Cool, Clear and Safe to Drink Water in our Ecuador Home

We recently had a WAPA water purification system installed in our Puerto Cayo home. We worked with Don Atkins to get the quote on the system including installation. After the price was negotiated and firmed up, Kostia installed the system into our house. Mobusa is an authorized distributor of the WAPA water purification systems.  More information can be found at http://www.imbmobusa.com/english/id87.html  Kostia@agua-wapa.com is the email address of the gentlemen who installed our unit. Water purification and reverse osmosis

 

But what makes the system so great?  I have plenty of reason to love it now!  I have long hair and the hard water before caused my hair to tangle and dried it out to a straw-like mess. With the new system, my hair is back to feeling like hair  and not straw.  The clothes come out of the washer cleaner and softer. But, of all the things that I love best is the fact that we can drink the water in the house. Our plants love the cleaner water – even they have started to grow faster and greener. I can USE the ice I make!!!!!! No more running to the Tienda just for a bag of ice. I can wash my food items in the sink and they come out cleaner than they went in – unlike before. 

 

So what is the big deal? The builder of our home provided a huge cistern, but never installed any type of filter between the cistern and the faucets. To explain, the cistern had a very heavy cement lid, which is the norm for here unless you have a wooden one. But, the crickets and rolly polly bugs LOVED the under side of the damp, warm lid. So, every time we opened the lid, the bugs dropped into our cistern. If one were to have had a filter (at the very least and really quite inexpensive here) between the cistern and the holding tank, hot water heater, etc., this might not be too bad. But, the problem was that the bugs would die, drop to the bottom, where they would be sucked up into the house plugging nearly every faucet in the house. For this reason, we never really came out of the shower feeling clean, you certainly did not want to put your food in such water, and you would never let this water touch your lips. So having the system has given us freedom from the big blue water jugs – unless the power goes out, but we can live with that for the small periods of time that it happens.

More Informational Topics from Puerto Cayo

Internet: CNET (internet company) came through to get signatures of individuals interested in getting cable (TV, Phone, and internet) packages.  Mark and I signed as interested parties. The increase in interested parties may make it lucrative for CNET to install the fiber optic lines necessary for home installations in Las Palmas. If this does not happen, Interdatos, in Puerto Lopez offers decent internet. The POC is Patricia San Lucas M. and the email is administracion@interdatos.net.ec or 082588196.

Electricity: I did some asking and it seems you can get electricity installed in your home with a passport. It does not require you have a cedula. You need to take your land papers and your passport to Jipijapa to the electric company to request a meter. It takes about a month to get the meter installed and about three months to get the first bill. They start the meter and zero and work from there.

Visa & Cedula process: Dana Cameron agua_plata@hotmail.com is an expert at this process. She is a professor at the university in Guayaquil and is the English teacher of many of the employees in the government offices in Guayaquil. This equates to a professional relationship. She can get things done that many of the lawyers charge exuberant rates to accomplish. I recommend at least reaching out to her if you are preparing to move here. Guayaquil is only a 2.5 hour drive and much better than trying to deal with Cuenca or Quito due to proximity.

Container shipment: I am in the process of finding out from many people who have brought containers, which company provides reliable service. Mark and I used Ecuador Movers and would caution against using them – we paid for every mistake they made and it was more than it should have cost.

Taxes: In order to pay your taxes in Jipijapa, you will need to have your Avavos y catastro number off the escritura paperwork. This along with your passport or cedula is the documentation required.

RUC: If you want to work in the country, you must have a RUC. This is accomplished by taking your cedula, your voting identification card,  and a current bill (like electricity) to the SRI building and applying for the number. It takes about an hour to accomplish the process.

Drivers from GYE to Puerto Cayo: I recently traveled to and from the airport in GYE with a professional named Jolynn Sheeshka. She lives in Mirador San Jose and drives a four door sedan. Her number is 0997193312. I had four suitcases, two bags and my usual Duty Free. There was still room in her car for a bit more. I would caution against four people and bags for all – as they would not fit. If you are traveling from GYE to Salinas, there is a lady by the name of Carlotta Infante A who is reasonable. She can be reached at emelec_carlota_mtv@hotmail.com or 0995154365. Jolynn is from Canada and speaks fluent English; Carlotta speaks pretty good English and fluent Spanish. She is from Ecuador and is a really good reference if you have questions regarding anything in Guayaquil.

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 http://imbmobusa.com/id72.html). 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!

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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

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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.

http://www.jardin-suizo.com/

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.

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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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