No Hurricanes in Ecuador: Avoiding the Storms
In these tumultuous times, when the climate is volatile and unpredictable, it’s important to research the likelihood of natural disasters in places where you’re looking to buy property. The last few weeks have shown the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Katia and Irma in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Islands and states are now dealing with the aftermath: slowly rebuilding and recovering. It will take years, and billions of dollars, to recover. Livelihoods, communities, cities, and lives were all affected, and our thoughts are with everyone who has been weathering the storms. In Ecuador, we have watched the devastation from afar, and feel grateful for the placement of this country between the Pacific Ocean and Andes mountains, tucked away from the destructive Hurricane Alley.
The position of Ecuador on the western side of South America puts the country well off the path of Hurricane Alley-- the trail of warm water that flows from western Africa through the Caribbean and Central America to southeastern United States. Hurricane Alley is where many of these torrential storms and hurricanes are formed. Thankfully, Ecuador hasn’t been touched by the high winds, threatening floods, storm surges, and devastating aftermath of a hurricane’s trail. In fact, locals can’t even remember the last time a hurricane hit here.
The fact that Ecuador does not experience hurricanes makes it even more appealing for investment or retirement, especially when compared to other Latin American countries like Panama, Costa Rica, or Mexico. These other countries are exposed to hurricanes that pass through Hurricane Alley. Hurricane Otto tore through Costa Rica and Panama in 2016. Just this past Saturday, Hurricane Katia passed through the east coast of Mexico, creating even more devastation after the huge earthquake that rocked the country. Another storm, Tropical Storm Max which has just been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, is expected to hit Acapulco, Mexico this week. Simultaneously, Tropical Storm Norma is expected to head toward the Baja California Peninsula.
These are uncertain times we are living in, when shifts in weather are frequent and fierce. Hurricanes don’t just destroy houses and vegetation; they also interrupt the economy and business. The agricultural and fishing industries have been disrupted throughout the Caribbean and Florida these past few weeks as boats and crops were destroyed. Though hurricane activity does interrupt the typical flow of all exports and imports, Ecuador has been able to continue producing and exporting shrimp, roses, cacao, and bananas-- the top exports to other countries. The economy here is moving forward, and on the coast, people are thankful for the sunny days, light rain, and bustling business.