Cotacachi / Cotacachi / Ecuador / Living in Ecuador / Self-Sustainability in Ecuador

Adios Ecuador, Hola California


For me, living in Ecuador is great.  But anywhere the grandkids live is even better.  After 6 1/2 years in Cotacachi, setting down roots, opening a business and buying land, none of that won out in the competition for my heart.

When the cute little rug rats, one step removed, began showing up among our four children, all of whom live in the U. S., it became apparent that we would want to live closer to them.  There’s nothing quite like burying your nose in the scent of a newborn’s tummy or biting its pink little toes.

Our oldest grandchild, who’s turning 14 soon, but is really only 3 chronologically, needs my help in picking out rock star outfits and writing songs for her to sing on her microphone.  We are even working on a dance routine.  

So I am saying goodbye to Ecuador for a while.  We rented a house in California, right next door to our son, his partner and our one year old grand-daughter.

It was surprisingly easy to settle our affairs  in Cotacachi and to set up housekeeping in California.  In two months we sold most of our furniture and belongings, found a special someone to take over the care and feeding of our Toyota Land Cruiser, said goodbye to beloved friends and pared back our business in Ecuador.

As a result of all that letting go, low and behold!  The 2 1/2 year process of getting approvals for our sustainable land project finally occurred, just days before we left.  We now have the full blessings of the municipio to move forward with our plans.  Success at last!

The horizontal plan for the project was also approved, another huge hurdle in the Ecuador development process.  This step is often left undone by developers until they’ve sold their project, even started building houses.  This can cause lots of problems, including difficulties in giving new owners deeds to their property. 


Now we can breathe a sigh of relief and get going on our dream to create a sustainable life on our piece of land and to share with a few like-minded friends.  Being a whole continent away will make it more challenging, but still do-able.

Our California house sits on two acres of woods and lawn with a vegetable garden, an herb garden and gabezo with hot tub. There are benches to sit on for watching the tulips grow. Wildlife is bountiful.

Best of all is the little path through the woods that leads to our grand-daughter.  She’s an adventurous toddler who already knows how to get to grand-mother’s house.  Yesterday I watched her as she made her way to our gate, tentatively but with great determination.

She helps me with the gardening.  She likes to eat dirt, collect rocks and dip her hands in the watering can while I plant seeds and pull weeds.  Then she delights in pulling out the tags that label each row of seeds. 

It’s hard for me to concentrate on the garden when every moment is a photo op.


I already miss the grandeur of Cotacachi’s majestic twin volcanoes and the incredible fruit and veggies.


I miss Eddie’s decadent coffee drinks, better than dessert.


I miss the laid-back lifestyle, the cute children and the company of dear friends.  But being back in California already feels like home again.

Adios Cotacachi, voy a volver muy pronto!

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    • Gary and I are not leaving Ecuador for good. We are both avid travelers and seekers of new horizons. No moss grows under our feet or at least not for long. I love the concept of feeling comfortable and at home in different places in the world. Ecuador has a big piece of my heart and has been home for almost seven years. I have every intention of returning there to see friends, do something wonderful with our land, revisit my favorite haunts and bask in the natural beauty.