Photo Credit: European Commission DG ECHO
If you could make Ecuador remarkable, how would you start? Bill Bushnell tackles this question for us today in a column discussing one of the most important questions for aspiring expats to consider: “What is your inspiration for moving abroad?”
10 Ways To Make Ecuador Remarkable
My wife Leita Hulmes and I are real adventurers. Some people would call us gypsies, who collectively have moved over 70 times in our combined 145 years on the planet. We have always contended, that to be an expat, one needs to have a few bolts that aren’t completely screwed down. We fit the bill and purchased our first Cuenca condo on our third day in the country.
“Giving back” has always been one of our main inspirations for living abroad. To that end, we propose the creation of a National Expat Volunteer Committee by the Ecuadorian government, specifically to attract foreign investment capital and tourist revenue. The time has come for the government to take organized advantage of the experience, brain power and financial muscle that exists in Ecuador’s rapidly expanding expat community.
The following list of 10 Ways To Make Ecuador Remarkable can be pursued without the outlay of significant capital. On the contrary, these and other ideas could be developed jointly by the government and the expat community, and could enrich the nation economically and culturally.
- Develop a simple, rapid-implementation Resident Visa Program using Belize’s and other existing successful programs as models. Such a program will contribute greatly in making Ecuador the first-choice retirement destination for thousands of “baby boomers” worldwide actively seeking a retirement home in the sun. And, yes, there are also thousands of younger people with high-tech skills leaving their native lands to new homes in today’s global society.
- Develop new, and strengthen existing, environmental-protection programs for the nation’s land, air, water, and animal habitats.
- Develop, in conjunction with these environmental preservation programs, an aggressive international marketing program focused on eco tourism and sunshine real estate for progressive thinkers worldwide.
- Develop a secondary marketing program featuring Ecuador’s agriculture, arts, crafts, and renewable resources.
- Develop and pursue environmentally sound development of the nation’s natural resources.
- Develop a volunteer teachers program.
- Develop national poverty eradication programs focused on public-private partnerships to provide world-class education through high school for everyone and to improve and expand low-cost housing so that every Ecuadorian has a decent place to live with clean running water, electricity, natural gas and indoor plumbing.
- Develop chemical-free agriculture programs.
- Develop healthy free or low-cost nutrition programs that guarantee no Ecuadorian goes to bed hungry.
- Finally, develop a series of programs to promote progressive democracy with an emphasis on freedom of speech, a free press, the protection of private property rights, fair trade, and free universal health insurance along with other progressive programs that are of importance to the development of the population now and in the future.
A healthy, progressive, expanding nation is a free nation. Idealistic, yes! Impossible, no!
We are bold enough and smart enough to have migrated here. We are bold enough and smart enough to help make Ecuador an even better place to live for all of us. Do you agree? Let me know and make a comment!
Bill Bushnell currently lives in Cuenca, Ecuador. He is an award-winning professional theatre, film and television director/producer/writer; a disaster relief consultant for the US government; an international investor; and the co-creator with Leita Hulmes of the South American Fund for Education (SAFE) which focuses on the education and development of poor bright kids. In his spare time he travels the world. His life’s beliefs are simple: “Change and indeterminacy are my security blanket.” “Truth is a pathless land.” “World peace begins with me.” “Live life one day at a time because the only living time is NOW!”