Recently we published an article about Ecuador as a place to live and invest. We were surprised by the number of responses and several important questions were raised. See our replies to your questions below…
Question from Manuel:
Your article sounds interesting. How about the strong relatively communist influence from Venezuela. The interference of Venezuela in Ecuadorian affairs, makes any investor nervous. Venezuela has been nationalizing private enterprises. They are shutting down media that does not agree or creticize the government. President Correa who is a disciple of Chavez, can ruin all the good things you said about Ecuador in your article. I suggest Americans should wait before risking their lives and fortune to invest in a communist state. As long as Correa and Chavez are around, Ecuador represent a risky place to invest and live. what do you think about my assessment. I have traveled a lot, and work in the area.
I was in Ecuador this past May 2009 during the re-election of President Correa. I was impressed by the contributions made by the general population to the election efforts. The entire election appeared very democratic. There were competing signs and advertisements from many different politicians in every town I visited. Political campaigns were ongoing in the town squares and cities, with a real grass roots feel where families of all generations gathered to support their party. There were no signs of violent protests or otherwise risky activity. Many locals I spoke with differed on their opinion of Correa, but overall he has general support from the people. He is the first President to be re-elected in Ecuador in many years and has made many investments into new roads, bridges and airports since taking office over five years ago. While Ecuador is allied with Venezuela on many respects, I don’t see how this increases the risks of living in Ecuador short of an all out war with the U.S.
Ecuador is not at all what I would consider a communist state… most businesses are privately operated and although the state has a role in large industries, local business owners are free to open shops, offer services, and compete with one another. With the entire mortgage finance and auto industry subsidized and essentially nationalized in the U.S. I have a hard time seeing how Ecuador could be considered any more communist or socialist than the US of A.
I don’t think Americans would be “risking their lives” as you suggest to spend time in Ecuador any more than they are risking their lives by subjecting themselves to the now defunct and ridiculously expensive medical and health care system in the United States, not to mention high crime levels among other risks.
I have heard reports of Correa shutting down certain media channels that were operating with fraudulent permits granted under previous administrations. Perhaps if I was a large multinational corporation eager to exploit oil and mineral resources from Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, I would have to contend with the stringent policies implemented by President Correa – stringent policies that are viewed by the West as communist but which are viewed by many as protecting and conserving mother nature. Weather or not Correa truly cares about the environment, I do not know, but I do know that the Ecuadorian people do so those policies reflect the people’s wishes as they ought to. Ecuador property rights are guaranteed under the constitution so I see very little risk to private property ownership so long as I’ve done proper due diligence prior to purchase.
House and condo rental rates are so cheap in Ecuador, it would totally feasible to enjoy Ecuador without investing anything apart from your monthly expenses, thus reducing your investment risk dramatically.
Question from Lesley:
Living in South Africa, we decided to move to Uruguay. Went to have a look, bought 2 plots in Piriapolis and busy getting all the paper for a resident visa. BUT…BUT… checking the weather
in Piriapolis… we find it a bit cold for our taste. We now thought of Ecuador, but what are
the requirement for a resident visa, without this information…we can go futher.
Comments from Michael:
Ecuador has one of the lowest investment requirements to obtain a residency visa of any country I’ve investigated. One way to qualify is to purchase a property valued at $27,000 or more (no, I am not missing a zero, that’s ‘twenty seven thousand dollars’). There are other options also related to your monthly pension income. These are all covered in the Ecuador 101 – E-Book Guide To Living and Investing in Ecuador which is free to Upgraded Members of Retire Worldwide.
Question from Jill:
My fianace Tom and I are going to Ecuador this Dec. and would like to look at some properties: is that possible? How would we line t his up?
WE are going w ith a small group but of course have extra time to look around and would like to .
Comments from Michael:
I met a handful of real estate contacts up and down the Ecuador coast on my last trip. I can put you in touch with them prior to your visit depending on which areas you are interested in. Write to email@example.com for more details.
Question from Alan:
Well, it would seem that your travels did not take you to places like Rio Intag, or some of the other outlying towns of Ecuador, where things are not quite as prosperous. Improving yes, but far from prosperous by any standard.
Ecuador has a history of socialist and Leftist influences, especially during the years Buccaran and his family had any influence at government levels. This has always been an issue and is nothing new. If it gets to the point of really curtailing freedoms, look for change. History speaks pretty loud.
History also shows that people like Chavez come and go, and life goes on. The simple fact is this, you always get what you expect. Anyone moving to Ecuador with the idea that it will be anything but positive, and is fully invested in that mindset, will get what they focus on and think about the most. Sorry, just an aside. Lived there for 10 years. married to an Ecuadorian. Owned my own business. Moving back after an absence of 25 years to retire and cultivate coffee. Fluent in the language and culture. For what it’s worth.
I agree 100%, particularly with your statement about getting what you focus on the most. Good luck with your new life in Ecuador!
Question from John:
Michael, great article…what is the name of the town with the condos for $40,000?
Actually there are several coastal and highland towns in Ecuador where condos sell for $40,000 or less. A few of these are Bahia de Caraquez, San Clemente, Cotacachi, Cuenca, Atacames… of these my favorites are probably Bahia (coastal) and Cuenca (highland). We outline all of these areas in more detail in the Ecuador 101 Report - available for free to Upgraded Members Of Retire Worldwide.
Question from Karen:
What is the weather like in Ecuador?
This totally depends on which area of Ecuador you go to. The main difference will depend on elevation… at sea level, Ecuador is generally tropical with a climate comparable to Hawaii. In the highlands, it will feel more like Colorado in the spring (year round) without the hot summers or cold winters.
Editor’s Note: The beta version of Ecuador 101 – E-Book Guide To Living and Investing in Ecuador written by Michael Manville is now available for free to Upgraded Members of Retire Worldwide. This version is uncut, unedited, but a lot of fun to read. An additional report also free for members is “Undiscovered Beachfront“, where you can find some of the most affordable beachfront property in the Western Hemisphere.
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