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Hwy101 replied to the thread Ecuador shifting to an E-Cash Society on the Ecuador forum:
OceanHideaway initially posted:
The chairman of the Central Bank said the country will implement an electronic money system in the last quarter of this year. You will be able to make payments in dollars through a cell phone. No need for the internet or an account with a financial institution. This program will be nationwide and assets will be guaranteed by the Central Bank. The chairman said you would be able to pay your utility bills this way, and even change your e-money for cash, free of charge. for more read:
Hwy101 replied on July 29, 2014 with:
ANITAHAT2 come on back, meet you at a Gringo night somewhere ...
withoutego replied on July 29, 2014 with:
ANITAHAT2 I quote, "to travel and see more of this country that I visited, explored, climbed & created, " You've provoked my curiosity, which part of Ecuador did you create? A sidewalk pot hole in Cuenca or a volcano further north? Maybe a river? sinego
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Hwy101 replied to the thread Money from Canada to EC on the Ecuador forum on July 29, 2014:
realfortin initially posted:
I was wondering what methods people use to 1) reduce exchange rate loss/fees from CAD to USD and 2) reduce wire/transfer fees from Canada to Ecuador. My current plan will be to get my pension deposited to my Canadian bank in Canadian funds. I will then deposit it to my trading account and as needed withdrw from my trading account in USD and deposit it to my USD account (in my case it is bank of Montreal). That gives me extremely favourable exchange rates and I can exchange it electronically anytime. My biggest concern is reducing fees getting it to an Ecuador bank account or reducing ATM fees on both ends if just withdrwaing it from an ATM without an Ecuador bank account. Do people pay fees if depositing a USD cheque from Canada to an Ecuador bank? Are there realtively cheap wiring methods? Thanks everyone.
Hwy101 replied on July 29, 2014 with:
And, don't forget to tell your Banks that you will be Traveling so they do NOT Block your Credit Card when they see charges coming from Ecuador.
realfortin replied on July 29, 2014 with:
Thanks for the advice Hwy 101. Checks seem to be the way to go for larger amounts which also take a little more time. For smaller amounts, sounds like a chip based ATM card (most from Canada are) will get us some cash right away, usually amounts of 500$. BMO's performance plan(free with 5k balance) gives you up to 10 free ATM transactions. You'd only pay the fee charged by the Ecuador bank, likely 1.50
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withoutego replied to the thread Cuenca café on the Ecuador Welcome Forum forum on July 29, 2014:
dpmurphyny initially posted:
I'm a retiree preparing a move to Cuenca and also considering opening a café focusing on the expat community. Any thoughts, comments or considerations are welcome. Would also consider partnering with a like minded individual.
withoutego replied on July 29, 2014 with:
realfortin, You're right, but less Swan Lake, more Fantasia. sinego
realfortin replied on July 29, 2014 with:
I think sinego is discreetly telling us his fantasy of being a ballet dancer through a hypotetical fable. Bravo
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AguaCaliente replied to the thread Credit Cards on the Ecuador forum on July 29, 2014:
realfortin initially posted:
We know that in Ecuador, cash is king and when dealing with small merchants it's the mighty dollar that willk get you good deals. The 2 questions I have for you guys are, 1) What bills/utilities/expenses can you use a credit card without additional fees/charges and 2) what do you use a credit card for (or do you at all). The advantage of a no transaction fee card is that you are using up money from "back home" where ever that may be, the card offers you more protection, has you carrying less cash and might even be earning you points.
AguaCaliente replied on July 29, 2014 with:
I use my Delta Gold Amex at major stores (Super/MegaMaxi, Kywi, SuperPaco, Radio Shack, etc) and upscale restaurants. No foreign fees and yes, I receive mileage! :-)
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lindae replied to the thread help!! on the Ecuador forum on July 29, 2014:
barbarasuderman initially posted:
I like my own company but this is ridiculous. I have been here in Cumbaya for oh about three weeks now--two days in hospital with ugly roto virus. I live in a house in what is a family gated estate. It was chosen because it offers a yard which is fenced for my three dogs --which just arrived--what a nightmare and oh so costly. And my cat. There is no TV yet and even though I speak enough Spanish to get by--I long for company of Canadians or Americans. Really. I didn't move here to be alone--rather quite the opposite. I feel a little sad and lonely. I don't ignore danger signs--I tend to act quickly if I I am unhappy. The lady who helped me originally here is busy now with a house guest friend from the US so is unavailable and I don't really have any other friends here --yet. I am outgoing and sociable and don't have any problem meeting people --when I fInd them. I need to make a move or else I will go nuts. Where I am staying feels a little too isolated for me--and it really is not terribly satisfactory. Lots of issues for 750 a month. One year lease and want to get out of it. There is a move afoot to consider moving to a farm outside Quito with this lady and her husband and other expats--a coupe and a single lady--like me--so far. I really wonder about that as most of me likes to be active. I like to dance, ride horses, read, talk, hike, swim, discover--in other words.--I am bored. If I move--I need a place that will take pets--three small little rescue dogs and a cat--I know--I know. Please someone out there--help--advice anything.
lindae replied on July 29, 2014 with:
JimMorris, my husband & I have lived here - in Manta - for 4 years now and absolutely LOVE it. But you are right - IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. You did the right thing by just visiting first to see if you might want to live here. It is a totally different way of living - simple - and simple is not for everyone. I hope you can find a new home some day that is a fit for you and you can be happy in.
jaymo replied on July 29, 2014 with:
I'd just like to say that my experience was the opposite of Jim Morris's. I don't know what his expectations were, but EC far exceeded my expectations & my wife's. First, while we haven't seen ALL of the USA, we've seen enough to know that you can meet great people and horrible people just about anywhere. The same is true of EC. We've also seen enough in the US (our native land) to be able to roll with whatever changes we come across. We landed in Guayaquil at about 11:30 pm, which meant we got through customs and out of the airport around midnight. I had reserved a room for us at a hotel about 1.5 km away. They said that they had an airport shuttle for $13 that would meet us there. Seemed like a stiff price for a mile, but there was no way we were going to try to haul ourselves and our luggage after midnight in a city that we had been warned about as far as personal safety. The shuttle was nowhere to be found; Lisa wanted me to call the hotel, but instead, I asked a cab driver how much to yyyy address. "For two and luggage?" he asked in Spanish. "4 dollars." I knew I was paying gringo prices, for a 1.5 km run, but after midnight, and a stranger in a strange land, and the fact that the hotel shuttle wanted 3 times that, it sounded like a bargain. The desk clerk was outside for a smoke when we drove up. He seemed all of 25, apologized profusely for miscommunication about the shuttle--it didn't run after midnight. The first surprise we got in the hotel room was the electricity saving scheme of putting the room key in the slot to turn the lights on. That the hall lights only turned on when we passed a proximity switch was not new: South Korea doesn't light anything interior that they don't have to--seems like it's mostly just the US that expects hall lights 24/7. Took us a couple of minutes to figure out the interior light scheme. When I did, I found that my pillow was already occupied by an insect made (in)famous by Franz Kafka. In parts of the southern US, they call these things Palmetto bugs, because if you called it a cockroach, too many northern travelers would freak out. I thought that might do in the trip as far as Lisa was concerned, but she reminded me of the motel on the outskirts of Beloit, WI where we paid almost the same amount as the place in Guayaquil for a flea infested place with soiled floors and stained linens. And a surfeit of fellow patrons who apparently were part of a highway road crew living there who were barbecuing on makeshift grills outside their rooms (outside entrances). WE hadn't had any luck arranging an executive van (as I think they're called) with Montanitatours or any of the other car services in GYE. If we knew how easy it was to travel by bus in EC, we'd have taken that way up the coast. As it turned out, we dealt with the desk clerk and the drivers who were loosely connected with the hotel. Montanitatours said it would be $80, but since we were idiot gringos (my description, not theirs) whose lack of familiarity with Ecuadorians party down on Carneval weekend, MT did not have a single car available. The hotel driver started at $120, saying that it would take 3-4 hours each way. I offered $90. We settled on $100, and 2 1/2 hours later we were at the destination. The dry coastal desert landscape was something we both enjoyed. It's not to everyone's taste. The driver got his $120 for the way he helped us find the lodge we were staying. The proprietors don't have a sign up yet (and may never do so for their own reasons) and they were 4km west enjoying a swim and ceviche at the beach restaurant in Manglaralto. We knew we had found the right place by some of the signs on a building at the property. The proprietress was there about half an hour after we arrived--and right around the time we said we'd be there. Given the reputation for Ecuador People's Time, we thought that was right on time. We had a great four days there--the only big screw up was on our behalf. We walked up the beach to Montanita (as we had done the other couple of days) to buy a bus ticket to GYE for Tuesday. We weren't hip to some of the idiosyncrasies of sales offices in EC. Sunday night, when we were in Montanita, there was a guy on the corner across from Montanitatours who was selling tickets for travel Monday, as far as I could gather. So, Monday, which seemed to be the height of the celebrations in Montanita, we expected to see the same guy out there. Nope. So we asked where they sold bus tickets and followed those directions. Mind you, it's about 3:30 pm. The little ticket office is closed. The sign says that they have sold all the tickets for Tuesday. Apparently, when they've sold out, they close. Again, a minor rub if you're rolling with the changes, but a major dislocation if you expect things to run YOUR way. We decided to get something to eat, and settled for a kinda touristy pizza place. It wasn't terrible, and paying the restaurant prices ($1.50) for the $1 Pilseners was hardly a shock. Our college town charges $3 for a 12 oz Pabst Blue Ribbon longneck. Being from the upper midwest, we were not used to how fast it gets dark 1 degree below the equator. WE went to the main road trying to snag a taxi back to Manglaralto. NFW, absolutely NFW. One of the cab companies a block west of the Ruta Spondylus was open, but the guy at the desk looked like he was having the same conversation with everyone lining up in front of his desk. With me, he allowed me to stumble in Spanish, haltingly asking if it would be possible....and he held up a hand and started with "Me desespero decirte..." Not getting it, I said "Lo siento," and he replied, smiling, thinking I DID get it "Si, si! Lo siento mucho!" Aha, no taxis. This was the low point of our trip. We walked all the way back to our lodge, situated about 2 km west of Dos Mangas, and 4 km east of Manglaralto. Lisa was pretty much freaked out that one of the caballeros (in the cowboy sense of the word) was going to splatter us all over the side of the (mostly) unlit road. I felt a little better on the Ruta, because there was a lot of traffic and some lights in Montanita and Manglaralto. Once we turned onto the Via Dos Mangas, there were only the lights of the heavens. We did see what we would call a jitney shuttling between Manglaralto and Dos Mangas, but they were full each time. A few other vehicles went past, but we never felt in danger of getting hit, mostly because between the potholes and the home-made speed bumps, no one was going very fast. After that long winded wind up, what happened next was profuse apologies from our hosts--they would have come to Montanita to pick us up. Not idle talk, they meant it. We stayed an unplanned day with them the next day--on them, though we offered to pay. I didn't know what the etiquette was for that situation. Lisa thought we should leave the cash in the room. Instead, I left them the bottle of Maker's Mark I had picked up in duty-free. They drove us to catch the bus on the Ruta, and I got a call when she got back to the lodge, saying that the American Bourbon was the best gift I could have left along with profuse assurances that it was too much, we had not owed them anything. Yes, we saw a lot of people who were poor in terms of money, but every one we met in the tiny comune of Dos Mangas was rich in so many other ways. We wound up having less time than we planned in Cuenca, but our time there was damn near magical, too. Yes, I know, the rose tinted glasses of optimism. Other than the screw up that was my fault, we really didn't run into any curmudgeons there. The closest was the taxi driver who we engaged at the Terminal Terrestre in Cuenca. I was kinda tired and neglected to greet him before asking how much the cab would cost. I could tell that I came across as a boorish Norte Americano. By the time we got to our hostal, he had warmed up. I hope JimMorris finds the place he is looking for, but I kinda doubt it. If you aren't happy in general, the minor irritations become big ones in a hurry.
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realfortin replied to the thread Tips for first scouting trip on the Ecuador Welcome Forum forum on July 29, 2014:
sherij initially posted:
Hello all, Hope your not tired of redundant questions. So we will be arriving in Cuenca around Sept 5 till only Sept 14. This will be our first trip to start researching about hopefully retiring to Cuenca in mid 2015. Any tips you can send our way about what not to miss, what areas we shouldn't think about living in (all cities have those) even basics like daily dress for rain, temp etc. I think I read they frown on wearing shorts? As far as recommendations on areas to live the only thing I know is that we do not wish to reside in a large apartment building. Maybe even some restaurants where we can meet some locals who like to visit and share. Thanks for any help you might share.
realfortin replied on July 29, 2014 with:
I would be very interested in the details of this tour bus for relocators.
davnleo replied on July 29, 2014 with:
Sherij - We spent two weeks in Ecuador in February and thoroughly enjoyed it. And I noticed someone suggested you take a tour on the big Pink Bus. We scheduled a personal tour through miotours and it was far better than we could imagine. It only cost $12 and it was 8 hours long. Our driver was Ecuador born, but had lived in New York City for 25 years. His name was Ephraim. He told us he could give us two possible tours: One for tourists and the other for people that were thinking of relocating. We took the latter. It was just the two of us and the driver and we went sooo many places that the "big pink bus" could never go. And for $12? What can I say?
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AfghanistanMex replied to the thread Austrians/Germans on the Ecuador Welcome Forum forum on July 28, 2014:
AfghanistanMex initially posted:
Ola, any Austrians or Germans living in the Montanita area? Thanks, MEX
AfghanistanMex replied on July 28, 2014 with:
Thanks Susan, will do.
OceanHideaway replied on July 26, 2014 with:
Always! Wander ask Donde estan los Deutchen? I suggest Hola Ola...welljust because I happen to hangthere when I am in town,they have good music and if you don´t find the folks you are looking for you will find other folks to hang with1 By the way different times of year have different crowds from different parts of the world... so if there are not a lot of folks from part of the world...wait a month and check again. The tourism and tour agencies know when the crowds tend to come in so you may want to wander over to Montanitours over on the crossroads of the tw main streets. Claudia there speeks English and she should be able to help you find some folks to. And yes you can tell her Susan sent you...
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realfortin replied to the thread Helping Kids In Ecuador...latest success story on the Ecuador Welcome Forum forum on July 28, 2014:
OceanHideaway initially posted:
Sharing the latest success story... from the coast :)
realfortin replied on July 28, 2014 with:
Thanks for sharing. I'd love to hear more stories from expats helping locals in need.
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02BeTraveling replied to the thread PenPal (Email) in Cuenca on the Ecuador Welcome Forum forum on July 28, 2014:
DanBowen initially posted:
I plan to relocate to Cuenca, Ecuador within the next year or so. I would like to have someone willing to answer questions that I might have. (Questions from my MIL and wife as well) I have and will continue to read the web and blogs for info but having someone who is patient and lives in Cuenca is something I am looking for. I would hope that I could establish a friendship that I could continue after arrival if both parties agreed.
02BeTraveling replied on July 28, 2014 with:
DanBowen..... Drop me a line to my email and we PM each other.I'd be happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability. Bruce
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twohorses posted Bahia on the Ecuador forum on July 28, 2014:
Does anyone live there? What is the down side? Is it loud as I have read about so many of Ecuadorian areas?
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