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June 25th, 2007, 02:33 PM #1Someone needs to get some sort of affiliate conference in Ecuador
June 26th, 2007, 05:29 AM #2
The average wages in Quito for skilled graduate staff works out at $125 a week with the average wage for a cleaner outside Quito at around $8-10 a week. Allow at least 30% shrinkage on consumables outside Quito owing to pilfering. This is accepted and is not challenged. This can be reduced to a negligible amount by providing gift packages to staff.
US nationals are rubbish at bartering. We English seem to do it much better. Look for small family shops and if you have a teenage son, let him do the bartering (usually to the daughter of the shopkeeper) and you can get up to 50% off the price. I love getting all the Nike goods like decent hard to get T Shirts for a few dollars. Most goods are subsidised by the large corporations.
The largest market I have there at the moment is providing an alternative to Skype offering free calls worldwide to other subscribers. Many Ecuadorians work in the US and Europe and send money back so there's a lot of interaction with relatives overseas. I also do a modest number of flights between the US/Europe and Ecuador.
You can buy a 8 bedroom mansion built to order from $80,000 if outside Quito and a 2 bedroom apartment in Quito for $5,000.
I have business in Santa Domingo, Guiyaquil and Quito. My son hopes to emigrate out there in a few years.
Crime is endemic so care is required. Also US nationals have a very bad reputation in Ecuador as many commercial travellers have acted in a very arrogant manner, particularly towards the local women. They love us English though.
In Quito you have some decent hotels. Corruption is rife with on the spot fines to police which MUST be paid immediately (do NOT try and argue).
The roads are seriously bad and a 4x4 is essential. Public transport is operated by family groups, operating their own bus. They regularly have to pay money to the police for roadside checks. Many police officers are paid to guard banks and other institutions. Do not park anywhere near a bank or you will get a rifle or shotgun pointed straight at you and you then have seconds to comply.
My son loves it out there. Whenever he visits Santa Domingo he gets free drinks all night. That is because he has gone out of his way to befriend local traders and treats people with a lot of respect and as equals. Last time he was out there a US citizen (commercial traveller) was very derogatory to some locals. he was lucky not to get lynched.
Ecuador is beautiful. Most people grow their own produce and barter for essentials. Wages are low but so is the cost of living. A form of Spanish is the language and is reasonably easy to pick up. Providing travellers obey the guidance on going out in Quito and when outside the capital, treat locals with the utmost respect, you'll be assured of a warm and positive welcome. Treat the locals as if they are beneath you however and you'll be lucky to get out alive.
June 26th, 2007, 05:37 AM #3Originally Posted by newestuser
June 26th, 2007, 05:40 AM #4Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov
June 26th, 2007, 05:54 AM #5Originally Posted by John Jupp
June 26th, 2007, 06:06 AM #6
The thing about Ecuador though is that the country is forming ties with other South American and Latin American states to divest the oil companies of their stranglehold, thereby incurring the wrath of the US Government.
What they're now trying to do is encourage smaller/medium sized companies to invest in infrastructure, thereby removing the dependency on currency generation from the big conglomerates.
Venezuela has already sealed an agreement with the Greater London Authority and Ecuador can do the same over fair trade coffee and consumer goods.
By encouraging smaller firms to invest in Ecuador, it will broaden their commercial base and open new markets for cheap produced goods worldwide. It will also benefit the country by reducing exploitation and encourage local wealth creation.
Positive steps but tentative to start.
June 26th, 2007, 07:26 AM #7
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