The article discusses whether and how the process of emigration may contribute to the development of local and national economy of the sending country, basing on the example of two Andean provinces - Azuay and Canar, Ecuador. In the first part the authoress presents some of the arguments on the issues such as the possible role of remittances sent by the emigrants, the danger of weakening of social ties and labour force resources due to the emigration. Transfers sent by the emigrants to their homelands can have a multiplying effect (of income) if they are spent on investments or goods produced in the homeland, however in reality they are often spent on basic consumption. On the social level emigration can have a positive and negative effect for the local community - on one hand migrations help to decrease the demographic pression in some regions, but at the same time there is a risk that the most skilled and enterprising persons will leave. Returning migrants though may transfer the knowledge and experience gained abroad. In the second part of the article, after a brief summary of the recent migration trends in Ecuador, the case of Azuay and Canar is presented. The authoress focuses on particularly interesting phenomenon of building the North American style villas by the emigrants in their rural communities of origin as an example of spending the transfers.