Ecuador & The Importance of Place

by | Feb 22, 2010 | Archives

When choosing a new home, full or part time… the last few miles… even the last few yards and feet can be hugely significant.

A reader sent this comment about the importance of place in Ecuador… or anywhere actually.

Hi Gary, I read your newsletters every day.  Thank you.   Having read your article regarding the FARC in Ecuador it boils my blood to read about people making false judgment about a part of the world they know nothing about.

The same can be said for the trouble in Northern Ireland. Since the early 60’s this was said about the safety of tourists etc visiting the Ireland.   I lived 50 miles south of the border between the Northern Ireland & the Republic south.  There was never any trouble south of that  border.  In fact even for that matter 50 miles inside the border. The problems were  almost (not entirely) centered around the Belfast area.   Living at or south of the border there was never anything to worry about.   That’s not to say there were not incidents, but it never affected daily life or business in anyway.

Just like the Colombian & Ecuadorian border.  One incident makes headlines the whole world thinks the entire area is a bad place to visit.

This far from the truth.  Both places Ecuador and Northern Ireland are beautiful places to visit and  live.  I know this to be true. I’ve done both in both places and I cant wait for the day I retire to live in Ecuador south from Ontario Canada.

This reader is so correct. The reality as far as daily life is concerned… the FARC in Ecuador are a non event. I am reminded of a similar situation in Thailand in the late 1960s and early 1970s… the years I lived and worked all over Asia.  Everyone knew that there was a war going on and that it was not safe around the border because the Viet Cong used to cross it freely. The solution was… we avoided the border.  Heck it took a real effort to get to the border anyway. Forget it!  Life went on… busy… happy…. safe… except the crazy Bangkok traffic created enormous risks.

Another reader wrote:

Hello Gary, These houses look very interesting, but isn’t Ibarra near the border with Colombia, where there have been a number of violent incidents?

We do not recommend that readers visit as far north as Carchi which is right on the border, but Ibarra is quite far south of Colombia and does not have border risk.  This map shows why. The white line, starting at San Lorenzo, is the Ecuador Colombia border.


Ibarra, as the map above shows is south of  Carchi Province.  The main towns in Carchi Province, Tulcan, Espejo, Mira and Montufar are shown by the arrows.  Warnings to not to go into Carchi Province are already a stretch.  There are really very few problems there, but the US state departments says:

The US State department says: SAFETY AND SECURITY: The U.S. Embassy in Quito advises caution when traveling to the northern border region of Ecuador, to include areas in the provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana and Carchi, northern Esmeraldas, and southern Esmeraldas, south of Atacames.  U.S. government personnel are under limitations with respect to traveling alone and over-nighting in these areas due to the spread of organized crime, drug trafficking, small arms trafficking, and incursions by various Colombian terrorist organizations.

I personally would not feel uncomfortable in Carchi and have been to Esmeraldas many times… but why go to places that might be a bit riskier when there are so many alternatives.

Our world has increased risk, but…


the quiet Ecuador streets like this Cotacachi avenue have never seemed at risk to me.


The young Ecuadorian children who go to school early, alone don’t seem to feel much risk.


Even young children play alone in the Cotacachi Ecuador streets without much risk

Yet we must always take care… anywhere.


Parents in Cotacachi Ecuador do not feel much risk when they let their children play in the parks.

Yet there are places in every town where we should not be… so always be aware.

Mostly, places are not the cause of risk.  The causes of risk  are within,  our awareness, our actions, our  patterns and habits.


Young lovers in Ecuador can meet safely in out of the way places.


Ecuador people are by nature, caring, friendly and warm.

Sometimes I get letters like the one below from readers who have been victims of crime in Ecuador.  This reader lost her computer and camera when she forgot them in the business lounge at the Radisson hotel in Quito.

Dear Gary,  Can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and had them sent by Federal Express to me.  I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen, for the items they were not able to send me  (camera and cellular phone) I was reimbursed via bank transfer. I still can’t believe it.  This was a good ending and so unexpected.  send you all love, and good thoughts. Laura

Place is important… wherever you are… almost as important… or at least related to fate. So werever you are… I hope its the right time and the right place… for you.


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March 19-20    Cotacachi Shamanic Tour

March 21  Travel Cotacachi to Manta

March 22-23   Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour

March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca

March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour

March 27  Travel Cuenca to Salinas

Mar. 28-29   Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour

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