hence the car over the walking person. A traffic law expert from Chambers Legal explains that pedestrians must yield to cars in Ecuador, not the other way around. Where as in the USA where cars must stop in the middle of no where so a pedestrian can cross the road.

3. Honking.  Also, Ecuadorians use their horn and flash their headlights A LOT.  I think its because there are a lot of dumb drivers who change lanes or pull out onto highways without looking properly.  Also on curves or at stop signs in country towns.  A flash of the lights is good to let other cars know you are there as they may be planning to zoom past their stop sign.

4. The Roundabouts.  Heard they are starting to get more common in the USA but in if you ever drive to Nice, you will see that they are everywhere and they’re great in the countryside.  No one has to stop, its just a continual moving wheel with one simple rule, the people already in the traffic circle have the right of way.

5. Lots of one way streets.  In Ecuador there are MANY one way streets, and they are often not marked.  So you have to kind of guess like by how the cars are parked and other small factors you learn as you go.

6. Parking in VERY tight spaces.  Literally, in Quito Ive seen cars parked on the road with one inch between them and the other car on either side.  You get used to it.  Often you have to park your car in parking lots that force you to fold back your side mirrors.

7. More likely to get car stolen.  Take extra little precautions like don’t park on the street at night in Ecuador.  Trust me you’ll be glad you did.  A friend of mine in my little town showed me how he can disarm an electronically locked car and the alarm within about 3 minutes.  Its practically common knowledge in Ecuador.

8. Different protocol with accident.  When accidents happen in Ecuador it is generally a shouting match, whoever screams louder wins I guess, no matter if this is a car accident or a dog bite (learn more about experienced defense attorneys in southern California to defend your rights).  The police come, try to let you sort it out among yourselves, if you can’t, then they will impound both cars until guilt is determined.  If you were to learn more about the attorneys handling the cases, the cases of a death or serious injury they will arrest the parties involved until guilt is determined, says the lawyer in Halifax. Refer to the website of Boston car accident lawyer to hire the best accidental attorneys in Boston for personal injury claims.

Criminal law is among the most complex areas of law. It takes a special type of person to become a criminal defense attorney. These type of attorneys must work with clients to prove their innocence of crimes that range from minor to major offenses. For more details about criminal attorney, navigate to this website. Go through www.yountslaw.com for more about the lemoyne criminal defense attorney.

Criminal law is the body of law commonly referred to as penal law. This body of law prosecutes a person or entity by the federal or state government for crimes that are classified as criminal. Criminal justice incorporates the theories of punishment, deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation. By imposing sentences for criminal acts the law seeks to serve justice, peace and social order. Criminal law deals with a wide array of crimes. Criminal defense attorneys defend clients who have been charged with crimes that range from minor to major offenses. Such offenses include murder, manslaughter, arson, assault, DUI/DWI, fraud, identity theft, child pornography, sex crimes and a host of other crimes. Lawyer Dana Hogle and his team of the best Mesa DUI attorney are experienced in DUI Defense law and can help keep you out of jail, protect your driving privileges, and make sure you do not have a criminal record when falsely accused. To understand bail bonds, first, there is a need to understand what bail means. A bail is an amount that is decided on by a judge following an arrested person’s first appearance in court. Bail allows the defendant to be released from jail or granted his or her freedom upon the payment of the sum of money agreed upon by the court. The bail term is set just after arrest and before the initial court date. 24Hour Bail Bonds Financing is the leading provider of flexible and affordable bail bond loans and bail bond financing across multiple locations in Connecticut. Criminal defense lawyers, as do all attorneys, must put aside their personal beliefs and opinions of a person in order to properly and fully defend them of criminal charges. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. These attorneys must not pass personal judgment on a client charged with heinous crimes such as murder, rape or even child molestation.

9. All stick shift, no automatic cars.  I had to go back to driving class to learn the stick.  Very few automatic cars in Ecuador.  Its just a preference.

10. Traffic cops out for “lunch money”.  When pulled over in Ecuador, you’ll often see the drivers standing out of their cars pleading with the traffic cops.  Often the louder you plea the better in Ecuador.  Some cops when they see you are a foreigner will try to scare you into giving them a bribe, the best way I’ve seen to handle this is to pretend like you really dont speak one word of Spanish, even if you do, then they will often get frustrated and just let you go. If this doesn’t happen and you find yourself in troubled waters, then your last resort would be to hire Herbert & Lux is Nashville’s Leading Criminal Defense Lawyers. 

11. “The laying down Cops”.  As Ecuadorians call them “chapas acostadas” the laying down policemen or speed bumps are quite common in Ecuador especially in the small towns on the coast.  Be careful for the teeth rattling home-made ones that aren’t marked and blend in with the road at night!

12. Police stops.  The police stops where they may ask you to open your trunk, they are generally looking for drugs or weapons, not something to be worried about if you don’t dabble in that.

13. All the [email protected] buses!  As the bigger object rules in nature, so do the bigger objects (the buses) rule on the roads of Ecuador.  They do pretty much anything they want often cutting you off from the far left lane as they drop off a passenger.

Enter Jack…

14….Toddlers playing on side of road unattended along highway in small towns.   I get it that this is a cultural difference, and have no beef w/ the children helping their families, what bothers me is I slow up when I see this off in the distance, and my fellow Ecuadorians speed up and come around and never let up on the gas as they pass by the children & cattle, as well as the school buses & myriads of children just getting off of the school buses, is what gets to me.
15… Buses with little regard for human life.  There is little to know regard for human life, city busses in town, running & gunning with elderly on board, Inter provincial busses speeding & passing / racing each other in dangerous blind curves sometimes 3 deep in a 2 lane hwy with oncoming traffic.
16…Hwy’s with mud slides, torrential Rain down pours w/ very extremely thick fog, flooding, freak hail storms up to 30″ – 36″ deep, seismic activity in dry desert mtn. areas causing land slides w/ boulders & debris, Volcanic Activity Ash fall out, incredible Commercial Truck & Bus Crashes,

17…Speed trap radar cameras spitting out tix that are applied to you license plate, months later, if you slow up or are maintaining the correct speed limit, and as you pass the camera and another driver is passing your vehicle at the same time, you get a tix also. For rental cars, these are applied to your rental car license plate and put on your debit / charge card.

18. Lax DUI / DWI Laws of 3 days in jail / $360. fine / 10 points off of your license. Many Commercial & Private drivers will have a few beers early in the day hauling heavy loads & passengers, and it does not have to be around the holidays.

19…Branches and logs placed in the road in a curve b4 an accident or broke down vehicle is the ecuadorian way of emergency flares / triangles…..

20…Precarious left turns.  Some will put on left turn signal, and pull over to the right hand side and wait until oncoming traffic clears before making the left turn.

21… Random stopping. Some stop right in the middle of the panam hwy and piss on side of rd. right at a Petro EC 500 meters ahead sign. ..or just stop for any reason at all, oblivious to who or what is behind them? This was such a drastic contrast to what I’m used to back in my hometown of Kent. There the folks are truly pacified, we follow all the rule and do it in slow motion.

There you have it, a few of the major differences, other than that, its pretty much the same.

You can reach Jack at [email protected] or 770-828-7913(USA) or 098-743-3009(ECUADOR). For easy driving lessons at an affordable price, enroll for Cheap Driving Lessons in Edinburgh.

For more updates on everything Ecuador investing and living related from the ground, please sign up for my Ecuador Insiders newsletter, revealing everything you need to know BEFORE you invest in Ecuador. Unsubscribe at any time:


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How Much Does A Plumber Cost In Ecuador?

When looking for a plumber, many of us tend to choose someone we have been recommended or look for an advert in the services section of our local newspaper. This can lead you to choose someone almost randomly and most of us don’t tend to ask about experience. However, experience is one of the most important aspects when choosing a Plumber to come into your home to do a job and to find more, read more here, get more info, see here on this site.

Having faulty plumbing is one of the most challenging circumstances that you can face at home, being this said emergency plumber in Poole is a great option because they offer 24/7 services and no call out charges.

There are different kinds of plumbing issues that can come up – clogged drains, leaky faucets and Residential sewer systems that become damaged. These are serious plumbing issues that have to be tended to before they worsen. In such circumstances, the best solution is to hire the services of a professional plumbing service provider, You could check Plumbinglove.com site for further details. We highly value our commercial customers in Singapore as well and understand the importance of our plumbing services to your company. Time is money, and a reliable plumbing emergency can cause your commercial business to be out of service for days or even weeks at a time. SG1 plumber singapore is the answer to your commercial plumbing needs in Singapore. Let’s us manage your plumbing work today! We also have technicians that are trained to service HDB flats and have done numerous plumbing jobs. Our HDB plumbers have the on-field experience to diagnose and repair your plumbing issue and replacement of plumbing fittings as fast as possible

Plumbing fixing and installation tasks such as sewer cleaning are best done by professionals. They have the training and the skills required to carry out these tasks effectively. When you hire a professional plumber, you stand to benefit in several ways. On the surface, some issues may appear to be simple malfunctions. However, there can be serious underlying issues that can get complicated if you try quick fixes and if it is not handled immediately.

For instance, when you encounter a clogged drain, it is likely that you may try to clear it using hot water. If the problem does not solve immediately or it recurs, it is likely that there is a block that needs to be removed. Dismissing it can elevate the problem and cause serious issues to the plumbing. A professional plumber will be able to identify the problems underlying what appears to be a simple one. Doing this will save you the cost of tending to the damage that such situations could lead to.


Thats how much I paid this week when a toilet broke in my hotel and had to call a local plumber over. And he was a new guy, so it wasn’t like I was getting special pricing or anything. Contact Ultimate Plumbing & Repair Inc. for more details.

I happened to be hanging out with a business professor from Penn State University at the time.

I told him.. “I didn’t go to business school or anything, but that sounds like good business to me.”

He said, ” In the States plumbers charge $50 an hour.” Even thought there are services as Emergency Plumbers Sydney that are more affordable. Using the latest drain cameras, Drains ‘n’ Pipes Brisbane offer top CCTV pipe inspection Brisbane services. Our state of the art equipment will help deliver detailed and accurate reports under the most difficult circumstances. We perform some of the most comprehensive Top CCTV pipe inspection Brisbane services.

I recommend to hire Plumbing Houston is a family-owned and operated company located right here in Houston, TX. Their company of experienced Houston Plumbers. Even though we are a fairly new company, our professional technicians and staff are fully experienced to handle your plumbing needs and have the quality skills and workmanship you are looking for.

I responded, “In a 19 room hotel do you have any idea how many sinks, toilets and doors break on a daily basis?”

So for me, right now, that’s why Ecuador wins.

For more updates on everything Ecuador investing and negotiating after a home inspection, please sign up for my Ecuador Insiders newsletter, revealing everything you need to know BEFORE you invest in Ecuador. Unsubscribe at any time:


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Do You Qualify For The “Professional” Residency Visa In Ecuador?

Do you have a four year (Bachelors) degree from an accredited university?

Then you qualify for permanent residency in Ecuador if you want it.

Ecuador is one of the few countries in the world that gives away residency to ANYONE with a 4-yr bachelors college degree.  Any degree, any major.

This is how I got my residency.

Its BY FAR a better option than an investors visa if you have a degree, because your residency would be linked to that investment.

But there is one setback though.

You have to register your degree with the Ecuadorian Institute of Higher Learning (SENESCYT) which can take months… not good if you are here on the free 90 day tourist visa stamp you receive upon entry with just your passport. A temporary tourist visa to Saudi Arabia will allow those who have sponsorship to enter and stay within the country. All visitors must follow Saudi law and locals encourage visitors to engage in Saudi customs as well. A tourist visa is the most appropriate visa for coming into the country to visit friends or family. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has a requirement which is uncommon and may be new to many regular travelers. Even with a visa, you may be refused entry into Saudi Arabia if your passport shows before traveling to Israel. Or, if Israel is your birthplace you would also be denied entry. Before launching the Saudi eVisa, tourist visas for entry to the country were non-existent. Would-be travellers to Saudi Arabia were also previously expected to make application in person at the nearest consulate or embassy. It is now much simpler for tourists from eligible countries to enter Saudi Arabia with the visas for Saudi Arabia. The online application process could not be faster or simpler. Applicants must only meet certain basic requirements and complete all sections of the application form as accurately as possible.

The last thing you want is for your tourist visa to expire and become illegal.  But in order to extend the visa you are looking at $250 plus an added complication once given the residency visa of having to cancel the visa extension.

However, usually it takes 3-4 months for the Senescyt to validate and register your degree in Ecuador. But it can take longer.

Only after this validation you can start the visa process. Which can take another 2-4 weeks.

Thankfully, you can validate your degree locally in Ecuador from abroad with the help of someone already in Ecuador.

First check to see if your university is on this list.  If it is, you qualify!  You need to send to your Ecuador contact the following items… (easy!)

1. Color copy of your passport.

2.  Original color copy of your degree apostilled (if from a country that does apostles like the USA).  If you are from Canada or a country that does not do apostilles then you need to get this certified by the Ecuador consulate in your home country.  You do NOT need to translate your degree if it appears in English, French, German or Spanish.

3. A brief letter in Spanish authorizing your contact in Ecuador to help validate your degree.

4. This application form filled out and signed by applicant and snail mailed to Ecuador.

If your university is not on the list the wait time just got a month or two longer as first you have to get your school approved then your degree.  In addition to the above documents, except a different application form, you would need to send a copy of your transcripts showing your hours taken, completed, grades, etc. This needs to be apostilled in your home country AND notarized in Ecuador.

For more updates on everything Ecuador investing and living related from the ground, please sign up for my Ecuador Insiders newsletter, revealing everything you need to know BEFORE you invest in Ecuador. Unsubscribe at any time:

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3 Things NOT To Bring To Ecuador For Resale

2 checked bags (with items that wouldn’t cause problems entering Ecuador)= $1000 profit.

I’m confident you can do that, because I just did. On my first try.

At least I paid for my plane ticket.

This week I finished selling the last of the products I brought to Ecuador for resale in November.

I made money on everything, although some items fetched less than I was hoping.

And some items took A LOT longer than I expected to sell.  But within 2 months of posting I did in fact sell everything.

Of course, I learned a lot, as my clients were 100% Ecuadorians.

Here are 3 things (or groups of things) I learned the hard way to not bring back for resale on my next go:  

1. GPS equipment.  Through my online research the margins looked really good and the machines themselves were small so I thought this was a no-brainer.  I was wrong, very difficult to sell GPS stuff in Ecuador to Ecuadorians.  There just isnt much demand for it.  I did sell what I brought but in the end on a device that costed me $89 I made like only $10.  I expected much more and I had it posted at $170 for a while but it didn’t move.

2.  Small items with high margins and low dollar amounts.  For instance, I brought back a package of certain quality fake eye lashes I bought in the states for $1 and thought to sell here at the market price around $10.  The fact is, selling online, sure the margin looks good, what is that?  1000% profit.  Low investment, low volume and low weight in bag.  That’s what i thought.  Problem was when selling online everyone expects you to send it to them or meet them and do the transaction.  For a few bucks its just not worth the time, plus, I ended up selling at $4 making $3.  I would not bring these types of items again.

3.  Unknown brands in Ecuador.  Lately, I’ve been a Lenovo computer guy.  I love ’em.  Although they are quite popular in the States, I knew they weren’t well known in Ecuador.  Anyway I brought one back and it was VERY hard to sell for a profit!  i did eventually sell it but for little profit.  I would not bring back anything in the future with an unknown brand locally.  In Ecuador, in my opinion the best known brands for lap tops are Apple, HP, Toshiba and then Dell.

Now its your turn!

For more updates on everything Ecuador investing and living related from the ground, please sign up for my Ecuador Insiders newsletter, revealing everything you need to know BEFORE you invest in Ecuador. Unsubscribe at any time:

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