Cotacachi, Otavalo, Ecuador

Hello from Cotacachi, Ecuador.

We got over the border from Colombia, no sweat. I like countries with 5 minute immigration processes. The first place we went, about two hours south, was Cotacachi. We came here because it’s the first place interesting to us going south and because I wanted to meet the editors of International Living, who live here. That was interesting and informative. Now, we’re plannning to stay here a month.

Cotacachi is very comfortable for us. It’s rapidly becoming an expat destination, complete with the kinds of stores and other ammenities we like to have around us. If you can’t find something here, which is still often the case because it hasn’t gone full gringo yet, there’s a bigger city, Otavalo, about 20 minutes away and an even bigger one, Ibarra, about 30 minutes away. Cotacachi is cute, quiet, friendly, inexpensive, and at high altitude so it’s cool all the time and no mosquitoes

Most of the people we know who read this blog know we were considering obtaining residence visas in Ecuador if we liked it. As time goes on, we need less and less to keep moving. Also, we basically get it about Latin America, having just spent a year in Central America and having traveled in South America before. We decided we know all we need to know to go ahead and get Ecuadorean green cards. We started the process a few days ago and, cross our fingers, hope it gets done before our 90 day tourist visas expire. We hired a facilitator or shepherd the paperwork through. One false move and the government denies you. Almost everybody hires such a facilitator. She has almost all the documents she needs from  me, only needing our marriage certificate and half her fee to get stated. That’s in the mail. All she needs from Myung is her apostilled Korean police report. Her sister is on that. Hopefully it will get to Connecticut, where the facilitator’s US office is, late next week. Then it’s sit and wait.

Our immediate plan is to stay here in Cotacachi for a month. We stayed a few days in a really nice hostel, but it was $35/day. That adds up too quickly for us, so we moved to a furnished apartment. We didn’t look around long, taking the first place that appealed to us. It’s practically the town’s best penthouse, with 360 degree views. Here are pics in three directions. The last is of Cotacachi Volcano.


You see the cloud cover at 2 o’clock this afternoon? Typical of high mountains, the weather changes every hour. An hour before, it was hailing.


It’s almost a studio. The kitchen is separate. Here’s the living room, with Myung in her typical position of comfort for reading or using the computer…


… and of me in my position of comfort…


… and in the other direction…



Oh wait! I just published this, but there’s a rainbow out. Gotta include this…




Now, THERE’S real time blogging!

One of the first things you notice in Ecuador is there are many indigenous people around. I’m told they actually have power in Ecuador, instead of being second-class citizens like in most countries. In these pictures around the Otavalo Saturday market, you’ll see the indigenous look, but you really do see it all over. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are seen commonly in the modernized areas of Quito.

By the way, note the sun and dry conditions a half hour before the hail storm.



Here are a couple of postcard-type pics of central Otavalo.



I’m sure there will be a lot more to come about this area. There’s all kinds of natural beauty to explore. As we get to know the place, stuff to talk about will come up. For now, that’s going to do it.

Be well, all of you.

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