For three years now, Lisa and her husband Ronnie, have made their home on the island of Ambergris Caye. But this couple aren’t ones for just lazing on a beach all day. They enjoy an impressive array of water-based activities on Ambergris.
Ambergris Caye is a world-renowned vacation and dive destination. It’s largest town, San Pedro, is the heartbeat of this tropical island and its tiny airport is normally quite busy with crowded shuttle flights back and forth to the mainland.
We got as far as the town square in the small village of San Vicente on Ecuador’s northern coast when our car ran out of gas. I pulled to the side of the rutted, muddy road among a huge crush of writhing, smiling people as sultry Latin rhythms shook the windows of the car.
The place was packed; festive and noisy with a funky, thumping rhythm adding to the party atmosphere. It was a mixed crowd—some retired gringos along with a younger North American group accounted for about 60% with the rest a mix of European travelers and locals. Everyone was having a great time. My wife Diane and I were fortunate to snag a table. At the very moment a group stood to leave, I moved quickly to claim the space.
When a serious health issue and the loss of my job occurred at the same time as the international financial collapse, we took a huge hit emotionally and financially. Our family’s income was instantly reduced by 65% when I lost my job. Saving for a rainy day had been tough enough…but we were ill-prepared for the several “rainy years” that followed.
Our journey to Ecuador started a few years ago. First the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy...and the equity in our home vanished in a few months. Then I had my second heart attack and lost my job—just about the time that retirement was looming.