Moving Our Family to Cotacachi Changed Everything


Two years ago, my husband David and I broke the news to our friends and family that we would be moving to Ecuador.

We enjoyed much about our life in the States, but we didn’t like the high-pressure work environment and focus on consumerism. We longed to break out of the corporate rat race and have the chance to work for ourselves.

So we spent a lot of time researching Cotacachi, a small craft town in Ecuador’s Northern Andes that blends modern culture with age-old traditions.

We wanted to be within easy distance of a large city (Quito) without actually living in a metropolis. We wanted the moderate weather year-round that’s on offer in the mountains—but the option to travel just a few hours to the beach whenever we felt the urge for surf and sand. Cotacachi fits all those needs.

But when we told our loved ones we were moving, their reactions were not entirely positive. Because we were moving with our two children, they expressed a variety of concerns. Some wanted to know how we planned to ensure they received a decent education; others were certain we would emotionally damage them by taking them so far from extended family. Then there were those who could give no reason for being upset, yet they were.

We could understand their reactions. After all, David and I had spent hours upon hours researching our new home…while our loved ones had likely given little or no thought to this small South American country since high-school geography. In the end though, we knew we had to do it.

Fast forward to today and the naysayers have settled down a bit. In fact it’s hard for them to be negative about our relocation when they see how it has benefited our entire family—more than any of us ever dreamed.

We’ve definitely left the consumerism of the States behind. We live well on just $1,000 a month without rent (we own our house).

That includes utilities at around $40 a month for electric, gas, and water, and community dues of $70 a month. With two growing boys the bulk of our expenses come from food and clothing. Produce is quite cheap, meat is about the same as in the States, and imported items are more expensive.

Public transportation, though, is the biggest money saver. A taxi will take you anywhere in Cotacachi for a dollar and a two hour bus ride to Quito costs $2/person.

But it’s the effect on our children’s lives that has been the most dramatic result of living here. In regards to schooling, there are decent schools here that provide the core educational necessities, but their education has far surpassed the basics.

There can be no educational substitute for real experience and our sons are receiving that in spades. At nine and 11 years old, Jesse and Justin speak two languages fluently. In a relatively short time they have experienced life on the Pacific Coast, in the Andes Mountains with Ecuador’s indigenous population, and at the edge of the Amazon Basin.

Everyday events inspire our children to learn about their new experiences, from researching what species of toucan stole our breakfast to what causes those earthquakes that periodically bounce us around.

Beyond that, our small town of Cotacachi contains both expat and Ecuadorian instructors in music, art, soccer (known here as futbol), dance, and foreign languages. Combine this with all of the technology we now have access to and our educational options far outreach what was available to us back in the States.

That’s not to mention the life lessons. Our first Christmas here, we passed out shoes and candy to preschool children in poor rural areas. The boys have learned not to take their good fortune for granted.

As for being removed from family, it can be hard at times. But with Skype and email we’re able to keep in touch and some have even been able to come visit us.

Even better though, are all of the honorary family members that our children have gained since our arrival in Cotacachi. They’re thoroughly spoiled by retirees who treat them as their own grandchildren, are taken on day trips by “aunts and uncles”—and don’t even get me started on how much Ecuadorians love children! We have more “family” interaction now than we ever did in the States where our blood relatives were spread far apart.

We may not be able to put everyone’s mind at ease…but David and I are sure this is one of the best parenting decisions we’ve ever made.

Free Ecuador Report:

Learn more about Ecuador and other countries in our daily postcard e-letter.

Simply enter your email address below and we’ll send you a FREE REPORT – Ecuador: Live Like Royalty on Your Social Security.

This special guide covers real estate, retirement and more in Ecuador and is yours free when you sign up for our postcards below.

Get Your Free Report Here

No spam pledge. We value your privacy.


Further Reading


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    Wait – Don’t Miss Out:

    7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard Of…

    In the right places overseas…you have good options for safe, comfortable, affordable living (adventure built-in).

    In 7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard of Where You Can Live Better for Less we’ll pull back the curtain and introduce you to communities where you can embrace the retirement of your dreams…and do it for less than it would cost you to stay home.

    Take a look at International Living today and not only will you receive 7 Great Retirement Towns You’ve Never Heard of…Where You Can Live Better for Less FREE, but I’ll ALSO shave nearly 30% off the regular price.

    Get the details in your FREE report now.


    Your Last Chance to Retire Overseas Now

    Before you go sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we’ll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

    Each day you’ll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

    Enter your E-mail Address Below
    We Value Your Privacy
    Click here for our Privacy Policy


    Your Chance to Retire Overseas Now

    Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

    Each day you'll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

    Enter your E-mail Address Below

    We Value Your Privacy.