Patrice Was Interviewed

Cutting Their Teeth in Ecuador Left Them Wanting More
By Wendy DeChambeau

It was the low cost of dental work that initially brought Patrice Baron Parent and her husband Dave to Cotacachi, Ecuador. "We first came here for a dental vacation in 2009," says Patrice. "But while we were here we just fell in love with the place. We liked the people, the culture, and the landscape—including the two dormant volcanos."

Patrice hails from Canada while Dave is originally from Alaska, but at that time the couple were living and working in Seattle. However, despite returning to their regular lives, the memory of their vacation lingered, and in 2012 they decided to go back to Ecuador for good.

At that point Dave had retired and Patrice had given up her business built on web development, website construction, and search engine optimization. But one thing led to another and Patrice again found her skills in demand. Today, she is able to work from home or wherever she happens to find herself, as long as she has access to a good internet connection.

Having a mobile career makes it easy for Patrice and Dave to pursue their passion for traveling. "We've traveled a lot," says Patrice. "In the last 15 years we've seen about 65% of the world. We've been through Asia, Russia, Europe, South America, and even Antarctica."

In fact, Patrice found that because of her travel experience she was often booking travel plans for friends. So she recently decided to work as a travel agent too and earn some income from her expertise, which now gives her two portable sources of income.

While Dave and Patrice are frequently on the go, Cotacachi is their home base. A mellow little town, with a distinctly Andean feel, Cotacachi is everything Patrice fell in love with and more. There are community seed exchanges, harvest and planting festivals, and a market brimming with quinoa, potatoes, and other mountain staples.

But above all, Patrice loves the weather. "It's like spring every day." In fact, the average daytime temperatures hover in the mid-60s F all year long, making it an ideal climate for many folks.

And the pair found that they can continue their hobbies and interests in Cotacachi without any problem. As foodies who enjoy eating healthy, this was important. "We make everything—all our own food," says Patrice. "We make our own bread, cheese, sauces...everything. We spend a lot of time cooking and entertaining. You can't go to a store here and find 19 different bottles of hot sauce, so it's not always easy to source ingredients, but you can do it."

Patrice also spends her time sewing clothes for children, knitting, and making jewelry. She's also found satisfaction in volunteering in the local community. "Last month we hosted police officers who were in town for an event and we made them breakfast each morning," she says. She's also been actively involved with a scholarship program for indigenous high school students in the local area. "There are 75 kids in school because of these scholarships and they're all doing amazing things. Because of this program, they're going on to get a higher education which will allow them to be of greater help to their communities."

Not only does Patrice get to live the good life in her dream destination, she gets to give back to the local community while she does so. What's not to love?

To learn more about the Scholarship Program and how you can help

Patrice's Travel Agent Website

NEW – website launched –

After spending too much time trying to track down information – we thought why not network and then build a resource website for us ‘expats’

Having some spare time I started to build an online resource for Ecuador
Let me know – thoughts and input are always welcome
We are looking for recommendations or referrals for services you have used
Also if you offer an email newsletter, classes etc – details on that would be great
This is a work in progress – happy to share the work load with anyone who wants to help
We are hosting the site & doing all the work for free – no advertising, no fees to use
All the best
Patrice & Dave


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Easter Island

We were fortunate to spend a fabulous sunny day on this island. You know how some places you have heard about and your expectations build and then you hear more and more and you build such expectations that you don’t think anything could live up to it. Well after hearing about this place and reading about it with all the history I was ready to be let down by our visit.  I can tell you that you can believe all the hype! This is an amazing place and one that we will not soon forget.

They told us that sea swells can be problematic and not many ships can tender into the island. You see there is no dock on the island. So the only way to get ashore is by tendering in. Look in this next picture at the Tender boat coming back to the ship. Where we went ashore was just past that first row of rocks and just before the second row of rocks. One tender (boat) lost its front corner window and another one lost the front door. They had to stop bring people to shore for a while after we were ashore. Even some of the afternoon ship tours were not able to get ashore and had to be canceled. We counted ourselves lucky, for sure.


Once ashore we found our guide and headed off for a private tour of Easter Island. Along the way we heard about the history of the island and what it is like to live there. There are a total of around 8,000 people that live on Easter Island, according to the last census. The place has been growing as the previous census recorded 4,000 people.

It had rained for several days before our arrival and this day was a beautiful partly cloudy day. Everything was clear and bright. You will notice the bright fresh green in some of the pictures.

Yes for us the island lived up to all the hype. It is a very special place that we are very lucky to have spent some time on.

Donations in Peru

From our tour guide (Spring 2011) donation suggestions for spring 2012 as we are touring once again with Paul at Peru Inca Wonders.

We will ship a box with our luggage of things that are not going to come back (that way no storage on board).

Dear Patrice:

I have attached a file where you will find a possible list of some important things for the children. It is just an alternative list but please send what you think they could wear and use.

Thank you and your group of friends for your helpful because our children need a lot of help. You saw part of the poorest areas in Lima and it can give you an idea of the conditions how they live.

It´s nice to hear that there are more people who want to donate things.

Thanks a lot and god bless you


Amici Cannis Foundation

The Amici Cannis (Friends of the Dog) Foundation is pleased to announce the granting of full legal status, according to Ecuadorian and International Treaty Law ( Acuerdo No. 129-MIES- I/2011) of the equivalent of a 501c(3), non-profit corporation, complete with RUC/Tax I.D. number for tax-deductible donations.

After 1 ½ years of laying the legal, logistical and practical groundwork, The Foundation is now poised to begin preliminary operations. Getting born was a lengthy process because it was done correctly in all aspects and will prove worthwhile in the future to have constructed the foundation slowly-but- correctly.

Our ‘mission’ is to rescue, heal, rehabilitate and adopt-out as many as possible of the countless dogs on the streets of the city and canton of Cotacachi. In addition, we hope to ‘ raise the consciousness ’ of our local neighbors in this county regarding the treatment, propagation and maintenance of ‘ man’s best friend ’.

The Foundation’s first grant and financial asset has been an anonymous and very generous donation of approximately 10 acres of land, located 15 minutes from the heart of Cotacachi. There, The Foundation will construct a shelter consisting of kennels, dog runs, a medical / veterinary facility and a canine rehab training center.

The Foundation’s second gift is a substantial cash donation from the newly-appointed Ambassador from Ecuador to El Salvador, His Excellency Segundo Anrango, the brother of His Honor, Mayor Anrango, of Cotacachi.

While waiting for the legal status of the Foundation to be completed, Directors and friends of The Foundation have been preliminarily ( and at their own expense, combined with small donations) rescuing, treating, neutering and adopting-out approximately 20 dogs to-date.

The Foundation’s initial Board of Directors is comprised of the following members, listed in alphabetical order: Maria del Carmen Romero Anda; Pablo Arpi ( Secretary); Maria Jose Burbano ( Treasurer); Peggy and Lee Carper (Honorary Board Members); Michael d’Addio ( Founding President); Andres Jara Dominguez; Marco Antonio Proano; Rick Serafino (Honorary Board Member and Chief of Public Relations); Jennifer Phillips Rios.

Best wishes,
Michael d’Addio, President
Amici Cannis Foundation (Fundacion 062011)
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