People in Ecuador are always asking me how much things cost in the U.S. Some things are infinitely cheaper in Ecuador (food) while others are infinitely more expensive (technology). I thought I’d give a rundown even though most people in the States have never asked me. 🙂 Actually this is more of a record for me so that once I’m back in the U.S. I can remember that I lived on $10/day for two years. Also, that the price we pay for fruits and vegetables in the U.S. is absurd! Keep in mind I live a small town of 3,000 people-ish in the Andes region, cities are obviously more expensive and I’ve heard the coast is more expensive. And some prices are approximate or a rough estimate. So without further adieu:

Food

1 liter of milk (carton) = $1.40

1 liter of milk (bag) = $0.80

loaf of whole grain bread = $2.30

bag of bakery bread (6-7 pieces) = $1

bag of bakery empanadas (5 pieces) = $1

bottle of water = $0.40 – $0.50

whole plucked chicken with innards = $14

1 egg = $0.12 (you can actually buy just 1 egg at a time at the small corner stores!)

cubeta of eggs (30 eggs) = $2.60 on market day in Saquisilí…normally about $3

almuerzo (lunch including soup, rice, usually chicken, small salad, & fresh fruit juice) = $1.50 – $2.50

avocados (4/5) = $1 (seasonal)

“fancy” meal in Quito or Cuenca (decent cheeseburger, deli sandwich, “foreigner” food) = $5-$10 (this is out of my budget about 99% of the time)

McDonald’s burger combo = $5 – $6

Transportation

gallon of gasoline = $1.50 – $2 (remember those days Americans??)

bus fare (30 mins.) = $0.30

bus fare (1 hour) = $1

taxi to most places in Latacunga (nearby city) = $1

taxi to most places in Cuenca (expensive city) = $2

taxi from Latacunga to Saquisilí (20 mins.) = $4 – $5

trolley (mass transit) in Quito = $0.25/ride

flight from Guayaquil to Quito (45 min.) = $50 – $60

Random

construction worker = $10/day

contract teacher = $500 – $600/month

tenured teacher with 30 years of experience = $1100/month

mayor of Latacunga = $6,000/month

my salary including rent = $388.75/month

rent = $70/month

my actual salary = $318.75/month ($10.63/day)

postage to the U.S. for a letter = $2

hair trim = $3

salon hair cut = $7 – $10

dozen roses = $3

copies at a cyber cafe = $0.02/page

printing at a cyber cafe = $0.08/page

internet at a cyber cafe = $0.60/hour

There you have it. I’m anticipating some serious sticker shock when I get back!

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