Ecuador/Looking for a Loja expat
Hi. I am a long term Ecuador expat and I now live outside Quito....though my first 2 years in Ecuador were in Changaimina and Cariamanga as a Peace Corps volunteer way back 1984=1986. I now am doing tours for folks exploring Ecuador as a retirement destination...teaching about the country and the culture and having them meet expats along the way. I have contacts all over...but am yet to find an expat living in the city of Loja who might be willing to have lunch with the group and share experiences. I was wondering if you lived in Loja proper or had any..non Vilcabamba...connections. i will actually be down your way next week. Any leads or info would be greatly appreciated.
As I said in my bio I lived in Loja from Sept. 1997 - Oct. 2002. I still have family & friends there so I return every summer & spend June and July there.
Unfortunately while there were other American exPats who lived there back when I did they have all returned to the states. As a matter of fact I am still in regular contact w/ 2 of them. Of the other 3 two were missionaries & the 3rd was a man who met & married an Ecuadorian woman here in the States & moved back to Loja w/ her.
I imagine there probably are a few ex Pats living in Loja now but I don't personally know any. I myself tend to pretty much avoid Vilcabamba. While it's nice to be able to speak English occasionally if I wanted to live someplace w/ that many Americans I might as well just stay here. Right?
Loja on the other hand has a fairly decent amount of backpackers & tourists (American, Canadian & European passing through there) but has what I'd consider a VERY small ex Pat community. Your best bet to find an American living in Loja would be to check the PRIVATE English schools. I've heard from family & friends that there are a FEW Americans living there running & teaching at English schools although I personally don't know nor have met them. For me it's never been a major interest to seek out other Americans there.
As I'm sure you probably already know Cotacachi, Cuenca, Salinas & Vilcabamba have the largest amount of Ex Pats.
I'm sorry I can't be much more help to you. The best I can offer is that I will be arriving in Loja June 8th & leaving again July 30th. Should you happen to be planning on bringing a group through there during that period I would be more than happy to meet w/ all of you, have lunch etc. I know the area very well having lived there so long & should be able to answer whatever questions any of the group might have or call a friend or relative from my cell for any answer I don't have off the top of my head.
Wish I could give you something more concrete but unfortunately I can't think of a single Gringo still living in Loja. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. If there is anything else I can do for you please feel free to drop me a line. Patty