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These are just observations gathered from a number of people, not necessarily all my own, and not judgments about the country, its people, or its culture.

  • Long lines in banks to cash a check or make a deposit.
  • Stores, taxi drivers, and  banks not having change.
  • Lack of sanitation and trash collection in many areas.
  • Ubiquitous hazards walking down the street such as open holes in the sidewalk, pieces of steel or unfinished rebar sticking up, uneven sidewalks, excrement.
  • Disregard for the environment i.e. littering from car/bus windows.
  • Public urination by males nearly anywhere, in full view of others.
  • Lack of street signs and lighting, especially outside of major urban centers.
  • Major streets/roads in poor condition with potholes, dirt, and other obstacles ubiquitous.
  • Lack of civility and disrespect for the law by most drivers-i.e. you will be cut off by drivers without any signal whatsoever, disregard for stop signs and red lights, honking from cars 5 behind you or more the second a light turns green, bus drivers who drive like they are the only one on the road.
  • For businesses, if you sell B to B, you will be paid Fridays between 3 and 4:30 pm only, and you have to go pick up the check.
  • No mail for official business or anything regarding financial transactions.
  • Little use of electronic transfers for payments.
  • Slow and erratic internet connections, at high cost.
  • Unannounced cut-off of water or power, usually for hours at a time.
  • Loud salsa/merengue/rock or other music from storefronts, totally unregulated.
  • Vehicular advertising using loudspeakers and very loud music.
  • Next door neighbors partying until the wee hours at loud volume and there’s nothing you can do about it.
  • Lack of variety, selection in stores.
  • Almost total absence of effective policing. Police are mainly figureheads, and objects of scorn and the butt of jokes by Ecuadorians.
  • If you are injured and unconscious in a car crash, you may be robbed and picked over before you are offered help. I have never seen this happen but have heard of it and been warned about it by Ecuadorians.
  • Absence of EMS and emergency services except for select urban areas.
  • No dynamic real estate market or statistics for pricing-making pricing a shot in the dark for many transactions.
  • Insecure property rights due to lack of clear titles on rural land; squatter’s right’s often prevail if you don’t keep them off according to locals.

I´ll try and cover these as best as I can in detail in future posts and explain the who, what, where, when and why behind these observations.

  • tracey brown

    You forgot:
    -Young children wandering around (often carrying younger siblings) unsupervised, often selling cigarettes or candy.
    -free roaming dogs, with no collar or tags
    -high cement walls around homes, topped with shards of glass
    -if you are a woman, expect to be whistled at and hear cat-calls as you walk down the street

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Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>


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