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Our Life in Ecuador: Rick and Dana Racinskas Living in Salinas

This is part of our Ecuador Expats Series.

Our Life in Ecuador: Rick and Dana Racinskas

living in salinas rick dana racinskas
The Expats: Rick and Dana Racinskas

Where are your currently living?

We came to Salinas 3 years ago to spend two weeks here and two weeks in San Pedro Belize. We love San Pedro but daily expenses were higher than what we wanted.

living in Salinas
After several days here, we started making offers on beach condominiums as the prices were and still are very low for what you get. A great expat community with local hangouts, restaurants etc.

What’s Your Story?

We are a married couple with 40 years of experience behind us. Our parents and a matchmaker put us together but I digress.

I am an Engineer and my wife Dana is a geriatrics nurse practitioner. We enjoyed living in Texas for 35 years or so.
We decided the US was on its way down and now would be a good time to focus elsewhere.

Where did you get the idea of living in Salinas Ecuador?

We got some info from International Living and were curious about the #1 rated spot. We had made several trips to Belize and really liked what we saw there.

We decided we need to find a nice place to retire and then we decided to “retire” early and see what we can do. Ecuador has many quirks and is not for some folks.

It can be very frustrating at times as you need to be very patient. A simple thing can take hours or many visits to a store.

However, you can get beach condos here as low as $90K and live very well. The weather is good and near the same every day. The fish, seafood, produce, etc is wonderful.

We are here to stay.

Living in Salinas: Visiting the Malecon

How’s your Spanish?

Our Spanish is steadily improving. For me, it is a fourth language.

The people here are very friendly and accommodating but it is very important you learn to communicate here easily. It can lead to errors and much frustration even panic otherwise.

Brian Bolton chief of American Citizen Services

Brian Bolton (chief of American Citizen Services (ACS) at the Guayaquil Consulate) pictured with our staff

How do you make your living?

We have a passion to help the aged and we seem to be on the way to being there ourselves. There are no great solutions for folks who can no longer manage on their own.

Quite a few expats leave our little paradise for a US nursing home. A spouse dies, a stroke, etc can change your life very quickly. Then what?

Getting a private “nurse” here is a painful idea. Even hospital nurses are not well trained compared to US standards.

retirement home Salinas Ecuador
So we decided to change that here. We opened Chipipe Villa here in Chipipe (next to Salinas) to have folks who need extra help to get by. Unlike “group homes” we have seen, this is very upscale with a full array of services and amenities.

All the food here is very natural (organic if you will) and often leads to major health improvements all by itself. We offer beautiful private suites, pool therapy, a hot tub, a beautiful pool area, a private massage area, etc. 24/7 medical support.

Clinics within walking distance, beautiful sandy beaches 3 blocks away and so much more. Things of a caliber we have not seen in the USA and probably would not be affordable anyways.

assisted living Salinas Ecuador
Here we can do it for a third of what you pay for an average place.

dana and alejandra chipipe villa

Assisted Living in Ecuador: Chipipe Villa, Salinas

What do you love about Ecuador?

Ecuador is in the downstage at this point. The economy is in a bad place with the earthquake and the low price of oil.

However, I think it is a great place to live and enjoy the company of 800 other expats here. Always lots of things to do and a real sense of community that so lacks in the USA suburbs.

We have a whole lot more of the country to explore as well.

Chow and see you soon!

Hungry for more? Here are another 32 Ecuador expat stories

John Cox

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Are there good Spanish language tutors in the Salinas area? I have bilateral hearing loss from my service in the army during the Vietnam War Era and have difficulties understanding English if people speak fast, slur their words, and speak softly. So, I am having difficulties hearing Spanish as well as understanding it. I can get my needs verbalized in Spanish but responses are difficult to "get" unless some of the words are written. I'm much more a visual learner than auditory. My husband is an Ecuadorian and I'm working on getting an Ecuadorian Permanent Residency Visa at this time. My level of speaking Spanish is certainly not "basic," more like intermediate-to-fluent. But, again, my hearing deficit is a handicap even in English. Thanks for any responses.

James Fisher

Saturday 5th of January 2019

What happened to the website and Facebook page for these people?

Bryan Haines

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Looks like both have been taken offline. I'm not sure what happened...


Tuesday 17th of July 2018

Just inquiring on a visit to Salinas. Are there good accommodations within the downtown area? Also, for Visa's for staying in the country, are they good for 6 months and you leave and come back? Sorry for the basic questions. Rob R.


Friday 23rd of February 2018

Hi All, I have a flat in Salinas -for renting, is 1 block behind Hotel Casa Blanca right from the main Malecon bay beach, 100 sq m., 3 rooms, 2 bathrooms, garage. For more info pls PM @ regards, Mauro


Monday 8th of January 2018

Hi everyone. I'm just wondering if anyone know of some real honest builders around Salinas area o get a quote for a renovation? Many thanks

michael ryan

Tuesday 26th of February 2019

I have a brother in law that is a builder down there How big is the project? Mike