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Businesses Say “English Only” in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Article Summary:

For sale signs, medical services, and restaurant menus are the cause of an English-only business boom in Cotacachi, Ecuador, as more monolingual businesses set up shop in this off-the-beaten-path Ecuadorian city.

Photo Credit: El Comercio

Original Article Text From El Comercio via Google Translate :

‘Invasion Gringa in Imbabura

In the bar Serendipity (lucky find) is spoken in English and American meals. “This is the U.S. Embassy in Cotacachi” jokes Michael Nisbet, one of the hundreds of foreigners who have tended roots in the canton of Imbabura and frequents the bar. Inside this place, located in the streets García Moreno and Diez de Agosto, Nisbet enters and greets with several partners in dialogue and laugh over food.

“Our success is offering U.S. home cooking. We roast with vegetables and tomatoes, mashed potatoes, soups, burgers … “says Edison Cabrera, one of the workers ‘gringo bar’, as he is known neighbors of Cotacachi.

He opens the door and greets in English Cabrera GeoRing and Orburn Bloodevorth Caroline. The married couple talk effusively with friends in English. Like most Americans and Canadians who have moved to Cotacachi, GeoRing and Bloodevorth are retired.

Cabrera offered the letter, also written in English, as conceived five years ago the owner Nancy Hannigan. But business is not the only foreigners addressed. There are also Spanish schools, beauty clinics, restaurants, shopping, real estate, and other services, which have been opened in the city of Cotacachi and Otavalo, to meet the new neighbor.

According to Marcelo Lema, director of Local Economic Development of the Municipality of Otavalo, Cotacachi has benefited most from the presence of the “gringos” who rent apartments or houses bought. However, he says, that captures Otavalo many thanks to the better availability of services offered. “That boosts the local economy.”

One of those places, for example, is the Andean World Spanish School. This is one of three schools registered in the cadastre of the Tourism Unit of the Municipality of Otavalo. In one classroom, the teacher Aida Piglet, Bachelor of Language and Literature, explains the use of irregular verbs Bijan Sanchez, a voluntary Global Citizen Year, U.S..

The 19 year old student, born in Tampa, Florida, is the son of immigrants from Venezuela. With the little Spanish he has learned in 15 days says he is working with a tourism project, which develops in the indigenous community of Morochos, in the canton of Cotacachi.

According Aida Piglet, Andean World School moved from Quito to Otavalo, because in the latter city was more demand. In the five teachers working institution offering training individually or in groups of up to five people. “Most are tourists, volunteers or residents who need to learn basic things like order food, ask for directions or to say hello.”

No exact data on how many foreign residents there in Cotacachi and Otavalo. It is estimated that in the first there, at least 300 people. The Director of Planning of the Municipality of Cotacachi, Petronio Gomez said that the council plans to conduct a census to count actual data on this subject.

Signs of sale or lease of houses, medical, food … Spanish and English in evidence the presence of foreign residents. Green Coffee Shop is one of them. Veronica Guzman opened the business two years ago in Otavalo.

The restaurant offers international cuisine and vegetarian. Guzman is satisfied with the response from customers. A weekend sees up to 60 foreigners. According to the former mayor of Cotacachi, Auki Tituaña, the massive arrival of outsiders began a decade ago.

“The characteristics of the quiet town, intercultural and provided basic services to be promoted, after Cotacachi won international awards, attracted primarily to retired Americans.” This phenomenon is felt in Cotacachi, Cuenca and Vilcabamba, says. But Nisbet, what most attracts you to your new home is the weather, friendly people and lower prices of services and products relating to the U.S. and Canada, where he lived previously.

An ideal destination In Ecuador
Reside 30,000 Americans, that Adam Namm as ambassador.

To International Living magazine, our country is one of the top destination for retirees. Cotacachi and Otavalo experiencing a real estate boom, American style homes. And the presence foreign people prices soared on speculation.

Link to Original Article:

From El Comercio

  • hehehe

    USA asshole speak spanish you moron

    • Juan Valdez

      yeah just like the USA! Spanish rocks. If you dont like it, go back to Europe

  • Dean

    Yes the foreigners are ruining it for the locals that now can not afford to buy property.

    See my video “Cotacachi now only a dream”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRPPdSEx-_s Cotacachi, Ecuador

    • Juan can not read

      The key to survival and more importantly for prosperity is through education. This opens the door. So far from what I have observed here in Cotacachi is a failure of Society to educate the locals. With a very high percentage of illiterate locals and ignorance running rampant how can the Ecuadorians compete on the world level??
      Blaming the Gringos for your own failures will not change the fact that as a third world country the needs of the many a better educational system.
      Take this discussion up with Senor Presidente. He also dislike the North American Gringos.

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