by Toni Sanchez
In 1995 if someone had asked me about Ecuador I would have said: "Ecuador?"
Then one day I asked a minister what I should do with the rest of my life. He said: "Learn Spanish and go to Ecuador." So I did, but not in that order. I went to Ecuador, then I learned Spanish.
The minute I set foot in Ecuador something inside of me said: "At last, you are home." I have lived in many places, but never was it "home" to me.
Why do I like this place? I really do not know. It may be in the blood. I look around and see people who resemble family members.
My mother's maternal family were Blackfoot Indians. I think that in the distant past an Ecuadorian wandered north and started the Blackfoot Indian nation.
My grandson visited Ecuador a few years ago. People thought he was Ecuadorian. They just walked up to him and started speaking Spanish not thinking he was from the United States. It was a good experience for him. He now speaks fluent Spanish, although he's not living in Ecuador.
Now getting back to me. I love the mountains. From my house, on a clear day, I can see Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, and Tungurahua Volcanoes.
I love the way the farms cover the mountains like large patch-work quilts, always changing colors from planting to harvest.
Another reason I love it here are the prices. Go to the supermarket in the United States and try to buy a fresh bunch of broccoli---$2.49+. Here $.35.
Not too long ago I went to the farmers market to buy tomatoes. The lady asked me how many I wanted. I told her $1.00's worth. I opened my bag and shut my mouth. She gave me 35 medium sized tomatoes. I am sure that if I had said I wanted 5 tomatoes she would have charged me $1.00. I now buy all my fresh vegetables from her.
The house I had in the States would have rented for $900.00 a month. Here something better rents for about $200.00 a month.
I needed air conditioning and heating in the US. Lots of bills. Here if I want it cool I open the windows. If I want it warm I close them. No bills!
I went to the hospital in the US for 5 days. The bill was over $50,000.00. Here my husband was in the hospital for about the same period of time. Cost? $500.00. And he had surgery, I did not.
Here there is crime, but not like the vicious crimes of other countries. I walk alone at night without fear. Other places I have lived I would not walk out to the mail box after dark.
If any of this sounds appealing to you, come visit us.
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