Hi, this is Scarlett and I'll be your guide today. Happy Wednesday the 6th of April and welcome to my A to Z blog challenge post for the letter E. My theme for this year's blog is the characters from my books, and while Ecuador is a place and not a fictional character, it plays a big role in all the books of the Providence in Ecuador series.
Quickly for those of you new to the series, each of the books begin with characters in the United States, but each story ends in Ecuador. As characters move to or visit this lovely country, it is at least for a time the setting. So I thought it was appropriate to include it in our getting to the know the characters series.
Ecuador is showing up a lot in the U.S. media lately. Not because of drug activities, possible wars, hoarding oil reserves or any of those other terrible things, but because it is quickly becoming a retirement haven for those wishing to live outside the U.S. There are beginning to be an increasing number of younger people with families moving here too. So what's so great about Ecuador?
The entire country is about the size of Colorado. But within the borders, there are three distinct climates. The Pacific coast, the Andes highlands, and the Amazonian rainforest. A little something for everyone, as long as you're not looking for snow and skiing.
|Ecuador is south of Florida on the eastern Pacific coast of South America. It is bordered on the north by Columbia on the south and west by Peru and sits at the Equator. The city of Cuenca is at 2 degrees south latitude of the equator.|
The cost of living is quite a bit lower than the U.S., Canada and European nations, making it attractive for retirees on fixed incomes. Rent, housing, utilities, basic groceries, and eating out are vastly less expensive, and there are many entertainment opportunities for free or just a few dollars. Non-essential things like electronics and clothing are more expensive.
But I think the biggest attraction to the country are its people and culture. The beautiful landscape, of course, doesn't hurt. But imagine a country where family comes first. Not just in rhetoric, but in reality. Family is much more important than a career, and/or the almighty dollar.
The people love to have a good time, festivals and celebrations go on nearly every week of the year. And the lifestyle is much slower paced and relaxed. Traditions are huge, heritage is important. Many people liken the way of life to the U.S. in the 50's or 60's.
As Gringos there are certain things that are hard to adjust to. Because of a relaxed slower pace, time is not as rigid. Manana might mean in the morning, tomorrow or sometime other than today. There is lots of noise. Loud music, fireworks, mortars and cannon fire are all part of the daily life here.
Enjoy some of my photos, and if you ever come to Ecuador, look me up. I'd love to show you around!
|Riobamba bus station|
|Devil's Nose Train in Alausi|
|Turi overlooking the city of Cuenca|
|It's Toucan Sam!|
|The New Cathedral at Parque Calderon|
|Pumapumgo Inca ruins|
Thanks for stopping by and join us tomorrow to meet Marshal Frankie McGras. With a name like that, can you guess which book takes place in Frankie's home town? And for more A to Z bloggers click here.
For the writers in the group: My friend John Keeble has a free promo today and tomorrow. I've read it and found it hysterically funny.
If you would like a free copy of my new book -- Dying to Write - The Delightfully Eccentric World of Writers and Poets -- it is available as a free download from Amazon on April 6 and 7.
The book, hilariously illustrated by American artist Amy D'Apice, is a whodunit parody of life in a writers and poets support group. Most people who have seen advance copies have found it very funny. I think only one or two wanted to kill me :)
However ... it is an adult book. If you are sensitive to adult language and themes, it may not be for you.
Get Dying to Write by clicking HERE.~*~
Scarlett Loving life in Cuenca!