Opening a Small Business in Ecuador

For any new (or possibly not so new) Expat who has moved to Ecuador, the question that often arises is what to do with one’s time.  Unless one plans to devote their energy, time and investment towards a preexisting organization (i.e. a Charity or other Not for Profit Organization), the idea of opening a business in Ecuador becomes very appealing; especially with the costs of funding most startups in Ecuador being a very small fraction of what the same would otherwise cost in say, the US, Canada, Europe or Australia.…

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Chimbora Hats: the perfect combination between luxury and tradition

Chimbora Hats

If you ask Nicholas Barringer to describe himself, he would answer: “Nicholas is an adventurous young man who loves to travel and tries to be a better person every day”. And this seems to be a very accurate description!  After spending time in the United States as a life guard, at the age of 17 Nicholas started his journey through South America, working for a non-profit in Guatemala. From there, he later moved on to Buenos Aires.  And after that, Cuenca. Barringer has lived in Ecuador now for over six…

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What is Blepharoplasty?

A blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift, is surgery to remove excess skin and fat from the upper or lower eyelids. This procedure restores the area around the eyes and improves peripheral vision. We all have fat around our eyes to protect the eyeball in case of trauma. This fat “cushions the blow” and is not something that can be lost with diet. As we age the skin around the eyes stretches and loses its elastic ability. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows,…

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Date Night – Doug & Barbara

I understand you have a BIG event planned for New Year’s Eve; can you share it with us? D:  Barbara and I have been together for 15 years now and decided the time was right to make a permanent commitment in front of friends and family. B:  I’m so excited! Ecuador is going to be a beautiful backdrop for the perfect wedding from our terrace. A 15-year courtship, how did you two meet? D:  We met in a chat room on the Internet. My wife had died, and after three…

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Hearts of Gold- Together Everyone Achieves More

Natasha Verkley loves a challenge.  When she became the Executive Director of Hearts of Gold, a charitable organization headquartered in Cuenca, Ecuador, it was in the midst of a big transition and a serious cash shortfall.  The last 18 months have been filled with problems to solve, miraculous events, and hours of work from hundreds of dedicated volunteers who believe in Cuenca and want to make it a great place for everyone.  Even with all those obstacles, Hearts of Gold gave $75,000 to community organizations in 2014 and aspires to…

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A Cuenca Christmas and New Year

As we approach the upcoming holiday season it is interesting how differently they are celebrated in Ecuador versus other countries. While you can find commercialization in the big cities here, in the smaller communities you can escape the hype and shopping completely.   Christmas is an important religious festival in this predominantly Catholic country. In Cuenca, celebrations begin early in December with Novenas, masses and events recalling the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The highpoint is the festival of the traveling Infant Child, the Pase del Niño Viajero,…

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Hostel Casa Iskun

The secret to business success really isn’t all that secret – be passionate about what you do while offering sensational service at a fair price, and treat your customers like family.  Combine these common sense tenets with a strong marketing and advertising plan, and you are well on your way to building a long-term, sustainable business.   These were the very ideas that Maria Morales and her daughter Alexa, who is currently working toward her degree in Marketing, had in mind when they opened the doors of Hostal Casa Izkun at…

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James Drummondo

Where are you from, and what brought you to Cuenca? I grew up in Los Angeles and spent most of my adult life on the coast in Orange County.  I was planning to retire in 2017, after thirty years in the Fire Service, but I was offered an early retirement package in 2011, so I decided to retire early.  We wanted to explore a different culture and Ecuador seemed like a good place to start.  My family and I spent our first 6 months in Manta enjoying the coast and…

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Date Night – Ed & Lynne Nadeau

Obviously, the first question I have to ask is, how did you two meet? L: I was managing a travel agency in Moncton, New Brunswick and Ed was introduced to me as a new customer. E: We were business associates for four years before we started doing things together. Eventually we started to go for drives, have coffee together, shoot pool, and go for walks. L: Then one day my car broke down and Ed came to the rescue. E: I think that was the beginning of the beginning. L:…

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CIS Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

Communities in Schools in Randolph County

Get on your ugliest, most creative Tacky Christmas Sweater & gather your friends for some drinks & music & dancing! Yes, we are talking about the Communities in Schools infamous annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party.The event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Cetwick, 162 N. Cherry St., Asheboro, for what has become an annual holiday tradition. 2017 Planning Committee include Shannon Foster -Chair, Mark Strider, Beth Knott, Kurt Sullivan, Robin Necci, Laura King, Kelly Shipley, Isai Robeldo, and Aimee Scotton. Mary Lisk is spearheading the…

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