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Ecuador Expat Profile: Jo Reason, Saquisili Cotopaxi

Posted in: Ecuador’s Amazon Jungle, Everything Expat, Expats in Ecuador, Living in Ecuador

This is part of our Expat Profile Series. 

Ecuador Expat Profile: Jo Reason, Saquisili Cotopaxi

The Expat: Jo Reason


What is your blog url?

No blog but plenty of webpages.
Stock Photo Agency:
Design Agency:

Facebook / Twitter: @joreasonable

Where are you currently living?

Saquisili, Cotopaxi, Ecuador, we have been here now for a little over a year, but in Ecuador nearly 3 years.

What’s Your Story?

I am married, we met back in 2007 whilst I was working as a tour leader, we met in the Amazon region.

We are self employed. I was born in the UK. I have lived in Spain for more then 12 years ( my father and sister are still there), in the UK for a few years, in USA (Atlanta) and Ecuador.

I have traveled extensively, and spent more than a year traveling as a tour leader in South America. I have also visited Africa, South East Asia, Australia, NZ, Europe.

When and where did you get the idea of living in Ecuador?

I moved to Spain when I was 10, so the idea of wanting to move abroad was never my own. But is was an amazing experience, I was placed in a Spanish school, and to quote my parents it was sink or swim.

I swam and finished school, learning Spanish in around 6 months. Of course this was not without it’s difficulties.

We plan on staying here indefinitely ( at least for the moment) but that may change as we may return to the UK for a couple of years.

My legal status is working I guess, easy to get, if you follow the paperwork involved and pay the money. I married an Ecuadorian. I have an Ecuadorian ID card. We did spend over a year in paperwork in one way or another though, not just for marriage and ID card, but that’s another story…

How’s your Spanish?

Perfect I was moved to Spain when I was 10. I learnt there.

Very important to speak the language and it also opens up a whole new world.

You don´t need to speak fluently before you come. You can learn in the country, but a few basic phrases will always help your way if you learn before you come.

English is my primary language.

Here’s the best way to learn Spanish.

What do you do?

My husband and I work as graphic designer, web designers and photographers.

We own our own business. We travel around the country photographing as much as we can and we have recently launched our stock photo site.

How do you find the cost of living in Ecuador?

Cheap, compared to the UK, we would not be able to lead this lifestyle in the UK.

The market outside our door on Wednesday and Thursday we spend not much more than 4-5 USD on fresh fruit and veg a week. OK there is just the 2 of us. Rent 100 USD a months for a 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom apartment on the ground floor.

What do you love about Ecuador?

The main differences is probably the judicial system, it’s crazy here, I hope I never get caught up in this.

Driving: we drive and it’s something you need to get used to, things aren’t quite as organized here, but otherwise, it’s great.

Positives would have to be relaxed living, cheap, no stress, great places to visit, loads of National Parks, etc. not to mention the Galapagos.

Negatives as mentioned above. And having our water cut off at 7pm daily and turned back on at 7 am, heating up water on the gas stove as the pressure doesn’t turn the electric shower on, but these are just minor issues.

Oh and the noisy neighbors who enjoy loud music at 6 am.

Scary things? No. I had visited on many occasion and knew the country from a tourists point of view at least.  Weird? No more than any other country.

Level of safety, again no different than any other country, sure there are areas of certain cities you shouldn’t visit.

We rent but are in the middle of building, we own 3600 sq meters in the Cotopaxi province with some of the best views I have seen.

Resources: I guess my husband, the internet in general, but mainly from the official government pages, reading the local laws.


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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

6 comments… add one
  • Anita Feb 18, 2017, 8:00 pm

    Hello Jo,

    Really loved your life experience. Question: How’s the Volcano doing lately, although realize it’s always been active. Do you feel any current threat, since the last time it “puffed”, was that 2016? Heard it was frightening, people moved elsewhere.

    Inquiring minds, Anita

  • Zarko Dec 16, 2015, 6:57 pm


    Thank you so much for this input. But I must ask, is it outdated in any way? Are the prices in Quito (namely rent and food) still as cheap as you wrote?

    Me and my girlfriend are thinking about relocating there, and we are wondering about real life experiences of people there. Tzank you!

  • Michael & Betty Jones Sep 8, 2014, 3:33 pm

    My wife, Betty, and I are recent retirees from the healthcare industry in Texas. We are both active painters and photographers, exploring and researching the various areas of the country to find the one most suitable to our relocation needs. We will be in Otovalo/Cotapaxi from September 14 until September 22. We would love to meet you for lunch or a drink and gain the benefit of your insight in living in the Ecuadorian Sierra, if you have the time. Thank you so much. Michael & Betty Jones

  • Terry Apr 26, 2012, 1:43 pm

    Visit Jo’s blog off the website above. Worth the click, fersure!

    Nice work, Jo!

  • Joe LeBlanc Mar 17, 2012, 4:43 pm

    Hi Jo

    WOW! I worked at the former NASA satellite tracking station which was located above the Ecuadorean train station back in 1959-60 and again in 1965-66.

    Reading your bio brought back so many memories of my times in Ecuador. I am at that point in my life that I dream daily of returning to Ecuador.

    I was “forced” hah to learn Spanish when I was single and wanted to date the Ecuadorean girls. I had also taken Latin dance classes just before arriving in Ecuador and had a wonderful time learning some of the Ecuadorean dances as well. How I ever made it out of Ecuador without getting married, I’ll never know.

    It sounds like you and hubby are enjoying things there, except the water being turned off every night. I remember that too.

    I was called the “Loco Gringo” when I took off on a road trip that took me down the Pam American Highway in my MGA sports car, alone. I made it all the way to La Paz, Bolivia and back by way of Macchu Picchu.

    One of my Ecuadorean friends wanted to loan me his Land Rover but I fortunately made it all the way down and back with minimal mechanical problems.

    When I married I brought my wife & family to Quito where I worked again at the NASA tracking station for 2 more years.

    Take care. Your bio brought back many great memories.


    Joe LeBlanc

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