Mobusa & Customer Service

Since we have started the construction in January of 2013, we heard too often the phrase, “remember, you are in Ecuador”.  We looked over so many of the ‘little’ problems that could be fixed so easy (but never were). Until recently, that is.  Our house, as stated before, is Mobusa construction. Our home was completed in October of 2013 – that is to say, we moved in at the end of October.  As the days passed, we noticed several things that could have been done better to allow the house to be more to the standards that were discussed prior to beginning construction.  Some things are better than we expected – septic is a North American style and our cistern is really large. The design on the house far exceeded our expectations – our builder (individual – not a Mobusa employee or representative) presented some unique design concepts that were outside of our design box. The concepts moved our house from being a tentative rectangle to what we have termed as our ‘castle’.

In Ecuador, though, apparently there is not an official walk-through with a punch list of items that must be completed, so we struggled with little things like toilets not working properly, water drains from the washer and master bathroom sink not being connected to the septic. The builder provided a gray water line that would let the water irrigate some of our yard. The solution was a great one, but the installation of the product resulted in a pool of standing water (mosquito breeding haven) along the west end of the house. But, remember, we are in Ecuador, so less than near quality is to be acceptable – let the builder move on.  On the bright side, we had our fence installed, so the water lines that were incorrectly installed had to be removed to allow room for the backhoes and other equipment needed for the fence.

As the months, progressed, we noticed our windows and doors allowed water to drain into the house. But, remember, we are in Ecuador. So, what is a little standing water on the rooftop terrace and balcony? What is a little water draining into your house?  To some, it seemed acceptable; to one individual, it was completely unacceptable. In the past couple months, we have been blessed to have Don Atkins professionally resolving water leaks (information for him and his company can be found at His team has fixed the windows so they do not drain into the house, but rather on the balcony where it drains down the house to the yard. His team has successfully installed water and electric to our yard and terrace. Don and his associated Herman have been toiling diligently to apply a sealant to our terrace and fill in the cracks to resolve the water leaks in our upstairs rooms. We had a choice of colors – we picked terra cotta. I think it will look super when they are finished, but best of all – it does not leak anymore!



We are grateful for the people that have proven that ‘being in Ecuador’ does not mean you have to settle for poor quality. The photo is a capture of the work in progress. There will be more to follow, since it will be completed today. Now won’t this look nice with some hammocks, plants, seating area and who knows what else? I think it will look so wonderful. Thank you Don, Herman, and the entire Mobusa crew.

Nurseries in Puerto Cayo and Manta



The employees at this nursery were the individuals who completed the landscaping at Mirador San Jose, Manabi.

The link below will take you to Puerto Cayo’s own nursery. Sam is a delightful individual who loves flowers and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the plants that will grow here in our neighborhood.

The Queendom at various angles

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To show how the house sits on the lot, I have attached these photos.  They are as follows:

East side of the front of the house

South side of house

South side of house – ocean path

South side of house side entrance gate

East side of house view of east

East side of house (Front of home)

Fence on north side of house

Fence on south side of house

West side of house from the beach

West side seawall

West side, west side with south entrance gate/fence, west side with north fence

San Lorenzo, Manabí Mission

San Lorenzo holds a hidden treasure.  His name is Corrado and cell is 0986818189 (in case you are fluent in Spanish).  He teaches others how to work with wood to make furniture.

If you are interested in his work, directions to his mission are below:




As you go down into San Lorenzo, Manabí, the road has a y; go towards the cemetery, make a right hand turn on the street with restaurants. There are 2 brick buildings across the street from one another. One is his house connected to the school and factory. The town is small, and everyone knows Corrado if you have to ask.

FAQs about Ecuador, Puerto Cayo, Las Palmas, and our home

Mark and I moved to Salinas, EC in July 2012 and started the construction of our home in Puerto Cayo (PC) in Jan 2013. We are now living in Las Palmas, PC. Since moving, we have been asked many times for some general information about Ecuador, Puerto Cayo, Las Palmas, or our home. Below are the answers to some the FAQs.

General items in Ecuador

Gas is $2.00 for the yellow tanks (about double the size of the small Lowe’s propane tanks in the U.S.); Water is $1.00 for 20 L; Eggs are $3.50 for 30; Rice is about $5 for a big, big bag (metric?) but more than I would ever buy for a year; Gasoline is $1.48 gallon for the extra grade and $2.08 for the super; Diesel is $1.03 gallon; Bus ride from Salinas to GYE – $3.50; Flight from GYE to Miami, about 4 hours.

Best person for Visa & Cedula – Dana Cameron

Realtor for the area – Amy Prisco

Puerto Cayo

PC offers many oceanfront, thatched roof, restaurants and a meal is about $4-$6 per plate. Large cold beer or water are $1.50-$2.00/bottle, depending on which on you choose. The menus are similar to one another, but you can be certain that fish, shrimp, and crab are a part of this any of the menus.


You can get a large fish on the beach where the boats come in for about $15. Buses, cabs, and tuktuks drive by routinely, so public transportation is available. We have a clinic in PC and many small tiendas. There are a some hotels and many hostels that offer many of the same luxuries as the hotels but at a much more affordable price. A room at the hotel may go for $50-70 U.S./night and may or may not include breakfast. A typical room at a hostel is about $10/night and includes a typical Ecuadorean breakfast.

Manta is about 45 minute north on the Ruta del Sol and super easy to drive and minimal traffic (until you get into Manta). There is a Supermaxi (grocery store) on the PC side of Manta. Manta is home to Tarqui, which has a very expansive Mercado that covers many streets, outdoor vendors, and just about anything you need is in Tarqui. Puerto Lopez is 33k south and Jipijapa is 27k east. Both towns offer unique experiences, shopping, local treats and special items.

Our water is delivered via truck at $20/load. We generally get one load every two weeks.  Las Palmas now has trash service; they come to the house two or three times per week and will pick up or take away anything and everything. Currently, there is no charge for this service.  Las Palmas has a cement wall surrounding three sides of the property. There are also three large gaps in the wall that are to be completed soon. One is used for construction vehicles and is also used by people to enter the neighborhood. The biggest problem with the gaps is that it allows visitors to bypass the guards. The groundskeeper is an organic farmer and has an amazing farm. He gave us a tour and some gifts from his garden.

Some of the sunsets here in Puerto Cayo are simply amazing!

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Our second trip to Ecuador


On our return visit to Ecuador in March 2012, we again landed at the Ocean Hideaway. The serenity of the beach and the remote location were exactly what we were looking for during our trip.  The purpose of this trip was to house hunt to get an idea of what was available and at what cost. While International House Hunters is fun to watch, we wanted to make sure that we understood the reality of the place and not just a fairy tale. Amy Prisco was our


As usual, the weather was perfect with blue skies and a crystal clear pool that we shared with the one Hideaway’s loyal furry friends – Gina and Pooch. We kick started our tans for the summer!


We still left room for some sight seeing with our soon to be friend Miguel and his family.  We ventured to a 100 year old church that we had visited on a previous trip, drove into the mountains to catch a fresh water fish from a dam on the top of the mountain.  We could see the fish in the water coming over the dam wall. 


We ate all kinds of good food and enjoyed the beaches of Anconcito, Salinas, and several other beach town on the coastal region. We also made time for the place that has the coldest beer in Salinas – Hostel Aqui Score Bar.