Owning a car in Ecuador: licensing, buying, parking, and much more

    By Deke Castleman and David Morrill Although most expats get by without a car in Cuenca, many own one. You’ll find prices for new cars to be about 20%-30% higher than in the U.S. For used cars, the markup is can be even higher, since most Ecuadorians can’t afford new cars. Also, we’ve observed that Ecuadorians […]

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    Common Law versus Civil Law: Societal safeguards or personal responsibility?

    by David Morrill and Deke Castleman The U.S., along with the U.K., Canada, Australia, India, and a few other former Commonwealth countries, are ruled by “common law,” also known as “case” or “precedent” law. Common law is a legal system in which laws are enacted by legislatures, but are developed, refined, and sometimes even transformed […]

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    2013 cost of living survey for Cuenca expats

    By Deke Castleman This survey, conducted in January 2013, received 282 responses: 240 from Cuenca and 42 from miscellaneous places around the country (Vilcabamba, the coast, Quito, Loja, Cotacachi/Otavalo, etc.). Just over 200 respondents rented (73%); the rest (27%) owned. Just under half of the renters paid $300-$499 per month. Another 15% shelled out $500-$599; […]

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    DINING WITH DEKECuenca fast food isn’t real fast, but it is real food

    We didn’t sample either of the two American fast-food operations in Cuenca: Kentucky Fried Chicken and Domino’s. (Nope: no McDonald’s or Burger King, Taco Bell, or even Starbucks.) I’m not prejudiced; I’ll try both when I go back (Lee at Carolina Bookstore claims Domino’s Ecuador is surprisingly different than stateside and decent), but we had […]

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    DINING WITH DEKECuencano lunch in a German bar with American music

    The mid-day repast in Cuenca, typical of Latin America, is a big meal and a big deal. It’s long, starting as early as 11:00 and continuing till as late as 4:00, and many shops, stores, offices, and museums close between 1:00 and 3:00 for the leisurely lunch. And you can dine out in a range of restaurants, from no-name […]

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    DINING WITH DEKEWhen it´s time to splurge, you can get fancy at Goda

    [Editor's Note: This is the debut restaurant review from Deke Castleman, who spent a month in Cuenca recently and delved deeply into the dining environment. Deke'll be the new food dude at CuencaHighLife, but we encourage anyone and everyone with a dining tip, restaurant review, market story — any Cuenca or Ecuador food experience worth recounting — […]

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