Release Your Entrepreneurial Spirit in Ecuador

Talk to anyone who has relocated to Ecuador and you will find that each person’s story, motivation, and experience is unique. Some are here for economic reasons, others for the climate, others still for the adventure and excitement of living in another country…and many for all of the above.

I came to Ecuador at the age of 24. My assignment with the Peace Corps brought me here, so Ecuador was not my own choice…but I’ve come to realize what a stroke of luck it was to land in this amazing country.

Post Peace Corps, I returned to Ohio and said to myself, “what am I doing here?” My world had opened up and I just didn’t see things in the same way as before. I yearned to return to Ecuador.

So after a year—and with no resolution to my “reverse culture shock”—I packed my bags and caught a flight to Quito. It was the best decision I ever made.

In Ecuador, I have made my life, raised my kids, and had a great career (actually three). I can attest that every day is an adventure, and life is so much more dynamic and exciting than it would have been had I stayed in Cleveland, Ohio.

In Cleveland, I wouldn’t be bargaining for my tomatoes, speaking Spanglish with my kids, and looking out from my back porch at three snowcapped volcanoes.

I wouldn’t have the choice of buying my milk at the local supermarket…or buying goat’s milk from the man who sits on the corner of the park near my house and will milk the goat right there.

I wouldn’t be able to jump on a bus for less than $15 to cross the country and probably make five new friends on the way.

Here, I have worked as a nurse, an English teacher, and explored several business options…including my current one, providing tours of Ecuador for potential expats. It is an easy place to turn your good ideas and passions into a business or to use your time and skills to volunteer in a countless variety of projects.

The beauty and diversity of Ecuador is something that never ceases to amaze me. Highlands, coast, rainforest…Ecuador is a breathtakingly beautiful country and it is hard to imagine that all this diversity lies in such a small geographical space. You can live in the mountains but be at the Pacific coast or in the Amazon jungle in several hours.

You can find fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables—often at jaw-droppingly low prices—in the local markets and on many street corners. You’ll get healthy three-course lunches (almuerzos) for $2 or $3—even $1.50 if you know where to look!

But if I have to name one thing that I love about Ecuador, it is the culture and the people of this country…welcoming, friendly, generous, happy, and curious about you, your family, and your country.

Sure, there are habits and customs that will take some time to adapt to, but that is what makes life here exciting. Living in a culture that is different to your own and speaking two languages in the course of a day just makes life more fun.

If you take the time to know the people of Ecuador, delve into learning the language, and try to integrate into the culture, you will always be learning and life will never be dull.

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