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Research shows that even in the city, green space is good for your heart

By Wellness Newsletter Contact with nature has a host of potential physical and psychological benefits, according to a growing body of evidence. Researchers have focused mostly on the health effects of spending time in parks and the wilderness, but two recent studies suggest there are potential benefits of living in leafy, green neighborhoods or even […]

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A master artist celebrates his Cuenca roots

I first met Eduardo Segovia a couple of years ago. I was newly arrived and busy furnishing my apartment when a friend introduced me to this exuberant man who I understood was a potter. When I visited his studio I expected to find finely thrown plates and perhaps some large coffee mugs to help me […]

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After touring the world you can come home again … and it’s shocking

We travelled in Mexico, Peru and Ecuador for five months, living out of a couple of backpacks and carry-ons whose plastic wheels now bear flat spots. Our layered strategy to the wide range of expected climates — from snowy mountains to tropics, translated to so many photos in the same “quick wash, fast dry” sport […]

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We’re drowning in plastic! Top tips for using less

We recently returned from a three-week journey in Florida, U.S., traveling almost two-thousand miles around the state, visiting big and small cities, little towns and, of course, beaches. And everywhere was plastic, from plastic bags at every grocery store to plastic-wrapped sandwiches and double-wrapped salads (plastic bowls surrounded by plastic wrap,” to individually-plastic-wrapped plastic utensils […]

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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 Gus

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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