David and Wendy DeChambeau had what many people considered an ideal life in northern Idaho…beautiful natural surroundings, two handsome and talented young boys, a nice home with all the trimmings that make up the American Dream.
Yet, they were searching—seeking better economic opportunity, a lower cost of living, and a better climate.
So when they announced to their friends last year that they were selling everything and moving to Ecuador, they received mixed reactions to say the least.
“One of the biggest draws for us is to experience new cultures and broaden our horizons by learning about new traditions, languages, and attitudes,” wrote David in the blog they started to document their new adventure.
Opening a business in Cotacachi, Ecuador
After exploring much of Ecuador’s coast and highlands, they finally found the place they were looking for in Cotacachi, a small town in the northern Andes of Ecuador’s Imbabura Province.
Last April, David and Wendy opened Trebol, a tidy bar and grill near the heart of Cotacachi’s little business district. It was an existing business when they bought it, but they wanted to turn it into a place that served the kind of food expats in the area might be missing, like buffalo wings and burgers.
“Running Trebol has been a fantastic way to meet a wide assortment of people and make new friends and connections,” says David.
In true entrepreneurial style, David and Wendy identified a niche in Cotacachi that needed to be filled…and they filled it.
They’ve also found that starting a business in Ecuador was simpler than it would have been in the U.S.
“We’ve had to jump through all the hoops of obtaining authorization to run a restaurant and making contact with all the various distributors to get all the supplies and ingredients we’ll need,” says David. “But all in all, it’s been much less complicated than in the States.”
Another business venture in Ecuador
And the entrepreneurial couple are not done yet.
“Wendy and I are having a lot of fun and meeting a lot of great people,” says David, “but as we travel around we realize that our true passion is for the amazing art found in Ecuador and the artists that create it.”
Wendy and David believe there is money to be made in Ecuador’s art, too.
David continues, “We enjoy finding the best quality art at the best possible price. We are thinking of providing a service where we would search out art and offer it to those who don’t have the time to come down to Ecuador and find it themselves.”
Editor’s note: Dan will tell you more about Cotacachi at the Fast-Track Ecuador Conference in August. Also on hand will be all our Ecuador experts sharing everything they know (and you need to know) about this country, from valleys to coast to cities to mountains. Register for the Fast-Track Ecuador Conference 2012 now. This is our only Ecuador event of the year.