Recently a family from the US contacted me to discuss their questions about moving to Ecuador. I emailed them the following and thought I would share it with anyone deciding to move to a “developing nation” which this is. Keep in mind you can get some of these things here but the cost would exceed what you were paying back in the states and if you are looking to come here because you heard that it was less expensive you will be very unhappy having to pay more…but if you can be happy with what the locals use the cost will be less and maybe the transition will be easier. Plus someone who is always looking for something that isn’t here rarely sees a lot of what is here.
Dear Bob, Paige and Chance,
Some comments that may help you because you have never traveled to South or Central America. These areas are considered developing nations and for a good reason. This is not like the US –
If you or your family cannot live without specific processed foods – this is not the place for you
If you cannot live without a special brand of toothpaste – this is not the place for you
If you need designer jeans in a men’s size 44 – this is not the place for you
If you think that every sidewalk or street should be hole free – this is not the place for you
If you cannot have the “live and let live” attitude – this is not the place for you
If you need constant outside stimulation, opera, classical music concerts, tango dancing or whatever – this is not the place for you
If your wife requires Lancome makeup or Este Lauder perfume – this is not the place for you
If, on the other hand, you are able to adjust to not finding your size pants on the rack, or watching your favorite TV show in English, or can live without all the American brand name cereals you will probably like it here. It is not quiet, but it is peaceful.
I guess the biggest hurdle is learning to like the local products. take peanut butter for instance. Yes you can get Skippy or maybe one other American brand, but it is expensive. The locally made peanut butter has no preservatives, no sugar and is actually like what I would buy in the states at a health food store – just fresh ground peanuts – but very inexpensive. I purchase it from the mercados for $1 a pound. If you purchase it from the supermarket fresh veggie aisle it’s $1.96 for 300 grams (approx 11 oz). It is a bit dry, a bit gritty but if you are like Joe, just add a tablespoon of honey to get it to be a bit smoother and sweeter and it is excellent. Between the additional import fees added to these products and the shipping costs many of the items are so much more expensive. I guess it is a matter of what is important to you and your family.
A special thanks to Bob, Paige and Chance for making me see the need for this post!