A reader recently sent this note: Gary, I learned that you have helped many communities in Ecuador. I admire that. At the end of the day, helping people other than oneself is when one really makes a difference. People feel good helping others and seeing communities thrive.
There is a lot of poverty in Ecuador. I am a firm believer that education can alleviate it.
As you know, there is an impoverished province in Ecuador, Esmeraldas, from which many of the soccer national teams players come. A handful of them have even made it to intl’ teams. Unfortunately not everybody can be a soccer star so to get out of poverty everybody else needs to get an education. The problem is that many kids barely finish high school and have no way to go to college. Attending college in the big cities of Quito or Guayaquil is usually an elusive dream.
Moved by the situation, an old Italian priest put together a program sponsored by some of his Italian friends to bring youngsters from Esmeraldas to Quito and help them get through college and obtain a degree and a job. A beautiful initiative that has produced a few graduates that now are helping their families. The challenge is that his old friends are passing away and the new generations are not carrying on the funding. I have personally being helping with my own money to keep the project running but there is just so much a person alone can do. I think there are many other people that would be delighted to help such an effective program grow to new levels. We are teaching these kids how to fish, not giving them the fish in a Venezuelan wellfare fashion.
What would be a good way to give some of your 30000 readers the opportunity to help this project and feel good about it? You are a wise man that went through a lot of trials and tribulations and hence will sympathize with this cause. Please advise me on how to grow this initiative and do more good for the Ecuadorean youth.
Here is my reply: Jean, congratulations on your good work.
Because there are so many charitable causes looking for funding, we do not ask our readers for donations even for our projects. We are asked regularly to give and how would it be possible to say no to one and yes to another?
Instead we donate all the profit… plus quite a bit more of our other Ecuador profits from our flower sales and hotel instead. Our total donations are nearing a million dollars now… more than we have earned in Ecuador so this makes us feel really good.
I recommend that you create a micro export business… some product from Ecuador that you can sell and donate the proceeds. Regards, Gary
Helping the poor is a global social economic concern we all need to be involved with. There is a growing trend of people wanting to see the whole picture and do more than just earn.
For example, when people previously went for a cup of coffee they wanted the best coffee, served in the least expensive, fastest, most convenient way. Now more and more buyers want more. They want to know where the coffee was grown, what type of coffee… what did the growing process do to the environment… how were the processors and growers of the coffee treated?
They ask what will the coffee do to the body and environment? Was the cup organic? Is the cup recycled and so forth?
We can see how this is affecting the market place in a Reuters news release some time back entitled, Starbucks Seeks More Socially Responsible Coffee.
This article told how Starbucks had launched an aggressive plan to ensure that its coffee came from environmentally friendly farms paying workers a fair wage.
They were setting up strict rules on everything from forestation to pesticides to labor practices.
Starbucks made this move because they have suffered bad publicity from coffee drinkers who wanted more than just a cup of coffee.
*See a bigger picture.
*Consume and invest in values not just material value.
*Are highly sensitive to being mislead.
*Are willing to pay a bit more for a whole product.
*Are getting organized.
Micki and George Jacobs attended one of our export courses on how to earn in Ecuador and globally wrote:
We have finally gotten our website up and running for selling Bayardo’s paintings. Our webmaster (like you, he’s our son-in-law), made it attractive but simple to use. If you could mention it sometime in your news letter to get some interest started, George and I would really appreciate it. We really hope to sell enough of them to place regular orders, and maybe even increase the number of paintings ordered if sales take off. Thanks for any help you can offer us. We hope to see you and Merri when we are down there in late March/early April.
Hugs to both of you, Micki.
Micki and George fell in love with Ecuador, and wanted to buy original art. The watercolors of Bayardo Monteros stood out above everything else… unbelievable detail in the feathers of the birds he paints was captivating.
Here is an example of his work.
Plus these Blue Footed Boobies
You can see them better with more examples at George and Micki’s site.
Here is our friend Monteros.
They decided it would be a great idea to regularly buy small batches of his paintings to sell in the U.S. Not only would the extra sales vastly improve Bayardo’s situation and expose his work to a larger audience, but it would also give others a chance to purchase an original piece of Ecuadorian art without the expense of traveling to Ecuador.
Even more important than the money is the great pleasure one can gain. Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, “Outliers-The Story of Success”, explains what numerous studies have shown. Those who have a fulfilling business are happier and healthier as well as better off financially.
The three keys for a business to be satisfying are:
#3: A direct relationship between effort and reward.
This is why earning in Ecuador or globally offers such satisfaction. This method of earning fits all three requirements.
So if you have discovered that due to, what seems like misfortune, you have to work more… be happy. You may live longer, healthier and happier. There are more explanations about why it is good to remain active are below.
A special art form called Masapan, made from bread dough is made into almost everything and is a favorite export. Here is it is as tiny fruits…made into pins, fridge magnets and such.
Here is it is masks.
Primitive art painted on sheep skin is another favorite. This art form (Tigua) evolved from drum making.
Intricate carving on gourds are special.
Plus many wood carvings are exported to earn in Ecuador. This is a favorite workshop.
Another export tour delegate just sent this note: Hello Gary, I recently returned from Cotacachi where I attended Bonnie’s import in a suitcase course. For anyone thinking of taking this course my advice would be— do not hesitate.
Bonnie is such a resourceful person who shared her extensive knowledge and personal experiences with her group. Our afternoons were spent with direct contact with vendors in the many market places surrounding Cotacachi. Bonnie directing us to the vendors with the most authentic wares, best quality and best prices. We were privileged with visits to the homes of weavers, leather makers,hand knitters, artisans of unique jewellry designs,art designs. Bonnie was never in a hurry since she appreciated that each person in her group needed time to browse ,feel, admire and eventually buy the unique products.
Since Bonnie was such good friends with the expats in the community of Cotacachi, there were many boisterous dinner eves. at the Inn. She always welcomed us into her circle of friends.And when we visited the artisans’ homes she was always warmly welcomed. We could see that she was making a difference in their lives.
Through this course we got to see small towns where the artisans lived and conducted their businesses.Besides all the beautiful Ecuadorian wares, we met beautiful and gracious Ecuadorian people. Certainly we experienced a part of Ecuador which no tourist was privy to.
I am quickly discovering that the cotton children’s sweaters from Winter House are very popular. They do ship if the order is 22 to 24 sweaters. I’ll want to place an order and probably have it mailed to a Canadian address as might be an easier access through immigration.
So whether you want to earn in Ecuador through products or elsewhere….it is possible that our internet course can help. This is why Merri, our webmaster and I have created a new course on how to build a web business with a webmaster. Here is a special offer on this new course
It is possible to have a micro business anywhere in the world and to use this business as a key for charitable benefits or to open new career doors for yourself…