Feed on

There is energy in all change… positive and negative… a trick and a treat.   Spotting the treat creates value, greater wealth and even better health.

villafanestudios.com pumpkin

There will be some weird energy out tonight!  Photo of a Ray Villafane Carved Pumpkin.

See more on Halloween in Ecuador below.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just get the treats?  But some things never change… like give and take.  Life is a quantum package and every treat has a trick attached as well.

Life is change and modern life has more change than many care for.   That’s good because it allows those who embrace and adapt to change to  gain the greatest adventure, profit and opportunity.

Every change has parts that some consider good.  Other parts some consider bad.   Take the change in the energy of energy as an example.

Ecuador’s power grid is a weak point. Ecuador’s largest dam, the Paute Dam’s supports to 1,075 MW Molina Power Station that delivers 40% of Ecuador’s electricity.   In late 2009, low water levels at the dam were the primary cause of an electricity crisis in Ecuador.  Now the country is developing a Smart Grid project in Latin America in collaboration with GE Energy, but the grid could remain a weak point for years to come.

This is why the new technology innovation below may be of interest to Ecuador.

Avoiding the Power Grid

An MIT Technology Review article entitled Avoiding the Power Grid by David Talbot says:

A cheaper fuel cell could provide affordable power for microgrid.

The electricity grid is increasingly stressed, and existing backup power sources are either expensive or inefficient.

A one-meter-square gray box studded with green lights sits in a hallway near the laboratory of materials scientist Eric ­Wachsman, director of the Energy Research Center at the University of Maryland. It is a mockup of a fuel-cell device that runs on natural gas, producing electricity at the same cost as a large gas plant.

The box is designed to house stacks of solid-oxide fuel cells that differ from their conventional counterparts in a dramatic way: they’re projected to produce electricity for $1 per watt, down from $8 in today’s commercial versions, thanks to improvements that ­Wachsman has made in the ceramic materials at their heart.

The technology could eventually become a practical and affordable way to ease strain on the increasingly stressed electricity grid; anywhere there’s cheap natural gas, we could also have constant and cheap electricity.

A start up Redox Power Systems is now manufacturing these systems.

This is really BIG news. Here is why.  This technology could create the energy equivalent of the internet.  In the century past a major goal of any military conflict was to capture the broadcasting (radio and TV) stations of the opponent.  Communication is  power.   The battles during the Arab Spring showed that this no longer works.  Cell phones and emails (broadband) beat trump broadcast.

Electrical Grid is the Broadcaster of Energy

Electrical grids are vital to industrial economies but are also very vulnerable.  Take a 2009 Wall Street Journal article “Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies” by Siobhan Gorman (see link below). This says:  Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

This is not just a US problem.   An October 24, 2-013 Wall Street Journal article “Crime Groups Attack Mexico’s Power Grids” says: Tens of thousands of Mexicans were without power Monday after crime groups launched attacks on more than a dozen parts of the electricity grid in a state roiled by drug violence.

Small micro grids enhance a nation’s security enormously and save billions… maybe trillions.

Two Big Winners

The US economy has been so lucky for so many years.  America was the nation not physically devastated by WWII.  It shot into the economic lead.  Then as America was flagging, the US became the central point for the internet.  This put another huge shot in America’s economic arm.  Now the US and Canada stand to be the really big winners of naturally gassed micro grid electricity.

Natural Gas Electricity

energy chart

Chart from Energy Information Administration

Here is an excerpt from a U.S. Energy Information Administration article:  The United States and Canada are the only major producers of commercially viable natural gas from shale formations in the world, even though about a dozen other countries have conducted exploratory test wells according to a joint U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)/Advanced Resources International (ARI) study released in June. China is the only nation outside of North America that has registered commercially viable production of shale gas, although the volumes contribute less than 1% of the total natural gas production in that country. In comparison, shale gas as a share of total natural gas production in 2012 was 39% in the United States and 15% in Canada.

Still a Fossil Fuel

Despite the advantage of this technology the downside is that it still relies on natural gas and this falls into the primitive fossil fuel category.

Redox Power takes advantage of the low price of domestic natural gas but there are growing issues about natural gas fracking causing environmental and public health problems.

So this is a step in the right direction… but seems more like the computer that uses Hollerith punch cards in the bell curve of this innovation.

Imagine how the internet changed communication.  Broadcast disturbed (some would say destroyed) by broadband.  This energy innovation could shift North America’s use of electricity in the same way the internet changed communication.  No other region is in a position to shift as quickly because they do not have the immediate access to the natural gas.

I have strongly recommended (and have and do hold shares myself) in the Canadian hydropower company Brookfield Power  for years.

brookfield chart finance.yahoo.com

The 86+% rise in share value over the past half decade plus strong dividends means this has been a good investment. I’ll be reexamining this holding from a long term point of view… as I would have CBS, ABC and NBC when the internet was new.

Why GridEx II Does Not Make Sense.

On the subject of energy and the grid many readers have written asking about a GridEx II drill November 13th & 14th for the North American Union… (Canada, the U.S. and Mexico).  These readers are worried that a mock nationwide blackout will be made more permanent shutting down banking, phones, food and water so the government can declare martial law, seize your bank accounts, food, vehicles, stop air traffic etc.

An August 2013 New York Times article “As Worries Over the Power Grid Rise, a Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow” by By Matthew  L. Wald explains GridX II. (See link below):  The electric grid, as government and private experts describe it, is the glass jaw of American industry. If an adversary lands a knockout blow, they fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11.

This is why thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, F.B.I. antiterrorism experts and officials from government agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico are preparing for an emergency drill in November that will simulate physical attacks and cyberattacks that could take down large sections of the power grid.

They will practice for a crisis unlike anything the real grid has ever seen, and more than 150 companies and organizations have signed up to participate.

Here is my reply to all who are concerned.

Though we should be concerned about the risk of attack on the nation power grid, I cannot see anything that supports the idea that this November exercise will lead to martial law. This makes no sense.

I hope I am not wrong.  If I am, there is not a darn thing I can do about it.

However, though Merri and I maintain a lifestyle that enjoys modern technology, we also believe we are equipped to have an enjoyable life without electricity or civilization should this be required.

Here is the important part… we do this because it is fulfilling and fun.  We don’t grow my own food because we think everything is going to fall apart but because we enjoy the process.

We have our gardens… our groves… our ginseng and our chickens.

gary scott

There are turkey, deer and hogs in the woods, fish in the lake and creek.


A nice brookie our daughter Eleanor caught.

Life is too short to spend it worrying about doom and gloom.  However gardening, hunting, fishing are perfect counter balances to writing.  Getting the body in the fresh air… playing… I mean working the the dirt and fresh air grounds the business of sitting and being totally in your thoughts.

There is an extra bonus.  Growing and hunting your own food is also good for your health.  See why in tomorrow’s message.

Ecuador Halloween


Halloween is not a part of Ecuador’s culture. It is an American celebration so I expect this to grow as kids in Ecuador begin to understand trick or treat!

We’ll see Halloween’s connection to All Soul’s Day (November 2) and how Mazipan can create profit from Ecuador.

The spookiest thing one might see in Cotacachi is a misty village square just outside the colonial inn, Land of the Sun Inn, previously Meson de las Flores. Here is a shot taken by a guest.


You do not have to wait until October 31st to see the locals fill this square with gaiety, costumes and colors. Here is an army costumed lot ready to March!


Cotacachi square is often filled with parades and dancers.


Filled with color.


The young do dress in costumes.


Yet these come from century old traditions.


These costumes are not something sold in shops at Halloween.

Instead of Halloween, Ecuadorians celebrate All Saints’ Day on November second.

Halloween has roots in Celtic paganism and the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. This day initiates the triduum of Hallowmas, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows).

All Souls Day also celebrates the dead and is one of most important indigenous’ celebrations.

The belief is that the soul visits its relatives who celebrate the cemetery with food to help them continue  journeys in the after life.

The family prepares “bread dolls”, which have meaning based on shape. House shaped breads means protection for example.

Since this is a rainy season, the bread is baked rock hard for durability and this bread has turned int an art form called Mazipan. See how Mazipan can create profit from Ecuador.

I hope you found today’s message a treat and wish you every trick in the trades of happiness, wealth and abundance in the year ahead.


Ecuador Export Review

Ecuador Export Business Idea

Live anywhere – Earn in Ecuador with an export business in Ecuador.

Create an Ecuador exports business with Roberto Ribadeneira’s Ecuador Export Tour.   Merri and I have worked with Roberto for nearly twenty years exporting many products.

You can arrange an individual tour designed especially for you.

ecuador exports

Lake Quicocha near Cotacachi.

Visiting another country is great, but it is even better if you can do business while traveling!

Come to Ecuador and learn all about exports to the USA, Canada and Europe while visiting amazing places and earning money.

* You may be able to deduct part or all of this trip from your taxes.

* You can buy products to sell back home.

* You can learn about exporting from Ecuador to anywhere.

* You can even bring ideas to manufacture in Ecuador with great quality and competitive prices.

Coming to Ecuador not only won’t cost money but will make money for you.

Here is a note from Roberto Ribadeneira:

Let me share all the knowledge, contacts and products I have accumulated over decades of exporting.  Make your trip to Ecuador the beginning of a great business opportunity.

ecuador exports

Otavalo Market.  Learn about Tagua…a vegetable, sustainable, renewable ivory.

Let’s see some numbers.

ecuador exports

Tagua bracelet. Cost in Ecuador is $2.50 it is sold in the USA for at least $12.

Tagua necklace. Cost in Ecuador is $3, it is sold in the USA for at least $15.

Metal Bracelet. Cost in Ecuador is $1, it is sold in the USA for at least $10.

Shawl. Cost in Ecuador is $2.50, it is sold in the USA for at least $11.

Scarf.  Cost in Ecuador is $3.00 it is sold in the USA for at least $12.00.

ecuador exports

Alpaca Scarves.

These are just few examples of products that are inexpensive and have huge margins.  But there is also another plus; you can request specific improvements on those products.

But let’s go over some numbers and specific ideas.

1-    You want to sell a tagua bracelet to a University in Colorado, but everyone can do that, what they can’t do is sell a tagua bracelet with the University’s color. We can dye the tagua bracelet to match the University’s color, same goes for any other tagua designs and even for shawls and other textiles. If you make just $9 on each tagua bracelet and you sell 100 units, you are making $900 on 1 order.  And this is just 1 product, and this is just 1 University.  You can apply this idea to any education center in the USA.

2-    You see designs of leather products that you think could be made better, or different.  There is a niche market where you can sell them.  The manufacturers in Ecuador can make any design, on any color with major improvements over the original idea.  You can even request to put a logo and special details on the products.  We have a major company in the USA that wants our leather iPhone 6 cases, but they want them with their branding and specifications that other cases don’t have.  So we are making the leather cases exactly as they want them.  Margins on leather products are around 60% retail and 20% wholesale. Orders for medium size companies come in the hundreds, so you can make good money selling leather. Customers and myself have made thousands of dollars selling these products.

3-    Selling Roses to final customers is another amazing way of making money.  What I am doing right now is reaching to people that want to raise funds for specific projects and teaching them how to use roses for that.  On one specific program we are donating $20 to $40 on each box sold to a Water Project in Ecuador.  The response has been unbelievable, people enjoy the beauty of Roses from Ecuador but also contribute to a good cause at the same time.  Since there is no limit on quantity of flowers that you can sell, there is no limit on the number of people that you can involve in this idea.

ecuador exports

Rose Farm Processing Facility.

4-    Selling wholesale. This is the main goal for the July course that I want you to take here in Ecuador.  If you find a store, a chain, a website or any other vendor that sells unique and cool products, you are in for a great business opportunity. Their orders are in the hundreds and even thousands of units.  Margins are lower, but since you are selling more, that compensates.  The nice thing about this part of the business is that these big companies are looking for different products, so if they buy 1 from you, there is a big chance that they will buy many, many others.  Remember that our manufacturers can make the products with the customer’s specifications, so there is no restriction on design that your buyer may want.

As you can see there are many ways in which you can make money while visiting Ecuador.  That is why I have designed an Ecuador Export Course that can be especially customized for you.

We work 3 full days together learning and searching for products that you could buy.  You and I will go over ideas, product designs, web design, shopping carts, SEO and other details on how to get as many customers as you can.

ecuador exports

Leather Duffel Bags.

The course includes taking you to the manufacturers, sellers and export companies so you will have all the contact information that you need to move forward on your business.  There are dozens of manufacturers that make every type of product that you can imagine.  Most of them already work with big importers all over the world and have proved that the quality of their products is amazing.

If you would like to sell retail, I will also show you how to design a website, create products, a shopping cart, how to set up the system to charge your customers online and the basics of promoting it.

There are plenty of places to visit and ideas to explore. Among the places that you will visit while on the Export Tour are:
–    Quito
–    Otavalo
–    Peguche
–    Ibarra
–    Cotacachi
–    San Antonio de Pichincha

This is not just another course, this is THE COURSE. I don’t just teach you how to Import Products to the USA, I also work on the import-export business myself, which means that I have the experience and knowledge to give you ideas and solutions.


Jewelry is one of many Ecuador exports.

Ecuador has evolved as an export center and I have expanded my export service to create custom export tours that fit your schedule and particular desires.

I arrange for you to meet the artists, designers, creators, craftsmen, wholesalers of products that suit your business ideals and arrange visits of workshops, homes and markets.

You can learn about exports as diverse as jewelry or wood products.

Ecuador has great art exports.


There are wonderful handmade crafts like the chess set below.


This tour goes to the high Andes.

You’ll see products from Zuleta where they create handmade “green” cotton-one-of-a-kind tableware, shirts, specialty items.

Here you see them in hand sewn embroidery from the village of Zuleta. In this Andean community near us hand embroidery has been an important form of artistic expression and adornment for centuries. Andean cultures have long boasted superior textiles, far surpassing those of Europe. The weavers of the Andes could produce material with as many as five hundred two-ply woolen wefts per inch compared to one hundred in Europe.

The women of Zuleta are renowned for unique hand embroidered designs and colors. Their styles are so unique they have become a form of cultural identification.

Flowers are popular in Otavalan sweaters as well.  Plus the ladies of Intag make flowers from plant fiber.

My main exports are flowers, but we send many products and have the Ecuadorshop Logistics Service to help you become an exporter.


Roberto speaking at a seminar about how he can shop, ship and charge for Ecuador export businesses.

Here is a Ecuador export business I arranged for a tour delegate who sold to the Texas Rangers.

texas rangers badge

Texas Ranger badge.

Almost everyone has heard of the Texas Rangers.  They are the oldest law enforcement body on the North American Continent and have helped bring in many famous criminals like John Wesley Hardin and Bonnie and Clyde.

We were really tickled to hear from a delegate of the Ecuador Export tours that he had sold hundreds of embossed Ecuador leather backpacks to the Texas Rangers and that was just the first order.

Here are some of the services we offer to help you export from Ecuador to the USA.

#1:    A US company.

#2:   A continuous bond, which has to be purchased each year to be eligible to register to import with the US Customs.

#3:   A broker who has a power of attorney authorizing them to handle your imports.

#4:   A US bank account to pay US customs department when taxes and duties are due.

Plus if you are selling direct to customers and accepting credit cards, you need:

#1:   A verifiable credit history and Social Security number.

#2:  A gateway company to process the charges.

#3:   A credit card merchant account.

#4: A certified, secure  shopping cart.

#5:  An annual PCI compliance review and certification

#6:  An EIN number provided by the IRS

#7:  A sales number issued by the state of Florida.

#8: A Physical US address (PO box not allowed).

#9:  Monthly accounting system.

#10: IRS annual sales report.

We can help you organize all these steps.

Our Ecuadorshop Logistics Service provides all these services for exporters.

There are two more very special benefits.

First, our logistics service can pay manufactures in Ecuador.

Second, our service can monitor production and quality and assure timely delivery.

Many people try to export and find really great products that they sell really well.   However once they return to the US they can’t restock unless they return to Ecuador.  If they do reorder but are not present for delivery, they are at the mercy of the manufacturer… which creates a huge quality control problem.  These importers get whatever suppliers here send them.

Many don’t even try to reorder.  They don’t know how.  They don’t want to wire  money without seeing the product and being are of delivery.

Many others just have no idea or find that the income is not worth the time, effort and cost of all the red tape.

The good news is that I do not get in-between the importer and buyer either.  I set a price for my service and the importer knows his product cost.

Our service is provided for a set fee so the importer knows all costs and can price his product accordingly.

This is a great service that provides every detail for importing products into the USA.   We have used this logistics service ourselves for years.  One big benefit is that the service can send each product direct to the buyer in the USA.  We sell Ecuador roses… charge the customer and deliver the order to our logistics service.   Everything else is handled by the service.   The  tracking notice and the roses are delivered direct to the buyer.  The logistics service then charges our credit card and pays the supplier… so no money has to be wired to Ecuador.

The Ecuadorshop Logistics service makes large and medium scale Ecuador exporting possible.   Exporting can be fun and fulfilling as well as profitable.  Improved technology continually makes having your own global micro business easier if you have support.

ecuador exports

Wood Carver in San Antonio de Ibarra.

Come to Ecuador and make extra income while learning about global trade and expanding your possibilities.

Ecuador has amazing products that are unique and very affordable.  This makes them more attractive and more lucrative.  Additional to this you don’t need to make thousands of items to get a good deal. In Ecuador most products are hand made, which means that specifications and quantities match what the customer needs.

Have a great experience in Ecuador while doing business. You will learn about Ecuador, the products and the people.

In addition to help the success of your export business Gary & Merri Scott are giving each course attendee their online course “Tangled Web How to Have an Internet Business”.   This is a $299 online course that I asked the Scotts to provide to you free.

This course focuses on how to use modern technology to start and run or improve a global micro businesses… that can create valuable extra income with minimal investments of time and capital.

You learn how to start small and build with stepping stones and a harmonious focus… how to build a successful at home business via the internet using several profit generating phrases at Google.

You gain the secrets of how you can use words to create your own global income… whether you travel or stay at home.

The course shares how to create a website and utilizes the first four of “Seven Ps”  (Person, Problem and Promise, Product) to zero in on key word phrases.  Then you learn how to use the Fifth P Promise to develop new customers. The Sixth P is the Prospecting Path and Seventh P is the Presentation to create income.

You can gain all the facts on how to use the seven Ps to create internet sales.  The internet can support your Ecuador Export business.

ecuador exports

New Super Highway Quito Airport to Cotacachi.

Food, accommodations and travel to and from Quito Ecuador are not included.  Travel on the tour is included.

This is a three day customized tour.  We fine tune the schedule depending on what you would like to see more as you may have more interest in certain products.  We make adjustments based on your business needs so the tour will be most beneficial to you.

Here is a typical three day tour

Day One:  Leave from Quito to Cotacachi at 09:00.  Start at 12:00 in Cotacachi, visit to leather town to see what products you can make in leather. We visit suppliers and manufacturers for ideas on what you can buy or have made.

Lunch break 14:00 – 15:00.

16:00 – Go to San Antonio de Ibarra to see wood products, meet manufacturers and review designs that can be exported from Ecuador.  Visit ends at 18:00.

Day Two:  Start at 10:00 after breakfast at the hotel.  Visit Otavalo for Tagua and textiles.  Visit see manufacturers, review products on what can be purchased or made. See how to develop personal labels. Find volume discounts etc.   Meet with supplier for new products to make, high-end tagua items, new products of bamboo, baby blankets, baby products, Christmas products. Products made of Alpaca, specific designs.

Lunch break 13:00

14:00 – Talk to cargo agency, see packing, costs, how to ship, taxes, etc.  15:00 – Visit manufacturer for sweaters, shawls, and other textiles, he can make specific designs for you.  17:00: Create a website, a shopping cart, manage logistic, storage and shipping cost with FedEx or Mail Service.

Day Three.  Starts at 10:00 after breakfast at the hotel.

Visit Otavalo Market, fair day. See all the products available, purchase items for business, talk to all the vendors, see different products, low cost textiles, low cost jewelry, ponchos, sweaters, shawls, products for under $2 a piece.

12:00 – Tagua, jewelry, what designs you can make, cost of personalized items. Jewelry store for Tagua products, they create designs for inexpensive tagua jewelry.

13:00 – 14:00 lunch.  15:00, see rugs, alpaca products, honey products, flowers, etc.  End at 18:00

Individual Export tour for one $799

Individual Export Tour couple $999

“Tangled Web How to Have an Internet Business” will be emailed to you when you enroll.

MIT Technology Review Avoiding the Power Grid

WSJ “Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies

WSJ crime groups attack mexico power grids

As Worries Over the Power Grid Rise, a Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow