CuencaHighLife

The word “Cuenca” means “watershed” which is appropriate. A confluence of four rivers run through town on their way to the Amazon. In fact, the town’s full name, “Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca” pays tribute to the Tomebamba, Yanuncay, Tarqui and Machangara rivers. The Rio Tomebamba flows along the border between the historic...
The National Police are stepping up efforts to catch thieves and con artists who prey on tourists and expats in Cuenca’s historic district. To be successful, however, they say they need help from those who have victimized. “We need foreigners to be vigilant for the common scams used by the thieves and to protect their...
By Jerome Long His men were exhausted, cold and wet. They had slogged over a muddy mountain trail and were suffering from altitude sickness. Many of them were raw, untested recruits. The enemy could see what he was doing and was moving to gain the higher ground. Although initially surprised by the Spanish maneuver, the...
By Rob Mason Contrary to an apparently widespread belief back in the U.S. – and especially, it sometimes seems, among certain lawmakers in Washington – most American expats are not rich, and don’t live abroad in order to avoid their U.S. tax obligations, a new survey has found. Just 33% of some 1,602 American expats...
By Emily Ellison From the 1950s through the 1980s, Latin America was notorious for its brutal dictators, particularly for the way they tortured and murdered opponents. The most murderous dictators were in Argentina and Chile, both of which have acknowledged their bloody past. In recent years, hundreds-of-thousands have marched through the streets of Buenos Aires,...
By Terrance Hansson Often overlooked by Cuenca expats, the majority of whom are retired, is the fact that most of the world’s expats are young people of working age, many of them teachers on annual contracts. Despite the difference in circumstances, both retired and working expats face the similar challenges. These include adjustment to new...
By Laura Millan Lombrana Government geologist Gino Casassa steps down from the helicopter and looks around in dismay. Casassa is standing at the foot of a glacier, 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) above sea level. The sky over the Andes is a deep blue, but something is not right: It’s July — mid-winter in South America...
By Sylvan Hardy and Deke Castleman More than any other destination for North American expats, Cuenca has laid claim to the word “gringo.” There are gringo nights, gringo meet-ups, Gringolandia, gringo invasions and, not to mention Gringo Post and the defunct Gringo Tree. Of the two dozen or so websites and blogs that include the...
By Hugh Robert Don’t look now, but there’s a whole new generation of restaurant customers coming. As the Baby Boomer generation begins to “age out” of the restaurant market, a new demographic, Generation Z, is replacing them. Boomers, whose affluence as well as sheer numbers have made them a prime target market for restaurants, especially...
Editor’s note: Ever wonder what Cuenca was like a 110 years ago? The following is an excerpt from “Vagabonding Down the Andes” by Harry A. Franck. Published in 1917, the book is a travelogue of the author’s 1912-1913 journey, mostly by foot, from Panama to Buenos Aires. The following describes Franck’s visit to Cuenca in...
Most people visiting Peru or Ecuador for the first time quickly realize that the rich indigenous heritage makes the countries what they are today. Particularly in the Andes, a prime reason for many visits is to connect with, and learn about indigenous traditions — and a key component of those traditions is the language of...
Smart-home technology allows residents to remotely control everything from the lighting to the thermostat, and see who’s ringing their doorbell. While it’s often touted as a means to keep homes secure, a Milwaukee couple say they felt anything but safe after a hacker took over their smart home. Samantha and Lamont Westmoreland realized something was...

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The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of June 16

Noboa’s Government Moves to End Fuel Gasoline Subsidies, Highlighting Inequities for Low-Income Groups.

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Cuenca-Girón-Pasaje Road to Temporarily Close for Pipeline Replacement.

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Ecuador to Initiate Construction of $52 Million ‘Bukele-Style’ Prison to Combat Organized Crime.

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