Monthly Archives: October 2011

New social networking venue on the block… from Ecuador!

Socializing when overseas

"making friends in Latinoamerica"

Mission… Developing relationships is a core part of who we are, and we’re inspired to deliver a great online socializing solution. Help great people of all kinds find each other.
Why not join the party? Are you interested in finding new overseas contacts? Post yourself here and connect your friends to this network so they can make real comments about you. From here you will be able to connect through to their real online social networks.
I am starting here from Ecuador, South America, there is a large group of Latin women who would love to make friends overseas. Hurry and invite your friends …

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Ecuador´s diversity, retire and live overseas while respecting local nature and a multicultural ethnics.

Ecuador is a multiethnic nation-state, my purpose today is to provide you with a close up of the rich multicultural side in this latitude. I will also try to show you different views about ethnics in this small country and the Hispanic culture, the good and the not so good issues their culture have.

Hopefully, I will provide you with proper information needed when you start making your selection: Is Ecuador an option for you to live or retire? or maybe check other options of where to retire or live overseas.

Lately Ecuador has become one of the best options for people that want a cheap and affordable place to retire or move overseas for a new life. It is a wonderful small country, it takes a bit of going with the flow and opening up our senses to be able to adapt and learn Ecuadorian´s cultural traditions.

A bit of Hispanic history.-

The past 12 of October (or the nearest Monday to it) is traditionally celebrated throughout the Americas as the day Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.

In English speaking countries, the day is celebrated as Columbus Day or Native American Day.

In Spanish speaking countries and communities, it is known as Día de la Raza, the Day of the Race.

Día de la Raza is the celebration of the Hispanic heritage of Latin America and brings into it all the ethnic and cultural influences making it distinctive.

Controversies have developed around this holiday in recent years. Some people oppose Columbus Day, claiming his achievements are not worthy of a holiday. He did not, in fact “discover” America, since the land was already inhabited, and the Vikings had explored the North American coast 500 years earlier.

There is also controversy surrounding the treatment of the native people of the Americas by Columbus and by Spanish conquistadors, and some people view the holiday as a celebration of conquest and genocide by the Spaniards. In its place, some people celebrate “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Now, 500 plus years later, we recall his deeds and celebrate not Columbus the man, but the actions and influences of all the people who came after him, who melded their European culture with the indigenous cultures and, with difficulty, blood and years of battle, misunderstandings and treachery, have created the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society we now celebrate with the Día de la Raza.

Is ECUADOR multicultural tolerant today?

After Canada had nurtured my identity in a warm society where humans are acknowledged and accepted no matter how they look like, my embracing for so many years of this “social consciousness” came to a halt. The real Latin Culture immersion showed me the social unconformities they live by. This sprang in me a unique desire to finds ways that will contribute towards a more equal society in this morally base Latin World.

Every day that goes by in Ecuador is a reminder for me to celebrate and embrace the Latino culture and the trailblazers who have paved the way for respect and inclusion. Ecuador possesses great ethnic, racial and linguistic diversity.  It is populated by more than twelve indigenous peoples, each with their own language, and Afro-Ecuadorian and mestizo populations. All these diverse ethnics have added great moral and family values to society in Ecuador today.

I also have to say that there is a lot of room for improvement. Remember, this is an emerging economy which also means that their society has to go through changes. They do have an advantage over developed nations, if they decide to learn from previous social mistakes and experiences. Here is where international travelers, overseas retirees or foreigners living in Ecuador could contribute with knowledge and expertise to local communities.

Ecuadorian society is in large magnitude fragmented. The separation in distinct social classes runs mostly along racial lines.

The dominant populace is descended primarily from Spanish colonists and settlers and to a lesser extent from German, Italian, and Lebanese. This is around 10% of the population mostly white upper class. They live very well in the upper echelons of the society and identify themselves more with a foreigner than with his own countrymen.

Part of the history of this country reflects the white or Spanish ruling and the Indians and Mestizos serving them. They consider them generally lazy and uneducated and the main obstacle why the country is not advancing. Ecuadorians point to a country like Argentina and believe that the reason they are better off is because of their low level of indigenous people.

This upper class lives very well and sends their children to the best private schools and later on often to foreign universities. This group later then takes over the power from their parents and makes up the majority of the political and economic leadership of the country, thinking mostly in their own well being and not the country as a whole.

Ecuador has a smaller middle class, around 25%, also partly white and partly of mixed blood Mestizo, who are the link between the two extremes. They tend, of course, to associate themselves much more with the white upper class as they strive of being part of it. Some of them to the extreme of denying their Indian heritage completely. They may even get insulted if you ever suggest that they have Indian blood in them.

Remember this is no the standard middle class known to North America. Their needs are more in the line of basic services; they do not have the advance education and knowledge which inhibits the people to fight against their desired ideal.  Actual Politicians manipulate this middle class to their advantage, they will misuse their wish to be considered part of the white upper class. This group constitutes the majority of people who leave the country to look for job opportunities overseas. More than half a million Ecuadorians work now legally or illegally in foreign countries.

The poor Indian class certainly does not deny their heritage anymore and seem to get prouder of it every day.  The largest part of the population, mostly mixed, indigenous and black people, who live around the poverty line.

After a long slumber, they start to become a political and social force in the country, fighting the historical injustices done to them. The last events, e.g. the expulsion of the last president in 1999, where they played an important part, indicate their newfound confidence and right to fight for their well being. But of course, it has also the effect of alienating against other segments of the society, who consider their actions counterproductive and so widening the gap between them even further.

Ecuadorians are slowly realizing they have to brake away from the vicious cycle of mistrust between the various groups with each of them having their own way of thinking and doing things. They will have to educate themselves to feel as part of a bigger good and striving for the same ideals.

The actual president, to my humble opinion, it is a reflection of those approaching changes. I am not an expertise in Political Science, but base on my experiences Mr. President Rafael Correa is the result of the pressure that the middle and poor class have had so far. If he is the correct choice or not, I am not the one to clarify it, my conclusion would be that it is a good starting point. They still have a long way to evolve through their policies in the years to come.

One thing is for sure the upper class has to come with the acceptance of the new trend of social involvement, which is also evident in other South American countries, they will continue with more and more indigenous leaders entering the political arena, and activists starting grassroots movements and organizing their people, they will constitute a considerable percentage of the population (in some opinions up to 40%) and therefore hold important electoral power.

 

Diversity of race on the children of Ecuador

 

 Sources:

www.nclr.org (National Council La Raza)

www.mit.edu (MIT)

www.everyculture.com

www.americanthinker.com

www.en.wikipedia.org

 

Sports and entertainment in Ecuador

I will share with you today part of the activities that we had last holiday weekend in Guayaquil, Ecuador; I believe images will express it a lo more than words.

World Cup 2014 Qualifiers Ecuador vs Venezuela 07-10-2011

Note:  It hasn´t been difficult to addapt, I love hockey and here in tropical land, I learned to love soccer.

And for those who might like to join me on this past time, some friends are planning on going to Brazil for the world cup 2014.. check this out..

 

Hope you enjoy it!

 

ECUADOR and Latin America, do we know why they have done better during our on going crisis?

The actual performance of the region’s economies is surprisingly strong particularly when compared to past crises. China’s sustained demand for the commodity exports of the region and the timely monetary action of the IMF liquidity provisions, are two external factors that are undoubtedly part of the explanation.

However, internal factors played a major role too including greater macro policy resilience and the financial sector reforms in most countries over the last decade. One over looked factor is the contribution middle class consumption has done to the region; Latin America middle class is not the stereo typical one, they will be closer to poverty class in standard societies, and they also have limit access to aggregate demands that will condition micro economic growth, therefore domestic demands have allow this economies resilient to global crisis.

Future challenges will be: to secure domestic financial development against political pressures for short-term gains, to pressure the local financial sector as a market player while maintaining sound lending practices, and to adopt real government policies to sustained macroeconomic stability.

As for our self, if we are looking for new horizons to develop careers or retire while still contribute to society; this country will be a great opportunity to put in action collaborative strategies for development.  A good starting point to contribute to real wealth and welfare should include strong education systems and investments in order to organize economics and promote better incomes distribution. Let´s make a better world for our next generations.

I will like to invite you to watch the following video

 

Business opportunities and potential in Ecuador, UK is targeting the city of Guayaquil.

There are a lot of things going on in Guayaquil these days. Lately, I have been trying to catch up with all the business and social meetings all at the same time. My challenge is to keep up with the local paste to provide you with accurate information.

One good side of this “on the go” is learning the art of mixing business with pleasure. The smart and fun part of living and working in this small part of the world is realizing that Ecuadorians, especially people from Guayaquil love to entertain and socialize while doing great business deals.

After this cultural introduction let me tell you the latest news in this place…

UK sees the city of Guayaquil as a market potential for investment and trade.
Mr. Tony Lamb, Head of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) for Latin America, was in Ecuador 12 – 14 September to define UKTI’s operation in Ecuador and assess the market’s potential.

Guayaquil as part of his itinerary, and he meet with British business representatives settled in this city. Through the meeting, he found out that they are expanding and doing well in their business. Examples of some of those are Unilever and SAB Miller.

Mr. Lamb came to the conclusion of needing a greater presence in this part of the country. UK aims to increase its investments in Ecuador and will make more inroads in the market for Guayaquil.   Once in London, he will communicate to my authorities on the need to shift our resources from Quito to this city. Mr. Lamb also mentioned that UK Embassy colleagues agree that there are several business opportunities to explore here, at this new branch, they want to open new market opportunities for bilateral trade.

Such a great news for all of us that are investing in Ecuador, perfect timing and another good reason to add to the “Fiestas Octubrinas”. The city of Guayaquil – “La perla del Pacifico” is celebrating its independence day next Sunday the 9th.

There are a lot of cultural and social events this weekend. In my plans, I am starting the afternoon watching the soccer game as part of the selecting period for the “2014 World Cup in Brazil”, we will meet with friends for ceviche and beer. Later in the evening we all are going for some Salsa to the Duran Fair. Tomorrow I will visit the out door plazas with local painters exhibitions and shows, and Sunday on my way to Playas: biking, eating fresh seafood, and I must include a bit of work by visiting one of our on going projects to gather pictures for my clients overseas.

If you will like to know more about the local activities please watch the video and follow their link.

Steve Jobs, the iconic and visionary founder of Apple

A true entrepreneurial icon, a life cut short, died on Wednesday. He was 56. RIP Steve Jobs, you will continue to be an inspiration to us all.

There are so many things to say about Jobs and his companies, most notably Apple. The one thing to add beyond technological and business insights is respect for the incredible marketing machine Jobs built. From packaging and storefront design to masterful multichannel product launches and tense excitement by tightly managed PR, Apple demonstrated best practices in many areas of marketing.

Throughout the years, he’s not only changed our lives with innovative products, but also with memorable words.

Many tweeted quotes from Jobs, such as “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” and “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Both are taken from Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford where he talks about death and the lessons he learned after being diagnosed with cancer.

Please watch a real inspiring speech.

Showing a bit more of Ecuador…

First working day of the month of October and by reading most of my friends and colleagues e-mails, I am realizing that weather change is approaching. It is getting cooler up north, and we are getting warmer here in our tropical Coastal Ecuador.

I use to enjoy and welcome fall and winter, it meant slowing down, looking intro perspective, and start building and planning my next steps in life. But also, this reminds me one of the main reasons to be living in Ecuador with this nice hot warm weather.

Around the year 2000, when I was developing my professional path in USA and Latin America, some health issues interrupted all my wonderful working and travelling plans.

Within all the travelling options, one was to visit family in Ecuador. Once on my trip, I ended up checking the local health and medical resources because of a severe pain crisis (spinal discs problems). I was basically pain managing for a couple of years but came to that point that I needed surgery.

Let´s make this story short, it was my second back surgery, I had already one done in Canada with success. So without even thinking or making my health a priority in my future plans, I review all the options and opted for the best ones at that specific moment:

1.- My medical expenses were covered here in Ecuador by my insurance policy

2.- I could opt for top level doctors and hospital beds, since the rates were lower here in Ecuador.

3.- All international insurance companies have local referrals that are practitioners who have done their studies in USA or Europe, even award winners professionals.

4.- Since I was covering expenses directly, I did not have to wait on line for tests or MRIs.

5.- I could set up myself in a nice upper scale condo with house help for less than 1.000 US. (I need 3 months at least to be able to drive again)

I had the surgery by a recognized worldwide surgeon, a nice recovering period, fresh home made food and care, and I was keeping up with my pending working projects and connected to the world by the internet.

Maybe this is not an option for everybody, still you could always research medical options overseas. There are online medical referrals to consult your options even here in Ecuador.

I will leave you with some nice pictures of some of my personal adventures here in Ecuador. I was asked by one of my readers if the posted pictures are original, I would say mostly they are. At times, some pictures are from other sources which may narrow the certainty of their originality.

P.S. Due to my health issues cold weather doesn´t agree with me,  and in Ecuador, I am able to afford on going therapy and massages plus attend exercise classes like yoga and Pilates to manage my health as I am aging.

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Another great candidate for retiring, the Dominican Republic

There’s no shortage of wonderful locations in which you can retire in various parts of the world. It may be a good idea to take a look at the Dominican Republic and see what this region has to offer.

This is a region that is a feast for the eyes, with beautiful beaches, clear water, a wonderfully breezy environment and a lot more. But the reason why it is so popular is because it’s a place where you can live very comfortably for as little as $2,000 or even less.

Although people in the Dominican Republic seem to earn less money, amazingly they are able to live much better, and the pace of their lives is calm and unhurried than people in the United States. Why is that? Because the cost of living in the United States is astronomical compared to the cost of living in the Dominican Republic. Add to this the fact that on top of all the privileges you have living in this country, you can actually get 18% interest on your bank account – tax free! Who could ask for more?

There’s no doubt about it, Dominicans are in the enviable position of being able to live life to the hilt. Remember, your dollar investments here are earning high rates of interest, all of which is tax-free. This is a country that has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. And then, take a look at health care facilities here. You won’t be disappointed – they are as modern as you need them to be.

You may argue that there are other places in the Caribbean that are just as appealing. True enough, but the scope of the Dominican Republic for both the investor and the retired person remain unmatched.

Just wait! In few more days we will show you the best property options at this wonderfull destination, take a look in this video, and you will follow in love right away..

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