Merri’s and my Hacienda Rosaspamba is 962 exquisite acres of Ecuador cloud forest near Mindo. This is why I am happy to send this advertisement and a special offer for the next phase of the Aboretto cloud forest gated community near our Ecuador hacienda from Swen Lorenz who writes:. Become the neighbor (quite literally) of an international investment expert who bets his own money that Ecuador will be the next investment red hot destination …. On the surface of it you would probably expect me to live in New York, London, or Hong Kong – or some other major financial capital where banks, hedge funds and investment firms keep their headquarters. Indeed, I have lived in two of these major capitals and set up a successful fund management company in the third one. Yet, despite all the glitzy destinations that I have often frequented, I’ve lost my heart to a small country in Latin America.  Ecuador. These perceptions are going to change over the coming years, driven by developments such as the new international airport in Quito, the unstoppable growth of eco tourism, and the growing affluence among Ecuador’s 12 million people. The difference between how the country is still perceived by most and what I experience on the ground, couldn’t be any bigger.
There are many factors that make Ecuador an interesting investment location to investigate.
The school was a charity project that since then has helped dozens of Ecuadorian youngsters to improve their job qualifications.
Having traveled the globe, I’ve found Ecuador to be one of the world’s best places to settle in. The strange thing is that few people would have even heard of Ecuador – unlike Costa Rica, Belize or Croatia – countries that were also once considered too remote and too ‘exotic’ (or risky).
So if you have ever wondered if it’s worth owning a piece of land in Ecuador, then keep reading.
You know about Ecuador already, and you are looking for a specific opportunity to make an investment and (potentially) create a new life for yourself. I don’t even want to imagine how many foreigners (Americans, Europeans, Australians, etc) have come to Ecuador (and other places), put down money for a piece of land or even a house – and ended up utterly disappointed, with their dreams in shatters and their money partially or completely lost. It must not be forgotten that Ecuador is also a developing country, a place where you need to know your way around or else you’ll end up in the hands of shady operators. I set up my first business when I was 15 and have never been employed in my entire life, which is why I know that too much success can also kill a company.
Instead of hiring the developer for future projects, I simply bought out one of the partners, injected the necessary cash myself, and instigated a restructuring aimed at putting the company back on the road – with a view to eventually making it bigger and better than ever before, and with the ambition to turn it into the best eco home developer in all of Ecuador.
It’s because of me having stepped in to save this high quality, but cash-strapped developer from the brink, that I can today offer you an extraordinary opportunity.
One is, that pristine nature will only ever get scarcer on this planet (therefore prices can only go up). Nestled in this valley is a high quality unpaved road that offers access to a total of 36 lots.
Nothing, except for the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the biggest banking and credit crisis of living memory! Fund raising, structuring corporate transactions and helping with turnarounds is just my area of expertise for the last decade.
This project in Mindo simply deserved to get a fresh start, which is why I decided to step in.
With all this being in order, I am now more than happy to stick my neck out and personally throw my weight and name behind the Mindo project. We have polished the “Mindo Arboretto” project (Arboretto comes from the word “Arboretum”, or a botanical garden).
There is not a single lot that isn’t desirable, they are simply different in what they offer and those who come in early have all the choice in the world.
What ever you choose, the homes provide a suitable option for most needs  – as well as great value with peace of mind quality.
Additionally, all of the houses can be tweaked and customized so as to accommodate individual preferences.
On a like-for-like basis, you will be hard pressed to find such quality construction at this price in Ecuador.
There even is an initial, fully furnished home that has been finished already and which anyone who wants to get a feeling for spending time in Mindo can have a closer look at. This project is already well advanced, and our recent tweaking has turned it into a proposition that I am so convinced of, that I have bought a lot for myself.
All the lots come with a set of covenants that are registered to the land, and that only allow for development that is in tune with the surroundings.
And to be frank, if you absolutely don’t like the overall concept of an eco community of internationally minded home-owners in a nature reserve, then please simply look else where. There is already a clear vision in place, and it’s one that I believe will appeal to a discerning audience.
Since I am putting my (carefully built) reputation on the line, I want this project to become a success for its owners and investors.
For me, Mindo is the best opportunity to propel ADVENTO (the development company) into the next league.
I’d even like to underline just how much this is thought out to be a project for a clientele that is asking for quality. You can easily find a dozen other projects in Ecuador that will look like a bargain on the surface. Someone might offer you that beachfront lot for $5,000 (and a three-course lunch with French wine for $1.50), and others will promise you a full set of infrastructure for a bargain price that sounds too good to be true.
ADVENTO has been hired by a large investor into Ecuadorian property – to help them sort out the mess that their inexperienced local partners had caused.
How much will you save on maintenance costs if you don’t have the road washed away the first time you get a bit more rain than usual?
High quality infrastructure development – ranging from functioning water supply to a reliable electric grid and finishing off with communal facilities such as a pool – simply come at a certain price.
Take the first pick of the available base lots in Mindo Arboretto, and purchase one for $24,500 (instead of the $27,000 that they will cost after the initial launch). And not forgetting our no risk, 100% refund offer if you are not delighted with your purchase.


You can see how we have put a lot of effort into getting this right – not the least as I want to demonstrate that investing in Latin America does not necessarily mean having to deal with delays and problems. None of this would be possible, by the way, without the work of ADVENTO’s general manager, Carlos Tobar.
In other words, he is a guy who is used to managing such tasks – and besides that, he is also an extremely friendly chap that I am sure you will enjoy working with.
Both of us will be happy to share our entire knowledge with you, not just about Mindo but also about all other aspects of living in Ecuador. Speaking of which, you might be interested to hear that a good part of the infrastructure for the project is actually already in place. All this comes together to form a package that I believe, provides for a perfect start into a better, healthier and happier life.
The global economy is entering into phase II of the biggest economic shift in the history of mankind. See the Mindo property and learn more about life in the cloud forest  at the NEW tours created by Jean Marie Butterlin. Free newsletter with updates on Ecuador and global opportunities to improve and enjoy your health, wealth, and life.
2009 Hard Cover 218ppExceptionally good copy, very clean and crisp, some age toning, spotting on top edge, with previous owners name stamped to inside flysheet and fore edge.The elephants of the Knysna forest have long been the subject of mystery and conjecture. I have been writing about international investing since 2004, with published articles in more than 40 publications in 7 countries. Besides that, I have spent my life traveling extensively and have been lucky enough to tick many of the world’s best-known tourist destinations off my list.
I have invested quite heavily into the country already, but unusually, I’ve also made this particular investment area my home. The people are amazing and quite different from other countries in Latin America (they are the friendliest I have encountered in any country).
However property prices in these places soon spiraled upwards because of American and European investors moving in.
Here you’ll get the insider’s view of someone who has actually done it, using his own money, and who is savoring living the life of an expat in Ecuador. Personally, it makes little difference to me whether a country has 100 or 1,000 different species of butterflies, birds or orchids.
Over-expansion at too early a stage is a killer for thousands of young ventures every year.
These were the people that I had wanted to hire for my future real estate investments in Ecuador, and instead they faced going bust.
This is a project that will appeal to a large audience, not just to the bird watchers who were the original pioneering tourists in this area. From Quito it is only a 50-mile drive on a high quality road, with restaurants and shops along the way.
To speak of this place growing by leaps and bounds is no pipe dream, it’s already happening.
Bird watching is what Mindo first became famous for, but it’s now becoming an eco and adventure holiday haven, with clean rivers to swim in, fresh food in restaurants where you can watch hummingbirds from your table, trails for hiking and trekking, rivers for tubing, and countryside lanes for biking. To the back, there is the nature reserve (= off limits for development) of an award winning eco lodge.
It doesn’t exist in this area because of Mindo’s altitude, which does not allow Malaria-transmitting mosquitoes to thrive.
With a road there, the construction of the first model house well underway, and meticulous planning for the all the various details drawn up, it seemed like nothing could potentially stop this project. Work in the project slowed down, and the company needed a restructuring of its funding sources.
Under my stewardship, the company reduced staff by more than 50% and cut away a lot of slack.
A lot of financially instable fly-by-night real estate operators faltered during the crisis. For quality construction set within such a professionally developed project, you’ll be hard pressed to find a comparable offer. The other house-types offered will be quite distinct from this model house, so you truly are spoilt for choice – and you can get a first-hand impression of the quality of materials and craftsmanship by visiting the project’s model house. I believe in efficiency, and we have already done 99% of the planning that is necessary for a seamless project. I am convinced of the overall concept as it stands now, and I don’t want to see brash condo buildings in an area where I believe small individual nature-respecting houses are the way forward. If Mindo Arboretto goes well, ADVENTO will have the gates wide open to expand into other areas in Ecuador and become a premier provider of real estate services to a demanding foreign clientele. But remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is (and there is a long list of failed projects in Ecuador and elsewhere in Latin and Central America).
ADVENTO has experience in sourcing the best value solution available on the Ecuadorian market, balancing quality and durability with price. You have until 15th Feb 2011 to visit Arboretto-Mindo after your purchase, and if you decide it is not for you, you will receive a no-quibble refund within 2 weeks. Besides, he speaks perfect English (and if you like, you can converse in French with him as he grew up in Geneva as the son of a diplomat). That’s why I believe now is as good a time as has ever been, to gain a foothold in Ecuador.
I am regularly in Quito and Guayaquil, and can often be found passing through the US and several European capitals. This evolution in trade and productivity will hugely benefit real estate in Ecuador as well as the US. We need styles that are quick and easy to maintain without having to wake up at the break of dawn every morning to get it right. Over the years they have taken on an almost mythical quality, with many doubting whether they existed at all.In 1994 the local forestry department maintained that there was only one surviving Knysna elephant, the seldom seen female known as The Matriarch.
The Ginza district of Tokyo, the Victoria Falls in Zambia and the amazing landscapes of Patagonia – been there, done that. As a matter of fact, a friend of a friend has just now started to build a new $10m hotel in Ecuador.


Yes, there is the occasional wobbly moment, such as the recent police riot when President Correa dared to cut the pay of over-paid public servants. I have so many friends over here, that the country truly feels like home (and that’s despite me still not being properly fluent in Spanish because it’s so easy to get through with “Spanglish”).
It’s for that very reason that you can still invest in Ecuador right now for a price that is just so much more attractive than investing elsewhere.
But the developers that I hired to build my own house ended up running into liquidity problems when the banking crisis hit. Stretch yourself too thin, and as soon as some unexpected external event happens, you end up finding yourself in hot water financially.
And tying in with my first point, ideally invest into property that benefits from eco tourism. Here was a place that was just destined to take off as a tourism destination.  On top of that, this particular development is set within a national park! You can go horseback riding, treat yourself to some time in a Spa, visit butterfly farms, enjoy fresh trout in hosterias or go for walks to study flora such as orchids. Today, the operation is not only 4 times bigger than it was before it got into trouble, but is now on a firm footing too. Compared to other restructuring cases that I have been involved with, ADVENTO was actually a fairly simple case. Provided of course, this kind of “haven set within pristine nature” is what you are looking for. For you, this means that you will benefit from being part of a standard-setting development. When you’re working with a company that other developers come to,  you can be confident that you’re in experienced hands. That international standard of work and materials in Arboretto Mindo, ultimately increases the value of your investment and it maximizes your rental potential. In the meantime, I have learned just how much it increases your quality of life if you don’t have to deal with all sorts of constant problems that we in the U.S and Europe just don’t expect, but are the norm in Ecuador. It will take approximately six weeks to get your deed delivered (in the meantime, your funds will stay in a lawyer’s escrow account). The road has been built in such a way that it is protected against the run-off of rain, and the bit of the road that leads along the stream is specially protected against a river swell. And actually, for most of these small problems I can already see the solution on the horizon. And to do so in one of the natural reserve treasures of the country, where tourism is bound to continue to grow by leaps and bounds. And how would one possibly find local people that you know you can trust to do a good job for you?
Yet, these instances are simply a part of a country maturing and the foreign press makes it look like a much bigger deal than it really is – the whole thing was over within a day. The World Tourism Organization estimates that ‘nature tourism’ is growing at 10-30 per cent growth per year.
You can also volunteer and participate in the local community; for example, one of the residents of Arboretto teaches English in the local school. And if you believe that a rural community in Ecuador has to have a McDonald’s, then please for heaven’s sake stay where you are! That’s why I can ensure that you won’t have to deal with the problems that so often blight other projects in Latin America.
In the end, spending some money on quality right at the beginning is cheaper (and a better investment) than having to deal with problems later on.
But still, a quality project done with careful planning and designed to deliver what it promises, can’t be done for the price that sometimes you might see advertised elsewhere.
As you can see, this project isn’t the kind of pipe dream that other developers are peddling. And personally, I find it terribly annoying that the news stands in Quito aren’t capable of providing a crisp copy of the Financial Times every morning. I have a hectic schedule but I making a real effort to turn Mindo into a community of interesting and diverse people, and I always strive to make time for a coffee or for lunch with like-minded investors. This was the official stance until September 2000 when forest guard Wilfred Oraai encountered and photographed a young bull from a distance of some thirty metres.The question arose: who was its mother?
I have more than 15 years of experience of investing into emerging markets, and Ecuador is a safer bet than most countries that are peddled by the mainstream investment media. And it took me just 21 minutes to get the application for my residency papers done – so Ecuador makes for an easy transition, too. Families, retirees, adventurers, writers looking for a quiet place, and anyone looking for a better lifestyle – Mindo suits many needs. We prefer home-made Patacones to food from chain restaurants owned by anonymous corporations.
I don’t want to mention names, but just looking at some of these offers I can tell you straight away that who ever falls for them, will end up disappointed and feeling defrauded. It’s already happening, and it’s all been carefully planned so that there are no nasty surprises with maintenance at a later stage. Part of the project is a 95 acres private reserve that will stay protected for eternity, and which you as a lot owner will always have on your doorstep. And the day-to-day management team is led by the best manager that I could possibly imagine for a company like this (more about him later). And some day, the Municipality of Mindo will have the funds to upgrade the local road system – something that will in turn help them increase their tourism revenue. For the next seven years he covered thousands of kilometres on foot, following ancient elephant paths through the dense Afromontane forest and the surrounding mountain fynbos.He found abundant signs to suggest that, far from dying out, the Knysna elephants are, quietly and secretly, holding their own.
Demand from investors had dried up just as much as the availability of funding had also became extremely restricted. Patterson's fieldwork, and his DNA research in collaboration with conservation geneticist Lori Eggert, established that at least five young females exist, lending support to Patterson's growing evidence that the Knysna forest and its surroundings are home to a small herd of young elephants.The Secret Elephants is the story of these remarkable animals that fought their way back from the brink of extinction without any help from humankind.



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