Several years ago there was an article published in the US about Ecuador being an awesome place to retire. Again a few years later a similar article published. Keeping tabs on a few US expats living in Ecuador who run housing/info businesses we knew that the expat community here had really grown. When I lived here in 2004 the only other gringos (besides other volunteers) I saw were generally around the center of town at the park or cathedral or markets. When we lived here in 2007 I saw almost as few. I was perhaps more aware of it because I was no longer spending all day every day at orphanages and a lot more time around town. We got to know one guy who was from the US who had lived here a while and even had (maybe still has?) his own radio show in town. He told me about a good sized expat community, but it was still small.
Now we can’t go anywhere without meeting people from the US who are living here. Last week at the park we met a couple from Texas and their 4 year old who just moved here and will be here for 6 months. On Sunday Sammy and I went to deliver a package to a missionary serving in the stake whose family was in our ward back in the states and we met a retired couple and their college age son who have been living here a year and are planning on staying permanently. On the street the other day I passed a family who appeared to be from the US (based on their appearance and English speaking voices) discussing a rat problem which I can only assume means they are now locals.
Tourism also seems to have greatly increased, and we now see one of those double-decker buses driving around town almost every day, along with tons of white people with backpacks, hats, and cameras roaming the streets. Anyway, if you were curious if we were the only white people wandering around, the answer is no.