Expat Life

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...
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...
By David Morrill Angel Salvador Ortega stowed away on a banana boat out of Puerto Bolivar in 1994 and was on his way, he hoped, to being an illegal alien in the U.S. when his fortunes took a dramatic turn. Life was hard in his native Oña, a town of 3,000, set in a dry...
By Mark Johnson I’ve met quite a few single expat men and women who have packed up life in the UK and headed overseas to search of a new life and who are desperately seeking new love. In many cases there’s a happy ending. A man or woman, perhaps jaded by the career ladder, or...
Saying that the system that provides tax refunds to residents over the age of 65 has been abused, the government said Wednesday it plans to reduce the number of  deductible items. The new rules will only affect value added tax (VAT) refunds, not those for real estate, utilities and transportation. Ximena Amoroso, director of Ecuador’s...
National Assemblyman Gabriel Rivera has introduced legislation that would streamline the process for obtaining an Ecuadorian driver’s license, a move that could save expats time and money. Current rules require all applicants applying for a license to take 33 hours of driving lessons. The lessons are administered by private companies that provide the cars. Rivera’s...
The Special Foods of Cuenca  10 Alfajores  11 Aguardiente  11 Ají  12 Almuerzo  12   Babaco  14   Café  14 Canelazo  15 Ceviche  15 Chaulafán  16 Chicha  16 Chifles  17 Chirimoya  17 Choclo  18 Churrasco  18 Cuy  19   Encebollado  20 Empanada  21 Espumilla  21   Fanesca  22   Granadilla  22 Granizado  23 Guanábana  23...
Introduction  1 Who Are We to Write This Book? 3   PART ONE: ATTRACTIONS AND DOWNSIDES CHAPTER ONE: Why Expatriate To Cuenca? Why Expatriate?  6 Why Cuenca?  6 The Rush to Cuenca  8 The Nature of Duality  11   CHAPTER TWO: Climate Why Can’t I Get a Reliable Weather Forecast?  14 Here Comes the Sun? ...
Introduction  1 A Note About Cuenca  2 How This Book Is Organized  3 Why We Wrote This Book  4 Similarities and Differences with English  8   Part One: Learning at Home Chapter One: What To Expect from the Spanish Adventure Acquiring a First Language: How We Learn  10 Learning a Second Language at an Older Age...
Introduction  7 People Watching in Parque Calderón 9 Abdón Calderón, Revolutionary Hero  9 The Park Scene 10 Around the Park 11 Shopping at the Mercados  15 The Mercados of El Centro 15 Feria Libre 17 The Coopera 19 Dining Out  21 Almuerzos  21 North American  23 Chinese  24 Ecuadorian  24 Gourmet  25 Indian  25 Italian...
Ecuador banks are scrambling to establish rules for U.S. citizen account holders to comply with new IRS reporting requirements. The new rules will affect existing accounts as well as new accounts belonging to U.S. citizens. According to spokespersons at Banco Pinchincha and Banco Internacional, the rules are the result of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax...
This survey was completed by 352 people. Of the 318 who answered the first question, 55% took Spanish in school, with 42% taking French, and a surprising 23% studying Latin, while 20% took German. From the comments, respondents also studied Russian, Portuguese, Swahili, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Javanese, Afrikaans, Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Greek,...

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The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of April 21

With the “Yes” vote on 9 of 11 questions, constitutional and legal reforms in the popular consultation head to the Assembly.

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Correístas’ Plan: Impeaching Salazar Amidst Trial for Metastasis Case.

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Everything you need to know about the regulations to apply euthanasia in Ecuador.

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