10 Reasons Ecuadorians Leave (And Why it Shouldn’t Bother You)

Immigrating to a new country takes a lot of time and thought, so of course, you want to be sure that the place you’re moving to is just right. Many would-be expats interested in starting a new life in Ecuador look at the immigration statistics and see that lots of Ecuadorians are leaving their country. This can be troubling.

We know that the cost of living in Ecuador is low, the weather is great, and the culture is beautiful. So the question remains, why are Ecuadorians leaving, and should it deter you from settling down in the country? 

We’re going to take you through some of the most common reasons people leave Ecuador, and hopefully, you’ll see that it’s not as foreign as you might expect. 

10. Better Education for Their Children

10. Better Education for Their Children

The public education system in Ecuador is indeed lacking. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good schools here. There are many thriving international and private schools, but these can be more expensive.

While wealthier Ecuadorian families may send their children to these specialized private schools, many middle- and working-class Ecuadorians cannot afford the tuition. So, for these parents, finding a better educational opportunity for their children is one of the main reasons they leave Ecuador.

9. Studying Abroad

Many Ecuadorian students choose to leave the country for their higher education. This is because they want to be exposed to new cultures and ideas, and they feel that they can get a better education elsewhere.

You’ll find many doctors, engineers, architects, and even musicians who went abroad to get more specialized training in other countries. While some of these students stay in the countries their schools are in, many of them return to Ecuador to start up their businesses and practices.

8. Visiting Family in Other Countries

This is a big one. Because so many Ecuadorians have family members living in other countries (the U.S., Spain, Italy, Argentina, etc.), they often choose to leave Ecuador for extended visits with loved ones. This is especially common among the older generations of Ecuadorians who have children and grandchildren living abroad.

7. Healthcare

7. Healthcare

There is a misconception, even among Ecuadorians themselves, that their healthcare system is not up to par with developed countries. Much like with schooling, while the public healthcare system can struggle with funding and doctors, the private system is fantastic. 

Private healthcare here is easy to navigate, affordable, and has exceptionally well-educated professionals working within it. While experimental treatments are often more easily accessible in places like the United States, regular everyday healthcare in Ecuador shines. 

The doctors are not as quick to prescribe drugs when lifestyle changes will do the job, and you can have access to prescription medications that might not be available in the United States.

6. Concerns About Corruption

Many people in Ecuador are concerned about corruption and political instability within their country and believe that it will be better somewhere else. However, there is corruption all over the world.

Living in a different country can protect you from these concerns because you don’t have the historical baggage that comes from being born and raised in a country and knowing the ins and outs of every issue. 

In fact, when people we talk to describe corruption within the government, it’s often similar to how lobbying operates in the United States.

5. Increase in Crime

Unfortunately, over the past few years, Ecuador has seen an increase in crime. This is likely due to a variety of reasons, including the current economic situation and political instability. While petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching is common, there have also been reports of more serious crimes such as home invasions and robberies. There’s also been an increase in drug cartel and gang activity which is worrisome to Ecuadorians. 

 Of course, this isn’t to say that crime doesn’t happen in other countries – it does. But for many Ecuadorians, the increase in crime is one of the main reasons they’ve decided to leave.

4. A Desire to Experience Other Cultures

Cuenca Ecuador Christmas ParadeFor some Ecuadorians, living in their home country can feel a bit like being in a bubble. Sure, there are different cultures within the country, but many people never get the chance to experience life outside of Ecuador. 

Additionally, travel can be expensive and time-consuming from Ecuador. So, for some people, leaving the country is simply a way to open up their world and learn about new cultures.

3. A New Adventure

This is similar to wanting to experience a new culture; however, some people have been bit by the adventure bug. If it’s cycling, skiing, or rock climbing, some Ecuadorians leave to get closer to their ideal adventure locations. 

These people may not move abroad, but they certainly spend quite a bit of time abroad, sometimes taking several months off from work to experience the world. While this is a foreign concept to many Americans, it’s common practice in Europe, and in many other parts of the world

2. Learn a New Language or Improve Their English

2. Learn a New Language or Improve Their English

While some people might leave Ecuador to learn a new language, others do it to improve their English. In a globalized economy, being bilingual or trilingual is seen as an asset. 

Many Ecuadorians who want to work in international companies or pursue careers in fields like medicine or law know that they must brush up on their English before being competitive in the job market.

1. Better Economic Opportunities

While the cost of living in Ecuador is quite low, that can also translate to lower wages. For many Ecuadorians, leaving the country is a great way to find work that will allow them to send large amounts of money back home.

There are also quite a few entrepreneurs in Ecuador, and they will leave to make money that they can use to build a business when they return.

The Great Return

The Great Return

In recent years we’ve seen a big increase in people moving back to Ecuador after spending time abroad. Many of them move home for the same reasons that you would want to settle down in Ecuador. There’s a lower cost of living, the culture is rich and exciting, and the people are kind. 

There is also the added bonus of returning to families and having less discrimination than they may receive as an immigrant. 

There are lots of misconceptions about all Ecuadorians being illegal immigrants, but in reality, there are many more people who can legally move to other countries. 


To sum it up, Ecuadorians leave Ecuador and move back to Ecuador for the same reasons everyone leaves their home country or moves back to it. People are the same everywhere, so the fact that many Ecuadorians are becoming expats should not prevent you from living the dream along the equator.

Watch Our Video About Why Ecuadorians are Leaving Ecuador



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JP Stonestreet
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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!

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