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Pro-Ecuador Insiders' Newsletter, Issue #005 -- Ecuador Immigration: Ecuador families return home
January 11, 2008

Ecuador Immigration: Ecuador families return home

by Gary Phillips

Click here to read this article online

Ecuador immigration flows both ways. We received the letter below from an Ecuadorian woman living in Canada who is considering moving to Ecuador. I decided to share it with our readers, along with my response. I believe this woman and her family represent an immigration movement that will gain strength in the coming months and years.

In many ways, North America, especially the U.S., is turning its back on immigrants. There seems to be a sense among many U.S. citizens that there is not enough to go around and the immigrants must go. This will have a two-fold effect.

1) America will lose what has always been a major source of strength—young aggressive people who come to America with a dream and a passion to make a better life for themselves and their children. Since the founding of the United States this has been the American dream. And in the process, the immigrants’ contribution to U.S. life has given this country its dynamic leadership position in the world’s culture and economy.

2) Emerging third world countries will see a return of these people who are now older, wiser, with a good education and a belief in the American dream. They are beginning to see that the so-called “American dream” can happen wherever they choose to bring it!

Many of these people are in their prime productive years and the skills and knowledge they learned in the U.S. and Canada will make a vast contribution to the continuing emergence of their home countries.

North America’s loss will result in the diminishment of America and a rise of third world powers.

A Letter from a Canadian-Ecuadorian Considering A Return Home

“I am glad you have developed this site, it is wonderful. I am Ecuadorian by birth but have lived in Canada for 34 years. My husband is from Uruguay and I have two children a son 12 years old and a daughter 14 years old."

“We last visited Ecuador about 7 years ago and ever since then have wanted to return back to my country. My husband and children loved it; my two kids visited Ecuador with their grandparents, who also live here. They bought a condo in San Rafael, Ecuador, last summer for 2 months holiday. They loved it and wanted to return too but now that my daughter is here in high school she does not want to go."

“I am fluent in both languages in both oral and written, we have decided that we definitely want to go back this year to live there sometime in July 2008. My worry is whether I am doing the right thing seeing that my kids are older."

“Our reasons for going back is that life here is very hectic and the values of family and respect for parents or elders I find has been slowly lost. I have a lot of family back home and really think that it would be a good idea for all of us."

“Could you please tell me if you know anyone in my similar situation with kids that have moved and how they found it for them. Thank you again and I really enjoy reading everything you have to say."

Even though I was raised in Canada I feel very proud to be Ecuadorian and would like my kids and me to experience how life is in my country. I have many family members that have offered to help us in any way they can. If you can direct me I would really appreciate it."

“I am also planning on taking a course to teach ESL in Ecuador. I don't know if it would be a good idea or if it would be better to open a business.”

My Reply:

Thanks so much for your kind words about our website. It is nice to hear your words of appreciation. We love your country too.

You are asking for advice, so I am going to give some to you, with the caveat that advice and $.50 will get you a cup of coffee (at least here in Ecuador. In Canada, the coffee will probably cost you $4 or $5!)

First, about the kids. Naturally, your daughter is reluctant to leave her friends and her life and immigrate to Ecuador. But the fact that she liked Ecuador when you visited before tells me that once the move is made, new friends and family in Ecuador will quickly erase her fears about leaving friends behind. Kids are adaptable, especially at ages 14 and 12.

The young people Linda and I have met in Ecuador have been most impressive. We have met a number of teenagers and it is simply astonishing to us how friendly, intelligent, and respectful they are. I believe it certainly has to do with the importance of the extended family in Ecuador.

We were invited to an Ecuadorian friend's family Christmas celebration. We joined about 80 people at a family mass, then walked more than a mile to their house, the young children all dressed as angels, some of the men dressed in crowns and robes of the three wise men. All the way, they were singing Christmas carols in Spanish and Kichwa. At the church, one of the children was baptized as the entire family stood around beaming their approval.

At the party, there was a reenactment of the Christmas story. A young family with a baby proudly played the part of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. Then after a few games, we had a huge traditional meal. It was all most wonderful and heart-warming.

So I would say that the nearness of your Ecuadorian family will very quickly replace the loss your children feel about their friends, and provide you a solid support as you make a new life in Ecuador. How lucky you are to have this solid base!

Take this Opportunity to Do What you Really Love to Do

Regarding employment, I have one simple answer. This is your opportunity to really do what you love to do. Many people get the cart before the horse in this task, as I did for many years. I sacrificed myself and my family to my work.

The move you are contemplating is an opportunity for you to pursue what you truly love. If the idea of helping people to learn English, and Spanish for that matter, excites your passion, then by all means move towards that. Completely fluent translators are and will be in high demand here as the Ecuadorian economy continues to expand.

On the other hand, if you have always wanted to have your own businesses then do that. Find something that you enjoy and create your future. If what you do is a labor of love, then it does not resemble “work.” It is simply life unfolding in joy and passion.

I think that in the coming years, many Ecuadorians who immigrated to North America and Europe years ago will be returning to their home countries. Emerging market countries around the world are dynamic and growing. Your family left Ecuador years ago to find the “American Dream.” Now you and your children may find that you can re-discover that dream in Ecuador. North America isn’t the ONLY America!

Your move may not be an altogether easy transition. For people accustomed to living in North America, Ecuador can seem like a frontier. Where are the Barnes and Nobles and Starbucks?

But there is a sense of freedom and excitement here that I find missing in North America. Frankly, if my kids were still your age, I wouldn't think twice about giving my children an Ecuador immigration experience.

And that’s the view from the roof.

Best regards,

Gary Phillips
Living in Ecuador Blog

Gary is a semi-retired businessman, meditation teacher and world traveler, currently relaxing in Cotacachi, Ecuador.Click here to read Gary's bio

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