Life in the tropics
grau agustí and his Ecuatorian wife headed to her country in search of opportunity nearly two years ago.
Why did you leave Catalonia?
My wife is from Ecuador. We decided to try our luck in Guayaquil (Ecuador) a few months after our marriage (Sept 2013) for several reasons: the poor Spanish economy versus the growing Ecuatorian economy–we thought we could get better jobs there than in Barcelona. Also, we shave no children, and after living in Barcelona for twelve years, my wife wanted to live in her home city again.
Why did you choose Guayaquil?
Because Guayaqui is my wife's home town and we thought it would be easier to settle there than in other places.
How long have you lived there?
For almost a year and a half.
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found in your adoptive country?
My wife found a job in a month, running property developments. There's a construction boom in Ecuador at present. In my case, I have had three different jobs and currently I am the manager of the Casal Català of Guayaquil.
What do you think is the best thing about living in Guayaquil?
Guayaquil practically doesn't know what cold is, but when the sun is up the heat is terrible. However, I like this weather and also the food is really good. Ecuador is a fruit paradise... guava, papaya, coco, tree-tomato, prickly custard-apple, mango, and you can eat strawberries, watermelon, or melon any time of the year. Rice is like bread in Spain and the basic products are really cheap, but cars, clothes, decorative articles are expensive.
What do you consider the highlights for any brief visit for the first time?
I recommend El Malecon, Santay Island, Higuana Park, Las Peñas and Captain Morgan's Ship.
And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?
Guayaquil is not really a tourist city. I recommend visiting Quito (the capital), Cuenca, Baños or the Galapagos Islands and their huge turtles.
What do you miss most from home?
Without a doubt, my family, my friends and also the food. We were in Barcelona and Girona last Christmas and we brought a lot of ham, paté, fuet...
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
Probably, but in about two or three years.
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