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Being a part-time expat is becoming acceptable … and it makes good sense for those with strong ties back home

By Julie Freeman I had never heard of the term “part-time expat” until recently. In my mind, one would be either permanent expatriate … or not.  But it seems the “six-months / six-months” scenario is becoming quite accepted, and that the nomenclature is being commonly used. And I believe it to be a significant shift in […]

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Where’s my Trader Joe’s? The challenge of adapting to a new life

By Karla Freeman When I arrived in Cuenca and began scouting grocery stores, I walked around wondering, “Where is my Trader Joe’s? I miss getting everything I need in one familiar place.” These days, I go to my friends’ Yanni’s and Tonya’s and Ken’s take out, called Tienda Nectar (Bengino Malo 12-27) and get fresh, […]

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You’re not In Kansas anymore: Some tips for adjusting to expat life

Editor’s note: Karla Freeman, expat, traveler, tango dancer, writer, currently lives in Cuenca and is the author of Creating Magic in Midlife: 101 Questions and Answers to Reinvent Your Work, Relationships and Life! Available on Amazon Kindle and in Carolina’s bookstore in Cuenca. By Karla Freeman Every year, thousands of people uproot themselves from their […]

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No more excuses! Tips for learning new things at retirement age and optimizing focused study habits

Editor’s note: Viktoria Vidali has been a piano teacher, publisher, TV and documentary producer, photographer, and executive director of an environmental and educational nonprofit organization. Her first children’s book, Francisco and Gabriel’s Blue Moon Adventure, a magical tale of two brothers, is available on Amazon. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area , she’s now […]

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Transferring your Ecuadorian residency visa to a new passport

By David Morrill When I got my new U.S. passport in December, it also meant I needed a new Ecuadorian residency passport visa stamp. How hard can this be, I wondered, since I’d already been vetted by the immigration folks during the original visa process. The answer was that it’s harder than you might think, but […]

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The marijuana situation in Latin America, Ecuador, and Cuenca’s expat community; ‘the times they are a changin’

By Sylvan Hardy Uruguay has become the only country in the world with legal, regulated, recreational-marijuana sales, the world’s first and only state-run marijuana marketplace. An omnibus marijuana law was passed in 2013, of which two major elements have gone into effect. First, individuals are now allowed to grow up to six plants (17 ounces) […]

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Bringing Pets to Ecuador

[Editor’s Note: Pets are important to many expats. The following article is an excerpt from Expats in Ecuador: Life in Cuenca Second Edition by David Morrill and Deke Castleman. It mainly deals with bringing pets with you to Ecuador and was written about a year ago, so some of the facts might’ve changed. We’d appreciate hearing from anyone […]

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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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Ecuador and Cuenca again named world’s top retirement destinations; some say the ‘live cheap’ distinction attracts the wrong kind of expats

Ecuador finds itself in a familiar position in International Living’s 2015 Global Retirement Index, released on Friday. The index rates it the world’s number one retirement country for the fourth time in seven years. International Living’s index rates countries based on eight categories including cost of living, real estate and rental  prices, climate, infrastructure, health […]

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