Thinking of moving to Ecuador? ‘Mas Despacio’ suggests taking your time to consider the facts
If you’re considering a move to Ecuador, you might want to check out César Ochoa’s website, MasDespacio.com, before making a decision. If you’re already in Ecuador, the website and accompanying book can make your transition easier.
“My intention is to help people avoid some of the pitfalls my wife I experienced when we moved here four years ago,” says César. “Most of all, I want potential expats to have the information they need to make an informed decision about relocating and living here.”
As the book title suggests – mas despacio means “move slowly” – César urges readers to avoid making impulsive decisions they will later regret. “If people have an accurate picture of what to expect, the move will be less stressful and the adjustment to living here more comfortable. On the other hand, the information I provide may make some folks decide that Ecuador is not for them.”
He adds: “Moving here is huge, physically, financially, socially, and psychologically. The decision should be made with very serious consideration.”
Although there are countless choices of books, websites and YouTube videos about expat life in Ecuador, César purposefully avoided most of them while he researched and wrote his book. “We read several books and sites when we first thought of moving several years ago but not any of the more recent ones. I wanted to write my book with an open mind, based on my own experiences, using my own skills. I’m sure some of the other sources offer good advice but I wanted to do a deep dive into subjects that affect expats so they have comprehensive information they can act on.”
César, whose father is Ecuadorian, spent months researching his topics before he began writing. “I hired Ecuadorian friends to research the subjects I wish I had known more about when I moved. Among other subjects, they researched the cost of rentals, and prices for houses, apartments and land. They looked at what things cost as the supermarket and the mercados – not just the prices but the quantities you get for what you pay. They researched what kind of cars are most popular in Ecuador and what you’ll pay for them, new and used. I wanted people to be able to get an accurate idea of the cost of living here – based on careful analysis.”
In researching and writing the book, César used the same approach as he when he wrote a 200-page description of his last job in Colorado. “I put together an outline before I started writing, making sure I included everything important. It’s a lengthy process if it’s done correctly.”
For Mas Despacio, he spent four months putting together and revising the outline before he began writing.
The book and website cover an extensive range of subjects including visas, dealing with Ecuadorian bureaucracy, medical care, real estate, banking, insurance, shopping, transportation, language and culture. He goes into detail on each subject, sometimes offering dozens of sub-sections. On shopping, for example, he discusses the options for buying food from supermarkets, tiendas, mercados and street venders; negotiating on price; buying U.S.-made products; how to read price tags; and the advantages of shopping in Quito and Guayaquil.
Although he points out the upsides of life in Ecuador – hearty lunches for $3.50, the moderate climate, cheap rentals and friendly people – he also tells of the bad things – volcanoes, earthquakes, barking dogs, loud music and tarantulas. “Although I love the country, there are plenty of reasons not to move here for some people,” César. “I provide a full overview, warts and all.”
As an aside, he welcomes all whiners. “They will be content in Ecuador since there’s so much to whine about,” he says.
Although the ebook, Mas Despacio Por Favor: 1,000 Things to consider before moving to Ecuador, is available from Amazon for $9.99, César says the website will provide additional information, updated on a frequent basis.
As he says on his website: “Ecuador is a big, beautiful, imperfect place, with big-hearted, kind, imperfect people. If you join us – great! Either way I hope you go Mas Despacio, Por Favor.