Be prepared to find animals almost everywhere with the exception of cats. While there are a few cats here and there, dogs are everywhere. There are many rumors why there are so few cats but it is clear that they are not popular. Many dogs are without homes and wander in packs yet stay in their own neighborhood. They don’t appear dangerous and people feed them and grow to accept their presence. Domestic dogs are predominately Golden Retrievers and small poodle types. In town, we often see a person walking his goats on long rope leashes right on the city sidewalks. Shepherds, often young children around ten years old or so, herd three to five cows, prodding them forward with switches along the median of the Autopista, or into the grassy parks, or along the side of the road so the cattle can forage for tall grass. Sheep, goats and chickens wander around the yards near the city and around almost every home in the mountains. Here in the Sierra, there are beautiful wild birds though not as plentiful as we are used to. Humming birds are a national treasure with dozens of varieties and if you have some grounds, sugar feeders are the way to keep them visiting. Only a few hours away, a visit to the Amazon region or the coast will reveal completely different species than we have here in the mountains. Ecuador has the reputation of having the most animal and plant diversity per square mile of any country on Earth.
A New Kind of Blog
There is a world of information about Ecuador. It is one of the most popular countries for people who want to retire to a place where the dollar goes much farther than in the US, a place for adventuresome families who want to experience a new language and exciting culture. However, much of what you read or hear does not touch on the practical, the problematic, or the local information necessary to make things work. There are many blogs which are basically daily diary’s from people who live here. But this blog will be different. We know how hard it is to get accurate and timely information. We have been through it. All of us who live here have learned step by step and we question whether it is necessary to have every newcomer reinvent the wheel. We hope this blog will help shorten the learning curve. There are many hurdles but all are surmountable. What is required is patience, an understanding of local ways, and a realization that you are going to live in a country which is not the same as the US, Canada, or Britain. Our choice was to live in the wonderful city of Cuenca in the Southern Sierra but this may not be your decision and you will therefore have to look further to find the answers you need for different areas like the coast or the Amazon. Please realize that all the suggestions and ideas are based on our experiences. Ecuadorian regulations change rapidly and must be checked before you make any investments or major decisions. Please email us at Sailorburr@gmail.com and let us know if you have any questions or comments.