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My Life in Ecuador: Rebecca Rangel Living in Quito

Posted in: Expats in Ecuador, Living in Ecuador, My Life in Ecuador, Quito Ecuador

This is part of our Ecuador Expats Series.

My Life in Ecuador: Rebecca Rangel 

Rebecca Rangel Ecuador

Connect with Rebecca


Where are your currently living?

Quito, Ecuador.

I arrived with my family in 2012, but also lived here for 3 years in the early 2000s as college student at USFQ and a teacher at the American School of Quito.

Quilotoa Rebecca Rangel

What’s Your Story?

I’m originally from Chicago, but first came to Ecuador in 2001 on a study abroad program. I had a lot of fun ….so much fun that my short and exciting college experience ended with a wedding!!!

After moving back and forth a few different times, I decided to stay in Ecuador to raise my children, at least until they graduate from high school.

I work as a US immigration lawyer, assisting individuals and families obtain visas to visit, live or work in the USA. I also help people with US citizenship and federal benefits before the US Embassy and Consulate.

Rebecca Rangel Ecuador Expat

When did you get the idea of living in Ecuador?

As a little girl, my grandfather taught me to be proud of our beautiful Puerto Rican heritage. I moved abroad to speak more Spanish and connect with my Latino roots. I was young and dreamed of traveling the world.

I didn’t know much about Ecuador, but I knew it was small and very geographically diverse, making it an amazing country to explore! I was also interested in the indigenous culture.

Ecuador implemented dollarization in 2000 and living/studying here was very inexpensive.

How’s your Spanish?

I speak fluent Spanish. I studied it in school, but it took me a few years of complete immersion to learn when and how to express my real self, my deep feelings and my opinions.

After many years of close contact with Ecuadorians I feel very comfortable with the culture and confident of my ability to communicate effectively.

Cotopaxi Volcano Ecuador

My advice is to study, practice and observe! Language goes far beyond plain words. Actions and cultural context are key to understanding the language.

More reading: The Best Book to Learn Spanish

How do you make your living?

Rebecca Rangel Ecuador Immigration Lawyer

I launched my own law practice, Rangel Legal, to create my niche as a US immigration lawyer in Ecuador.

I’m growing a client base in this country while freelancing for lawyers in Illinois. I’m also of Counsel at the Paz Horowitz Abogados.

I’m passionate about the law and about helping others, but earning a decent living and trying to save money is a seriously tough feat!

The cost of living in Quito is very reasonable if you are single or have no children.

For a family, living comfortably on two local Ecuadorian salaries is difficult, but not impossible. It depends on your job and what type of lifestyle you desire.

Single parenting on one salary is extremely difficult, unless you have an amazing job or you send your children to public school, don’t rely on child care and cut other expenses.

A monthly budget for a middle class family in Quito might be $3,500 and up for safe housing, education, childcare, food and transportation. I highly suggest arriving with funds to set-up and keeping savings for an emergency.

Rangel family living in Quito

If you have or can find employment in your home country that pays well and allows you to work remotely, that would be a best case scenario.

Another excellent option would be to obtain employment before you move and avoid being hired as a “local.”

What do you love about Ecuador?

I still love Ecuador’s geographic diversity. It’s what brought me here and what keeps me calm on rough days.

A quick trip to the beach, the mountains or the rainforest takes me away from the hustle and bustle of the city, relaxes and re-energizes me.

Horseback riding Cotopaxi Volcano

Horseback riding on Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador

The sun is shining and everyday life keeps me on my toes!

Ecuador may be different from your community, but with an open mind, you can create a unique and happy life for your family!

Jose Rivas Refuge Cotopaxi Ecuador

Jose Rivas Refuge, Cotopaxi Ecuador

Hungry for more? Here are all our Ecuador expat stories.

Your Turn

Have a question for Rebecca about what it’s like to live in Ecuador? Join her in the comments below!

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Meet the Author

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

7 comments… add one
  • Bertha Jul 6, 2018, 3:13 pm

    Bertha 07-06-2018
    I was born in Ecuador but live and
    Work in the US for 40 .
    I retired at 62 and came to live in
    Quito. I would like to do something to keep myself bussie.
    If you know somethig let me know. Maybe taking care of kids.
    I have both passaports.
    Thank you.

    Email: berthamontesinos@

  • Diana Scott Feb 27, 2018, 4:32 pm

    We are looking for a real estate lawyer. We have a property in Tumbaco and are planing to sell it this year. We would need a real estate lawyer, preferably someone who speaks English. We would like to ask Rebecca if she does real estate law? Thank you.

  • Jean Honeman Apr 7, 2017, 4:55 pm

    I have been told that my husband (Ecuadorian) and I (American) need testaments or wills to be sure that if one of us dies, the other inherits our property and assets outright without the Ecuadorian government taking it all. Is this true?

    We travel to Quito every four months and would be able to meet with you to discuss our needs.


  • Anita Rodriguez Mar 31, 2017, 8:12 pm

    I confused with New Travel Ins. law, is it required ONLY, after one arrives to Ecuador-or- Required like Passport, before one enters the country and than good for (90)days only?
    Please asap could you help me, I’m traveling there within a week , would hate to be turned back without correct documents.
    Sincerely confused!

  • roger mantony Mar 27, 2017, 11:01 pm

    I was inquiring about a townhouse today in Santa Marianita, just outside of Manta, and the Canadian builder was trying to explain how the capital gains tax enacted last year has had a chilling effect on the transactions of expats purchasing real estate in Ecuador. He thought if the election went to Moreno perhaps this tax would be reduced, and make it easier to conduct business, but could you explain this tax that I think he said was 49%?
    Thank you,

    • mariana Mar 29, 2017, 11:39 pm

      the way I understand that law is as follows: if a person buys property makes improvements to it and sells, that person pays nothing. if the property sells again the seller is subject to some taxes, if the same property sells again then the seller is subject up to 75% tax. but if the seller makes improvements such as buildings etc. he/she is not subject to and Moreno has nothing to do with it

  • Gerald Zgodinski Mar 25, 2017, 6:32 pm

    At an International Living conference several years ago we opened a bank account through some attorneys there. Their charge was $400 to open a $100 account. My question is whether we can get that $100 back if Ecuador turns out to not be a good fit for us.

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