I confess that I have missed a few days of posting my “Photo of the Day” and have been slow at times in writing my blog.
Having just gotten over a couple health challenges, I have been on a driving course. Imagine; after two formal courses in driving in Canada, plus three courses on driving a motorcycle and fifty years
driving without an accident. I am on a driving course because one is needed in order to get a driver’s license here.
To be entirely accurate, a person from another country can escape the course if they get their Embassy in Ecuador to confirm that their license is, indeed, a valid license from their country. Unfortunately, if driver’s licenses in that country are issued by a province or state, the embassy is unlikely to have anything to do with it. That is the case for Canadians. The Canadian Embassy declines to involve itself.
I calculated the cost of going to Canada, getting the Province to certify a copy of my license; then taking it to the Capital, Department of Foreign Affairs, to validate the Provincial document; getting the document translated; and then, Certified as being true by the Ecuadorian Embassy or consulate. Frankly, it was easier for me to cough up the $ 919 USD and attend the course.
The hiccup for many “gringos” is that such courses and tests are all in Spanish. Fortunately for me, I have become reasonably fluent in Spanish over the past four years. Understanding
the teacher and encountering new vocabulary in the books provided were not problems. Keep this challenge in mind when you consider moving to this wonderful country. – I must add that bus and taxi services available are incredibly cheap, and they can provide for a large part of one’s transportation needs.
From one of the course instructors:
“ Deaths on roads in developed countries range from 1 in 3000 to 1 in 6,000. Deaths in developing countries range from 1 in 50 to one in 600.”
Doesn’t that knock your socks off ?
I looked up the statistics on the World Health Rankings website to get numbers more meaningful and got this: Road Traffic Death rates per 100,000. Ecuador 20.4. Canada 7.8. USA 13.9
Anyone who has driven in Ecuador will not be surprised. Fortunately, the law requiring people to take a course should help reduce the death toll over the next couple of decades.
If you are coming for a visit and plan to drive, be aware that for less than $ 20 USD you can get an
International Driver’s License, good for one year, from the Canadian (CAA) or American (AAA)
Automobile clubs. (There are European club equivalents) You have to get these in your home country.
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