Even if you don't need the full story, the links may be of interest to you. This information is culled from three separate emails I've sent out and even though I've gone through them to delete what appears to be duplicate info or web addresses, I may not have succeeded. There may also be a reference in there that doesn't seem to apply to the general reader--again, these are parts of emails and some of the info will be written to a specific person. Take what you want and leave the rest.
- Medical care is so much less expensive there than here that I don't have to worry about medical benefits. They also have medical care for low income seniors, regardless of their country of citizenship.
- Prescription meds are extremely low. There are people who go down there several months out of the year and pay for the whole trip in the savings they get for their prescriptions. I suspect they take a lot more expensive drugs than I do but, still, that's a significant difference.
- Currency is the US dollar -- very convenient.
- I can keep my checking account up here and use my debit card down there. Works out pretty well. I can also use PayPal.
- I'm still checking on it but I think Skype will cost the same there as it costs here and I will continue to have my same incoming phone number so it wouldn't cost my friends in the US a ton of money for a call. I can also do free Skype-to-Skype.
- Apartments in the part of town I want to live in can be found for $200 or so. That's not for a tacky one in a seedy neighborhood -- it in the downtown area where there has been a lot of renovation in the last few years.
- Transportation is WAY cheap. I can take a bus from Cotacachi to Quito -- a two-hour drive -- for the cost of a single in-town fare here.
- I might be able to earn a bit of money doing private tutoring but that's something I'll do after I get settled in.
This second list contains more web sites than anyone would want to look through but I've tried to give a little description of each one so you can pick and choose which ones you want to look at.
- http://www.hgtv.com/video/getaway-in-ecuador-video/index.html Househunters International video--when I watched it, the commercials would transition back to the show. I had to restart them, fast forward to the end and then it went back to the show just like it's supposed to.
- http://www.ecuadorvolunteers.org/amazon-coast/ecuador-volunteer-travel/ecuador-map.html The is an excellent map of the country. Cotacachi is north of Quito (red dot). North of there look for the little green dot just before the yellow star--that's Cotacachi.
- http://nolimitsnana.hubpages.com/hub/Ecuador-Food A couple of the photos aren't all that appealing but they're all interesting and so is what the author has to say.
- http://internationalliving.com/2011/05/cotacachi-u-s-style-comfort-at-ecuador%E2%80%99s-prices/ A nice view of the whole city, even though it's rather small. The apartment I'm hoping to get (more on that later) is within a block of one of the church spires you see in the background.
- http://www.larc1.com/ecuador/lamirage/lm_location.html Nice local photos. La Mirage is a five-star resort where the rooms start at $79/night. That may not be a ton here in the States but it's a small fortune down there.
- http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/vickielizabeth/2/1223519280/tpod.html No photos in this one but I thought I'd share a fun read as well. There's a Lavenderia in Cotacachi.
- http://adventurousliving.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/cotacachi-ecuador/ Lovely photos and interesting story to read with them.
- http://theflowonthreelakes.blogspot.com/2011/03/cotacachi-ecuador.html If you click on the batch of photos at the top of the page, it will enlarge them for you.
- http://internationalliving.com/2011/04/cost-of-living-in-ecuador-on-38-day-per-couple/ Can you imagine me spending $320 a month for food and household stuff? Oh, and then there's the $675 on food and beverages--right. I'm confident my income will be sufficient to live a comfortable life there.
Coming up next: What to do with my stuff