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Our Life in Ecuador: Rick and Dana Racinskas Living in Salinas

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

This is part of our Ecuador Expats Series.

Our Life in Ecuador: Rick and Dana Racinskas

living in salinas rick dana racinskas

The Expats: Rick and Dana Racinskas

Where are your currently living?

We came to Salinas 3 years ago to spend two weeks here and two weeks in San Pedro Belize. We love San Pedro but daily expenses were higher than what we wanted.

living in Salinas

After several days here, we started making offers on beach condominiums as the prices were and still are very low for what you get. A great expat community with local hangouts, restaurants etc.

What’s Your Story?

We are a married couple with 40 years of experience behind us. Our parents and a matchmaker put us together but I digress.

I am an Engineer and my wife Dana is a geriatrics nurse practitioner. We enjoyed living in Texas for 35 years or so.

We decided the US was on its way down and now would be a good time to focus elsewhere.

Where did you get the idea of living in Salinas Ecuador?

We got some info from International Living and were curious about the #1 rated spot. We had made several trips to Belize and really liked what we saw there.

We decided we need to find a nice place to retire and then we decided to “retire” early and see what we can do. Ecuador has many quirks and is not for some folks.

It can be very frustrating at times as you need to be very patient. A simple thing can take hours or many visits to a store.

However you can get beach condos here as low as $90K and live very well. The weather is good and near the same every day. The fish, seafood, produce etc is wonderful.

We are here to stay.

Living in Salinas: Visiting the Malecon

Watch on YouTube 

How’s your Spanish?

Our Spanish is steadily improving. For me it is a fourth language.

The people here are very friendly and accommodating but it is very important you learn to communicate here easily. It can lead to errors and much frustration even panic otherwise.

Brian Bolton chief of American Citizen Services

Brian Bolton (chief of American Citizen Services (ACS) at the Guayaquil Consulate) pictured with our staff

How do you make your living?

We have a passion to help the aged and we seem to be on the way to being there ourselves. There are no great solutions for folks who can no longer manage on their own.

Quite a few expats leave our little paradise for a US nursing home. A spouse dies, a stroke, etc can change your life very quickly. Then what?

Getting a private “nurse” here is a painful idea. Even hospital nurses are not well trained compared to US standards.

retirement home Salinas Ecuador

So we decided to change that here. We opened Chipipe Villa here in Chipipe (next to Salinas) to have folks who need extra help to get by. Unlike “group homes” we have seen, this is very upscale with a full array of services and amenities.

All the food here is very natural (organic if you will) and often leads to major health improvements all by itself. We offer beautiful private suites, pool therapy, a hot tub, a beautiful pool area, a private massage area etc. 24/7 medical support.

Clinics within walking distance, beautiful sandy beaches 3 blocks away and so much more. Things on a caliber we have not seen in the USA and probably would not be affordable anyways.

assisted living Salinas Ecuador

Here we can do it for a third of what you pay for an average place.

dana and alejandra chipipe villa

Assisted Living in Ecuador: Chipipe Villa, Salinas

What do you love about Ecuador?

Ecuador is in the down stage at this point. The economy is in a bad place with the earthquake and the low price of oil.

However I think it is a great place to live and enjoy the company of 800 other expats here. Always lots of things to do and a real sense of community that so lacks in the USA suburbs.

We have a whole lot more of country to explore as well.

Chow and see you soon!

Hungry for more? Here are another 32 Ecuador expat stories

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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.

22 comments… add one
  • John Cox Jun 9, 2020, 12:07 pm

    Are there good Spanish language tutors in the Salinas area? I have bilateral hearing loss from my service in the army during the Vietnam War Era and have difficulties understanding English if people speak fast, slur their words, and speak softly. So, I am having difficulties hearing Spanish as well as understanding it. I can get my needs verbalized in Spanish but responses are difficult to “get” unless some of the words are written. I’m much more a visual learner than auditory. My husband is an Ecuadorian and I’m working on getting an Ecuadorian Permanent Residency Visa at this time. My level of speaking Spanish is certainly not “basic,” more like intermediate-to-fluent. But, again, my hearing deficit is a handicap even in English. Thanks for any responses.

  • James Fisher Jan 5, 2019, 11:53 am

    What happened to the website and Facebook page for these people?

    • Bryan Haines Jan 15, 2019, 7:44 am

      Looks like both have been taken offline. I’m not sure what happened…

  • ROB ROBERTSON Jul 17, 2018, 3:24 pm

    Just inquiring on a visit to Salinas. Are there good accommodations within the downtown area? Also, for Visa’s for staying in the country, are they good for 6 months and you leave and come back? Sorry for the basic questions.
    Rob R.

  • Mauricio Feb 23, 2018, 4:37 am

    Hi All,
    I have a flat in Salinas -for renting, is 1 block behind Hotel Casa Blanca right from the main Malecon bay beach, 100 sq m., 3 rooms, 2 bathrooms, garage.

    For more info pls PM @


  • Dean Jan 8, 2018, 11:53 am

    Hi everyone. I’m just wondering if anyone know of some real honest builders around Salinas area o get a quote for a renovation?
    Many thanks

    • michael ryan Feb 26, 2019, 2:16 pm

      I have a brother in law that is a builder down there
      How big is the project?


  • Todd Jun 12, 2017, 3:18 am

    Your blog is informative. Ecuadorians are friendly

  • Tammy Gamble Jan 19, 2017, 1:55 am

    Hi, my husband Jack and I will be visiting in ajune2017. Looking for that p,ace to retire. What are the temperatures beachside? We were thinking maybe Valicabamba because it is cooler bit not sure if too far away from fun. We are 57 and 64 young.
    If renting in Salinas we would want Oceanside 1 bedroom with air, pool Internet. How expensive is that long term rental?



  • Dan Rourke Jan 8, 2017, 1:22 pm

    Golf was mentioned in a previous post (one hour distant). Where might that be? I have been looking at the progress of Los Olas, but did not have any luck locating any other golf possibilities.

  • Doug Donovan Jul 5, 2016, 7:32 pm

    Hi Rick & Dana –

    My wife is Kenyan, 35 and an RN; I am 63 and hope to tetire soon. We have two bi-racial kids- 2 1/2 yrs, abd 3 weeks old. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dom. Rep. and speak fluent spanish, know the culture, etc. My two main concern are related to quality of schools for the kids, and how my wife will feel be black in Salinas or Guayaquil, and how our bi-racial kids will feel/fit in.


    Doug Donovan,
    East Orange, NJ

    • Jakob Aug 9, 2016, 5:22 pm

      Doug, she would blend right in. Ecuador does not have the racial mess of the US. There has never been African slavery in Ecuador. The Esmeraldas province in the north is almost exclusively African descent. Google the photos of the Ecuadorian national soccer team to get a picture (seleccion ecuatoriana de futbol). They descend from people who they say shipwrecked a few hundred years ago close to the Ecuadorian coast before they could become slaves and have lived there ever since. Many people in Guayaquil, like my wife, also have African roots. You would probably stick out more than she would. Your kids being “mulato” will probably be presumed Ecuadorian at first glance. Multiracialism is the norm. However, people would pin them to the coastal region, since in the mountain region the demographic picture changes dramatically and is far more influenced by indigenous people.

      • Doug Donovan Sep 5, 2016, 9:39 am

        Jakob –
        Thanks so much for your thoughtful and informative response! Much appreciated. The other key question for us relates to the quality of the schools there. Is it possible to enroll the kids in goods schools? Would they be public schools or private? If private, are they affordable?


  • Gordon Crossman Jul 4, 2016, 10:22 pm

    How is the Golfing in Salinas or better still Ecuador???????????????????????

    • Rick Racinskas Jul 5, 2016, 9:57 am

      The climate in this are is dry (strange as we are surrounded by water) so there is not much grass here. You have to get an hour away to find a green golf course.

    • Ron Burnham Jan 11, 2017, 7:12 pm

      There is a nice golf course between Salinas and Guayaquil (La Costa Golf Course) on via la costa. As I recall it is closer to Guayaquil than it is to Salinas.

  • Joss Jul 4, 2016, 5:05 pm

    Is the property for sale because of impact of earthquake?

    • Bryan Haines Jul 4, 2016, 10:05 pm

      What property are you referring to?

      • Joss Jul 4, 2016, 10:54 pm

        Chipipe Villa. When I googled it to read more because it sounds like an interesting place, this real estate listing was the first thing to come up…and it won’t let me paste link here.

        • Bryan Haines Jul 5, 2016, 6:53 am

          Now I understand. The name “Chipipe Villa” is actually not very distinct. A villa is a country house – in Ecuador it usually refers to a large home with some property and nice gardens. Chipipe is the area it is located in. It is much the same as the term “Cuenca Condo” or “Soho Loft”. Their name just describes the property.

          I googled “Chipipe Villa” and the photos in the first result don’t appear to be the same property owned by Rick and Dana. I’ll have Rick weigh in on this to confirm.

          • Rick Racinskas Jul 5, 2016, 9:53 am

            The name Chipipe Villa is not unique but we like it. This property is not for sale.
            Sorry for the confusion.

            • Joss Jul 5, 2016, 12:08 pm

              Well see there, I learned something new today. Glad I raised the question. And thank you for responding, both of you.

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