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An Expat Talks about Living in Cuenca, Ecuador

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Cuenca

How long have you lived there?

Little less than a year

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Weekly expat Fridays at 5, currently held at Sakura Restaurant on 3 de Noviembre in front of the Tomebamba River at the bottom of the Escalinata.

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Expats living in Ecuador interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

It's strange here, in that on the surface, everyone mingles well and it is quite the mixing pot. Cuenca always has lots of tourists due to both its reputation as well as being such a destination for learning Spanish. Beneath the surface, for residents, however, there is not a lot of mingling between classes, as in most Latin American countries. In expat circles, everything is fairly acceptable as we tend to have quite the liberal lot.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Unlike Quito and Guayaquil which has many multi-national companies, jobs here are fairly non-existent, however, entrepreneurial opportunities abound. Many people are retired, however, once you have a Permanent Residency Visa...no matter which type you get...you can open a company to do any number of things. People here have restaurants, export business, real estate businesses, retail shops, etc. It's very simple to open a business here once you have a cedula.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

For Ecuadorians, life revolves around family. Expats are very social here, though there aren't too many of us. Most expats who are in Cuenca are adventurous, love to explore the country, and are focused pretty much on living life.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Why Cuenca? Top 20 answers: http://www.ecuadorforums.com/index.php?topic=82.msg141#msg141

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Comments about this Report

guest
Jun 28, 2011 18:54

Hi, my name is Cristina I am in charge of a project of integration for expats from the American Chamber in Cuenca-Ecuador! I would like to have a meeting with you guys, please let me know how to contact you, in case you want to contact me my email is

guest
May 1, 2012 10:17

I realy have enjoy this post , I wish very much to be in contact with someone honest people, who's living currently iCuenca, because we're waiting to receive our Permanent Resident Visa after 2 months ( hopefully ) , and wish to move to Cuenca , we think that Cuenca will be much more better for us then being here in Quito , it's a little bit to crowd for us , again I wish to be in contact with some honest people who're living there , who could help us , we wishes to open a small business ones we are there in Cuenca , can someone please helps us . I have a budget of aprox.ly about $ 18.000,- , ones you have your Resident Visa + Sedula , can you apply for a Loan or Mortgage as Foreigners ? Hoping that someone could provide me with some answers about these questions , I remain yours Mr: Ralph Sobers my e-mail : , please if you could be so kind to e-mail me instead . many , many thx's for your reply

guest
May 21, 2012 11:23

Cuenca, Beautiful, great food, clean air, terrific views but enough said it boring. No night life to speak of and people here i find stoic. Spanish is the language.....if you don't speak it your a fish out of water..Cuencan people for the most part won't even make eye contact with you..socially you are at a loss and will be ignored by Cuenca's population..so if you can do with just being with expats your more than welcome to come otherwise find another place in this world to hang your hat.

tonyriga
Aug 21, 2012 17:40

I am looking to exchange my farm for an equipped bakery in Cuenca with living quarters and a garage. Farm is in Missouri 40 to 80 acres fenced and cross-fenced for raising 20 head of cattle and producing 250 round bales of good hay. Bakery must have a cafe with it with a good view. A good bread and pizza oven, refrigeration and display case and lots of good tables, chairs and booths. Bakery to be called "Tony Rigas casa de rigatoni y panaderia Italiana".

redxman47
Sep 21, 2012 10:04

I found this a good start at a candid conversation aoubt normal daily life in Cuenca. We are looking to retire there in just a little over two years. So I hope to keep reading all about life in Ecuador.

PAgringo
Sep 22, 2014 10:49

BEST WISHES; I will look for your grand opening! Free slice of pizza for anyone from Pennsylvania???

blatino91189
Nov 12, 2015 13:07

Do you guys still meet for expat meetings at the same place?

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Ecuador from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Guide to Living in CuencaGuide to Living in Cuenca

Cuenca is Ecuador's third largest city, but still has a small-city feeling. Expats share 11 things they wish they had known before moving to Cuenca from packing sunscreen to being aware of gringo gouging.

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An American woman talks about the ups and downs of moving to Cuenca. She had limited Spanish when she arrived, but a local woman helped her in the apartment search and she found the perfect place in a lovely Spanish-speaking neighborhood. Her apartment is 3-4 times less expensive than in the US.

Moving to Cuenca

An expat in Cuenca, Ecuador advises others to take an exploratory trip before committing to making the move. Then, if you do move to Cuenca, leave your furniture at home since it's very expensive to ship and furniture is very reasonably priced in Ecuador.

Expat Healthcare & Health InsuranceExpat Healthcare & Health Insurance in Cuenca

An expat in Cuenca, Ecuador offers insight on his health care experiences there. A considerable amount information is shared about hospitals, costs, alternative therapies and more are convered.

Living in Cuenca

An expat offers an immensely helpful view of what it's like living in Cuenca, Ecuador - from expat clubs to job opportunities.

Living in Cuenca

An expat in Cuenca, Ecuador appreciates the beautiful environment and people. He advises newcomers to get learn Spanish and meet locals instead of socializing with other expats.

Retirement in Cuenca

A retired couple who landed in Cuenca, Ecuador with plans to rent a while and move from place to place is very happy with the decision to move to Ecuador. They appreciate the low cost of living in Cuenca, access to quality healthcare, clubs and activities. The one challenge has been the ever changing residency rules.

Culture Shock in Cuenca

An American expat and his Ecuadorian wife, who initially lived with family in Quito, moved to Cuenca and enjoy life there. The expat husband advises anyone considering a move to Ecuador to learn Spanish, realize that you'll have to travel home see your family (most won't visit you) and know that homesickness happens in random moments that sneak up on you.

Culture Shock in Cuenca

A semi-retired woman who relocated to Cuenca, Ecuador once her children were grown is enjoying life there with her husband. He has longed to return to Central America, since living there as a child.

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