Etiquette For Traveling, Living, And Retiring In Ecuador

10 Rules For Navigating Your New Life In Ecuador

Sept. 22, 2014, Quito, Ecuador: Here are 10 rules of etiquette for the expat and foreign retiree in Ecuador.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"Let's start with the rules of engagement," began Lee Harrison, addressing attendees at last week's Live and Invest in Ecuador Conference.

"Here are 10 rules for navigating your new life in Ecuador...

"Rule #1: Always start with 'Buenos días' (Good morning).

"People in this part of the world don't jump right into the issue when addressing each other. So, when you get into a taxi, for example, you don't start with, 'Take me to _____.' You start with 'Good morning.' When entering a store, smile at everyone you pass and say good morning or how are you. Then say, 'Do you have any ____?'

"In more personal settings, handshakes and kisses when coming and going are important. Your days of leaving a party by walking out the door saying 'See you all later' are over. When leaving a party, you go around, shake everyone's hand and kiss all the women on the cheek. It's the same thing when arriving somewhere.

"I used to go to the gym every morning. First thing I'd do when I got there was go around and shake hands with everyone else working out. Everyone knew everyone.

"That greeting is something you don't want to bypass, because if you arrive or leave a place without saying hello and goodbye to someone, the assumption is that you're mad at the person.

"Rule #2: Don't come to parties on time.

"The first time I was invited to a party in this country, my hostess told me to 'Come at 7 o'clock.' I came at 7 o'clock. The husband was running down the steps, buckling his pants, and his wife was still in the shower. So 7 o'clock meant 9 o'clock. The second time this couple invited me over, they said, 'Come at 9.' 'Does that mean I come at 11?' I asked. 'No, we tell you the real time,' they told me. 'Everyone else knows better.'

"Many people in this part of the world can't keep commitments. You will learn quick who can and who can't, and you'll learn to work with the people who meet your expectations. Many you'll find will give you their word for an appointment, then simply go somewhere else instead, to another scheduled appointment or to do something that came up or something they just preferred to do instead. Until you adapt to this, you will lose time sitting home waiting for people who don't show.

"Rule #3: Be courteous.

"You get what you give. People who smile and approach others with courtesy get the same thing in return. In my experience, people were nicer to me than to a lot of their fellow Ecuadorians because I was nice to them.


Options For Starting A Business In Ecuador

Entrepreneurs In Ecuador

Sept. 21, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Roberto Ribadeneira explains how he got his import-export business up and running.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Last week in Quito, attendees at our Live and Invest in Ecuador Conference were introduced to opportunities for living, retiring, and investing in this well as top current options for starting a business here.

One of the best business opportunities in Ecuador is successful import-export entrepreneur Roberto Ribadeneira explained...

"Our business," Robert began, "started with fresh-cut flowers, but today we export practically everything.

"Our business has grown big, but we didn't start that way. And the opportunity still exists in this country to make money from import-export in a small, low-key way.

"How could you make money exporting flowers from Ecuador, for example? By exporting from here and reselling. Country clubs, golf courses, and hotels always need flowers. Usually they order from flower shops. A dozen roses from a high-end flower shop costs up to US$100. We sell 100 roses, packed and shipped, for US$140.

"You could set up accounts directly with businesses in a particular area. Go in person and offer to ship quality flowers for less cost than the local florists are charging. All you need in each case is the business' address, and we can ship the flowers to them for you. These are sales opportunities that we'd never have access to on our own...and neither would these businesses ever find us on their own. You're acting as the connection point, providing us with direct access and the business with quality flowers at a competitive price. You could earn a good income this way.

"Flowers could be your start, as they were for us. Then, depending on how much time and effort you want to invest, you could expand your import-export business to include other products available at very low costs here in Ecuador. I'm speaking of products made by hand, including leather products—jackets, duffle bags, purses, etc. We can make the designs for you. We had a client from Texas who wanted to design a purse that could fit her gun in a way that made it easily accessible. Now she's started a business. We make these gun-friendly purse designs for her for around US$80. She sells them for US$350 apiece at gun shows.

"Another customer came to us three weeks ago and said he wanted something to carry an iPad. We designed a leather bag that fits an iPad. It even has real cow fur. The design options are limitless.

"We work with small communities. When you place an order, it's not just me making a profit but many others in poor communities. It's their handiwork and their talent that make this business possible. Send me a picture of what you want, and I can find someone to create it. In addition to the people I'm working with around the country earning an income, we help them with health care, better food, and better housing. Every time you buy a handmade product from Ecuador, you're helping a lot of people.

"Every town specializes in something. Cotacachi specializes in leather products, Otovalo is the place for textiles, and San Antonio de Barro is the place for wood.



F'ing Ecuador

Sept. 19, 2014, Quito, Ecuador: Expat Theresa Rall relocated to Quito, Ecuador, 14 years ago and loves everything about her new life.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The goings-on in Quito continue. Among those addressing the attendees at this week's Live and Invest in Ecuador Conference today was American expat Theresa Rall...

"I'm from Nebraska," Theresa began. "I first came to Ecuador 30 years ago as an undergraduate student. Fourteen years ago I came back to live here, and I've been here ever since.

"I'm in the golf business," Theresa continued. "I own pro shops here in Ecuador, and I'm the Titleist distributor.

"How can I help you understand all that Ecuador has to offer and why I've been so happy I've made my home here all these years?

"I've put together a presentation to that end titled:

"'The F-words of Ecuador'...

Starting with: Fun.

"When I first came to this country as a 19 year old, I spent seven months working as an intern. That was a lot of fun. There are all sorts of activities and outdoor things to do here in Ecuador. Ecuador is about as different from Nebraska as you can get. Everything I encountered and experienced way back then as a young girl was new and exciting.

"It's easy to enjoy all the outdoor experiences this country has to offer because the climate here can't be beat, even on our worst days. Some locals will say 'Que frio' when it's 50 degrees or 'Que calorzaso' when it's 78 degrees and sunny. All I can think is, 'Wow, you guys have no idea...'


Day One Of Live And Invest In Ecuador Conference

Taking The Bus And Other Impossible
Misadventures In Ecuador

Sept. 18, 2014, Quito, Ecuador: Kali Kucera shares her story of reinventing her life from Seattle, Washington, to Quito, Ecuador.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Kali Kucera is a full-time Quito expat who addressed the group assembled in that city this morning for this week's Live and Invest in Ecuador Conference, making a presentation that he titled:

"Taking The Bus And Other Impossible Misadventures."

"Welcome to Quito," Kali began, "my beloved city that adopted me.

"Welcome to the middle of the world, which on certain days can make you feel like you're on the edge of the planet.

"This is a wonderful city," Kali continued, "of about 27 cities put together. If this is your first time here and you're walking around in Mariscal and feeling overwhelmed, multiply that by 27 to begin to get a real sense of this energetic capital.

"You may be wondering why I chose to title my presentation the way I did. Don't worry, I'm not here to convince you to take the bus or to sell you bus tickets. I'm not even here to convince you to move to Ecuador. Taking the bus is a metaphor that I use for the process of adapting to being an expat.

"And that's what this experience is all about—adaptation. Taking this bus, as I've chosen to do, has been for me a delightful experience that has allowed me to reset my expectations and assumptions about life and living and redefine my understanding of the difference between assumption and reality. Taking this bus has been a catalyst for me to reconsider everything.


Why Retire In Cuenca?

5 Reasons Cuenca Remains A
Top Retire Overseas Choice

Sept. 17, 2014, Quito, Ecuador: Five reasons that make Cuenca, Ecuador, a top overseas retirement destination.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Cuenca, Ecuador.

You have heard so much about it. The experts recommend Cuenca, Ecuador, as a fabulous choice for living abroad. The country is mentioned time and again on all the short lists of places to ponder, with Cuenca being the customary crown jewel choice both for retirees and anybody at any age just hoping to escape to a fresh start.

It sounds so exciting, but is it right for you?

Here's your opportunity to hear about what Cuenca has to offer from somebody just like you, rather than another seasoned expert.

I still live in the United States, and, like you, I have been doing research trying to decide if I want to move abroad...and, assuming I do, to where?

Ecuador is currently the top contender on my list, so last month I traveled to Cuenca with one of my daughters and her husband for an initial reconnaissance expedition. My husband and other adult children did not join us; we three were the family's boots-on-the-ground scouts. If we liked what we saw, plans would move forward. If not, it would be back to the drawing board. And the verdict?

We loved it!

So what is so great about Ecuador, Cuenca in particular?


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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.


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