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DINING WITH DEKEChoices for Mexican food in Cuenca are growing

For nearly two decades, if you wanted Mexican food in Cuenca, you had only one choice: El Pedregal Azteca (“The Rocky Aztec”), where María and Juan Manuel Ramoshave been serving authentic northern Mexican cuisine since 1989. Located in the heart of El Centro on Gran Colombia near Padre Aguirre, the Azteca is known for a […]

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Project to leave oil in the ground, to preserve Ecuador´s Yasuní wilderness area, reaches its first objective

An innovative Ecuadorean plan to leave more than 900 million barrels of crude oil untapped and beneath a pristine nature reserve, in exchange for international donations, has survived its first deadline, Ivonne Baki, the project coordinator told The Miami Herald. The Yasuní-ITT initiative has met the initial goal of raising $100 million before year’s end, […]

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RAW IN CUENCANectar adds a raw dimension to Cuenca’s vegan scene

by Susan Schenck Cuenca has a new restaurant serving raw gourmet dishes! Nectar, which opened on October 28, is a vegetarian tea house and gallery located on Benigno Malo 10-42 between Gran Columbia and Mariscal Lamar (on the second floor) and is open from noon to 6 p.m Tuesday through Saturday. (In a few weeks, […]

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CUENCA DIGESTChristmas Gold Gringo Team Challenge fundraiser update

As announced on Gringo Tree, the big fundraising event of the holiday season is the Christmas Gold for Children Gringo Team Challenge. Each $5 donation, delivered in person to DiBacco Restaurante (Tarqui between Simon Bolivar and Gran Colombia), will purchase a Navidad gift for local children at Los Andes School and two orphanages. Your name […]

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RAW IN CUENCAA new kind of scam to watch for: bargain robberies in Peru

by Susan Schenck One of the things that makes Ecuador stand out as a favorite place for expats is the variety of ways in which one can obtain residency (pension, investment, property) and visas (tourist, student, work, professional, volunteer, and a few others). But what happens if you switch residency plans in the middle of the […]

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RAW IN CUENCACuenca expat “extreme-energy” shops in Guayaquil

by Susan Schenck One of the American traditions we often cut back on when we move to Cuenca is that of shopping marathons. In San Diego, I sometimes shopped for an hour and a half just to unwind from the long week’s workload. I had to get my daily walking in anyhow, so if I […]

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Cuenca independence celebration brings out the fireworks and Latin America’s best artisans

Get ready to rumble! The artisans are coming! For seven days, beginning Mon., Oct. 31, Cuenca will become Ecuador’s party central as the city celebrates the 191st anniverary of its independence from Spain. Although the nightly concerts and fireworks shows will make the most noise, the centerpiece of the celebration has always been the hundreds of […]

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ECUADOR DIGESTSeven of the most violent countries are in Latin America

Seven of the 14 most violent countries in the world are in Latin America, according to the second edition of  the Global Burden of Armed Violence, a book released last week by the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. The Geneva group, launched in 2008, reports that “a quarter of all violent deaths in […]

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There are many ways to help the local cancer hospice

by Susan Schenck The Foundation for the Service of the Illness of Cancer (FASEC), the Cancer Foundation here in Cuenca, is funded and operated primarily by volunteers. Since 1983, FASEC has housed 13,546 patients who couldn’t afford to stay in the hospital while receiving cancer treatment. The average number of patients is 10, with ages […]

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CUENCA DIGESTU.S. Congress extends Ecuador trade preferences

Ecuador was the unexpected recipient of U.S. trade preferences last week when Congress approved free trade agreements for Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Ecuador´s trade preference was granted through July 2013, in a rider to the legislation, based on the Andean Nations Trade Preferences Act. The extension of the trade preferences was good news for […]

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Bookstore owner Lee Dubs: A Cuenca — and Latin American — expat pioneer

By Deke Castleman Though he says, “Everyone thinks I’m an extrovert, but I’m not really,” Lee Dubs can often be found chatting with customers at Carolina Bookstore, which he co-owns with his wife Carol. He’s not only one of the friendliest and most visible gringos in Cuenca, he’s also lived here since 2003, an eternity […]

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Looking for organic produce (or coop financial services) in Cuenca? Check out Coopera

The Coopera, an organic-agriculture, financial-services, and social-support cooperative based in San Joaquin, a village on the western outskirts of Cuenca, was established in January 2004 by eight founding members with a total investment of less than $50 (each contributed $6). Today, it has more than 60,000 members and assets of nearly $30 million. The Coopera […]

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