“We Built Our Dream House in Cotacachi For $100,000”

When living in Manhattan, Kansas (a.k.a. “The Little Apple”), Tim and Cindi Jared decided they needed to evaluate their lives. Tim took an early retirement but Cindi’s was still years away. They needed a way to live a better lifestyle together on Tim’s Social Security. After exploring options overseas, they found Ecuador continually surfaced as the solution to their dilemma.

Ecuador was the first stamp on our passports when we came in February of 2013,” Cindi says. “We spent one week looking at properties and becoming familiar with the area. Tim immediately fell in love with the solitude and peacefulness of the gated community Jahua Pacha—which means Heaven on Earth in the local language of Kichwa.”

Located outside of Cotacachi in a rural community, Jahua Pacha offered fabulous, 360-degree, elevated views of Mounts Imbabura and Cotacachi. They bought their home there in March that year. They returned to the U.S. to sell everything and moved to Ecuador with just their suitcases.

They were immediately embraced by their neighbors. Cindi’s background and passion is teaching. She reached out to the community and began teaching the local children. Numbers of students grew and she found that living in Jahua Pacha was too far from Cotacachi for parents to bring their children for school. She decided to rent a classroom in town but had to make the trip from country to town to teach. Ultimately, they devised a plan to make the move away from country living in Jahua Pacha and build exactly what they wanted and needed in a new home in Cotacachi proper.

Cindi says, “Living in Jahua Pacha was the richest experience I can imagine. I felt I grew personally from living there. If it wasn’t for my teaching, we would never have moved. I’m so grateful to the community for their acceptance and restoring my passion for teaching.”

Tim and Cindi Jared are delighted with their new life. Today they share a less stressful, more affordable lifestyle in their newly constructed home. Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the towering Andes Mountains, they feel they are just getting to know each other after 29 years of marriage.

Their alarm clock is now the chorus of birds from their guava tree. Neighbors drop by daily to say hello—often bringing orchids or fig trees to plant in the garden, or to trade bread for some of the wood cut from the trees on their lot.

Their two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is located in the heart of Cotacachi. “I enjoy the convenience of in-town living with no need for a car. And because we’re in town, we get out more at night,” says Tim. His unhurried walks to the mercado allow him to greet friends along the way and catch up on news. At San Francisco Park, two blocks from their house, vendors sell homemade bread, organic veggies, and farm-raised meats, along with other delicious produce.

“We enjoy growing things in the garden and getting our hands dirty,” says Cindi. “I absolutely love the architecture and openness of the house. It’s just the right size for us and we enjoy taking care of it ourselves.”

Their dream home includes features such as wooden beams, high ceilings, a skylight, granite countertops, and a fireplace. The couple also satisfied a great love of Cindi’s by providing a detached classroom for her to teach children and adults.

“We bought our property at a good time for a good price. Property wasn’t selling when we bought,” says Cindi. “We paid $43,000 for a double lot just a few blocks from the fire department, police station, and hospital. When finished, the project cost around $100,000, and I anticipate the taxes to be about $250 annually.”

“I love my new home in Cotacachi. Moving here was like moving home,” said Cindi. “We already knew the neighbors from teaching.”

Today, the Jareds are living the good life and couldn’t be happier. With forethought, planning and hard work, they’ve achieved their goals and now enjoy time spent indulging their passions. Cindi and Tim say, “We wouldn’t change a thing.”

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