Happy and Gay in Ecuador

| June 25, 2013 | 118 Replies


Happy and Gay in Ecuador


Gay in Ecuador

I am in a mood tonight…

Lets see if it affects my writing.

This is going to be a little bit about being gay in Ecuador, and a lot about why you keep asking me if it’s ok….

It is midnight here. It is dead silent. There is a mouse in my office and he is chewing on something. I can’t find him and it is driving me crazy….

I will kill him later!  Or maybe I will catch and release him… or maybe I will let him live here with me…. we shall see.  Maybe I will adopt him…


Story time….. I have a couple of them.


What’s In a Name 


Gay in EcuadorHave you ever been called a bad name?

Stupid can be hurtful, and being called fat might be devastating to some…

But how about being called a faggot. Is that just the nastiest word ever?

About two months ago I saw this great looking Porsche convertible. Two guys were in it, looked like they might be on their way to the beach. I followed them for a couple of blocks, I was in my work truck. Their car was just like mine but it was a gray color. Looked great.

“So, that’s how I look when I’m driving my little Porsche. Wow, I’m super cool.”

All of a sudden a pickup truck full of what looked like 3 men in their late 30’s sped past me on the right and caught up to these guys in the convertible. I could hear them yelling bad names at them and making ugly, nasty hand gestures. One of the men spit. I watched the guys in the convertible as the happiness was sucked right out of their faces, their laughter turned to sadness, then anger, then fear, all in about 5 short seconds.

Then as quickly as they had appeared, the truck full of half wit, deliverance types, turned the corner and they were gone. I watched the young man in the passenger side of the convertible put his face in his hands, he was shaking and I think he was crying. The driver pulled over and stopped the car and I slowly drove past them….

How does someone feel when something like this happens? My feelings were hurt and this was not even aimed at me. Would this hurt pass in a few hours or would it last a lifetime for these two people?

By the way, this little unhappy episode happened just outside of Palm Springs, California. Palm Springs is really gay. This should have been the last place in the world to see this type of behavior. But bad things happen.

So why the sad story?

Because people keep asking me if it is alright to be gay in Ecuador….

And I think maybe what they should be asking is….

How are my coping skills?

How is my self esteem?

Can I handle a big move to a South American country?

I can tell you that moving to an unfamiliar culture in a foreign land is not for wimps. Add the gay thing into the mix and it could be a deal breaker for some. It really depends on you.

You should probably be more concerned about learning the language and learning more about the local culture than worrying about your gayness.

And one more small suggestion….If your flame is set on high, I might turn it down a little when in public. Machismo is a big part of the Ecuadorian culture.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be yourself, just be discrete. Ecuador is a very friendly country, gay or not gay. You will find that being friendly and open will get you the same in return.

End of Sad Sad Story……


Happy and Gay in Ecuador Part Two


Gay in Ecuador

Here comes story number two…….


My friend Jenny has told me more than once that she is ok with gays but she just wishes they would keep to themselves. She is not up for any public affection…

That kind of thing just makes her think about what that whole mess must be like when they are intimate, and she didn’t want that taking up any space in her brain.

“It just grosses me out to think about two guys or two girls doing it”.

I turned and looked up at my 300 pound friend and then over at her husband, the ugliest man on the planet and said…..

“Ya Jenny, I know exactly what you mean….”


Sometimes people are rude and they don’t even know it. Want to be happy, get a little thicker skin. Don’t set those expectations to high. Expect nothing and sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised…. but don’t count on it.

A lot of Ecuador is pretty conservative. But with that said, it is also a very friendly and welcoming place. The bigger cities like Quito and Guayaquil are more liberal. Montanita and Vilcabamba are very liberal.  I saw a couple of girls holding hands in Montanita… Take your time, look around, and pick a community you feel comfortable in.

I personally have not seen any overt discrimination against gay people.

In 1998 Ecuador joined a small group of countries that enshrined protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in their constitution. The Constitution states that all individuals shall be considered equal and shall enjoy the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities, without discrimination due to birth, age, sex, ethnicity, color, social origin, language, religion, political affiliation, economic position, sexual orientation, health status, disability, or difference of any other kind.

So, just sharpen your awareness and don’t place yourself in a situation that could end up bad. Same-sex couples traveling in Ecuador should avoid public displays of affection in most areas. Just be discrete.


I just have to say that this subject bores me to death because it is all about fear and ignorance, bigotry and hate. And I’m still in a foul mood. But I think that mouse has fallen asleep. I will let him live.

I will celebrate the day that we no longer have to talk about this issue. Live and let live….. Nothing has ever gotten better because of hate.



And a few other things you might want to know….

  • Yes, it is true that all the good guys are either married or gay.
  • Yes, Cher is an alien and not from this world.
  • And yes, it is a proven fact that when gays move into a neighborhood, home values go up 20%.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


We sold our house so we have to move soon.


I just bought some precious metals because I am scared of the boogie man.


I joined a gym so I can feel better and it is not working yet…


I do not like getting old. Today I turn 58.


Ask me anything. Tell me anything.


Friend me. Subscribe. Leave a comment about anything you want…


Have a great week everyone.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Living in Ecuador, Random Thoughts, Retiring in Ecuador

Comments (118)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Petey says:

    Nice story

    • Thanks Petey… love your name.

      • Donna says:


        My partner & I are considering a move to Ecuador when we retire in 3 years. We hope to make a fact finding trip May 2015. would love your input as to what areas are good and which to avoid. We prefer a condo, ocean side or view.

      • Another George from Ecuador says:

        what a coincidence, I am gay George born same day as you and am also considering to move to Ecuador..It would be nice to share more.

        I liked your story!


      • Greg says:

        George we loved the article, my bf and I are very interested in moving to Ecuador in 2 years. We heard we can get residency if we jointly buy a property worth at least $50,000? Do you know how easy the property buying rules are?

        • Ecuador George says:

          It is not to difficult buying property in Ecuador. Selling it can be way more difficult. But that is true almost everywhere. We decided to rent so were wouldn’t be tied down and we put the $50,000 in a savings account in Ecuador are we are earning almost 8% interest.

          • Ed S. says:

            Hi George and THANK YOU for writing this blog! My partner of 31 years and I are seriously considering moving there in 2-3 years. My concern is we have a small commercial real estate asset that yields a comfortable income for life outside the U.S. (mainly because healthcare here is 1500 a month for the 2 of us with insanely high deductibles). We are considering liquidating this asset and using the cash either where we land eventually or an annuity, etc. I realize your message is 2 years old but have interest rates there plummetted like in the U.S. or are you still earning a decent percentage on the money you put in the bank there (close to 8% when you wrote this post)? I got sick (chronic Lyme disease) and was on all kinds of experimental protocols that were not covered by insurance so suffice it to say we cashed in 2/3 or our estate right in the middle of the worst drop in all the markets and so now we have to leave the U.S. to have a decent quality of life. We are both adventuresome and good guys.

            How are you after 2 years or so? Are you happy with your life there? I will catch up with your blog as I read through your posts. On a side note, the person who loudly told you to stop it (your forehead peeling experience) was the rude one – not you. IMHO a more appropriate way to handle something like that would have been to ask you if she could talk to you for a sec (in private) then say something like “I have a thing about peeling skin and for whatever reason it is unappetizing to me. Would it be too difficult to ask you to be aware of that? By the way, if you’d like I have some moisturizer and wipes in my bag and we can sneak outside and I can help you tidy up your forehead if you’d like.” No embarrassment, no making a person feel awkward (at least that would be my aim). Anyway, I don’t want to take up a lot of your time but just wanted to say “hey” and thanks because we are nervous about the move but excited. We are both pretty masculine but are not they type of guys who have any issues with more effiminate guys or transgendered men/women, lesbians (our dearest friends are a lesbian couple). We also have a lot of straight friends – people are people and we have had jobs that put us in front of the public for the better part of almost 40 years so we can get along with just about anyone. We are about the same age as you and Iam turning 60 soon. Anyhow, I will continue to read your blog and thanks again. Hope the wind is at your back, the sun is in your face and you are surrounded by people you love and who love you. Best Regards, Ed S.

            • Ecuador George says:

              I have $25000 in an Ecuadorian bank account and I am earning just under 8%. Because of what is happening in Ecuador’s economy right now, and with this devastating earthquake on the coast, I would not put anymore money in this country. I am pretty sure my $25,000 is safe, but in reality, it is only as safe as the government that is insuring it.

              Cuenca is a fine place to live, the weather is good, most of the people are friendly, with a few nuts and crazies to make it interesting. Lots of gay people here, they are friendly too. Come on down.


      • Frederick Zendron says:

        Hi George,
        I have been following your blog for a while now and have thoroughly enjoyed your perspective on the many subjects that you address.
        I am interested in how safe it is to invest money in an Ecuador bank…the interest rates are phenomenal. I am moving to Ecuador in 2017, and would like to invest money in banks not real estate.
        I am trying to choose between Cuenca nd Loja, your thoughts are this, please.
        Rick Zendron

        • Ecuador George says:

          I have $25000 in a bank here in Ecuador to qualify for my visa. With the local economy what it is right now, and oil prices so low, and now the earthquake, I would not put money in these banks, other than what is needed to qualify for a visa. Just my opinion… George

          p.s. Loja is ok but just to small of a town. Cuenca is just right.

    • Fred Simrod says:

      Very interesting story.. I would very much like to ask certain questions but in a reserved conversation..Very obliged beforehand. Fred

  2. Mary Beckman says:

    Congrats on the house and Happy B-Day!

    • Thanks Mary… It is sort of surreal whenever I think about moving and not living here anymore. We have 2 months to get rid of most of our stuff and find another placed to live. I think I may need to buy some boxes…. Hope to meet you and your husband when we move there. Stay well. George

      • Nancy Barnes says:

        Hi George! Lately I have been going through my house getting rid of things not used for a HUGE garage sale. I have been learning Spanish and can now ask for a beer (una cerveza por favor) . lol. I am still on the fence about totally letting go and moving to Ecuador as I have kids and grandkids in the US. But the more I hear about drones and other types of surveillance. it makes me want to run away. I don’t mention Ecuador to my 81 y.o. mother anymore as she thinks I am crazy. ( I have always been the progressive thinker in the familly) It. takes guts to make such a monumental move. I still have 3 years to think about. For now….baby steps.

        • Fred Simrod says:

          well.I have so many thoughts to share–simply no way to –not even 10%– to compart here or anywhere else.. perhaps only in person. Anyway I am 80 but still athletic..live in Salinas after having moved all over the world {only to US 3 times..only to Arg 2 times..} Moving everything..Not just a week duration but entire household– so you might say very few people have the kind of expertise in leaving homes and starting “new life” like I did..With my wife of 57 yrs of marriage.Also as to gay behaviour and for that matter ANY kind of pros and cons in ECU..Be it in GYE or Salinas or Montañita..Just ask and I have the best will to give you my experience of most everthing.. Best of luck Fred

  3. Very well written, George. Stu and I were talking with someone a couple of weeks ago, wish I could remember who it was. Anyway, they said that as they had gotten older they had realized that had gotten much more liberal in regards to gay people. We both nodded, knowing that was a good thing. So many people have blinders on, not realizing that many of the people they interface with regularly are gay…but not blatant about it.

    Just like I’m not blatant about the fact that I love to drink green olive juice. If someone sees me, that’s fine, but it’s not something I feel I have to tell everyone.

    Being gay shouldn’t have to be announced…not because gays should be ashamed but because it shouldn’t matter.

    When we were in Cuenca we met a wonderful gay couple relocating from Atlanta. We gave them our card and told them we’d love to stay in touch. Hoping we can meet up when we move in December. Not because they’re gay, but because they were interesting, fun loving and caring people.

  4. Cathy Stewart says:

    This post comes at just the right time George. I’d like my brother to relocate with me to Ecuador. He’s reluctant, mostly because of the discrimination that he’s dealt with his whole life. Would it be OK for him to email you with thoughts/questions?
    Thanks for your posts.

  5. Debby says:

    I love your style George! Happy birthday and congrats on being one step closer to the big adventure!

    • Ecuador George says:

      Thanks Debby…. My style today is bathrobe, a day old chef salad, and a hot cup of coffee. Thanks for commenting and reading the blog… George

  6. Dennis Colwell says:

    Nice writing, George. I read it within a few minutes of reading MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech (50 years old yesterday), and speaking of age, I turned 57 two weeks ago.

    Being Gay. What a subject.

    We were very lucky during our three month stint in Cuenca, never a single problem with the issue; in fact, quite the opposite. I think we are extra paranoid, because of the fact that we have a 13 year old son.

    I think the question you posed regarding dealing with this issue, “How is your self-esteem”, is perhaps key to how we are and act, how we are perceived, and how people respond to us.

    Good, thought provoking blog. Thanks for posting.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Dennis…. How exciting to slowly loose that paranoia… What other people think of me is none of my business. I don’t worry about that crap anymore but it took some time and a lot of work. Much happiness to you and your family. Hope to meet all of you in Ecuador someday. George

  7. Gene says:

    I had a friend that said it was ok for me and my late partner to come to her home, but she didnt want to see any affection. I guess it is ok for her straight family to hug, kiss and all that crap, but not the gay couple. Not much of a friend I guess. Havent seen her in a while. When I move to Ecuador next year, I want gay and straight friends. I just dont want to see the straight ones make out,,LOL.

    • Ya Gene… sometimes it is a ball buster…. But don’t take on their behaviors. Let them learn from your classy behavior. Eventually we all find friends that we can be ourselves around, and then those other fair weather friends seem to disappear… Thanks for the comment.. George

  8. Sheila says:

    Happy Birthday George! I will turn 60 in July 11! We’re both Cancers! No wonder we get along so well! And the gay thing, love is love is love! My daughter’s best friend from college is gay and I love him like a son. He flew from California to South Carolina to stand with her at her wedding! As far as “public displays of affection,” my husband and I don’t even to that! LOL!

    • Ya, I agree with public displays of affection. We used to have a couple here in town that would always be sticking their tongues down each others throat in public. I never understood why the guy and gal felt that this needed to be done outside the general store, but there they would be, kissy kissy tongue tongue… There are certain things that need to stay at home… no matter who you like kissing…. George

  9. AngieW. says:

    Feliz cumpleaños mi amigo.

  10. Anne Luyster says:

    Sorry you were in a mood. I haven’t seen that from you often but it happens at times to the best of us. I don’t mind simple displays of affection from anyone but don’t like seeing make-out sessions from anyone either straight or gay in public. After many delays I’m finally making the big move at the end of August. Had a big yard sale last weekend and did very well. There is just some furniture left to get rid of. As the time is getting closer I’m thinking what am I doing, but in the next instant get excited. Happy BD and if you think you’re old wait til you hit 64 which is where I am. Thanks for the great blogs.

    • Anne, I don’t usually have moods. But every once in a while I get disappointed in someone or in this case a group of people. My expectations, my problem…. This morning I chose to work on the problem these people have created instead of being disappointed in them. Problem solved and back to my old self….

      We are having delays too. Who would have guessed that moving would be so much work and so time consuming. I think we are going back to Cuenca in early December for a couple of weeks. Not 100 percent sure yet, but I need my Ecuador fix…. We will be having our first yard sale next month….

      Stay well Anne,


  11. charlene charles says:

    Thank you for the information. Very helpful. I don’t recall asking about being Gay in Ecuador, but I obviously did.

    Great Blog.


    • Ecuador George says:

      That is funny Char… I know that not everyone asked about being gay in Ecuador, but for a while it seemed like that was the most popular email question I was getting. It took me this long to figure out how to answer a question like that. It is funny, when Chad and I travel we always ask for a room with two beds, not because we are afraid of what people might think, but because we have been different sleeping habits when we travel. I read and write late at night and Chad loves to sleep, and sleep, and sleep. All these issues seem so silly to me but they are real and a fact of life I guess…. Thanks for reading and commenting Char…. George

  12. Rex Ageton says:

    Congrats on the house!!! Do I remember you had several to sell, or are you two on your way to Cuenca? speaking of gross “Yeah Jenny ….” I remember the first time I thought about my parents having sex …YUCK!!! the only PDA we see here is the young “novios” curled up along the banks of the Yanuncay since they have no other place to go. Middle age couples, like those in the States, rarely do more than hold hands in public. agreed, what you experienced was ugly and has no place anywhere. It does affect our psyche when we experience the prejudice in the world. We have not, not have we heard from our gay friends here, of rampant homophobia. Your caution about PDA in public places is good advice, however. The macho culture still exists, but we have found the Cuencanos to be universally polite. You might also want to check (or have us do so) on what NOT to put on your documents when applying for residency. Probably urban legends, but we have heard of cases where residency was denied based on sexual preference. See you in Cuenca soon 🙂


    • Ecuador George says:

      Yes Rex,
      This one is our actual residence that sold so we will need to move. We sold another one already a few months ago and we have one in the town over that we have on the market… We will be very careful what we put in writing… and I am sure everything will turn out just like it is suppose to… Stay well Rex. George

  13. Leigh Frost says:

    Happy Birthday, George!
    I think it is such a shame that in this day and age, there is such ignorance and intolerance regarding gay relationships.
    I laughed about your thoughts regarding your “300 pound” friend, and I cringed about the two guys in the Porsche being harassed – especially near Palm Springs (my former home town before moving to EC).
    Those of us from Palm Springs are proud of the gay community and their many contributions to the city.
    And, George, there is a thriving gay community in Olon/Montanita (as in other cities in Ecuador). The Ecuadorians are surprisingly tolerant and kind people (though “turning down the flame” a notch is probably good advice – since here, as elsewhere, there are going to be some stupid assholes).
    But I should think you and Chad will find yourselves very welcomed by most all Ecuadorians when you do make the move here.
    Congrats on selling your house!

    • Hi Leigh…. Ah yes, my 300 pound friend. I think we all know this type of person. It is always about them. Not sure, but I sometimes wonder if these people actually see themselves as the center of the universe with everyone and everything revolving around them… Crazy stuff.

      Chad and I have never worn our sexuality on our sleeve. When you think about it, it is such a small part of the whole thing. We just go to work, come home, play with the dog, and get ready for the next day… Pretty normal stuff. I think that is the way most people live, both straight and gay…

      We keep getting closer to being able to move. Looks like another short delay but we will fly out in December, I think, and hang for another 2 weeks…

      Stay well Leigh…. George

  14. Joy Kelley says:

    Hey George. You are one of the reasons that I am not giving up on my plans to move to Ecuador. When I get there I want to meet you and become your friend. You are clever, funny, and so real. I am not gay, but I think one of my Yorkies is. I have too many dogs, which gives me pause(or paws) but I need to be where there is a life, where I can photograph, write, and not worry about being so poor. Thank you for being a bright voice! Joy

    • Ecuador George says:

      Thanks Joy…. I love my pet too. She sits at my feet all day long. Hope to see you in Ecuador and look forward to your friendship… George

  15. Tom Gallagher says:

    I’ve looked at microcosms of societies for many years; all have their ass holes, some more than others. I learned very early in life that I should never miss the opportunity to understand what another person is all about. There is really only one looser in being prejudice, the one who is. I’ve seen the same scenarios that you have written about and I find then offensive and irrational.

    • Tom, You are 100 percent correct. I became a better person when I started walking towards and embraced diversity. So many people with so many wonderful and different ideas. My world is so much bigger now. Thanks for the comment my friend.

  16. Rodney says:

    Nicely written George. I considered moving to Ecuador but fell in love with Peru first. I have visited Quito since moving here and loved it. It’s a beautiful city. Keep up the good work amigo.


    • Ecuador George says:

      Wow, you live in Peru… Very cool. I read a little of you blog… nice style of writing. Easy to read and interesting. Thanks for dropping by Rodney. George

  17. Bo Boaz says:

    George-George…I just returned from Cuenca. The visit was only two weeks, did not realize it was winter there, even though I did my homework. The lack of sunshine was difficult to deal with, the only sunny day was the day we left! We drove back to GYE and it was spectacular… as wonderful as the Himalayas and the Alps. W e, my neice Carol and I are still planning aSept-Oct move. The BMW convertible and 55 years of traveling and buying STUFF have all got to go, separation anxiety lasted about 3 months. Happy B.D. Hope to meet you in Ecuador. Bo and Carol,Nashville,,,I will be 69 in Sept. in need of yet another adventure,,,Great BLOG.

    • Bo,
      We have been wondering when the two coldest months were in Cuenca. We want to spend a month on the coast each year and also visit our home in the USA for a month. Doing that during the rainy winter season is the perfect time…. Good to hear you are still planning a move. We will see you when you get to Cuenca… George

  18. Lee says:

    Dear George…
    LOVED reading this. SPOT on. I’ve now lived in Cuenca for 1 year and feel you’ve summarized it very well. As to PDA, I don’t see overt behavior on anyone’s behalf. There IS the Latin Machismo, so you hear the whistles now and again, and I’m happy to report that “I” have received a few myself. YEEhaw. I wear that badge proudly as I turn 63 on the 30th. There are isolated pockets of discrimination…I know of a gay expat couple who were denied renting a house due to their orientation. But, they found something to their liking without difficulty. Pity the prior landlord was so short sighted. His property could have been improved significantly. I want to emphasize this as an isolated incident. I have not run into this…quite the opposite. As to gay expats interaction with straight expats, I think it’s extraordinary. Not just accepting, but engaging. There are wonderful, multifaceted people here. You’ll always have the odd duck, but there’s one in every crowd. As you say, it’s how we perceive ourselves and how well adjusted WE are. No one needs to wear anything on their sleeve. Relax. Live. This isn’t San Francisco…it’s a nice place to just be peeps and enjoy life and the opportunities this city offers. Hope you and Chad can find yourselves living here soon. You have a place at MY dining table…!!! It’ll be a better place because you’re both here. Feliz cumpleaños y larga vida y prosperidad. Okay, I borrowed a bit from Spockito. Now get your hips in gear…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lee,
      We just keep moving forward. Nice to hear that people are all getting along with each other… I found a buyer for my truck and they will let me keep it up until the last day we are here. So, there is another car that is sold… Ya. Lots to still do. Still have a Porsche and a Mini Cooper to sell and two motorcycles. And all this furniture…. But things are moving…. We will visit again in December of this year… George

  19. Ray says:

    Happy Birthday George.

    Ray & Tiago

    • Ecuador George says:

      Thanks Ray… getting ready to meet the party at Outback Steakhouse… Nothing like a big piece of meat on your birthday….

  20. Sally Dawn says:

    Happy happy Birthday and congratulations on the house! Love your blog.

  21. cynthia says:

    Happy birthday, George. Hope to see you in Ecuador soon!

  22. James Lannon says:

    Happy Birthday George. I Sure wish I started considering the move 11 years ago like you but I’ll just have to truck on anyway.

    • Ecuador George says:

      James…. I have been working on moving to Ecuador for less than two years, not 11 years. Hope to see you in Ecuador.

  23. Judy Nelson says:

    Happy birthday yesterday, George !!!!!!! Loved you words and your insights and your style of !writing. Congrats on selling the house!
    We ask for separate beds usually also, we are hetero and I don’t care if anyone wonders about that! I am currently under 3 dogs on the bed, gotta escape, they are like ovens! How is your golden girl?

    • Judy…..
      My golden, Missy is doing great. She has been sleeping next to me lately… and she hates it when I leave for work… She is the best dog. We move in 2 months and do not have a place to go yet… We need to start thinking about some of these things. If we weren’t both working so hard we would have more time…. I need to find the best attorney in Ecuador to help us get our visa before we get there. I have heard some expats received their visa from the local consulate.. We will see what happens…. George

  24. Athena says:

    Thanks George for the topic,
    I’ve been telling my younger brother about our plan to move to Ecuador, and hoping he would follow us someday. He is gay and convinced that he wouldn’t be welcome there, its good to hear something positive.

  25. Zainal says:

    How come when the update notification reaches my email, your post already has so many comments?

    *sorry, I have no other comments, just want you to know that I still am following your blog*

    zainal, kuala lumpur,malaysia

    • Ecuador George says:

      Hi Zainal… So glad you are still here. You are my Malaysia connection. We want to travel to Malaysia in 2015. I post my blog link on a few Facebook groups and those are the members who comment first. George

  26. Frank R. says:

    Hello George!

    Just started researching retirement ideas for my partner and I for the future and was lucky enough to come across your blog. We want to visit the Cuenca area and we were wondering if you have any contacts to help us in planning the trip?

    Thank you and I hope you had a great B-day.


    • Ecuador George says:

      Frank…. I will help you out.

      If you only have a week then fly into Cuenca… you will have to go thru Guayaquil or Quito. Stay the whole week in Cuenca, do a few tours, walk the city, and stay at Casa Ordonez. Alberto is a friend and he will set you up with tours and he will let you know what you should be doing…. Always mention Ecuadorgeorge and he will give you the best pricing….

      If you have two weeks, spend 4 or 5 days on the coast then fly or bus over to Cuenca. Fly into Guayaquil and get yourself to Salinas for a couple of nights and then over to Montanita for a couple of nights. Then bus or van back to Guayaquil and then fly or bus to Cuenca…. If you need more info let me know… George

      • Nels says:


        It’s a gray Sunday in Vermont with temps at -30 with the wind chill. What better time to discover your wonderful blog and spend a few hours surfing though! I’m going to Ecuador in the Spring for 1-2 weeks and appreciated the suggestions you gave Frank. I’m considering moving in a year or two and teach English.

        I lived in Costa Rica for 2 years in the late 80s and loved it, especially living like a Costa Rican- no Gringo-gated penthouse for this man!

        Ice bound in Vermont,


        • Ecuador George says:

          Nels…. Glad you like the blog. I am working on my next post today. Hopefully be ready in a few days. Hope you subscribe.. George

          • Nels says:

            Hola George, I booked my fights to Ecuador. Planning the trip is getting me through the winter blues. Thought I would enjoy the ocean first, so it.s Montanita, followed by Cuenca, and winding down in Vilcabamba.

            Did you get any vaccinations for your first trip? Perhaps we could meet when I’m in Cuenca.

            Best, Nels

  27. “It’s really hard to hate someone
    for being different when
    you’re too busy laughing together.”
    ~ George Takei

  28. Silvia says:

    As an Ecuadorean I just want to say that we don’t like overt displays of affection no matter who you are. We just don’t find it in good taste. Women that go around kissing and making fools of themselves in public soon have a very bad reputation. It’s just how we see thing, you want to get frisky get a room 😉 hahahaaa. So this goes for everyone, just how it is not ignorance or hate.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Silvia… You are so right… who wants to watch doing all that out in public. Good comment. George

  29. George In Quito says:

    I was interested and impressed by your topic. In Quito, just a few weeks ago, there was a sort of Gay Pride parade down Amazonas then winding back and dispersing at the Magic Bean so everyone could walk over to Plaza Foch and party all night. The Metro police obligingly blocked off the streets, and let it happen. There were no “incidents” that I could see.

    I took a bunch of pix of the parade and shipped them to some of my gay friends in El Norte with suggestions that some of the veterans of the Gay Pride parades in the States might want to come down here and help out. Ecuador’s gay community is still about thirty years back. They’re still making their own costumes. I also posted some of the more adequate pix on my facebook page.

    I’ve always had gay friends, and can’t see what all the fuss is about. There have always been gay people, and there always will be. It’s a fact of life in the universe. And I like your observation about the sexual orientation being such a small part of what a human being is.

    My move down here was attended by the Lords of Chaos. I finally said to heck with it, put some stuff in storage with friends, scheduled the flight, gave everything away that I didn’t sell, and just did it. I agree with all the folks here who talked about how friendly the Ecuadoreans are. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the locals.

    Here’s a belated happy birthday good vibe for ya. I celebrated my 71st birthday on May Day with about twenty of my new best friends at a lodge on the back side of Cotopaxi. The next month I climbed that bad boy – well, up to the glacier. Only ice climbers go to the top.

    Thanks for your blog, George. It’s one of the things that got me off my butt, and motivated me to have some more adventure in my life.

    • Hey George from Quito,
      You sound like a great person. Hope to meet you when we get to Ecuador. I know this response is a little late but I just had to say hi. It inspires me to know that maybe, at 71, I might have the motivation to keep on changing and experiencing new things… Hasta Pronto mi amigo… George

  30. Dave in California says:

    “Expect nothing and sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised”

    A great motto for life, I think.

  31. Anne Luyster says:

    George, Have not heard from you in a while. Just concerned. Hope you’ve just been busy and that everything is ok with you and Chad. I’m leaving for my big move Aug. 29th. Excited and nervous at the same time.

  32. Anne,
    Thank you for you concern… I have been completely overwhelmed and have tried at least 4 times to write my next blog but have not had the time to even complete an outline. This scaling down and moving process is so time consuming and we are doing our best just to keep everything together.

    I will do my best to get something on paper in the next week or so… I need to write about all of this…


  33. Ronnie says:

    Hi George,

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I like it. Do you live in Quito? I was born and raised there but haven’t lived there for 16 years. I am a gay girl and I was thinking of going back. I have a question that may seem sort of elitist but it its not my intention, so I apologize beforehand! Why does it seem that most of the gay people who are out in parades, etc are “lower class” people? Do you hear of openly gay people or couples in the upper levels of society? Don’t get me wrong, I an honestly just curious. Thanks!

    • Ecuador George says:

      Ronnie… Different people express themselves differently. I never understood why some guy would wear a pair of pants with his butt cheeks hanging out but that is how he is feeling so he does it. Maybe some are angry, some are looking for acceptance and this is the group that they find it in, it is different for everyone. Life is interesting that way. Next time you see this, walk up and talk to these people, then ask them these questions. That is what I do. Each person will have a different answer… Isn’t that wonderful… George

  34. Greg & Rob says:

    We happened upon this great site today & are hoping to take advantage & maybe meet some gay & lesbian people from Ecuador. We have planned on retirement in Ecuador for about 12 years now & time goes fast so it is now time. We are coming in January to search for & purchase our home to retire in & have a couple locations in our sites but would enjoy learning about Cities, Towns and so forth by those of you living there. We desire to live in a rural area & are asking if this is a good choice or not for a gay couples ages 51 & 46 (together 25 years May 2013). Our happiest days were when we lived on a Farm in the Mid-West of the USA but we did experience a bit of discrimination. That was in the early 1990’s so it may be different now. How are the “Finca” areas in Ecuador? Any suggestions as to good areas where one can live rural & still be within an hour commute to Quito or another large City with all of the gay culture & openness? Our hope is simply to meet gay & lesbian friends & email back & forth so that when we arrive we may have a small circle of friends as wealth is truly measured not by money but by the friends and relationships we maintain & cherish. Thanks to all who are reading!!! Greg & Rob “UpState, NY”-USA

    • Ecuador George says:

      Greg and Rob…. All I know is that we saw some beautiful rural areas outside of Cuenca. You will have to come and see for yourself. Maybe someone will answer you here on this blog or you could join some of the Facebook groups that are especially set up for people moving to Ecuador. Start with Expats Unleashed then go over to Ruta del sol mates. There is also a site called Ecuador Expats. Good luck. George

  35. Jason says:

    Hey George, I am moving to Quito in Feruary and I’d like to speak to you about Ecuador… Mi novio es muy asustado! He grew up in Esmereldes and he thinks that I might get hurt in Quito for being gay, I am pretty macho myaleg but I would love to speak, please email me 🙂

    • Ecuador George says:

      Jason, I just sent you and email but I will answer this here too.

      I believe it is safer to be yourself in the larger cities in Ecuador. Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca all have a large gay community. Montanita and Vilcabamba are also two cities that you might feel right at home in.

      I have been told that the further north on the coast you go the rougher and more dangerous things become. I do not know this first hand but I have heard it from more than one person.

      Good luck…. George

  36. John Roosa says:

    70yrs retiring attorney from West Texas….I am so glad I found your blog and read for hours. So glad it ended with this article. Today the Pope reaffirmed what all faithful, Catholic or Protestant, should know. “Who am I to question God’s children”. Moving to Cuenca hopefully by Feb. 14, if I can get all paperwork done timely. George, you are an inspiration to both gays and 70yrs. straights. Thank you.

    • Ecuador George says:

      John…. Thank you and may I say you are an inspiration to me with this comment of yours… Hope to meet you some day… George

  37. Lauren says:

    Just stumbled on this blog. Lots of good info here. Hubby and I want very much to relocate to either Ecuador, Chili, or Costa Rica. And so connecting to what Nancy shared. We’re both nearly 60 and would love to get out of the states, but we have 5 grown kids and 10 grandkids, and his parents nearly 90. And they all would think we’re crazy! But we’re so ready what with all the things that have been happening lately. So we’re getting our passports, and learning Spanish, and getting rid of stuff too. Looking forward to meeting like minded folks:-)

    • Ecuador George says:

      Lauren, Ecuador is a little more difficult to get to. There are direct flights to Panama and Costa Rica from the States… Ecuador usually takes up a total of 13 to 15 hours to get to from the West Coast. Something to think about if you are going to be flying back and forth to visit… Good luck. George

  38. Gary says:

    George, I stumbled across your site. It is very interesting. I like all of what you have to say, however after reading it I am now worried about taking a vacation to Quito. I know there are bigoted people everywhere in the world, but the way you told of a few occasions I am nervous about our vacation plans. We live in California in the US. It tends to be much more liberal here than in other southern parts of the US, so I realize it all depends on where you are at in a country. We do not show public affection, and are both very masculine. We would however be sharing a bed in a hotel room, etc. Would that be looked at negatively in larger cities in such as Quito, etc? Also, I know this might be a obviously weird question, but would we get around ok there for a week visit if we speak minimal Spanish? I know it always helps a lot to know the native language. We are trying however. Thank you so much for your information! I am really excited to get to go there, so I hope it all works out.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Gary…. Chad and I have had no problems. If the hotel room concerns you just ask for two beds but in Quito you will not have any problem. Try and learn a little spanish if you can. How to talk to the cab driver and how to order food. That should get you by for sure. Do not be afraid to travel in Ecuador. It is a beautiful and friendly place… George

  39. Thomas says:

    I’m a very far right guy I think. But this is one subject that I don’t get. I just don’t care. Also being a “true” conservative you should NOT care. A conservative is supposed to live and let live. Freedom etc…. Yet they/we(not me) are so concerned about what people do in this FREE country. Leave them alone. They usually like nice things so that means they have good jobs. They keep their house and cars nice.

    I have two gay couples that are close friends of ours. Really close friends. I kinda cringe when they get affectionate but that’s my problem not theirs. I do understand what your chubby friend means about it being gross. It’s ok for her to talk about that. Talking about it usually helps if youre trying to be productive. Having said that I’m a typical male pig and two women don’t seem to bother me at all. Hypocritical! Yeah we all are probably to an extent. Hard not to be. We’re all human. Think what you want but just leave them alone.

  40. Real says:

    Hi George,

    Great posts, I hope you and Chad’s plans are running smoothly. I noticed you decided to go there as 2 single guys. That makes it twice as expensive for investor visas.

    I’m currently in a same sex conjugal (we call it commonlaw in Canada) relationship. In 2 years we plan on moving to Ecuador and live on my pension(pensionado visa likely). Since Ecuador doesn’t recognize same sex marriage, but does recognize unions, should we get a union, stay conjugal, get married or perhaps go there as 2 gingle guys using investor visas instead?

    This fall we are going for a few week vacation to Montanita to do some kiteboarding and relaxing by the ocean. We can’t wait.

    • Ecuador George says:

      We are doing our visa with cash deposits because it is the easiest for us. And we can convert that visa into a pension visa later on if we decide to stay long term. If I were you and you are planning on retiring and staying in Ecuador long term, I would get a union and then just use your retirement pension to get your visa… Good luck and have fun in Montanita… George

  41. Greg Cracolice says:

    We are so pleased reading about all of the LGBT Couples & Individuals moving to Ecuador. My partner Rob & I (celebrating 25 yr’s May 6th 2014) have traveled extensively & have concluded that our retirement will be in Ecuador. We never worry too much what people think or say about “being gay” as it is actually a small part of our lives overall, at least in the grand scheme of things, that is how we feel. We are ages 51 & 46 & are still deciding exactly which community we want to buy in but we would appreciate any & all correspondence with any suggestions what-so-ever. We enjoy rural, hobby-farm type lifestyles but we can adjust. We are organic eaters & want to continue growing our own food and so forth. I thought I would write my first reply or shout out and thank you all for all of the wonderful stories and information. I love “Ecuador George” & tell everyone I know about it. Keep up the great work. Greg & Rob, UpState, NY

  42. Jeff says:

    George Hail! My son in the Cayman Islands is planning to move to Cuenca and would be interested to know if you have visited any bookshops and if so did you see if they sell Lonely Planet travel guides there in English. They are available all over SE Asian in Englsh, often pirated copies for a few dollars but I know English is not big in South America. Love your blog, have it bookmarked in my lap top.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Carolina’s Bookstore is probably your best bet but I don’t know if they carry Lonely Planet… Sorry. George

      • fred simrod says:

        well..I am Fred and sure cld be of help to you..I am in ECU now for 60 years, also naturalized.. Had one enterprise among 4 partners {we got up to 410 empoloyees} and retired for 10 years..I am NOT bloting when I say I also won more than 20 tennis national championships, also one Southamerican, and 5 times national bridge first..Now I live in a 5 floor coastline building, very happy.. Tough I lost almost everything except the dept we live in.. still I am content here… Now tell me abt youirselves.. Where do you live?? Hugs Fred
        and I want to add lots more thing..First–Whenever you wld like to have my comments, on everything..pls just ask.. Ecuador is simply wonderful and though Calif is THE most liberal thinking State in the world, Ecuador has nothing against gay etc…Cuenca is wonderful {I spent abt 4 months on several vacations..even 3 bridge championships..} AND I know there are more than 2000 US retirees there….I am myself hungarian but lived most of my life in ECU -though also in the US {–14 years} Paraguay {2yr} Argentina {5yr} so I really can give advise almost to everyone.. Have a great life, good luck Fred

  43. Joy says:

    Hey George, I love your website. You and Chad are great guys, lots of fun with generous hearts so you will do well wherever you are.
    Un abrazo de tu amiga,
    Joy de Yanapuma

  44. mary severine says:

    I’m a little slow. You’re gay???

  45. Adam says:

    Hi George

    Thank you for the great post. I’m moving to Cuenca from the UK next year (May/June 15) with my Ecuadorian boyfriend of 6 years. I can’t wait. We’re looking to open a new cafe bar and are in full planning mode. We’re both 30 and are very excited to give our 30s a try in Ecuador… a little nervous of course but prepping as much as possible!

    Hope to get to meet you one day and thank you for the great blog!


  46. Great article, George, and beautifully written. Your wisdom, perspective, and humor hit all the right notes in lighting the way for others.

  47. Scott C says:

    Hi. Thanks for writing this blog full of great information.

    We are a gay couple. My partner’s also a builder, 58. I’m neither a builder nor 58. 😉

    We are visiting Ecuador for the first time this year for a month. Our ideal holiday is just to rent an apartment for a month in a town and live in it, rather than hike around and try to see everything. We prefer to discover a city and culture as we live there.

    So your information on being gay in Cuenca and renting, etc., is very helpful to us.

  48. D & E says:

    Hello George

    I recently came across your website at the right moment in our lives. My wife and I are planning to visit Ecuador this year on a fact finding mission. Our desire is to retire abroad but we’d like to feel comfortable in that environment. I’d like to speak with you about locations to visit on our trip. Thanks


  49. Brent says:

    Hello George,
    Hold on to your …handkerchief!!!
    Your not gonna believe this one!
    So I’m from USA my partner is ifrom Ghana. Tee and I have been together for two years but I live and work in the Middle East. We want to move to Equador buy a home and get our relationship recognized in Quito. I am able to buy a home and set up for a retirement program , our reason to move to Equador is that we have some legal protection under the law that is recognized. Where we both live …we live in silence. We want to come to Equador to be able to live our lives in peace. My question for you is if we come for a visit can we get legal recognition of our relationship? Will this assist us in both being able to move to Equador in the future? We can also get married in South Africa. Yet I don’t know what is best to do as I am getting mixed messages … Yes it’s legal…but Equador is still conservative and we can deal with that…we just want to both be able to come together and live our lives there in peace and live abundant lives on my pension and investments. I am starting to get the picture, “Equador is no San Fransisco” no problem we are used to keeping things quiet and both of us are pleasant and creative fun loving human beings. I was looking at a property near Esmeralda in the country but do not know if that’s a good idea. We thought we could live on the farm because we are so excited to finally be together creating our dream together. We got a lot to learn…so maybe you can offer your best advice.
    sincere thanks,

  50. Jon G. says:

    Wow…. George your information is so refreshing. I’m retired, single and bored of Southern California. I have done my research and your blog has helped me deciding on ECU. First a 3 month visit in Jan. 16, then decide to buy or rent and where. Again, Thank you for the refreshing information.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Please email or text me when you get into Cuenca. Love to meet new people as they begin their adventure. Good luck my friend. George

      • Marc says:

        Hola George,

        I’ve been reading your blog and all the comments from other readers…all wonderfully informative about Ecuador on various levels and interesting. However, I noticed that the most recent comments seem to be from 2014…are you still writing your blog, George? How are you and Chad doing with your new (well, maybe, not so new now) life in Ecuador? I hope it has been going really well for you both there! It would be great to hear back from you if you have a few minutes to spare. I am a professional educator from Canada but have been teaching school in Asia for nearly 17 years. I’m gay, single and non-smoking and also a protestant Christian. I’m wondering what it might be like to retire in Ecuador in a few years perhaps(particularly in Salinas, Montañita or Guayaquil—I like the sea and plenty of warm sunshine). By the way, I speak, read and write fluent Spanish (and French) which I’m also certified to teach. Also, I was in Ecuador once about 10 years ago on a flying visit for a week (Villacamba, Cuenca—a lovely town, and Quito during a 6-week trip to S. America). I really liked what I saw in general but it was really more of a superficial glimpse of the country and I certainly had no thought back then of retiring anywhere in South America, nor did I encounter anyone gay (knowingly) which I wasn’t seeking out anyway (but it would be great to make a few gay and non-gay open-minded friends in Ecuador). So I’m looking for a deeper perspective on Ecuador now as a potential new home when I finish teaching full-time. Of course I realise I should pay another (longer) visit to the country to experience it more first-hand but I would be grateful for your insights, too, if that’s alright. Sorry for this long missive, thanks for reading it if you’re still out there, George.

        Saludos muy cordiales, Marc

Leave a Reply