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Morning View from Plantation #2

Ranked #1, World’s Best Place to Retire

Filed in Informational, Travel by on December 10, 2013 0 Comments

For the past three years Ecuador has taken top honors as the world’s best place to retire!

A mild climate makes for comfortable living year-round. Average daily temperatures reach into the 70s F, and the nights are cool and fresh.

For retirees, colonial Cuenca is Ecuador’s most attractive city. The third largest in the country, it offers the relaxed pace of a smaller town with the first-class amenities and health care of a bigger city.

Ecuador’s official currency is the U.S. dollar, you will have no problems determining the cost of goods or services. Imported goods are more expensive but the local products and labor are very reasonable.

One city in Ecuador called Cuenca, is listed as one of the two “most livable” cities in Latin America, citing its culture, low crime rate, and “middle class” feel. The city has received high ratings from other sources, including National Geographic and Stern magazine.


Not only can you retire on little money in Ecuador, you can also live very well! It’s easy to retire on less than $17,000 per year, and this figure is based on a very comfortable lifestyle. Many foreign residents have their main home in the city, and also have a country home, a beach property seen here on our website, or even property in another country…a feat that would be impossible on a comparable budget in the U.S.

Here is a monthly breakdown of costs for a couple living in Cuenca:

Housing (rental of a luxury two-bedroom apartment): $500

Utilities (including phone, Internet and CATV): $150

Maid (twice a week): $60

Groceries: $300

Maintenance and fuel for one car: $140

Clothing: $70

Entertainment (dining out eight times per month plus other): $175

Health care: (four $30 visits to a doctor per year for two people): $240

Monthly total: $1,635



Prequel to Growing Paradise Video


LaQua International Hosts a Sioux Falls in World Event Featuring Dr. Salah Arafa

Filed in Informational by on December 10, 2013 0 Comments


It was a pleasure hosting Dr. Salah Arafa, American University-Cairo Professor, in our home yesterday!


LaQua International Hosted Dr. Salah Arafa,   August 9, 2013

The physics professor’s topic, “Grassroot Democracy & Green Villages: from Tahrir Square to South Dakota,” will address his efforts in Egypt to create eco-friendly, sustainable communities in remote areas. Dr. Arafa will also give his perspective of Egypt’s current state of affairs.


Professor Salah Arafa is a tenured faculty member at the Physics Department, School of Sciences and Engineering of the American University in Cairo (AUC).

He joined AUC in 1968. Before joining the University, he worked as a physics researcher at the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority from 1962 till 1968. Dr. Arafa holds a BSc in Physics and Chemistry (1962), an MSc in Nuclear Physics (1966), and a PhD in Solid State Physics (1969); all from Cairo University. He was the Chair of the Science Department twice and served as senator at large in the University Senate.

Professor Arafa is well known as one of the leading Social Entrepreneurs in Egypt and the Arab World. He was selected a Senior Ashoka Fellow in 2004 and was awarded as the ‘Man of the Year’ for Environment and Development in 2009. Since 1974, Arafa has been involved in many Civil Society activities and is today the chairman for a few of the leading NGOs in Egypt. He has also served as a consultant to many international organizations, including: US-AID, UNICEF, GTZ, EU, and UNDP. He is a member of the National Committee on Climate Change and is also a member of the Research Council on Environment and Development at the Egyptian Academy for Scientific Research and Technology.

Research Interests

Solid State Physics, Radiation Effects, Advanced Materials, Integrated Community Development, Renewable Energy Technologies, and Environmental Education. Arafa’s field research focuses on utilizing natural resources to create eco-friendly communities in the rural villages, helping to develop the capacity and the competence of rural civilians. Arafa’s well-known Basaisa project has gained wide recognition as a model for one of the most successful projects for sustainable development in Egypt.

Recent Publications

Arafa has written more than 50 scholarly papers, 10 chapters in books, and appeared as an expert on various TV programs., , , ,