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RAW IN CUENCANew book extols the health benefits of a post-vegan diet

by Susan Schenck Before moving to Ecuador, I had been a very strict raw vegan for six years — until I started getting deficiencies. My brain didn’t function without DHA and B12. I also lacked vitamin D and K2 for the bones. A vegetarian diet doesn’t work for everyone — the fact is, we evolved […]

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ACCESS CUENCACuenca’s compact El Centro is perfect for exploring on foot

As Calvin Trillin wrote in the November 2010 Condé Nast Traveler, the central colonial section of Cuenca “doesn't look like a sixteenth-century city that has been preserved; it looks like a city that has been in use since the sixteenth century.” Trillin describes himself as an inveterate urban walker, taking great pleasure in strolling city […]

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RAW IN CUENCA”Belly” dancing works out the whole body and more

by Susan Schenck I’ve been fascinated with belly dancing for 30 years. I took classes in San Diego and even performed a couple of times. Then I was invited to an all-women party in Cuenca, celebrating the revolution of Middle Eastern women. We were each to contribute a poem, blog, or story. But for me […]

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China has replaced the IMF and U.S. as Ecuador´s largest creditor; some worry about the extent of the debt

Ecuador sees the loans it has agreed to with China as "good news" because they are long term, and all that is required in return is "oil, and not the horrendous adjustments imposed by the IMF [International Monetary Fund]," left-wing Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa told analysts critical of the size and high interest rates of […]

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RAW IN CUENCAWhere you can find the best nuts in the southern Andes

by Susan Schenck “Cadelaes, Casa del las especias” is a great little store in Cuenca that has top-quality items, as well as some obscure items unavailable elsewhere. For one thing, they have the best walnuts in Cuenca. I'm a fan of walnuts because they have a higher ratio of omega 3s to 6s than most […]

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RAW IN CUENCAWhat local superfood suppresses your appetite, makes you feel good, contains antioxidants, and tastes delicious?

by Susan Schenck Cacao (chocolate in its pure form) may be one of the planet’s greatest sources of nutrition. As state in my book, The Live Food Factor, “It’s high in magnesium, making it a powerful brain food and natural laxative. Ten percent of its contents are antioxidants, making it a leading longevity food. Research […]

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Northern Ecuador’s Cofán people struggle to protect the rainforest, organize an innovative park ranger program

The Fundación para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofán (FSC) and its US-based branch The Cofan Survival Fund have launched a new fundraising campaign, "The Campaign for 5000" to support the one-of-a-kind Cofán Ranger Park Guard program. The Cofan Ranger Park Guard Program, created and managed by the indigenous Cofán people of Northern Ecuador, has been […]

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CUENCA DIGESTUnusual weather systems keep Cuenca wet and cool

If this is southern Ecuador´s dry season, why are we getting so much rain? And why is it so cold? According to the experts, there are two explanations. The first is the strong La Niña that has raised Pacific seawater temperatures by two to three degress.  Ironcially, the phenomenon that brings rain to Ecuador is […]

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