Ecuador Expat Forum - Pros and Cons

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Silverwater
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3/1/2011 11:07    
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I thought it might be informative if those of us living in Ecuador already talked about the pros and cons of the cities they are living in. That way people who are thinking of moving here can see what areas might have the things they are interested in and also what things they do not want to live with. I'll start with my city.
Guayaquil:
Pros:
Lots of jobs for English speakers
Good medical care, available throughout the city
Lots to do, cultural activities like museums, concerts, parks, the Malecon
Easy to travel from here to other places
Great cultural mix, many people from other countries
Government offices for foreigners are located here
A US consulate, and the consulates from many other countries are here also
Reliable and affordable public transportation
Cheap housing prices
Cheap prices for most food
Friendly people

Cons:
High crime rate
Its hot/humid
Some parts of the city are dirty.
Long waits at government offices
People are not punctual
High prices for electronic items

bokito
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3/1/2011 12:37    
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Hmmm. i live in this city now for 1 year.I believe some of the cons could very well apply to all other parts of Ecuador.

-not punctual,in which part of Ecuador they are?

-long wait,no,did the whole thing visa,obtaining Ec.nationality etc myself.The wait is like in any place.Sometimes your lucky and away in 10 min and sometimes you got bad luck.The longest was for about 3 hours when the actually handed over the paper saying i was now Ecuadorian.In general you come,wait 10 min.and your out.

-the temperature only gets hot from half of december till half of april.All the other months are great.About 20gr/c night-26gr/c day.

prices for your laptop etc are high in every part of Ecuador.You buy them in your home-country.There cheaper there(import-tax)

LiliyaBykova
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3/1/2011 12:39    
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http://dayinquito.blogspot.com/2011/02/expat-life-in-quito-vs-expat-life-in.html

p.s. We love Quito!!!

vandtor
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3/1/2011 15:03    
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Ambato

pros

No expat poplulation

one mall, 2 Supermaxi supermarkets, 1 movie theatre

Most taxi rides are less than $3, buses are reliable, interprovincial buses to all other points in the country are available at the terminal terrestre

3 small parks and 1 big, all inclusive park

go carts and paintball complex

the central markets have just been remodeled
limited fine dining although the llapingachos from the central market are awesome

2 soccer teams which both play in the same stadium
1 bullfighting arena which doubles as a concert venue

cons

Crime is comparable to most Ecuadorean cities but there are particular areas to avoid, auto theft is high

higher parts of the city can have water pressure problems

Temperature is moderate during the day, t-shirt & light jacket, but cold at night (several blankets), this can vary depending on what part of the city as the main part sits in a bowl but the there are many other parts at higher elevations
medical care is spotty, but Quito is 3 hours away

limited cultural opportunities but has one of the best Carnivals with Las fiestas de las frutas y flores

same problems with lines and promptness

Silverwater
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3/1/2011 15:04    
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I think it can be hot and humid most times of the year. I have six years here, and three o'clock in the afternoon. I personally like heat and humidity because Michigan where I am from gets very hot and humid in the summer and I am used to it, but people from places where the heat is more dry, like California, or Arizona have a more difficult time adapting to it. And people from cooler climates may find Guayaquil to be hot year round. Ive been here six years, and I've seen very hot days all year round. This past year seems to be a bit cooler and wetter than I've experienced thus far...some have said its because of El Nino. I dont know

ElvisNYC
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3/2/2011 10:24    
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Pros

Lots of jobs for English speakers
Friendly people
Reliable, plentiful transportation options
Many cultural events and concerts
Lots of good restaurants
Great pizza similar to US Pizza Pulcinella
Vendors know me and give me great service
US theme restaurants to watch baseball or football
Malls
Lots of good schools
Barcelona !
Cheap
We have a beautiful city which is growing and I'm happy to live here !

Cons

No beach
Crime
I hate the layout of certain streets around where I live and it's not pedestrian friendly.
Heat - yeah, sometimes I hate it when it's 90F+

OceanHideaway
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3/2/2011 22:47    
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ElvisNYC ~

I laughed when you mentioned in your Pros: BARCELONA! For those not yet here, that would be the Barcelona Soccer Club ~ the mechanica bananas -- bananas because they wear the yellow jerseys. And if you don't know what I mean by "yellow jerseys" -- well that IS the national costume of Ecuador!

Okay ~ living here in a small town outside Salinas (Anconcito)

PROS:

Tranquil, serene and quiet with the sound of the ocean in the background

CONS:
For some folks, just too damn serene and (honest we've had this complaint) the ocean is too loud!

PROS:
Best seafood in the world

CONS:
Some folks don't like fish and other seafood -- no worries, the chicken great, the beef while not as tender as USA is flavorful and much lower in fat, and the pork that we buy is delicious (and from healthy sources)...oh and we have great goat too!

PROS:
Near to Salinas for fun, frolick, dancing, drinking, water sports that need a quiet bay, casinos, and a large and vital ex-pat community.

CONS:
20 minute drive to Salinas and hard to get a taxi back late at night unless you make plans with our driver to pick you up -- or head over to Will's bar at Hostal Aqui for him to locate a driver for you.

PROS:
Right on the beach -- no street to cross -- and the local folks from Anconcito are usually the only folks on the beach and are delightful and welcoming people.

CONS:
We do have a plastics problem -- although we have made major headway in cleaning up our beach more comes in on the tides and it is a constant struggle.

PROS:
Paseo Mall is 15 minutes from us and you can find SuperCines there, Hypermart (think Walmart) with a hardware store, food store, clothing and housewares, and our version of Toys R Us.

CONS:
Some things are more expensive at the Mall and you will find better prices in La Libertad. Shopping in la Libertad is different than the Mall and definitely an adventure the first few times you go. We try to send folks there with one of our drivers (Miguel or Marcelo) and they can steer you where you need to go -- and also let you in on some of the best local food you will eat. Yes... I know where the best encebollada can be found in Libertad...and I MIGHT share it if you ask nicely!

Susan
TheOceanHideaway.com

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