Ecuador’s progressive, even if oft misunderstood, President Correa has recently launched yet another vibrant economic development project. This time he applied his Master’s Degree in Economics, from the University of Illinois, to the technology sector, drawing his inspiration from both Silicon Valley, in California, and the Research Triangle of North Carolina. The exciting new vision has been dubbed, “ Yachay – City of Knowledge ”.
The Yachay project, slated to be nestled in the fertile valley of Urcuqui, is intended to create an entire city, dedicated to the long-term exportation of knowledge and technology, on a global scale. Yachay is a Quechua (Inca descendants) word meaning “The utilization of knowledge, with wisdom”. Certainly one could argue that President Correa’s vision certainly is a wise application of knowledge, as this could well be Ecuador’s most ambitious and forward-looking economic development project to date.
The vision is of an integrated city, which blends the best education environment, within a high-tech campus setting, along with the economic means of production to foster the development, implementation and exportation of the high-tech initiatives produced at Yachay. A symbiotic techno-sphere, if you will, aimed at educating, cultivating and manufacturing products for the technology era. The perfect diversification tool, to move Ecuador away from its heavy reliance on the oil industry, as well as fishing and agriculture. President Correa seeks to diversify the Ecuadorian economy, focusing on tourism and high-tech, as two core components essential in orchestrating the perfect capitalist expansion plan. While the project remains at its infancy and in need of extensive funding, it is a well-planned and well conceived initiative, strongly capable of further enhancing Ecuador’s core economic development potential. Expertise in many fields is required to turn Yachay into a reality. The obvious sectors of education professionals and high-tech specialists are high on the list of required skill sets at Yachay. In fact, an ongoing volunteer program, complete with stipends, exists to lay the basic groundwork for Yachay. However, maybe less obvious, the financial sector has a great opportunity to “mine gold” for a second time. If funding sources felt left out of the Silicon Valley (USA) explosion, especially at the early stages, opportunity has come knocking a rare second time. Nestled in the bosom of the South America growth explosion, the Yachay Project stands ready to feed the high-tech needs of a dynamically growing South America region, for generations to come. However, there remains an even more promising and less obvious opportunity. Reserved for rare moments, like raising Las Vegas, literally, out of desert sand and dirt, many were equally skeptical of the success that awaited Silicon Valley. Sitting in a not too attractive location, with little but a dream and a promise, obscure Silicon Valley real estate values soared, right along with the success of the high-tech initiatives, which proliferated from the early vision. The Yachay valley offers similar virgin real estate investment opportunities, against an already much more attractive backdrop. An entire city of knowledge will require housing, support services and commercial locales. The town of Urcuqui, in its current iteration, is ill-equipped to handle this imminent growth. Possessing a current population of less than 16,000 inhabitants, it is currently a sleepy agricultural hamlet. Land values reflect this sleepy agrarian history, even with the Yachay news now fully in the media. However, this situation will not last for long, as the actual project site begins to evolve. Urcuqui has several advantages to offer the erstwhile, “boots on the ground”, pioneering real estate investor. For one, it offers some stunning scenic beauty. From its rolling foothills, to the beautiful Cascada de la Virgen (Cascade of the Virgin Mary) waterfalls, to sections of the surrounding territory that can only be described as “jungle-like” in setting. All this natural beauty, however, is even further enhanced by Urcuqui’s excellent strategic location. This tranquil town, poised to erupt economically, sits only 82 kms (51 miles) from Quito, the capitol city of Ecuador. Contemplate that for one moment. An exciting and innovative project, modeled after the success of Silicon Valley, sitting on rugged and pristine land, with excellent pricing valuations, all barely 50 miles from the heart of Quito! If anyone just has an interest in learning more about the Yachay – City of Knowledge Project, or if you want to become more intimately involved with the evolution of this high-tech community, please contact me at, Hector G. Quintana, HGQ@ecuador.escapeartist.com or at my global telephone number, +1.786.220.4987. I can place you in contact with numerous knowledgeable government and private sector individuals, actively working to make this project an immediate success. If you are interested in exploring the real estate investment opportunities, both of a residential and commercial nature, I can personally assist you with any information you seek and some choice investment opportunities to consider.