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Bill Bushnell

  • Bill Bushnell posted a new activity comment 4 years, 10 months ago

    So glad to see your sense of humor and spirit of adventure are still soaring in your new country. We look forward to seeing you before the year is over.

  • Ecuador is a terrific place to live.  Ecuador though can be a terrible place to create and run a business.
    Unfortunately for new business creations, large or small, the government’s version of “21st Cent […]

    • There are things about the 21st Century that will ruin Ecuador in my opinion! When we moved here, going on four years ago now, I mentioned to our Abagado….”This sure doesn’t feel like a Third World, in Cuenca!” However, living and learning what makes Ecuador the truly magical place it is…..has to do with keeping the “old ways” “traditions” “work ethics” and indigenous practices alive and proudly viable! Please! I don’t want Cuenca to become a Lima, Peru, for example!! Use the KISS principle!!

    • I really appreciate the QUALITY of articles showing up on Gringo Tree. We all learn so much more when authors use research to explore, back up, or expand upon their personal opinions.

  • Photo Credit: European Commission DG ECHO

    If you could make Ecuador remarkable, how would you start? Bill Bushnell tackles this question for us today in a column discussing one of the most important questions […]

    • Great ideas, Bill! I would only add:
      1. That Ecuador should encourage and subsidize ultra-high speed internet links to the rest of the world and high speed, subsidized linkages within the country. This enables high-tech businesses to relocate here for all the obvious reasons (low cost, good infrastructure, sunshine, natural, clean beauty) and encourages young entrepreneurs to relocate – even if they are one or two person operations.

      2. Subsidized and encourage high tech partnerships with (young) Ecuadorians to join in those budding businesses. This would tie into your “Teacher Program” point 6. Might want to invite Spanish speaking professors to teach in local universities.

      Hope the expat community will join in encouraging the govt. doing this to everyone’s benefit.

    • These are ideas that are worth considering, but one thing that seems to be missing from this is that you assume that these are all good for Ecuador. How does it affect their culture and values? I see many well-meaning people who move here, for various reasons and then want to change it because it doesn’t meet their standards or views of what should be (I’m not saying that you are one of these, you seem to have a lot of good experience). However, it is critical to find things that can help improve people’s lives and yet maintain culture. While I’m a technologist, I see way too many financial and technical enterprises that change culture and peoples’ values in ways that, in my opinion, are very detrimental to the overall good of society and causes further inequality and poverty.
      One thing that would help is for the expat community as a whole to work harder to integrate with the Ecuadorean community where they live and spend more time understanding their values in order to come up with collaborative ideas that help all sectors of Ecuadorean society.

    • Hmm… I would already describe Ecuador as remarkable. I don’t think it needs our (Gringos) guidance to enhance its progress. As for the points you suggested, many are already progressing rapidly. Poverty has declined far more rapidly here over the last 15 years or so than it has in the US. There are people who go to bed hungry, at least from time to time, but the main need they have is the opportunity to work and earn enough to provide for their necessities, and nearly all of them are willing to work. Education is also improving.

      I would encourage Gringos who are living here in Ecuador to participate in the society, volunteer for causes that are near and dear to their hearts, and to do what they can to improve life and conditions here in Ecuador. However, I do NOT think that Ecuador suffers from a shortage of Gringos and should be actively working to attract more of them, beyond the provisions that are already in place. Visas are not especially hard to get, as most of us who have moved here can attest.

      Is Ecuador going to make some mistakes through this process? Of course, but I doubt that getting more input from foreigners would reduce their mistakes overall. Our track record is not exactly unblemished, and our understanding of the local culture and conditions is limited. As I read through your suggestions it seemed to me that you want to remake Ecuador to your ideal, rather than allowing the Ecuadorians to develop it toward their ideal. Integrate, participate, volunteer, and try to be a good example, but DON’T think that they are going to welcome your efforts to “improve” them or their institutions.

    • Responding to Lino: Our last name is Lino too! We’re planning to move to Cuenca in a couple of years when we retire, so we read everything we can about your beautiful country. We agree with your sentiments and plan to do our best to be as courteous, generous, and neighborly in our new home, as we are here in the Southern USA. Maybe we’ll meet some day.

    • These are all wonderful ideas… for the US. The US would certainly benefit from an improved visa and immigration system, better environmental protection, international trade agreements, low-cost nutrition program, improved educational system and progressive democracy. If we could figure out how to implement such programs at home, then maybe we could offer advise to other countries.

  • To start  this story of, we need a little background to set the scene:

    For my wife and I our “learning” started even before we arrived in the country.

    In early June 2005 I received a phone call from […]

  • Bill Bushnell posted a new activity comment 5 years, 7 months ago

    Great article on Coconut Oil there is just glaring thing missing…where do I buy it in Cuenca?

  • I think I should also remind you that THE REAL WORLD is a serious, satirical, and sometimes surreal opinion column.  Most columns in GringoTree tend to be the upbeat “ain’t Cuenca Ecuador a wonderful place to live […]

    • I liked Bill’s thoughts. I would add ONE more issue based on my 4 years living and working few years in Cuenca.
      NOISE – there is no regulations on noise in Ecuador. I hear all kinds of disturbing laud noises everywhere: car alarms, music from the laud music, sirens, and laud noise from the traffic.
      Every day I need to work on publications in a library and people there are talking, laughing, eating, drinking, and playing – in a LIBRARY!!!! I asked them politely if they could lower there voices a little – they did for 2-3 min. then continued they routine of a laud behaviour for the rest of the day.
      One time in one of the most expensive RESTAURANT a 4 y/o kid was screaming his lungs off, nobody reacted, not his family, no waiter. I waited 30 min with covered ears then I talked to the manager and he didn’t do anything either.
      In my 6 story BUILDING the acoustics are amazing. Every single day 3-5 kids are running on the hallway(s) from 6:00am to 11:00pm. screaming loudly. I asked them a few times not to be so laud..uhhhh… OMG, what I’ve heard from the old women was horrible (at that moment I wished I wouldn’t understand Spanish at all). The older caregiver is “singing” loudly and walking through the entire bld. One kid has an electrical car(toy) and he is driving it from 6am to 11pm…I close my doors, windows, put my ear plugs and music on and I still can hear them! In my block there are at least 5 houses being built, renovated or repaired. I talked to the neighbours – they have no clue what to do. There is also a constant noise from the CONSTRUCTION aras – well, it’s OK because they have to work, but why they start at 6am on Saturday and Sunday? Sometimes I go out to to relax. I went on a few occasions to the SAUNA, jacuzzi at the University of Cuenca. There were 4-5 guys talking loudly for min. 2 hours – finally I left almost in tears…I do have a hart condition and my doctors claim it’s a stress related condition…really??? They suggested to take it easy and to relax. So I visited to Piedra de Agua hot springs – we paid $36 to enter. Then instead of relaxing ourselves we had to deal with a bunch of kids in a swimming pool jumping, splashing and screaming all over the place. I really love Cuenca, I am a mother and a teacher, a missionary, and a volunteer to orphanages around the world so really I do love kids and noise sometimes is OK…but with such a concentration of noise I can’t relax, think, sleep, so not sure what to do….

    • Questions I have regarding moving/retiring half time to Cuenca, Ecuador include the concerns of one who has never been there. How high is the crime rate, specifically, can a immigrant own guns for home protection? Are the women safe from harassment? The children safe in schools? Are there street muggings? Air quality: I read above the diesel fumes from buses are terrible, but how about overall smog levels, is this city polluted in certain times of year ( inversions) , generally clean air or smoggy even away from bus routes? I would probably want to work remote to the US part time, so is there good internet access there? Are the locals generally welcoming? Is there another region that folks here would recommend higher for US transplants to feel at home? I like smaller towns close to mid size cities with decent roads, hospital, grocery shopping convenience. Thanks in advance for any info you can give regarding the above questions

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