Education & Schools *
Safety * Real Estate
Retirement in Ecuador: facts you need to know about education
in Ecuador, how safe and stable the country is and how to buy real
The Legatum™ Institute claims that the quality of education in
Ecuador could be improved by increasing the educational funding per
student, which is low compared to international standards. A teacher to
pupil ratio of 1 to 23 puts them in the bottom 50 countries world wide.
From my personal experience with class sizes in Germany and Ireland, 23
pupils per class seems pretty good.
you want your child to attend an international
or bi-lingual school, you should plan for settling in Quito or Guayaquil.
Although Cuenca is said to have bi-lingual schools as well, I couldn't
find much information on line. Some expats say that private
schools in Cuenca call themselves bi-lingual, but in reality are
Spanish schools who teach English classes as well.
Below is a
international schools in Ecuador with a web presence,
either the American or British style curriculum. The admission process
seems to be pretty straight forward and involves an assessment in
English and Maths. None of the schools have information about admission
or tuition fees on their sites.
Cotopaxi American International School, Quito: The roughly
500 students enjoy small class sizes of 14 -18 children. Classes are
taught in English, plus Spanish language lessons. The school was the
first to be accredited both by the International Baccalaureate Program,
and the SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).
Academy International, Quito: A Christian private school,
following an American curriculum. About 450 students enrolled in
2009/2010. No information about admission process on their
site. You'll have to inquire per email.
School of Quito: With
over 2,200 students by far the largest and the only bi-lingual school
in Quito. The non-religious, co-educational school was founded in 1940
by representatives of the United States Government, based on the
teaching of democratic values. Accredited by both IB (International
Baccalaureate Program) and SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and
- The British
School, Quito: A
non-denominational school following the British style curriculum. The
approximately 250 students are taught in English and have classes in
Ecuadorian Social Studies and Spanish language. Maximum class size is
22 students. I like their clear and simple admission process. Primary
school kids are invited to spend a day in school, where they will be
assessed on their English and Maths skills.
School of Guayaquil: A
bi-lingual, bi-cultural school in Guayaquil. Despite a good
infrastructure with computer and science labs, and a huge library,
class sizes seem to be pretty big with up to 35 students in Primary
school. Accredited by IB (International Baccalaureate
Information about private schools outside of Quito and Guayaquil is
hard to find. That's why articles like the one about the "Las
on the Pro-Ecuador blog are rare gems. Las Lomas is
considered to be the best choice for expats in Cotacachi.
taught in Spanish, plus daily English lessons. Tuition fees are $55 per
Safety & Stability
Before deciding about a potential retirement in Ecuador, you should
know how safe and politically stable the country is. Since its
independence from Spain in 1822, the political history of Ecuador was
an up and down between periods of stability and instability. Especially
in the 19th and early 20th century, presidents, dictators and juntas
changed in record time.
Because of its mostly non-violent nature, the political instability had
little effect on expats and foreigners
Immigration and visa policy stayed largely the same for more than 20
years, which is good news for your retirement in Ecuador.
the crime rate has not been the same for the last 20 years. According
to the Overseas Security Advisory Council's 2009 report, the murder rate in Ecuador has
doubled over the last 25 years
Depending on what resources you look at, Ecuador's murder rate is
stated with 19 murders per 100,000 people (that's about 4 times higher
than in the U.S., but only half the rate of Columbia) or it doesn't
even appear amongst the top 50 countries rated by murder per capita.
statistics you believe, you should be cautious when traveling or living
in Ecuador. As in most countries, the major cities have the biggest
crime problems. Tourist
areas, like beaches and hiking trails, are preferred targets
. Using public transport can be risky too.
Especially Guayaquil has a bad reputation for violent robberies and assaults
happening in taxis
It's best to only use radio-dispatched taxis there rather than hailing
one from the streets. You can obtain the phone numbers from the
American Consulate General.
Real Estate in Ecuador
There are no restrictions on
foreign-owned real estate in Ecuador. In fact, buying property could
qualify you for
. Most properties are sold by word of mouth
and never make it into the newspaper classifieds or onto agents' lists.
Therefor it's a good idea to hire
an agent who works mostly with foreign buyers
especially if your Spanish is limited to non-existent (like
Interested in Cotacachi?
Once you've found a
suitable property for your retirement in Ecuador, get an English
Pro-Ecuador.com offers reliable agent's services and a ton of valuable
information on living and buying property in Ecuador.
They will do the title research for you, investigate possible problems
with the so-called "derechos y acciones" (these "rights and shares" are
rights granted to heirs when property owners die without a will),
prepare the purchase contract and register the property at the Land
Registry. Expect to pay around 1% of the purchase price for the
Real estate taxes and
transaction fees in Ecuador are amongst the lowest in the world
and will in general not exceed 1.5% of the purchase price. Note that
all taxes are based on the municipal value of the property, which is
normally much lower than the actual sales price.
property taxes ("pedio") are low too. They vary between municipalities
and are normally a bit higher for city properties than rural ones. In
Quito, for example, property taxes are between 0.07% and 0.3% of the
municipal value. For a house in Quito, valued at $100,000, the maximum
property tax would amount to $300 per year.
To get a feel for the property market in Ecuador, I would recommend you
browse through the following web sites:
Probably the biggest property site in Ecuador with several thousand
listings. Spanish language version only. You can browse listings either
by location or by category. Or do a more advanced search using the
provided search boxes for location, type and price.
Specializes in beach front property in Bahia de Caraquez, Canoa and
other cities along the Central coast. Properties
are listed on one page, with a short overview, a photo and the location
in brackets. Clicking on the photo will
take you to a page with more details. Scroll down the page to find the
search box. Nice site maintained by a bilingual husband-wife team.
Specializes in houses, condos and lots along Ecuador's southern coast. No search
function. Select either "Houses," "Condos" or "Land" and scroll down the
page to view the listings. Lots of photos and informative descriptions,
but a bit awkward to navigate.
Specializes in properties in Cuenca and the surrounding Yunguilla
valley. Cuenca is already a hot spot for expats moving to Ecuador, and
Yunguilla is said to become one. No search function. Browse properties
by type. Easy to navigate site with plenty of photos and good
descriptions. Prices are more towards the higher end, but you can still
find town homes for under $90,000 and condos for under $70,000.
For your retirement in Ecuador, learn about Cost of Living * Climate
* Infrastructure & Internet Access
For your retirement in Ecuador, get the facts about Visa &
Health Care * Culture & People
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