Ecuador Expat File
Celeste P. 

Home country: United States

Currently Living in: North Carolina, USA

Moved to Ecuador with: Husband and young daughter

What made you want to move abroad?

Our main focus was to do volunteer missionary work. After visiting several other countries we knew Ecuador would be the best country for us, especially since at the time we were also bringing our six year old daughter and wanted to live somewhere safe.

How did you decide to move to Ecuador?

When we came down to visit friends in Otavalo we were totally smitten! We moved there permanently just 3 months later!

When did you move to Ecuador?

We moved to Ecuador August 1, 2007

When did you leave?

We moved back to the States permanently June 18, 2014.

Where in Ecuador have you lived?

Otavalo and Cotacachi in the Sierra, and  Tena and Archidona in the Amazon.

What was the hardest part of moving? How did you deal with it?

The hardest part of moving? That we couldn't move fast enough! And realistically, getting our visas and paperwork proved to be much more expensive and time-consuming than we thought. There is no way to deal with Ecuadorian red tape except to accept that you will confront plenty of it.

What challenges or joys have you had that you didn't expect?

The biggest challenge was health issues. Seemed like we were sick quite often, and even experienced the horror of dengue and a conga ant bite. They joys were the new friends I met almost daily!

What do you love about Ecuador?

Ecuador is a beautiful country and I love its biodiversity! From the beach, to the mountains, to the Amazon rivers, it's simply gorgeous. I also like the food of the Sierra!

What don't you like about Ecuador?

Having visited other countries, I find that the Ecuadorian people are not as warm and inviting as you might imagine. In fact, many will always treat you as an outsider and somewhat of an oddity if you don't look, act, or speak just like they do.

Would you recommend Ecuador to others? Why or why not?

It's a great place to visit, however I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a place to live without having visited and compared it to other countries first. I actually like southern Colombia much better.

Additional Comments

Visit Ecuador several times before you commit to it and settle for good! Moving to any foreign country can either be an awesome experience or a costly mistake! And overall, Ecuador is a pretty rainy & chilly country, not the tropical paradise you might envision, so pack your rain gear!


Thanks to Celeste for sharing her story!

Do you have an Expat Experience to share? Click here to add your story. 


› Celeste P

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