In the States we take home delivery of mail and packages for granted, but in Ecuador you will be hard pressed to find a house with a mailbox. I'm told They do exist but they are the exception rather than the rule. So, in the absence of home addresses and mailboxes, how does one go about sending and receiving mail and packages to Ecuador, especially mail or goods from other countries? The Ecuadorian Postal Service offers a service by which one can receive packages from the States rather quickly and at a reasonable rate. The service is called Club Correos (Mail Club).
Here is how Club Correos works: For a $10.00 yearly fee, you are assigned a physical address in Miami which gives you a U.S. shipping address where you can receive packages from online retailers in the U.S. Each Club Correos customer has an individual box number which distinguishes you from other customers who use the same Miami street address. It is similar to renting a P.O. box at a UPS Store location. The shipping cost from the States to Ecuador is about $5.00 per pound which I’m told is a reasonable rate for international shipping. Club Correos bills your credit card for the shipping charges. With this service, all customs matters are taken care of so you don’t have to deal with Ecuadorian Customs officials. When your package arrives in Ecuador, the post office gives you a friendly call( or email) to let you know that you have a package waiting for pick up. They will even deliver the package to your house, if you can tell them how to get to your house. Remember, most houses do not have assigned addresses so unless one speaks good Spanish and have a house that is easy to recognize it is better to just pick up the package at the post office.
Power lines and electricity are to say the least...different in Ecuador. Blogs have said power outages are often, not for very long, but often can be very annoying. Just long enough to make you reset clocks, have to restart computers, etc. but until we are there ourselves, we have to expect the worst, and hope for the best.
These pictures are from Livingitupinecuador blog, I had to share, I can honestly say I've never seen anything like this! The larger, more "cosmopolitan" cities will have better wiring, less outages than smaller beach communities, but like I said, we will have to encounter it first hand to see what are deal breakers. And with all our "being flexible", maybe it won't be so bad. Ecuador does use the same type of power as the states, so no adapters are needed, that'll be nice. We've stocked up on surge protectors and those little things that make your 2hole outlet accept three pronged plugs. Thank you, whoever wrote that in their blog, very usefull information! Well I guess that's it, more to come. The adventure continues!