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ACCESS CUENCAHighway pork and puro on day trip part two

The Yunguilla Valley is beyond and lower than Girón, so it’s a little warmer and drier, prime orchard country. You take dirt roads off the highway down into the hollows and up into the hills where the properties are measured in acres and tropical fruit trees abound. A few gringos own houses and land up […]

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ACCESS CUENCARandom practicalities about print media, including money

In Cuenca, some ATMs are bilingual. Some aren’t. For example, several of the ATMs that surround Parque Calderón aren’t, while the ones at Banco Pichincha at the big intersection of 12 de Abril and Avenida Solano are. If you just want to siphon some money off your credit or debit card and you find yourself […]

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ECUADOR DIGESTCorrea´s referendum plan encounters more opposition

Three members of President Rafael Correa´s Pais party have resigned in opposition to his plan to hold a voter referendum aimed at reforming the justice system. Several other members of the president´s party have indicated that they may not support the referendum. The defections, along with the resignation of two minor cabinet ministers over the […]

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ACCESS CUENCAHere’re a few places for souvenirs and décor

The famous indigenous market in Otavalo, a two-hour drive north of Quito, is the best place to buy Andean art, crafts, textiles, jewelry, and more. But if you’re visiting Ecuador and your trip is limited to Cuenca and environs, you’ll find plenty of places to partake in retail therapy and souvenir hunting.  

 A great […]

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EDD SAIDAdvice for the potential expat: Look before you leap

By Edd Staton I took the time to read through some of the online forums dedicated to Ecuador this weekend and noticed something interesting. On the one hand, there were folks totally gung-ho about making the “big move;” others were quite timid and unsure, asking questions like, “Was there a lot of anguish in your […]

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President pushes referendum to overhaul the judicial system; says corrupt judges are going easy on criminals

Appealing directly to Ecuador´s citizens, President Rafael Correa is complaining that his call for a national referendum on issues he says are critical to Ecuador´s future is being opposed by political opponents he calls “the old guard.” Twice in the last week Correa took to the airwaves to push a list of 10 questions that […]

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ACCESS CUENCANo matter your religion, Cuenca churches are divine

Reportedly, Cuenca´s historic district has 53 churches, one for every week of the year. You can see the oldest, the largest, and the most ornate within three blocks of the central plaza. Another two mark the east and west boundaries of colonial El Centro. Catedral El Sagrario, also known as Catedral Antiguo, on the east side of […]

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DINING WITH DEKECuenca’s gringo haunts — part two

La Vina, serving good hearty Italian for a decade at the corner of Luis Cordero and Juan Jaramillo, is a favorite of gringos. Shirlee and I were there on a Friday night when four parties at the five tables in the front room were Americans. La Vina’s menu is monolingual, though it’s more in Italian […]

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DINING WITH DEKECuenca fast food isn’t real fast, but it is real food

We didn’t sample either of the two American fast-food operations in Cuenca: Kentucky Fried Chicken and Domino’s. (Nope: no McDonald’s or Burger King, Taco Bell, or even Starbucks.) I’m not prejudiced; I’ll try both when I go back (Lee at Carolina Bookstore claims Domino’s Ecuador is surprisingly different than stateside and decent), but we had […]

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