Why I Moved My Family to Baños Ecuador
- Name: Jonathan Maes and family
Where are your currently living in Ecuador?
I’m currently living in Banos de Agua Santa in Ecuador. We’ve been here a couple of months now.
What’s Your Story?
I’m a Canadian, a 30-year-old husband and father of two young girls, ages two and three. I was volunteering in Guyana, South America, when I met my wife. She’s from New York. We spent another year in Guyana as a married couple and then moved to Canada. We were there for five years and had our two daughters there.
Before moving here, I was managing a machine shop in a manufacturing company.
When and where did you get the idea of living in Ecuador?
The daily grind for us was taking its toll. We wanted the simple lifestyle for our family that isn’t common to North America.
Really ever since we moved back to Canada we talked about getting back out. Bottom line for me is that I wanted to have more energy to spend on quality time for my family.
We’ve only been here a few months so far but it’s going great. We intend to stay a very long time. We’re currently in the process of applying for residency.
How’s your Spanish?
That said I’m starting to pick it up little by little. It’s definitely not a cakewalk, in our area very few people speak english so it’s very difficult to get by without it unless you’re only here as a tourist.
More reading: The Best Book to Learn Spanish
How do you make your living?
I work online for my old job in Canada, doing machine programming and process planning over the internet. I’m also trying out several other ventures just in case, like my blog, some export initiatives and other internet-based sources of income.
Cost of living so far seems to be around what we’ve budgeted for. We have some awesome friends here that understood what we were looking for so that was an enormous help in setting expectations. Also having done something similar in Guyana did a lot to tone our expectations of what we’re getting into.
What do you love about Ecuador?
I love the amount of family time Ecuador affords us. It’s full of natural beauty here. We feel very safe in this area. Housing seems very easy to find, we managed to get an absolutely beautiful 3-bed 3-1/2 bath house that looks a bit like an Italian villa.
We love walking around and exploring the area, there are several waterfalls within walking distance and we can’t stop admiring the mountains all around us.
In terms of negatives, they’re similar to what we found in Guyana, only much easier to deal with (in our opinion). Traffic is noisy. We don’t speak the language yet. Food variety can be a little limited compared to Canada/America. Also we’re far away from family. Altogether though we find the negatives to be manageable and well worth the positives.
As far as tips go… a friend that understands what you’re looking for and that’s willing to help you set up is worth its weight in gold. Especially if you’re doing this with small children.
Also write out a list of what you’re wanting, also what you can live with and what you can’t live without.
We had a pretty reasonable idea of this for ourselves based on our experienced in Guyana but even still we spent a lot of time talking it out. If you’re moving as a family it takes a lot of effort for everyone to be on board and on the same page.
Thinking about visiting Baños? Check out our complete guide to Baños Ecuador weather.
Have a question for Jonathan about why he moved to Banos, Ecuador? Or what it’s like for his family in Ecuador? Join him in the comments.