Sylvan Hardy

By Deke Castleman and Sylvan Hardy The Spanish verb “to eat lunch” is almorzar. The noun is almuerzo (ahl-MWAIR-so). You notice the Arabic influence of the term in “al”; in addition, any Spanish spelling with a “z” in it is also a hand-me-down from the Arabic languages. Almuerzo has both. The traditional almuerzo, also known as menu del día, is a fixed-price fixed-menu lunch,...
By Sylvan Hardy A long-time expat tells the story from 2008 of a man from Texas who wanted to build a townhouse development in Cuenca’s northeast suburbs. The Texan wanted to partner with a prominent Cuenca developer in the project and made an appointment to present his plan. The expat and his Texas client showed...
By Sylvan Hardy Over the years, I’ve heard from dozens of prospective North Americans who tell me about the dream home the hope to find in Ecuador. A man from Georgia asked what he would pay for a house with a detached garage with an apartment above, set in the middle of a two acre...
By Sylvan Hardy Like many aspects of life in Cuenca, the weather is a source of continuing befuddlement for expats. The locals don’t understand it either, they just accept it. You’ll notice that there’s no “news, sports, and weather” on the six o’clock TV news broadcasts in Cuenca — there’s only news and sports. Neither...
By Sylvan Hardy and Deke Castleman Cuenca’s famous Rio Tomebamba is the proverbial “river running through it.” The river forms a natural boundary to the south of El Centro, at the bottom of a river bluff known as El Barranco. It provides a natural separation between Cuenca’s historic district and the more modern area to...
By Sylvan Hardy Being an expat is a lot more difficult than advertised. Cultural and language differences, as well as missing friends and family back home and general homesickness pose insurmountable problems for many. “I don’t criticize the publications and websites that promote living overseas,” says Allen McConnell, an architect who left the U.S. in...
Occasionally, I see a question posted on an Internet forum from an expat-wannabe inquiring about quiet places to live in Cuenca. If I were ever inclined to answer, it would be to deliver an emphatic “Don’t come to Cuenca!” . . . or anywhere else in Latin America, for that matter, if your number-one priority...
By Sylvan Hardy and Deke Castleman Children pick up language easily. Their nervous systems make new neural connections at lightning speeds. Computer simulations of neural activity in the early years of life look like all the cars in Los Angeles squeezed onto the Indianapolis Speedway racing at 200 miles an hour. Indeed, babies’ brains are...
By Sylvan Hardy A notable byproduct of the pandemic for many expats is that they are walking more. The news of a year ago that the Covid-19 virus rarely transmits outdoors, set many of us free from the cabin fever we suffered since the first lockdowns began last March and sent us exploring the far...
By Sylvan Hardy and Deke Castleman Many expats who follow Ecuador court trials are confused. Why are judges making the decision of guilt or innocence? Where’s the jury? Don’t the defendants deserve a judgement by their peers? They don’t know that Ecuadorian justice, like most of the rest world, is based on a civil law...
By Deke Castleman and Sylan Hardy In his articles about Cuenca, former New Yorker editor, poet and food writer Calvin Trillin describes the joys of walking in the city’s historic district. In a November 2011 Condé Nast Traveler article, he wrote that Cuenca’s Old Town “doesn’t look like a 16th-century city that has been preserved;...
By Sylvan Hardy Change is in the air, according to Ecuador’s meteorology institute (Inamhi), as the rainy season gives way to the dry season. In the inter-mountain region of the country, June weather will range between cloudiness with some rain to periods intense sunshine when residents will need to take precautions against high levels of...

Dani News

Google ad

The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of May 26

Cleaning and Rock-Filling Work Completed at Coca Codo Sinclair Plant.

Read more

Germany Advises Ecuadorian Exporters to Comply with European Union Standards: Impacts on Cocoa, Coffee, and Palm.

Read more

The True Cost of Extra and Ecopaís Gasoline Subsidies.

Read more

Fund Grace News

Google ad

Hogar Esperanza News