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An Expat Talks about Living in Cuenca, Ecuador


Cuenca, Ecuador

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.

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

Cuenca

How long have you lived there?

6 months

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

Avoid gringos at all costs - they are old and out of sorts. Half of them go home within a year. Learn Spanish as fast as you can. Immerse. Learn Ecuadorian culture and get with it. Meet Ecuadorians any way you can.

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. Get a Quote

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.

Race means nothing here. The quechua keep to themselves. The fact that I am a gringo only means the cab drivers will occasionally try to rip me off - classic gringo pricing. Fortunately, my wife is Ecuadorian, so that doesn't fly.

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

Teaching English. It is very hard (as in impossible) to earn a living in Cuenca. Salaries are pathetic - maybe $750/month for a full-time gig. I teach English 10 hour/week for $10/hour. DO NOT COME TO ECUADOR if you need to work to pay your bills.

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

Family, church and family, in that order. You will never be a part of that. Get used to it.

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

Bring comfortable shoes and get ready to live in a physically splendid environment. The people are gentle. Like any foreign culture, it is deceptively similar to America, but the little differences can sink you if you aren't totally flexible. Stay away from ex-pats, as a rule.

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Comments about this Report

ComingSoon2017
Jul 26, 2016 11:52

GREAT comments. And that is exactly what I plan to do, stay away from 'most' Gringos, but not all, there are nice people everywhere, sometimes you just have to dig a little to get to the riches. Retiring next year, plan to travel for a year or two, staying at Airbnb's, etc. Thank you for your time and have a great one. David

withoutego
May 16, 2018 08:29

After living in Cuenca three years then moving on to Vilcabamba for the last four years I would concur with most of these observations. Individual experience varies naturally. Where my experience differs from the writer's is with taxi drivers and the "gringo" prices. To some extent new people are clueless. I'm not insulting them - they have zero experience and things are a bit different here. If your fare is $1.50 (the minimum) and you give the driver a fiver and start to walk away he sees a $3.50 tip. Have your hand held out - this lets him know that you know. Anyway its all meters in the taxis now. Otherwise I think its the new person not understanding Spanish. Also, most gringos lack "street sense" at home in the USA. Even without the ear buds they are not in the moment and aware of surroundings. To repeat....all this has more to do with you than with Ecuador. And I agree, these are nice people, we have much to learn from them.

withoutego
May 16, 2018 08:29

After living in Cuenca three years then moving on to Vilcabamba for the last four years I would concur with most of these observations. Individual experience varies naturally. Where my experience differs from the writer's is with taxi drivers and the "gringo" prices. To some extent new people are clueless. I'm not insulting them - they have zero experience and things are a bit different here. If your fare is $1.50 (the minimum) and you give the driver a fiver and start to walk away he sees a $3.50 tip. Have your hand held out - this lets him know that you know. Anyway its all meters in the taxis now. Otherwise I think its the new person not understanding Spanish. Also, most gringos lack "street sense" at home in the USA. Even without the ear buds they are not in the moment and aware of surroundings. To repeat....all this has more to do with you than with Ecuador. And I agree, these are nice people, we have much to learn from them.

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WHERE topicid = 7 
getanswerstext (Datasource=tipripper, Time=6ms, Records=5) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT DISTINCT answerstext.aid, questions.question, topicquestions.required, questions.qid, questions.type, answers.answerid, answers.reviewed, answers.rid, answers.dbid, answerstext.answer, answerstext.qid, answerstext.answerid, answers.img, answers.hiimg, answers.hpimg, answers.fbimg, answers.photocaption, answers.photocredit, answers.summary, topicquestions.outputtext, answerstext.uniqueheader, answerstext.uniqueheaderprop, answerstext.answerstextphoto, answerstext.photoplacement
FROM answerstext, answers, topicquestions, questions 
WHERE answers.answerid = 79644
AND (100 = answers.rid or 99 = answers.rid)
and topicquestions.qid <> 391
and topicquestions.qid <> 62
AND topicquestions.topicid = answers.topicid
and answerstext.answer <> ''
AND topicquestions.qid = questions.qid
AND topicquestions.qid = answerstext.qid
AND 79644 = answerstext.answerid 
ORDER BY topicquestions.order ASC
getbrief (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	SELECT summary
	FROM answers
	WHERE answers.answerid = '79644'
getheading (Datasource=tipripper, Time=3ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	SELECT DISTINCT answerstext.answer, answerstext.answerid, answerstext.qid
	FROM answerstext
	WHERE answerstext.answerid = '79644'
	and qid = 391
getphoto (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	SELECT DISTINCT hpimg as photo
	FROM answers
	WHERE answerid = 79644 
getlocationtag1 (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT shortname, networkname, networkid
FROM Networks
WHERE networkid = '39'
checklivingfeature (Datasource=expert, Time=5ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 58
           and city <> ''
            
         and allreports.answerid <> 70131         
         and networkid = 39
          and citynetworkid = 4115
		order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
      where answerid = 76313 
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
      where answerid = 27643 
checkretirefeature (Datasource=expert, Time=5ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 96
         and networkid = 39 
         and allreports.answerid <> 70131         
          and citynetworkid = 4115
         and city <> ''
         order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 75944 
checkculturefeature (Datasource=expert, Time=6ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 95
            
         and allreports.answerid <> 70131         
         and networkid = 39
          and citynetworkid = 4115
         and city <> ''
         order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 71004 
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcityrptsmobile.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 70629 
gettaxgeneral (Datasource=expert, Time=5ms, Records=5) in /home/www/html/rspnet_ctygd_readnext.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	Select title, hitopic, hidescript, author, articles.articleID, hiimg, summary, authorurl, hpimg
	From articles, articlePlacement
	Where hitopic <> ''
	and articlePlacement.networkID = 39 
	AND articlePlacement.articleID = articles.articleID
	and hidescript <> ''
    and type = '3'
    and articles.topic <> 'Weekly Quizzes'
   	and articles.topic <> 'Weekly Quizzes: Answers'
    and general <> 'bb'
    and hpimg <> 'none'
    and keycity = '0'
   and cityintro = 'n'
    and summary <> ''
    and publishdate < "2020-06-03"
    and publishdate > "2014-01-01"

    ORDER by articles.articleID desc
    
gettopbanner (Datasource=expert, Time=0ms, Records=0, Cached Query) in /home/www/html/navbottomad_rdesign5.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	Select *
	From banners
	WHERE status <> "hold"
	AND position = "eebanner"
	and weight < 8
    and toDate > "2020-06-02"
    and fromDate < "2020-06-03"
        and banners.promised = ''
    and banners.type <> 'swf'
gettopbanner (Datasource=expert, Time=0ms, Records=2, Cached Query) in /home/www/html/navbottomad_rdesign5.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	Select *
	From banners
	WHERE status <> "hold"
	AND position = "eebanner"
    and toDate > "2020-06-02"
    and fromDate < "2020-06-03"
        and banners.promised = ''
    and banners.type <> 'swf'
UpdatePageViews (Datasource=expert, Time=4ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navbottomad_rdesign5.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
  UPDATE banners
  SET impressions = impressions + 1
  WHERE bannerid = 865 
gethpbox (Datasource=expert, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navmpu_rdesign5.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	Select *
	From banners
	WHERE status <> "hold"
	AND (position = "eehpbox" or position = "eehpboxglobal")
    and toDate > {ts '2020-06-02 22:45:14'}
    and fromDate <{ts '2020-06-03 22:45:14'}
    and banners.type <> 'swf'
    
UpdatePageViews (Datasource=expert, Time=3ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navmpu_rdesign5.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
  UPDATE banners
  SET impressions = impressions + 1
  WHERE bannerid = 866 
GetMessages (Datasource=forum, Time=0ms, Records=3) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
  SELECT *
  FROM comments m 
  WHERE m.tpcid = 70131 
  and m.commenttype = 2
  and m.isapproved = 1
  ORDER BY msgid ASC
GetUser (Datasource=forum, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
  SELECT *
  FROM users
  WHERE userid = 157714 
GetUser (Datasource=forum, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
  SELECT *
  FROM users
  WHERE userid = 45849 
GetUser (Datasource=forum, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/commentsnew_rdesign4.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
  SELECT *
  FROM users
  WHERE userid = 45849 
getguidesummary (Datasource=expert, Time=1ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	Select summary, hiimg 
	From articles, articlecityplace
	Where  articlecityplace.citynetworkid = 4115
	and articlecityplace.articleid = articles.articleID
    and articles.cityintro = 'y'
 
gethealthsummary (Datasource=expert, Time=0ms, Records=1, Cached Query) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	Select summary, hpimg
	From articles, articlePlacement, articleCategories
	Where articlePlacement.networkID = 39 
	AND articlePlacement.articleID = articles.articleID
   	and articleCategories.articleID = articles.articleID
   	and articleCategories.section = 9
   	and articles.sectionintro = 'y'
    ORDER by articles.articleID desc
gethealthcare (Datasource=tipripper, Time=9ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT *
FROM allreports, Networks 
WHERE rid = 100
and Networks.networkid = 39
and allreports.networkid = 39
 and allreports.citynetworkid2 =  4115
and allreports.topicid = 15
and hide <> 'y'
order by allreports.answerid DESC
getslugs (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT topics.slug, topics.slugcity, topics.slugstate,topics.slugcitynostate, topics.slugcountry, topics.slugentry, topics.topicqid, topics.topicqidanswer, topics.promolinktext, topics.articletitle
FROM topics
WHERE topicid = 15 
getlocationtag1 (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT shortname, networkname, networkid
FROM Networks
WHERE networkid = '39'
checkmovingfeature (Datasource=expert, Time=5ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 63
         and city <> ''
        
         and allreports.answerid <> 70131         
         and networkid = 39
          and citynetworkid = 4115
		order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 74360 
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 68442 
gethealthcare (Datasource=tipripper, Time=9ms, Records=4) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT *
FROM allreports, Networks 
WHERE rid = 100
and Networks.networkid = 39
and allreports.networkid = 39
 and allreports.citynetworkid2 =  4115
and allreports.topicid = 7
and hide <> 'y'
order by allreports.answerid DESC
getslugs (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT topics.slug, topics.slugcity, topics.slugstate,topics.slugcitynostate, topics.slugcountry, topics.slugentry, topics.topicqid, topics.topicqidanswer, topics.promolinktext, topics.articletitle
FROM topics
WHERE topicid = 7 
getanswerstext (Datasource=tipripper, Time=4ms, Records=4) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT DISTINCT answerstext.aid, questions.question, topicquestions.required, questions.qid, questions.type, answers.answerid, answers.reviewed, answers.rid, answers.dbid, answerstext.answer, answerstext.qid, answerstext.answerid, answers.img, answers.hiimg, answers.hpimg, answers.fbimg, answers.photocaption, answers.photocredit, answers.summary, topicquestions.outputtext, answerstext.uniqueheader, answerstext.uniqueheaderprop, answerstext.answerstextphoto, answerstext.photoplacement
FROM answerstext, answers, topicquestions, questions 
WHERE answers.answerid = 77325
AND (100 = answers.rid or 99 = answers.rid)
and topicquestions.qid <> 391
and topicquestions.qid <> 62
AND topicquestions.topicid = answers.topicid
and answerstext.answer <> ''
AND topicquestions.qid = questions.qid
AND topicquestions.qid = answerstext.qid
AND 77325 = answerstext.answerid 
ORDER BY topicquestions.order ASC
getbrief (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	SELECT summary
	FROM answers
	WHERE answers.answerid = '77325'
getheading (Datasource=tipripper, Time=3ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	SELECT DISTINCT answerstext.answer, answerstext.answerid, answerstext.qid
	FROM answerstext
	WHERE answerstext.answerid = '77325'
	and qid = 391
getphoto (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
	SELECT DISTINCT hiimg as photo
	FROM answers
	WHERE answerid = 77325 
getlocationtag1 (Datasource=tipripper, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
SELECT shortname, networkname, networkid
FROM Networks
WHERE networkid = '39'
checklivingfeature (Datasource=expert, Time=5ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 58
            
         and allreports.answerid <> 70131         
           and city <> ''
         and networkid = 39
          and citynetworkid = 4115
		order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
      where answerid = 76313 
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
      where answerid = 27643 
checkretirefeature (Datasource=expert, Time=5ms, Records=2) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 96
            
         and allreports.answerid <> 70131         
         and networkid = 39
          and citynetworkid = 4115
         and city <> ''
         order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 75944 
checkculturefeature (Datasource=expert, Time=0ms, Records=2, Cached Query) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select networkname as ctry, city, networkid, rid, networkname, answerid
		FROM allreports
         where rid = 95
            
         and allreports.answerid <> 70131         
         and networkid = 39
          and citynetworkid = 4115
         and city <> ''
         order by date DESC
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=0ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 71004 
getsummary (Datasource=reports, Time=1ms, Records=1) in /home/www/html/navcontentboxcitypc.cfm @ 22:45:14.014
		Select summary, hiimg, hpimg
		FROM answers
         	where answerid = 70629 


Scope Variables

CGI Variables:
AUTH_PASSWORD=
AUTH_TYPE=
AUTH_USER=
CERT_COOKIE=
CERT_FLAGS=
CERT_ISSUER=
CERT_KEYSIZE=
CERT_SECRETKEYSIZE=
CERT_SERIALNUMBER=
CERT_SERVER_ISSUER=
CERT_SERVER_SUBJECT=
CERT_SUBJECT=
CF_TEMPLATE_PATH=/home/www/html/rspnet.cfm
CONTENT_LENGTH=
CONTENT_TYPE=
CONTEXT_PATH=
GATEWAY_INTERFACE=CGI/1.1
HTTPS=on
HTTPS_KEYSIZE=
HTTPS_SECRETKEYSIZE=
HTTPS_SERVER_ISSUER=
HTTPS_SERVER_SUBJECT=
HTTP_ACCEPT=text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING=gzip
HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE=en-US,en;q=0.5
HTTP_CONNECTION=Keep-Alive
HTTP_COOKIE=
HTTP_HOST=www.expatexchange.com
HTTP_REFERER=
HTTP_USER_AGENT=CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
PATH_INFO=
PATH_TRANSLATED=/home/www/html/rspnet.cfm
QUERY_STRING=rid=58&answerid=70131&networkid=39&start=70131
REMOTE_ADDR=172.69.63.143
REMOTE_HOST=172.69.63.143
REMOTE_USER=
REQUEST_METHOD=GET
SCRIPT_NAME=/rspnet.cfm
SERVER_NAME=www.expatexchange.com
SERVER_PORT=443
SERVER_PORT_SECURE=1
SERVER_PROTOCOL=HTTP/1.1
SERVER_SOFTWARE=Apache
WEB_SERVER_API=
Session Variables:
cfid=28964750
cftoken=69540175
sessionid=IBEXPATEXCHANGE.COM_28964750_69540175
urltoken=CFID=28964750&CFTOKEN=69540175
URL Parameters:
answerid=70131
networkid=39
rid=58
start=70131
Debug Rendering Time: 10 ms