Books to donate

I am moving and I have some books I want to get rid of. Is there someplace that I can donate them to? Back in the States, I would donate them to a thrift store. Is there such a thing here in Cuenca?

Ted Behr

New visa regulations

What is the latest on the new visa regulations? Do the old visas go by the old rule or the two-year presence in the country applies to all the visas, old and new? I spoke to some experts and the embassy in the Ecuadorian DC. Everyone has their own interpretation of the law and each differ from the other.


City: Cuenca

What is your favorite bank?

Not your favorite cooperative like JEP, but what is your favorite bank? Banco Pichincha? Banco del Austro? Banco del Pacifico? Banco de Guayaquil? Another? And please explain your answer. Easy to read bank statements? User-friendly on-line banking service? Excellent customer service? Numerous ATMs? Numerous office locations? Shorter lines? Ease in resolving disputes? Will accept US checks for deposit? Ease in wiring money to your account from the US? Will send replacement credit and debit cards to countries outside of Ecuador? Will email security codes, not just text them? Thanks for your input.

David Naccari


Does anyone know if the restrictions would be waived on the number of electronics if you are bringing in laptops for remote schools use only and if you have a letter from the schools stating that they are receiving them for student use in school?

Phyllis Theodos

Ride from GYE to Cuenca

Hi, I’m coming to Cuenca for a week later this month to scope it out as a place to spend the summer.

My flight gets into GYE around 11 PM – I assume I am best off spending the night in Guayaquil, and then getting a car to Cuenca the next day, but does anyone have other advice?

Also, can anyone recommend a really good driver who can take me from Guayaquil to Cuenca? I was considering renting a car, but since I really just want to explore Cuenca city this time, that probably is a bad idea as it will just be parked most of the time.

Thanks for any input,


Can I enter the States as a tourist?

Hi there, it’s Amy. I am residing in Cuenca, and I am not a US citizen nor resident. My daughter is studying in Boston. I am planning to see her in early June. I have a US tourist visit visa which is valid. Does anybody know whether I can enter the States as a tourist from Ecuador? Any restrictions at the moment?


Can I enter the states as a tourist?

Hi there it’s Amy. I am residing in Cuenca, and I am not a US citizen nor resident. My daughter is studying in Boston. I am planning to see her in early June. I have a US tourist visit visa which is valid. Does anybody know whether I can enter the states as a tourist from Ecuador? Any restrictions at the moment?


USA Valet

Have they improved since the fiasco of last year? Thanks.


COSEDE, list of Segment 1 institutions

I found a site where, given the name of an institution, you can see which Segment it is in. But I’m looking for a list of Segment 1 institutions. These would be the institutions that are insured for $32,000.

Mike L

When are you being vaccinated, and where?

The reason I ask is because I’ll be offering translation assistance to the Ministry of Health and I want to gauge what days and where the assistance is most needed. Judging by the reaction of the staff set up at the Coliseum, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that’s where there’s a large concentration of expats, but I want to make triple sure that I’m volunteering at the right site.


How to get money into a JEP savings account

Has anyone been successful wiring money from a US bank into a JEP account? Please describe your experience. Has JEP changed its policy and has started to accept US checks for deposit? Based upon my last inquiry, I think the answer is still “no.” Except for depositing cash, are there any other quick and easy methods to get money into a JEP account?

David Naccari

What do you do to maintain optimal health?

In yet another one-way communication of an opinion piece published elsewhere on May 2 that this time wisely prohibited comments, once again I feel compelled to take a positive perspective and begin a productive discussion about what the world has been dealing with for too long. The rage the author had was aimed at those who are anti-vaxxers and anti-science, taking the safe and simplistic stance that if only every person receives the vaccine, we wouldn’t have lost so much. I believe rage toward those few is unproductive. No matter what the political bent of the US mainstream media, it appears nobody wants to discuss the elephant: sustaining an unhealthy lifestyle compromises the immune system, making one a perfect host for a virus. Chronic illness left unmanaged becomes acute illness in a pandemic, which results in a great burden on one’s family, community and the healthcare system.


Waterproofing supplies

I found to my disappointment on a recent walk through town that our water resistant jackets no longer resist. Has anyone come across products that can be used on a rain jacket to beef up the water resistance?

Timothy Osborne

City: Cuenca

Clothing: What to bring to Cuenca vs. what can I get at reasonable prices?

Greetings, In another post I asked a question about kitchen items to bring and had such a positive reception, so now I ask about clothing. Hoping others will benefit as well. I welcome any observations about the ins and outs of clothing in Cuenca, but I do have some specific questions:

General question: how do clothing prices compare to US?
Are women’s business suits really costly?
Can I find a one-piece swimsuit?
What about hiking books with really good tread? Good walking shoes? Good arch support?



Better to bring these items, or will I find them in or near Cuenca…?

Hello. I’ll be moving to Ecuador to retire and live out my life. Certain items may seem extravagant– on another site I got a snarky remark. I don’t intend to move to Ecuador to live a life of luxury.
Cooking from scratch is really important to my lifestyle, and I finally found a good rhythm with my Vitamix and Insta-pot.

I understand that even if I can find these there, it would be quite a bit more costly. So, I’m looking for information that will help me to decide between my options:
1) bring these 2 items in my luggage,
2) have someone mail them to me at a hefty postage rate
3) purchase them there (Is there a place that would carry them? and for how much?)
4) hope that I can find them in Cuenca as used items (is this plausible?)

Any advice from those who have these items, or have looked into them would be much appreciated.


La Cuadra area new police office

Yesterday morning while walking my dog, I saw an Ecuadorian friend of mine inside the mostly vacant building, which is in the small corner park above Common Grounds Restaurant and at the intersection of Jose Austudillo and Eduardo Crespo Malo. The small building is directly across the street from Edificio’s La Cuadra and Alameda. I stopped to speak with Jose as he and another man were painting the inside of this building. I had heard rumors that it was going to be a police office of some sort for several months now and have noticed a few workers repairing plumbing and walls and curious police officers peeking in the building’s windows every once in a while. So I assumed it would be happening some day…

My friend, Jose Pacheco, told me that the men from the Barrio were working on the building when they had spare time and donated materials to make the repairs necessary to accommodate the Officers. My hats off to all who are making this happen. Also during our conversation, Jose said that the men of the Barrio were asking for donations from people who live in this Barrio so they could also buy a couple of beds, a desk and chairs and other furnishings for the Officers.


Correct website?

Would someone please provide the correct website to register for an appointment for a permanent Cedula? Have received my permanent visa. My cellular expires June 2nd.

Wade Hunter

2019 Novaestrat Ecuador data breach

This relates to an earlier post I had made about deleting data from the website

I found the following news while searching on the internet for a solution:

In 2019 there was a data breach on the Miami based server of an Ecuadorian company Novaestrat where the personal data, names, ID numbers, bank details, etc. of 20 million Ecuadorian citizens (perhaps16.6 million were citizens, and I guess the rest would be residents/ foreigners?) including children, was leaked online.

Vpnmentor and Zdnet who exposed this data leak, had to contact Ecuador’s CERT- Computer Emergency Response team- to notify them of this breach since the website Novaestrat could not be contacted.

Perhaps the website might have accessed personal data via this security breach incident? Can something be done about reporting this/ similar websites carrying leaked data and having one’s data deleted from such sites? Any advice or thoughts?


Expat Cuenca

Cooperativa other than JEP

I am happy with JEP, but I want to spread the risk by using other cooperativa(s) also.

My desires are:
$32000 insurance (what is the website for insured amounts?)
1 year: 8.5% interest
online access for savings and CDP’s
joint savings
transfer to/from other banking
renew instructions by email

TIA for advice.

Mike L: 099 159 3533. Call after: 8 AM.

City: Cuenca

2nd vaccine shot

I just had my second Pfizer jab. I didn’t get a text message with any info, but as I had heard, I just went to the Coliseum at the same time as the appointment for my first one, on the date they had told me during that first appointment to return.

After waiting in line for 10 minutes I was told that, yes, I was scheduled for my second injection today but it wasn’t here at the Coliseum. I had to go to the University of Azuay Bicentenario campus in Baños. Thank heavens Romolo (099 255 6416) was with me to help with translation and to ferry me out to Baños.

I’m not trying to give anyone specific instructions on what you should do, but only to say to be prepared for a possible change of venue. And be patient. We are just so glad that vaccinations are being provided here in Ecuador.

Larry Cochran: .

City: Cuenca

Asking for good VPN for Ecuador

Looking for Internet versatility. VPN makes the IP invisible for email and websites to other countries. Now I can only login to American Airlines for example, or Young Living Essential Oils in the States, in Spanish. I see that Nord is a recommended VPN for Ecuador. I think I read something about this on a previous GringoPost.

Suzanne Cerny

Best bank in Cuenca?

Good morning expats. Planning to retire next year around this time and would like to know which bank here in the States do you use to receive your social security check and withdraw money in Cuenca other than Charles Schwab? Thank you in advance for your advice.



Hello community. After receiving a visa, is there a time limit to apply for a cedula? I’ll get the visa in the Consulate in the US in May and am planning to come to Cuenca in August. It won’t be late? Please any information or advice. Thank you,


Covid testing?

Hi fellow Gringos. I know that many of you are tired of this question, but is the covid test required before getting on a plane to the US, the nasal swab, the blood test, or either?


The myth of the special check out line at SuperMaxi on Las Americas

Twice this month, I have had to wait in line to check out because a person ahead of me was not of the third age, was not having difficulty walking, and was not pregnant. After the first occasion, in the first week of April, I wrote a letter to SuperMaxi headquarters in Quito. I have yet to receive a reply. The second incident occurred tonight. I took photos of the person in line ahead of me. I also took photos of my receipt, which shows the name of the cashier.
I sent my emails to “”. If you have experienced the same thing at any of the SuperMaxi stores, I urge you to write to the aforementioned address.

Richard Mateyko

Update on COVID Vaccines

Our Expat Services Center has been helping individuals register for the COVID vaccines. Up until recently, the system has been working well as individuals have been receiving text messages giving instructions on the time and place of the appointments. However, over this past week, there seems to have been some changes in how they are contacting individuals.

At the outset, the Ministry of Health, said they would contact individuals with a phone call and followed up by a text message and email notification. However, this past week, some individuals have just received a robo call with no follow up confirmation. For those who have challenges understanding Spanish on the phone, this has created some confusion and misunderstandings.

It seems that they are making these robo calls about three days prior to your scheduled appointment. We encourage anyone who receives one of these calls, and you do not understand the instructions to drop into our Services Center and we will try to confirm the details, so you do not miss your scheduled appointment. If you are unable to drop in to visit us, you can email us with a copy of the front and back and we can see if we can find out when your scheduled appointment is.

The Expat Services Center is a service of Foundation Hogar de Esperanza (Home of Hope). We are located at Mariscal Sucre 12-84 and Juan Montalvo. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5:30 PM.

Garry Vatcher: .

City: Cuenca

Cuenca Municipal Water

Anyone else notice the tap water heavily chlorinated lately?

I’m down in EV and there have been some water main breaks lately. This is usually followed by a heavier than usual chlorine dose for a day or so.

I like the tap water here normally, but it’s terrible the last week or so. The water bottle I carry around reeks like a swimming pool now.

Anyone else?

Water Dude


My wife and I are planning on moving to Equador sometimes at the end of this year. My question is can I start the visa process now, here in Texas and can I do it through the Ecuadorian embassy here in Texas?


Looking for recent reviews for ClickBox

I hear great things about these folks but every comment is old and I’m looking for current users. Even their FB page has nothing current. I need to get some things from the States. The USPS shipping some things for me with a tracking number 12/22/20. They got it to Miami and it might as well have falllen off the edge of the earth. They have no record of it. It has now been four months for the USPS. I’m about to write them off.

Rich Westcott

Mover/moving recommendations — Coast to Cuenca

Would appreciate any recommendations or suggestions for movers/moving from north of Manta to Cuenca. Small household, but lots of plants. Might be on relatively short notice. Thanks.

Mims Mattair

Weather in Cuenca?

Why is it always so cold in Cuenca these days? I have been here almost three months and have yet to see two days straight without cloudy skies and/or rain…and I am getting sick of it now.

I was told there’s few months of warm weather followed by winter/rainy season and also from what I remember from my first visit here in 2018, it used to be sunny most days, at least during the months I was here (January to May).

Is this due to climate change? Something else…? Just looking to understand what to expect over the next few months. Will it ever not be cold here?

Thank you.

Expat Cuenca

Vaccinations for Amazon visit

Will be moving to Cuenca in July. Can we obtain our Yellow fever, Typhoid, tetanus vaccines in Cuenca before our Amazon trip? Or, should we get the vaccines in USA?

Manuela Vital

Where can I get a balance refund of Tranvia card in Cuenca?

I am going to leave from Cuenca and I want to cancel my Tranvia card. There is still a balance in my card. My card is a regular card. Does anyone know where to get a refund except for the bus terminal next to the Feria Libre? Can the card fee be refunded also?

Thank you,


Disability discount card?

I was recently informed that there is a disability discount card in Cuenca. I’d like to know how and where to apply for one.
Thank you.

Richard Mateyko: .

City: Cuenca

Guayaquil Bank, arbitrary charges

Guayaquil Bank deducted me $2.71 (a kind of insurance but don´t know the name) every month without my permission. I already had more than $77 deducted when I found out. It didn’t continue to deduct the deductions after I complained last year, but the money deducted before has not been returned to me. I went to the bank several times and the staff said that it can be refunded, but so far there is no refund. Has anyone encountered such a situation before? And has any good suggestions to solve this irritating thing?

Thank you,



It’s now been 5 weeks since I registered to get vaccinated. I am 73 years young. As of yet I haven’t been notified to get vaccinated. My question is does Ecuador even have any Covid 19 vaccines in the country? Seems strange that if they have the vaccine, that I haven’t received a date.
I guess my best bet is to return to the USA and get the vaccine there.

Joseph F Tana

Best way to transfer funds from PayPal to Ecuador

Friends, I have a question. I know Ecuadorian PayPal can only link a US Bank, with local Ecuadorian banks it doesn’t work, but I need to transfer my funds from PayPal to Ecuadorian banks. Any recommendations?
Thank you in advance!


City: Cuenca

Cuenca to Manta

Hola, todos!

Can anyone recommend the best way to get to Manta for just me and my 11kg dog? I don’t think she’d be allowed (or sit still enough) on a bus, and not sure what other services would be available, other than private driver. which I’m okay with that option, too.


Gerri: 0986898827. Call after: 8 AM.

City: Manta

Users of NordVPN service

Today I received a NordVPN update to install on a Windows 10 laptop. It has caused numerous problems on the computer including rendering Nord VPN un-usable. I worked for more than two hours with their chat support and they did not solve the problem. I asked for a cancellation and refund which they refused since 30 days have passed. So my advice is, don’t install any updates from Nord VPN.


City: Cuenca

US tax help?

Who can I contact to help me with my US tax paperwork?


Visit Ecuador in ’21?

Hello, My wife and I live in Seattle, WA, USA and are both fully vaccinated. After staying home for more than year, we’re hopeful to begin some level of travel again and are very curious about Ecuador as a future live-abroad location possibility.

What I’m wondering for any expats in Ecuador today, is it a good time to visit Ecuador? (likely Cuenca and Quito) How does it feel there now? Understanding the health considerations are complex and don’t really expect easy answers on all of that. Really just curious for those already there, is it “come on down” or “better to wait longer” approach? Thinking may be July for a visit.

Welcome any input if you’re in Ecuador now. Gracias,


Trip report

In my normal fashion, this will be long winded because that’s my nature…it’s one of those teaching old dogs new tricks problems. I also don’t have a lot of editing time to be brief and I apologize in advance for my verbosity. Please, feel free to stop reading at any moment but also, please, to those who want to criticize for the fun of it, maybe you could just stop reading instead?

So, we made another long trip from Cuenca to Guayaquil to Fort Lauderdale to Dallas and I thought some might be interested in how things are going in terms of airlines, covid test and vaccinations.

The way we do this trip it’s a bit over 24 hours from the moment we leave Cuenca on Saturday, March 27, to the time we land at DFW in Dallas. It begins when the van picks us up at 11 AM at the house. This time, we rented the entire van at a cost of $80. The last trip from Cuenca to Guayaquil we had used Opera Azuay and it wasn’t much fun riding with a full van, no AC and also, it seemed, no suspension. Sherry actually got sick about halfway thru the Cajas. So, no more full van rides for us.


Booking an appointment for permanent residency

Hi Guys,
I am here on a professional visa/ temporary residency and it’s expiring soon. I would like to book an appointment for permanent residency. How long will it take to get a date for the appointment? I live in Quito.

Michael Chander


When I left Ecuador, you could be out of the country up to five years with a permanent residency visa. Now I have read you are allowed three years. Please update me,



New immigration law

In February, 2021, Ecuadorian government made some change to the immigration law. Some lawyer said from now on all classes of immigrants (investor, professional, etc.) will all have to be in Ecuador for a minimum of 21 months before one can apply for the permanent visa. I’ve been told by others, no that is not true, this stays the same as before.

Does anyone know what is the residency requirement for investor holding temporary visa applying for permanent visa in the new law?

It is at time like this, when professionals disagree with each other, I wish I can read (Spanish)…


City: Cuenca

How to delete online personal data

My name, cedula number, etc. are on a website and I cannot find a way to have it deleted.

I have no idea how it got there, I am not a business owner and I have not registered for SRI, RUC etc. but early last year I may have accidentally registered on some government portal while in the process of applying for IESS, permanent residence visa etc.

I had written to that government website, requesting deletion of my data. And it was done. I got an email confirming this. Around the same time, another website had my personal data and I wrote here asking for advice–and I was asked to go through the contact/ delete form on the website and the data was removed. I then contacted google to remove the cache webpage. It was a long tedious process…

However, this time the website does not have a contact or delete form or any way to contact the website owners. Or at least I cannot seem to locate it.

Can anybody help me in having my online data scrubbed and even finding out if for some reason I am registered on SRI and that is where the information is leaking from? Although, I cannot understand how this would be legal here.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Expat Cuenca

Bus service to other cities

I am planning to come for my 4th visit to Cuenca at the end of May and am planning to take bus services from Cuenca to Banos de Agua Santa (near Ambato). Will stay in Banos for several days and then take bus to Quito before flying back to the States. Is Amazonas and other bus services still operating through the pandemic, etc.? Are there any special requirements or reservations needed, etc.? I tried to find info online, but am not able to find much.

Any information or bus company recommendations would be appreciated. Are there any websites with bus schedules etc.? P.S. I have taken the buses in Ecuador and have no problems with this method of transportation (for the price). Thanks,


Paying IESS monthly premium via JEP online

Question for the community: JEP wants an email address when setting up an electronic payment online. I have looked everywhere on the IESS website and there are no email addresses anywhere.

I prefer to set it up from JEP’s end rather than fill out the form from IESS and have them take the money out each month.

Has anyone set this up from JEP’s end?


Ann Fourt

Someone who knows how to get a driver’s license

Hello dear friends. I have a friend who doesn’t speak Spanish at all and wants to get his license but the test is in Spanish. Maybe someone has been through this and can help with information?


Pet shipping?

Can anyone give me information about getting my pets back to the USA with a good shipper that’s not too expensive?

Etta Grimes

Question about a shipping service

Hello to the expat community. Does someone use and can recommend the shipping service from US to Ecuador, provided by Luis Pareja?

These are his contacts:
WhatsApp number is 099 092 2662

Thank you.


Female Spanish teacher for expat


I am looking for recommendations for a Spanish teacher, basic conversational Spanish. I am looking for someone who is patient and who can spend 4 hours/day, 4 days a week for 4 weeks and possibly longer. I am requesting responses from other expats who have done this type immersion.

Thank you for your time and response,


Capital gains tax

If an Ecuadorian person opens a brokerage account in the US and bought US equities and has a capital gain for the year, Does he/she have to pay taxes in Ecuador?

Thanks in advance.

Michelle J

City: Cuenca

Covid in Ecuador

Hi All

I am planning a trip to Ecuador and want to know what the Covid situation is in Ecuador. CDC says it is Level 4 High Risk. I have my 2 Moderna shots and want to hear from your perspective. Thank you all so much in advance.

Amy Ross

Stabbed during robbery attempt

A good friend was stabbed twice in the abdomen and was taken by ambulance to the ER where she received an ultrasound and x-rays to determine the extent of her injuries, then stitched up and went home in a taxi in her bloody clothes. When: 7:25 Friday morning and the only other person on the sidewalk. Where: Her taxi had just driven away and she was about to enter a building in Caspicara y Mariscal Lamar. How: Her attacker had a bicycle and stopped to ask her the name of the street and then for a dollar, adding that he was from Peru. As she removed her purse from a larger bag to get out a dollar, he grabbed at the purse. She instinctively held on so he stabbed her twice. If she had not been wearing two coats, her wounds would have been much deeper than 5 cm.

Read more…

CD Questions

Happy Easter to all.

Please let me know

  1. Who will transfer the CD Certificate to Central Bank – my attorney, or this Bank, where I opened an account? I’m in US now.
  2. Does Ecuadorian Bank charge some amount of money when I wire transfer from US Bank?

Appreciate for any info.


El Oriente Weather?

Good morning,

Is the temperature in Gualaquiza similar to Sucua? Or is it warmer like Zamora?

Thank you,


Receiving and sending documents from US to Cuenca

Hi all, I am in the visa process with my Ecuadorian husband and I need to have our visa application sent to us here in Cuenca from the US so that we can sign it and send it back as soon as possible for submission. Any ideas on a way to do that? We’ve never had to do international shipping of documents before so this is new to us.

Thank you in advance,


Quick question concerning monetary limits

I was recently informed by a friend that when leaving Cuenca to go to the tsates that you are not permitted to take more than $1500 in cash.

Does anyone know if there is a limit to the amount of cash you are allowed to take, and what that limit may be?


There is concern about the increase in Covid cases in Cuenca

Figures from the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) provided to monitor the pandemic show that, in Azuay, during the last seven days, the number of COVID-19 infections increased by 334 cases, of which 235 correspond to the city of Cuenca.

This increase is higher than the one presented during the previous week, in which a total of 272 new cases were registered; This means 62 fewer infections than between March 21 and 28, according to official figures provided by the Zonal Coordination 6 of Health.


American Expat Financial News Journal – free webinars in April

Thought I’d share these links with everyone, these are free webinars in the coming weeks about US expat income taxation, investing, cryptocurrency, effects on Canadians of the new US income tax law changes, and renouncing US citizenship from the online American Expat Financial News Journal, a very useful source of information for all US expats.

I don’t think the embedded links are copying correctly, so at the end of this post there is a link to the article itself which has the links to the various webinar sources.

From the American Expat Financial News Journal website:

Tax and financial planning webinars, online events on offer, courtesy of USs expat groups, companies.


Easter lunch

Does anyone know of any restaurants that are open for Easter lunch or dinner?

Also, our friends are flying back to the States on April 10th. Does anyone know where they can get the PCR Covid test?


Nancy Plaisted

AstraZeneca Vaccine

AstraZeneca Vaccine suspended again in Berlin, Munich for under-60s amid blood clot reports.

Some other European countries remain hesitant about giving the AstraZeneca shot to older people. In Madrid, residents ages 60 to 65 started receiving the vaccine Tuesday ahead of those between the ages of 66 and 79 because Spanish authorities have not yet reviewed new data provided by AstraZeneca about how well it works in the older age group.

Spain is currently using the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for people over 80 years old.

Spanish health authorities have said that they are hoping to speed up the rollout of vaccines with the arrival of the jab developed by the pharmaceutical company Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which has also been approved for use in Europe and requires one shot only.

Breitbart News link

Harry Windsor: .

City: Cuenca

Sun-dried tomatoes

Anyone know where I can buy sun-dried tomatoes in Cuenca?


Joseph Canio Maffucci

Amparo visa questions – help please?

Hi All

I am a UK national married (in Ecuador) to an Ecuadorian national and I am planning to apply for the Amparo visa but have a few questions – can anyone help?

1. We have an interview date, but want to know if the Ministry will take my original passport from me on that day as part of the application process? (reason I am asking is I need to travel overseas within one week of interview date)
2. How does it normally take for the Ministry to make the decision after the interview has been completed? 1 week/2weeks/etc…?
3. Is there a time limit on submitting the application and getting the criminal record background check documentation notarized? For example: if I have the notarized documents, can I apply in 6 months or do I have to apply within 3 months of the date on the notarized background check document?

Thank you in advance for your assistance,

Kind regards,

Thomas Purdie

Anyone like to adopt a sweet, abandoned dog?

This poor fellow has been around the La Cuadra condos (near Common Grounds) for the past few weeks. He’s obviously been abandoned; he’s not your typical street dog at all. He’s medium-sized, black, short-haired; probably a black lab mix. People here are putting food out for him and he sleeps near the buildings. He’s getting thinner and thinner and obviously needs a nice home. Contact me if you’d like a nice companion.

Bobette Jones: .

City: Cuenca

Looking for a cat sitter

I’m going on vacation from April 28th to May 3rd and need a cat sitter. I could pay you or do a pet sitting exchange.

Melinda Judy: 098 262 2825 WhatsApp. Call after: 8 AM.

City: Cuenca

Responsible disposal of batteries and CFLs

We have started to accumulate a collection of non-rechargeable batteries and CFLs. We used to have problems in Atlanta with disposing of batteries, but at least we could take the CFLs to Home Depot. We would rather not put them in the general trash. Thanks,

Timothy Osborne

Vaccine for Covid 19

Have any of you who registered for the Covid 19 vaccine been notified to get vaccinated? I registered two weeks ago and haven’t heard anything. If you have been notified did you receive the information via email or a text message on your phone? Just wondering if gringos will be vaccinated last regardless of age.

Joseph Tana

Banco del Austro

March 25, on a whim, I withdrew $200 from the Gran Colombia/Unidad Nacional, Austro machine. I asked the guard, and, sure enough, he says they’ve gone back to a $500 limit, per withdrawal.
This might be old news, but it’s welcome news, to me.

Sieg Braun

City: Cuenca

Cedulas in a time of Covid?

Wondering if anyone knows… I’m over 65 with my permanent residency. I’ve avoided applying for a cedula now for some years. Seeking a vaccine, Hogar de Esperanza explained they could not register me without it. Said it’s ‘requested on the form’.

Does anyone know if it is possible to get the vaccine as a senior permanently living here… without the cedula?

Thanks, friends!

Jeff Salz

Vaccination notification

Has anyone who is either with IESS or who successfully registered on the government website for COVID vaccines had any kind of confirmation or any contact from either IESS or any other entity? I read that if you are over 65 and insured thru IESS you are automatically registered to be vaccinated; and before I was aware we would be automatically signed up thru IESS, I also successfully registered us on the government vaccination website.

So far, we have not had confirmation texts or emails from either source. I was of the understanding that IESS would confirm registrations last week if you were registered thru them, and the govt website said the estimated contact time would be 1 week.

Has anyone had any kind of feedback? I just read that they began vaccinating seniors here (Cuenca) on Monday, so was wondering if anyone has personally received information via text, phone or email.

S Dodge

Covid testing?

Has anyone arrived in the last 10 days or so, with current information on how they are asking for the COVID results? I have read that the change has been to 72 hours, but I am unsure if that is 72 for departure (i.e. airline requirement) or arrival (i.e. Ecuador requirement). Since many testing sites are not guaranteeing results within the 72-hour window, it could make a difference.

I also have certification of both vaccines. Has anyone been able to enter with that and not the test?

Thanks so much,

Penny Kelley

WhatsApp to call US?

Good morning,

Can I make a free call to an iPhone in the US from an Android smartphone in Ecuador using WhatsApp?

Thank you,


PCR testing sites?

Can you recommend a clinic for a PCR test for travel?
Price of the test?

Results must be within 3 days for flying to the States.

Thank you in advance


Looking for a recommended hair colorist

I need a hair stylist and colorist who specializes in coloring blonde hair.

Please recommend one that you have had personal experience with.

Thank you,

Alice E Mendell

City: Cuenca

Need to pay and share container

Any suggestions getting this accomplished?

I have 11 – 12 square meters. (Basically half of a 20′ container) My problem is my 6 month time restriction has run out, due to Covid and misinformation concerning my allowable time frame.

I will pay and share space in the container of someone shipping who is current with their time allowance to bring in their belongings.

Thank you, Brian Musich family

Brian Musich

New video on Laguna de Quilotoa

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for the previous support on my videos. I made a new one on my recent trip to Quilotoa Lake and Quito.

Please subscribe and turn on notification for more content about Cuenca.



Help with cell phone service


I have a nice cell phone that is not working here in Ecuador. It worked for the first couple of months that I had it, and then I started getting messages from Claro that they would not support it any longer.

I just stopped by one of their offices and they confirmed that there is something about the technology in my phone that Ecuador has decided not to support. They did not explain why.

First, does anyone understand what this is all about, and why they decided to kill a bunch of phones?

Second, does anyone know of a good cell phone technician that may be able to do something about this situation?



Pre-pat compiling list of must-bring items

To all,

Have been told to bring electronics so am updating my current ones. That said, have been told to bring a Firestick so started shopping. Wasn’t aware there were so many varieties. Since I have zero experience, what model and features should I look for?

Also, what other must-brings should I be considering?

Loyd Kaipainen

UFO experience?

We were students of the most recognized ufologist researcher in Ecuador, Mr. Jaime Rodríguez Tanguay, who has written many books throughout 30 years of research on the UFO phenomenon and currently lives in Cuenca.

If you have a story or experience you’d like to share, let’s have coffee and talk.

Diego and Le Jotas.

Diego Jadan: 099 887 5691. Call after: 8 AM.

City: Cuenca

Pet relocation service?

We are planning a move from California to Cuenca in July. We have a 22-pound furry family member (10 yr. old terrier) that needs to make the move with us. She is a little too big for flying in the cabin. We are hoping that pet flight restrictions due to Covid may have improved by then. Has anyone used a pet relocation service to help with the process that they would highly recommend? Any suggestions would be welcomed! Thank you.


US citizen looking to marry an Ecuadorian woman…

I am a US citizen looking to marry an Ecuadorian woman – in Ecuador. Can anyone tell me what the legal requirements, of the Ecuadorian government are, that I would need to satisfy, to allow this wedding to take place?

Rob K

How to get Covid Test before departure to USA (3 days in advance)

Hello, I am going to the USA shortly and am required to have a negative covid test with my name on it and it needs to be done 3 days before I leave or at least the date of the test needs to be no more than 3 days before my departure. If anyone knows where I can get a covid test and the results immediately, please let me know.

If you have experience with this, I’d really appreciate if you contacted me.



Visa waiting period

Hello expat community. I’m waiting for visa in Consulate of Ecuador in US, after my Attorney in Cuenca filed my paperwork to Consulate by the electronic system month ago and I got conformation number about it by email. But after waiting 3 weeks I called to Consulate and they do not see me in the system. Attorney advised to wait, just wait. Please any info about:1. How long approximately waiting time from date of conformation number (w/out app data) and get visa in US? 2. Does my documents correctly filed to Consulate in US or not to Ministerio Migracion in Quito and than Quito will send approved document to Consulate, where I get visa just by formal procedure? How it’s work correctly? Unfortunately I didn’t get any details from Attorney. I will appreciate for some explanations. G-d bless all.


City: Cuenca

WhatsApp messages

Is there an easy way to send a WhatsApp message to someone who is not in your contact list?


Senior living

Most who read this forum probably know that, as far as I know, the first “Senior Living Facility” opened recently in, I think, Challuabamba. I took a look at the website, and it looks like a lovely place and at $1500 per month for one or $2750 for two, it would be a bargain compared to what something similar would cost in the USA.

Of course, for someone already here, $1500 sounds like a lot of many given that you can rent an apartment and hire someone to help take care of you, probably, for a much lower number. However, if you compare the cost of assisted living, independent living or other “life styles” in the USA, it seems like a real bargain.

There are many days I ask myself why more places this haven’t come along. If you think about the 75 plus million baby boomers in the USA and how many of them are struggling, why hasn’t this become more common an alternative to the $7 or $8 grand a month similar places in the USA might cost?

We came here with the intent of creating a multi-purpose, residential community where people could live, play, and if they wanted to, work. For the first four years we lived in Cuenca, we worked for companies in the USA. The concept was simple: If you could work from home, home could be anywhere.

Read more

Organic cotton t-shirts?

Good morning,

Where could I purchase organic cotton t-shirts in Cuenca?

Thank you,


Tax expert in Guayaquil for USA investors

Hello group, could you please recommend a tax expert to handle Ecuador and USA tax declarations for USA investor?

Thank you,

Gina: 098 728 9146. Call after: 9 AM.

City: Guayaquil

Question regarding visa requirements for working remotely

Hello, My family is considering moving to Ecuador from the United States, and ideally we would like for my husband to be able to continue working online for the American company he is currently employed with.

Is he permitted to work online for the American company while on the 90-day tourist visa? What other options are there for working as a digital nomad in Ecuador?

Thanks for any help you can give or resources you can point us to.

Mrs Ruseler

Need to pay and share container from California (or?) to Guayaquil area

My problem is my 6-month time restriction has run out, due to Covid (I started the process in Guayaquil in July of 2019 and have, just now, gotten the final cedula appointment for April 26th, 2021) and misinformation concerning my allowable time frame.

Any suggestions getting this accomplished? I have 11 – 12 square meters. (Basically half of a 20′ container) I will pay and share space in the container of someone shipping who is current with their time allowance to bring in their belongings. Thank you,

Brian Musich:

Vaccination for flu and covid 1 month apart

Today I went to the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) for my flu shot. I was told that vaccination for the flu and Covid had to be one month apart. Since I am of Tercera Edad, and with Covid vaccination for this group around the corner (presumably) I was advised not to take the flu shot for now.

Eric Fraterman:

City: Cuenca

Animal neglect

I have a neighbor who neglects her dogs and cats. She had a dog with a litter and promised to spay her after lactation but she didn’t. Now she has another litter plus one left over from the first litter. She has two cats and a litter of kittens. The puppies cry all night and my neighbor doesn’t do anything until I call her out. She leaves for the night and the animals have no water and the puppies scream all night. The two adult dogs plus the new puppies live in one doghouse and my neighbor has an umbrella on top of the dog house as shelter for the cats. The puppies are always crying and screaming and the mother dog is stupid and doesn’t care for them. I am ready to sell my house and move. Ecuadorians live and let live but I can’t take hearing the distress anymore. Suggestions other than selling my house and moving?


Any Irishmen here?

Hoping to obtain some advice about how to get a source for renting a reasonable cottage in Wexford or Carlow Counties.

I have my Irish citizenship and passport, so the only impediment is the Covid immunization which hopefully will be completed well before my anticipated departure in 2022.

Tried to place an ad in, but was blocked due to our location. ie: Ecuador. After which, I attempted to do the same with “donedeal,” and failed again. Donedeal was recommended for reaching the rural areas, which is where I would like to spend my time.

The goal is to locate an owner in, “The Boonies,” in, or outside, a village or town, which would not attract rich holiday vacationers, or commuters to a large city.

Rural Cottages for a long-term lease, should cost considerably less than those located in large cities or towns in these counties.

I would like to locate the Irish equivalent of, what is known as a facilitator here, or better still, the owner of a cottage.

Estate Agents are interested in selling property and not renting. An individual, “Letting Agent, ” in each County would be extremely helpful. I am open to pay the fees for the agent or the individual who locates and secures the lease arrangement for me.

If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your consideration.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.


Bo Garbutt: 095 895 3056. Call after: 10 AM.

City: Cuenca

Passport photos in Cuenca

Good morning. My Canadian passport expires in a couple of weeks, and I was wondering if anyone knows where I can get the photos taken here in Cuenca. Also, if you’ve gone through the process since covid, and you would like to share any info, please let me know. Do’s and dont’s appreciated.

Wally Kolodinski: .

City: Cuenca
Back to top