Need room in exchange for?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Aug 12, 2013 9:00 AM Last Post By: inkita
Jun 27, 2013 5:40 PM
Need room in exchange for?I am coming to Ecuador on August 28th and am looking for accommodations for about 4 months. My usual way to travel is to save money and come home when it runs out. This is a bit different. I am coming to Ecuador as a sort of self-exile looking for a quiet and simple space in which to write and do some healing from the recent loss of my son. I picked Ecuador simply because I have never been there and I want to get better at Spanish.
If you were looking for a relatively safe environment to stay put in, where would that be? I am almost 60, female, very experienced third world traveler. I am hoping to be in a community with relatively few English speakers as well as a community where I can get involved and give of my time and talents. I will be looking for possible trades for room and board and/or supporting myself through tutoring English. I know most of these opportunities lie in the cities but would ideally like to be in a more rural smaller community.
Any and all opinions and tips are appreciated.
P.S. Am I going to be really sorry that I insist on bringing my cowboy boots? :) Seems to me that there is enough cool weather to warrant them, but not sure.
Jun 27, 2013 6:26 PM
1I am truly sorry to hear about your circumstances. You have my best wishes for a restorative trip to Ecuador. It is a beautiful country filled with friendly people. I hope you find what you need there.
If you wish to avoid significant densities of expats and foreigners, I would be wary of Vilcabamba and Cuenca, which are popular places for travellers and expats alike, even though they both offer the safety (and for Vilcabamba, the profound tranquility) you search for. However, I don't think you should necessarily cross them off your list.
The highlands of Ecuador are a beautiful region with fascinating culture. Highland Ecuadorians are naturally more reserved but once you get to know them they are extremely warm and welcoming. The area around Quilotoa is famous with backpackers for its villages, but these might be a bit small and remote for you. For tutoring English you are going to need a "critical mass" of people. Likewise for arranging a short-term let or similar.
For some reason I am thinking of Ibarra - located between the Colombian border (but it's perfectly safe) and Otavalo, you get the advantages of a medium size town and proximity to a particularly rich and interesting part of Ecuador. Otavalo is tourist central but the area is filled with small highland villages, volcanoes, and great walking. Plus you're not far from Quito if you need something from teh "big smoke". As well as Ibarra there is Riobamba, which again is a "city" but very close to some truly spectacular areas - you should definitely find a market for English tuition there (but be aware that on a tourist visa this is not officially allowed - you also need to look into the length you are planning to stay, although visa runs are relatively easy to do in that neck of the woods).
You can see some pictures of the regions discussed here to help you see what kind of places I'm talking about:
Ibarra and Otavalo
Quilotoa and Latacunga
General highlands region
Riobamba and the villages around it
A cheeky article on the delights of Ecuador
Best of luck on your journey.
Jul 1, 2013 3:15 AM
2You might want to google Coffeeworks volunteering in El Airo, Ecuador.
It's a small coffee cooperative in the south of Ecuador (5 hours by local bus from Loja, near the Peruvian border in the middle of nowhere), and they accept volunteers to help with the coffee production, working the land, teaching English to the kids of the cooperative, etc. I spent 2 weeks there last year (they accept people for much longer as well) and had a great time. They do require payment for your food and board, but it's not too much and becomes cheaper the longer you stay.
Jul 7, 2013 7:03 AM
Aug 7, 2013 1:29 PM
4I hear that Cotacachi (which I visited, is a nice quiet indiginous town near interesting things) has a few expats (and therefore accommodations) or perhaps villicumba (which i never went to, but may also have what you are looking for)
I think my friends mom just recently bought a house in Manta and really likes it there (along the coast)
Aug 12, 2013 9:00 AM
5Thank you for all the replies. Will, I have actually just been looking at Ibarra. It looks lovely.
As far as the visa problem goes, I had just assumed that I could take a short trip outside of Ecuador to a neighboring country and then come back but recently I heard something about a waiting period?
I am a person that loves bartering--at home and abroad--so I was envisioning teaching English in that capacity rather than for pay. I guess i will wait and see what opportunities arise.
The coffee plantation sounds like a great volunteer opportunity--I will check it out! Again, thanks. :)
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