We are planning to establish residency when we arrive in Ecuador next year. I contacted a lawyer couple who are recommended by several bloggers in Cuenca to determine what the current requirements are (they change frequently so we will check again early next year). Here are the current requirements:
One important caveat: Visa requirements can change without any warning. And those changes may not be reflected right away on the government websites. So it's always best to check with your nearest consulate for the latest requirements.
Main visa application form: