Moving to Ecuador
Expats moving to Ecuador will be overwhelmed by this compact country’s diversity and natural beauty. From its beautiful coastline to the Amazon jungle and the stunning Andes, Ecuador is sure to be a breathtaking experience for all who visit.
Most expats live in the capital, Quito, or Ecuador’s most populous city, Guayaquil. The peaceful city of Cuenca is also growing in popularity, especially among retirees.
Getting a work permit for employment in Ecuador is relatively straightforward, although job opportunities for those without an adequate level of Spanish tend to be limited. There is, however, a demand for English teachers and translators.
Personal safety is a concern in Ecuador, especially in cities like Quito and Guayaquil, where foreigners have been the target of violent crimes. It's best for expats to exercise the same caution they would in any metropolitan city: keeping valuables hidden, only walking in well-lit areas at night and avoiding public transport late at night.
Ecuador has a well-established public education system and standards are improving year on year. However, for most expats, public schooling isn't an option due to the fact that all lessons are taught in Spanish. Ecuador also has a handful of international schools, most of which are based in Quito.
Expats living in Ecuador will have access to an excellent level of medical care. Private hospitals in all of the country's major cities are equipped with the latest medical technology and staffed by fully trained doctors and nurses. The cost of private medical treatment in Ecuador is also reasonable, and is only a fraction of the price expats from North America and Europe would be accustomed to paying.
Expats who are considering relocating to Ecuador need to weigh up the pros and cons of doing so. While the country is blessed with scenic beauty and offers a low cost of living, great healthcare facilities and a steadily improving infrastructure, concerns about safety and a lack of viable schooling options are likely to be major issues, especially for expats with children.