On the day Ruxandra Guidi arrived in Quito last year, she spoke with the owner of her bed and breakfast, an English-speaking Ecuadorean in his late twenties with obvious entrepreneurial savvy. He’d attended college in the U.S. on his parents’ savings, then traveled the world on his own dime before deciding that the best place to start his own business was back in Ecuador.
Soon Ruxandra began to notice a trend: Talented young Ecuadoreans were taking advantage of opportunities to study or work abroad. But in a break from their parents’ generation, they were heading home as soon as they possibly could.
That can be explained in part by ongoing economic troubles in Europe and a tight job market in the U.S. But a major factor is a boom in social spending in Ecuador, coupled with an aggressive government program to lure migrants back from overseas.