from tropical to arid to highland glacier is found in Ecuador, with
elevations ranging from sea level to high in the chain of the Andes Mountains.
You can pick the weather you like the most just by picking an elevation.
For example, we chose 6000 feet. At this elevation the weather remains
between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
There is a
rainy and a dry season. In the rainy season, it may rain for several days
at a time and be a bit. Then there is the dry season and windy at times.
There may be up to three months with no rain. If you like it
hotter or colder, it can go as high as 90 degrees and as low as 40 degrees
all within a few hours drive.
To us the most
important reason for being in Ecuador is the people. There are many very
nice people who have offered their help without asking or expecting anything
in return; they just keep on giving unselfishly.
When we first
got to Loja, we were introduced to a couple in their thirties. They helped
us on a daily basis for months. When we needed to buy something, they were
there to take us to the stores; when we asked for a hotel, they said you
can stay here with us; when we were in town and asked for directions to
a restaurant, they said come eat at our home. At one time, we were between
hotel living and purchasing our own property and needed a place to stay
for a month. One of our neighbors found out and came and said here are
the keys to our new house we just built, you can stay for as long as you
need to. So we did.
Later, we decided
to move to Loja while we looked for our Intentional Community. Out
of friendship, two ladies took us all over the city until we found a place.
When we needed an Internet account, the brother of one of these same ladies
offered his. Now keep in mind that this required a great amount of his
trust in us. His Internet account costs $2.00 per hour, which we
had to keep track of and pay him. Trust can not be bought in Ecuador.
example of a friendship we’ve made is with a couple in there sixties; they
have a son with his wife and their children. We were new in the area and
wanted to buy land. They made sure all of our negotiations went smoothly.
In fact, one of them negotiated the purchase agreement for us. They gave
us keys to one of their homes, which we occasionally used; they made sure
we were always invited to all their family affairs (reunions, parties/etc.).
They are always there when we need them. To them, we have become members
of their family, and to us they are like family; when we go to their home,
we feel it is our home.
When the banking
and financial problem happened in Ecuador, we got credit at approximately
six retail stores; this without even applying. Many of these people have
become friends; many of then have invited us into their homes for lunch,
There is a
veterinarian doctor, a highly educated person, who has managed to complete
a doctorate degree in medicine (eight plus years in the university)
his early twenties. When it comes to stimulating conversation, there are
few that can top this fellow. He introduced us to a para-psychologist that
is perhaps one of the most highly educated people we have ever met. We
have spent many hours in long stimulating conversations. Another person
that we have become very close friends with is an attorney. We have spent
many days sharing knowledge with this good friend. He has introduced us
to many other interesting people, such as three generals, several colonels,
numerous other top government officials, and private executives.
go to Quito, we stay with our Ecuadorian friends. Talk about hospitality!
It is so generous that at times it becomes a bit annoying. For example,
it is assumed that if you are staying in their home, you will be having
dinner with them. Therefore, if you go out to have dinner thinking on not
imposing, you are in trouble.
Here is yet
another great experience we had. One day, while the banking problem was
taking place, we were very concerned that we had almost no cash at all
and over 40 workers on our pay roll. Basically, we were going to be broke
for a month until we could find a solution to our financial problem. Here
came a fellow neighbor who introduced us to a chemical engineer who specializes
in mining, we started talking and within an hour he says asks if there
is something bothering us. We told him that we were being pressured to
letting go all our workers or seek a short-term loan. The banks were closed.
He loaned us all the money we needed. We are about to become business partners.
The list is
much longer, these are only about half the stories, part of the other half
is from foreigners that have relocated here for the same reasons. We
know people from Italy, USA, France, Canada, Uruguay, Germany, Austria,
Mexico, Peru, and Holland.
have a bad day, which have been very few, we think about these people and
they bring smiles to our faces. We know that this is just the beginning,
and why we are living here. We have no desire to be anywhere else. In fact,
if we had all the money in the world, we would probable stay right here.
Where else would we find such good friends.
The more we
search this subject the more we like what is available. Over all, we are
of the opinion that education in almost all the schools in the world leave
a lot to be desired, and Ecuador is no different. However, when it comes
to universities, we must tell you that Ecuador has a very nice one in Loja.
It is called “Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja.” We have been
there a few times, and we must say it is nothing like what we expected.
This university is quite modern, with the latest in equipment and R&D.
The computer department for example is up to date with the latest.
This is not
your average university. Here, a student has to work, not just study.
Each department is run like a company. Ninety percent of the students’
education is financed by these student run operations. An alternative school
is available near us for small children, it is owned by a French couple,
they do an excellent job teaching children ages 4-10.
was technology that could measure happiness, we are willing to bet
that people here are much happier than most people in the industrialized
world. No, most do not have large screen TVs, or cars, or refrigerators,
but we can tell you that most do have genuine smiles on their faces, something
that we know most North Americans do not have.