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Buenaventura nature preserve, southwest of Cuenca, provides dazzling bird displays

Text and photos by Doug Hansen You don’t have to be a hard-core bird watcher in order to be mesmerized by the dazzling display of hummingbirds, and various other tropical birds, that swarm to the feeders at one of Ecuador’s special nature preserves, Buenaventura. For me, the occasional brightly colored toucans and turquoise green honeycreepers […]

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They take hotdogs seriously at Jugueria Hilli

By Sylvester Grahame The life of a restaurant reviewer is not for the faint of heart. Besides the obvious stress of deadlines, food-stained clothing, and, the nightly habit of drinking Pepto Bismol mixed with cheap gin — giving a fresh take on the classic, Pink Lady —  is the challenge to find appealing places for […]

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Reflections on Conscious Living and Conscious Dying: Part 4

I ended my last column with a quote from Jonathan Livingston Seagull about becoming a finder. What exactly does this mean? It is worth our exploration, as our personal awakening is the most important accomplishment possible as humans. Eckhart Tolle was very clear about this, and it is also the whole point of the teaching […]

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Going to North America for a vacation? Watch out for ticks and mosquitoes.

Editor’s note: One of our favorite things about living in Cuenca is not having to worry about ticks and mosquitos. A few flies, yes, especially when it’s warmer. Enjoy this column from the Washington Post that suggests some nontoxic methods to protect yourself against mosquitoes and ticks. And yes, you can spell mosquitoes with an […]

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Ecuador’s angry hummingbirds refuse to evolve 

In a canyon below the cloud forests of Mindo, Ecuador, I watched five kinds of hummingbirds compete for sugar water from a hotel feeder. I marveled at their aerobatics, diving and buzz-bombing each other, dismissing the laws of physics as mere suggestions, until I realized that they were only feeding about 20% of the time. […]

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When are you too old or too sick to be an expat? Should there be minimum physical and psychological requirements to apply?

By Richard Ingle Two weeks ago, according to Radio Tomebamba, police were summoned to a Simon Bolivar clothing store where an elderly gringa was screaming at two mannequins. By the time officers arrived, the woman had pushed over the mannequins which, in turn, had toppled the adjacent rack of dresses. When police asked her what […]

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Can baking soda make produce safer to eat?

The fresh produce of Ecuador is astounding! One of the best reasons for living in Cuenca is the variety of vegetables and fruits, the freshness and the cost. Just back from visiting Florida, “The Sunshine State,” so much of the produce was imported from Mexico and South America, and although some was raised locally, boy, […]

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Pescadores de Tonchigüe

Edie and I were laughing about our constant need to know what’s over the next hill when El Fantasma was almost swallowed by a truck-defying pothole. As we lurched through to the other side, hot coffee was sloshing about the cab and onto my bare legs. I wasn’t exercising on my explicative budget that early […]

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The first in a series of articles by Ecuadorian nutrition experts, in English and in Spanish

Editor’s note: I’ve had the honor of being appointed the Country Representative from Ecuador of the International Association of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (IAAND) of the U.S. I have been networking with nutritionists here in Cuenca, learning more about career education and credentialing requirements, as well as practice opportunities. I look forward to […]

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Although it is good to be a seeker, it is even better to be a finder

Personal transformation is difficult. The way of transformation involves legitimate suffering, and it is the design and purpose of the egoic mind to avoid suffering. The ego brandishes two tools, denial and projection, in order to avoid suffering. In doing so it creates a rigid structure and great unhappiness. Many years ago, early in my […]

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La Caleta relocates and is better than ever

By Sylvester Grahame Woohoo! Lovers of fine cuisine can rejoice. La Caleta is back. Previously located a single block from my house, La Caleta, took up residence in the charming Casa del Aguila hotel just around the corner. My walk is now two blocks; I can use the exercise. I know of no other chef […]

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Discovering divine providence in Cuenca

Daniel Avila arrived in Cuenca on 9 December 2016, after fleeing the devastation of Venezuela. He left behind land so ensnared in the fetid folds of corroding infrastructure and wanton corruption that the very culture of this once proud country is rotting away. For many, the specter of rancid rhetoric, violence, and the settling dust […]

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