We seem to be always writing about what is different and unusual in Ecuador but that really doesn’t help someone who is thinking of moving here who wants to know what to bring and what familiar items they can get here at the stores. While we will list things common to someone who lives in the US, please be aware that there are many, many items both locally made and imported that are available in addition to this list. This list is far from complete. Some familiar items may be available and we have not yet found where to get them. These are just some hundreds of familiar products that will make purchasing easier until you get to know the less expensive, locally made products. Almost every product listed here has a local counterpart, often as good or better and certainly cheaper. It took us a while but the only items on this list we still buy regularly are Colgate toothpaste, Reynolds wrap and Cascade dishwasher soap.
Drugstore items – Colgate toothpaste; Speed Stick, Dove, Mitchem & Arid deodorants; Head and Shoulders & Pantene shampoos; Nutrogena and Nivea products, Listerine mouth wash; Centrum Vitamins; Phillips Milk of Magnesia; Eucerin & Lubriderm body creams.
Supermarket items – Cascade dishwasher soap; Dove hand soap; Sprite, Coca Cola & Pepsi; V8 Juice; Aunt Jemima Pancakes; Clorox, Ritz Crackers, McCormick spices, Jiffy peanut butter; Huggies Diapers; Scott Toilet Paper; Kleenex; Dasani & Evian bottled water; Kraft American and Velveta cheese; Reynolds wrap; WD40; Splenda & Sweet and Low sweeteners; Royal puddings; Berio Olive Oil; Kraft mayonnaise; Del Monte Creamed Corn; Twining and Celestial teas; Ruffles, Dorito, and Lays chips, Motts apple juice; Haagen Dasz Ice Cream, Heineken, Bud, and Corona Beer; Almost every liquor and wine found in the US.
TV – Samsung, Sony, LG
Computers – Toshiba laptops; blank CD’s & DVD’s; Epson, Canon & Lenmark printers
Cell phone – Nokia, Samsung & Blackberry phones
Stationary Store – HP printer paper; HP and Canon ink cartridges; bic pens; Stabilo Boss highlighters; Scotch tape; Duracell & Energizer batteries
Cars – New and used Hyundai, Chevrolet, Toyota, VW & Subaru; BMW & Mercedes less obvious but you see some.
Driving – right side of road; international road sign shapes but in Spanish.
Money – Ecuador uses dollar; ATM’s; familiar banking systems.
Electricity – 120 volt; common plugs.
Water – Cuenca has excellent drinkable city water.
Obvious omissions (these may be things to bring) – English books; Household cleaners; English software; English keyboard; yellow lined pads; Printer compatible photo printer paper; B vitamins; US DVD players don’t play Ecuador DVD’s; incandescent light bulbs; Braun power tooth brushes; Vick’s NyQuil cold medicine; High end camera equipment; High thread count sheets; Wireless headphones; 8 ½ x 11 paper and file folders.
The lists of familiar products and those hard to find could go on and on. This is just to give some inkling of the large amount of popular products sold in the US that are available here.