Pioneers at Las Palmas: Cliff and Linda Beltz

12 Oct
expatriates in puerto cayo ecuador

Linda and Cliff Beltz, on the Puerto Cayo beachfront, near their home now under construction in Las Palmas.

By Steve Watkins

It was pure happenstance nearly a year ago when Linda Beltz walked into a co-worker’s office to hear him telling a small group of colleagues about his recent adventures in Ecuador.

The enthusiasm he shared for what he’d experienced captivated the small group and they hung on every word as he shared as he shared his findings in a tale of adventure and exploration.

An abundance of beautiful and reasonably priced properties, low cost of living, a perfect climate and an emerging transportation and communication infrastructure were just a few of the things he’d found as facts about life along the Pacific coast.

As a result of it all, Linda’s colleague was now seriously contemplating the previously unthought dream of an expatriate life in Ecuador, and he encouraged his friends to check it out for themselves.

As much as she wanted to dismiss the contagious enthusiasm of her co-worker’s story, Linda somehow couldn’t get it off her mind.

expatriates in puerto cayo ecuador

Fun rehearsal for worship services at church.

“Cliff and I love travel and adventure, and honestly we’d never even discussed the possibility of living abroad. I tried not to think about it so much because I knew the last thing we needed was another home,” Linda said.

Still yet, she couldn’t get the story off her mind and a few short months later, she and Cliff booked plane tickets to Guayaquil and set out on their own exploration of Ecuador’s pristine Pacific coast.

It was the typical experience shared by many exploratory expatriates. Transportation challenges, finding available properties in a foreign culture and making reliable contacts were among the tests they encountered.

“There was literally a point several days into the trip when we just decided Ecuador wasn’t for us,” Linda said. “We drove the coast for days and never really found anything that appealing, and that met all the criteria we had.”

Toward the end of their trip while traveling along the southern route of the Ruta del Sol, Cliff and Linda met another American expatriate couple who told them about Puerto Cayo, and an American family that was developing a new beach-side community in the peaceful fishing village.

Gary and April Scarborough had, in fact, just begun the preliminary planning of a 38-lot beach-side community called Las Palmas.

las palmas ecuador

So they traveled north in hopes of meeting the Scarboroughs and set out on one last mission to see if Las Palmas might be a “fit.”

“As many miles as we had traveled along the coast, when we approached Puerto Cayo, it was literally the first time we stopped the car, got out and took pictures.”

“We were on an elevated hill that overlooked the village, and it was the most beautiful thing we’d seen so far.”

Their meeting with the Scarboroughs and initial tour at the Las Palmas property resulted in a quick and unexpected turnabout.

“We were really impressed with Gary’s vision for the community and his knowledge and creativity in building and development,” Linda said. “It was very early into the development when we met, and the next morning Gary went out and roped off the lots so we could see the possibilities.

“We loved the beach location, the town was exactly what we were looking for, and it was a place where we knew we’d feel secure and literally be able to walk out the front door onto the beach.

“After that, truth is, we really didn’t even talk about it. We knew it was right, and just had a peace about it,” she said.

The next morning the two families spent time looking at house plans and available sites in the community.

“Gary did some creative work in his design, we got the beach-front lot we wanted, and from that point we really never looked back,” Linda said.

Theirs was the second lot purchased in the Las Palmas community, but the Beltzs’ were the first to move forward on construction.

Now, well into the project, the Tacoma, Washington natives will return to Puerto Cayo on November 14 to check the construction progress, finalize details and begin making plans for a future transition.

Since their investment, the Las Palmas momentum has continued. Eighteen Las Palmas lots have been purchased by future expatriates from around the world.

expatriates in puerto cayo ecuador

A favorite pasttime shared between Cliff and Linda – being in the great outdoors.

Cliff and Linda are no strangers to travel and adventure. Their professional careers have taken them across the U.S., from New York to Ohio to Alabama and North Carolina. Today, Cliff works as an orthoepedic physical therapist at a local outpatient clinic in Tacoma. Linda is a bio-chemical engineer specializing in converting forestry resources to sustainable power.

One of their new home’s features is a 400 square-foot office that will allow Cliff to practice right from Las Palmas.

Cliff and Linda love the outdoors taking advantage of skiing in the higher elevations during the winter. During the summer season, they enjoy surfing and surf-kayaking.

They’re active in two community churches leading worship services on a regular basis.

“It’s been an adventure for us both and our plans aren’t completely defined just yet, but we know the Lord has a plan and we’re waiting on His time,” they said.

(For more information about the Las Palmas community in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador, contact Gary Scarborough at, or visit To schedule assistance with an exploratory tour of the coast, contact Steve Watkins at



One Response to “Pioneers at Las Palmas: Cliff and Linda Beltz”

  1. stevenwwatkins October 12, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Reblogged this on stevenwwatkins and commented:

    A story about new friends and neighbors from Washington.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: