Episode 002: Ecuador with Catherine Campion

Single. Female. Farm. Rural. Ecuador. One brave gringa. (length: 22 minutes)


Listen on iTunes  OR  Google Play


[00:09] Why Ecuador?
00:43 Internations Survey rankings for Ecuador
[01:26] Catherine arrives in Ecuador for the first time and buys a farm
[01:55] Description of the land and the “food forest”
[02:25] A day in the life
03:14 Volunteer opportunities with WWOOF and the POOSH
[04:16] Challenges with learning language, volunteers and cultural challenges
05:13 Ecuador’s currency collapse of 2000, defaults to the US dollar
[05:25] Cost of living in South America and unexpected expenses
07:13 Ecuador gets hit by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
[07:45] Personal safety
[08:52] Getting around on a bicycle
[09:25] Injured and seeking medical help
[10:25] Single, white female reaches breaking point living in rural Ecuador
[11:00] Machismo
[13:28] Visiting a place before you move there versus simply moving there.
14:54 Canelazo
[15:32] Food
16:58 Alan Watts “The Book”
[18:17] Learning your limits and limitations

NOTE: This episode features the story of one individual’s experience. Experiences of a country and its culture will obviously vary from person to person and it is important to do your own research from a multitude of sources. In addition, immigration rules and regulations are subject to change at a moment’s notice–always check with a country’s official embassy for the latest updates.


Embassy of Ecuador (US)
Guide to Ecuador’s Visa types


Want to learn Spanish? I’m not learning Spanish at the moment but I’m using the following online courses, so it’s the same format, I’m just learning a different language.

Spanishpod101.com I listen to their podcast on my iphone so I can practice speaking when I’m walking the dog, or doing mundane chores. Here’s why I think it’s great: on their website you get online videos, worksheets, tests, and vocabulary with pronunciation and spelling. The podcast is entertaining as it’s not same old dull “Hello, call a taxi please.” It features conversations in english and spanish between a spanish woman, a spanish man, and an american man that is fluent in spanish. They are in their 20s or 30s so the conversation is lively and fun. It’s WAAAY more conversational, entertaining and practical. You get the social aspect of the conversation noting different cultural customs. Go to www.spanishpod101.com to learn more, sign up to try it out.

Here’s another online language course I am currently trying out (in a different language but same format). Rocket Spanish. It has audio lessons, vocabulary with audio and text. I’m a visual learner so it helps me to SEE the text to understand the pronunciation and vice versa. It also has a voice recorder which is handy so you can check your pronunciation. So far, I’m liking it– and it’s pretty comprehensive. I think it’s helpful to have a variety supplemental learning sources to see what works best for you. It also has a free trial to test drive.

And for simply overall word memorization and vocabulary building I use the free program at DuoLingo.com


Check out the Expat Sandwich Spotify playlist for a curated selection of salsa and native Ecuadorian music.