Courier not responding

UPS sent me certificate showing pkg. delivered to Miami 2 weeks ago as Courier agreed. And as usual, Courier is demanding deposit to her account at local bank before usual delivery by Servientrega, but has not provided her usual email invoice showing bank deposit info and amount to pay. I paid $175 for contents because I urgently need it. I have messaged Courier many times for invoice for bank pmt. but no response from her now. Any kind suggestions as to what to do now? (No nasties, please.)


Healthcare options to aid English speaking expats

If you live in Cuenca and would be more comfortable working with medical or healthcare professionals in English, there is medical resource available online that can help you.

A committee of volunteers has created a web directory, of English-speaking medical and healthcare professionals, and related services, available to visitors and expats in the Cuenca area. Over 100 professionals and services are listed including general physicians, specialists, dentists, facilitators, and various support organizations.

Katy Johnson: .

City: Cuenca

Supporting charity through IVA refunds

Foundation Hogar de Esperanza has had an IVA program for over four years now. Many expats chose to donate their IVA to us monthly to support our work. It is easy to set up and we do all the work each month to process the returns. If you do not wish to donate your IVA, we can also set it up for you at our Expat Services Center so you can receive the refund.

If you would like to participate in this program, contact Fernando or drop in and visit us at Mariscal Sucre 12-84 and Juan Montalvo. You can also email or call us to set up an appointment. Thank you for your support.

Fernando Alvarez: 099 094 7611. Call after: 9 AM.

City: Cuenca

Reading glasses

WalMart brand, unisex brown rectangular frames. +1.25.
First to respond and can pick up from my Edificio on Solano gets them for free!

Mary B: .

City: Cuenca

Mi Voz – addressing concerns with the city successfully

This is a very good resource, and after a noise complaint (yes that!) several months ago, I got a very respectful answer from the city, and the noise source really did reduce. Until today, when I made a new complaint.

Anyway, it seems this system is having an effect. The more we use it, the more effective it will become.

How to (see pics too)

Create an account: cédula and password.

Requerimientos, reclamos y denuncias

Choose: Ingresos

Inicio: for a new complaint
Listado: my list of complaints
Consulta: Enter number requerimiento, see your complaint.

I got an email confirmation; however, the outcome where they described their action in detail, was only on the site itself.


Declaring financial assets

Hello, Apparently the Gov. of Ecuador requires an annual declaration of assets held in the country (i.e. CDs).

Would anyone know where I would do this and what documents I would need?

Many thanks for any info.


Navigating healthcare

I fell on my bottom a few days ago; getting worse not better. Do I call a hospital to see a doctor or find a standalone office? I don’t speak Spanish well enough. How do I find a person to help translate if I can’t find a Dr. who speaks English? Thanks for any guidance you can give me.


Wood for fireplace, Cuenca region

Hello, I am looking to see if anyone knows someone that sells cut wood. Specifically I am looking for someone to deliver a cord of wood. Any help wood be awesome.


Travis Malley: Email is

Do I have to pay taxes in Ecuador?

To briefly explain my situation, I am a US citizen living in Ecuador for 6 years now. I also have my Ecuadorian citizenship. I just started working for Only Fans making my own income, which is a US based site. I was told I have to file my own taxes because it’s considered self-employment, but is it different because I’m outside the US?

If you have any knowledge on this i would really appreciate your sharing it.


Invitation to food and craft vendors

Invitation to food and craft vendors for Sisa Gran Feria.
All items must be handcrafted.

Date: January 28, 2023
Time: 9 AM to 1 PM
Cost: Table fee is $10
Register by Friday at 10 AM

Message via WhatsApp to register:
Lori 099 180 6646

Lori Zee

Tax on interest income?

I have a question for those of you who have obtained residency in Ecuador. Do you have to pay taxes on the interest income you made from those CDs? I am not talking about the 2% withholding if your CD is less than a year. I heard you pay taxes on income above $11,000? That includes wage, salary, commission, but does it include interest income? Do you have to file a tax return just like in US and Canada? Thanks in advance.


Do I need to bring my passport to the Galapagos?

Hi everyone. If I bring my Ecuadorian cedula with me when I visit the Galapagos, do I also have to bring my US passport? I really hate to risk losing it if it is not necessary.


Camping spots in Cuenca

Hey everyone,

Does anyone know of a countryside place in Cuenca or by the outskirts where we could go and camp? We’re a group of 4 friends who want to have some more contact with nature.

We’ll be gladly reading all of your recommendations. Thanks in advance folks!

Moniqua G

Courier/regular mule

Looking for recommendations for courier or mule. Thanks for your time and shared experience.


Suggestions for track hanging system for artwork?

We’re hoping to find a source or expertise for mounting artwork using a horizontal wall or ceiling-mounted track system with vertical wires. Like most here, our walls are concrete and we’re looking for an alternative to drilled wall-mounts or adhesive art mounts.

Any help appreciated,


Cataract surgery

My husband and I are preparing to move to Cuenca this spring. He needs cataract surgery and is contemplating having it done in Ecuador after we have settled there. We know that he may have to wait a couple years for the insurance to cover the surgery. He wants to know how someone’s experience went, who is a good doctor and the costs of the surgery. I am including my email address for private recommendations or critiques. Thank you everyone. Scheduling the surgery here will put our departure date out by about 3 months. Email me at

Donna M Schmidt

City: Cuenca

Are you suffering from venous insufficiency?

If so, I would very much appreciate hearing from you as to what has worked for you, and what has not worked for you, in managing or curing your condition. Diet? Supplements? Compression stockings? Exercise? Physical Therapy? Medications? Lifestyle changes? Leg elevation? Sclerotherapy? Vein stripping? Vein ablation by laser or radio frequency? Something else? Doing nothing at all?

Feel free to email me in total confidence or post your response. Thanks,

David Naccari

Problems with ECShopping?

Is there anyone else that is having or has had a problem ever receiving their orders from ECShopping? If so, please email me if you found a way to get your items from them. These are extremely important items.


Bus from Carcelén terminal to Quito airport

Thank you Luis, Andre and Juan for your great responses to my similar questions regarding Quitumbe to the airport.

Do you or others know what time the last bus leaves the Carcelén terminal for the airport on weekday evenings?

And what do taxis charge from Carcelén to the airport at approx 9 PM.


Pickleball in Cuenca?

New to Cuenca pickleball. Where in Cuenca is it possible to play?

Terry D

Upcoming elections

Hello! My name is Gerri, and I am a permanent resident here in Cuenca Ecuador. I want to know how can I get registered to vote for the upcoming 2023 elections. I tried to find information on the CNE official page, but there is nothing. I have tried looking on the page, by putting my cedula number but it says I am not registered to vote. If anyone knows anything please let me know!

Thank you!
Cell: 098 689 8827


Had a baby here; Ecuador passport question


My child was born in Ecuador. The child has the cedula and a European passport, but no Ecuador passport. Given that my child has a cedula and a European passport, I am, perhaps wrongly, assuming an Ecuador passport is not required for foreign travel. Does anyone have any experience of travelling abroad with a child born in Ecuador without an Ecuador passport? Were there any issues?

Many thanks in advance and have an awesome day.


Cedula renewal process?

As an expat with a permanent retirement visa, my Cedula is due for its 10 year renewal. Please, what is the process, what documents are needed, etc.? Please reply on GringoPost.


Google Fi International Phone Plan

I wanted to inform the community here that in my opinion Google Fi is not a good option for international phone service if you are going to be outside of the US for an extended period of time. My original plan was to use GoogleFi as my one and only phone as I read that people have used it successfully in Cuenca for long periods of time with the unlimited text and data international plan. At $76/month it was a little pricey but achieved everything that I needed. It would also work when I traveled to other countries.

I moved to Cuenca in June, 2022, and returned to US for 3 months in mid-August for my work. I returned in Mid-November and just received an email on January 7 from Google Fi saying they are terminating my international roaming plan as it is to be primarily used in the US and they see that I have been outside of the US for extended periods of time.



Does anyone know of a place where people get together to play euchre?


How do people dispose of glass jars in Ecuador?

We’ve got 2 dozen medium-size jars that we’d like to dispose of.

We previously left a few jars near the trash area in front of the house we’re renting, but the garbage collectors left them there.

We’re currently a few hours outside of Cuenca, so we cannot give them to any readers of this post that might be interested.

Thank you for any suggestions,


Nice things to visit around the Quito airport . . .

Dear GringoPost Reader,

If you had a layover at the Quito airport, and had about 4-5 daylight hours to visit the surrounding area, what would you do? What would you visit? I prefer not to head over towards Quito – that would be too complicated. I also prefer not to hang around the Quito airport, or check into a nearby hotel or hostal. I could take a look at TripAdvisor or similar sites, but I prefer to hear your suggestions.

David Naccari: .

City: Cuenca

65 and older airfare discount

If anyone reading has had experience with using a local travel agent to book senior discounts for airfare, please respond with your comments, especially the discount details. My next trip will be as an aged traveler and I want to be up to speed, thanks!


Medicare enrollment questions

I am soon approaching Medicare age. I have lived in Ecuador for several years and have no physical address in the US. I am hoping that my fellow expats can help me with the following questions:

Can I use my virtual mailbox (which has a street address) as my address? Or
Is there an advantage to using a friend’s address?

Do you have traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage?
Why do you prefer one over the other?

Thank you very much.

Bus from Quitumbe terminal to Quito airport

Good morning,

Anyone know what time the last bus leaves Quitumbe for the airport?

Or what Transit authority or bus company I could email to find out?

And do the buses leave Quitumbe hourly or more frequently?

Many thanks,


Getting money to the US

Hi. I hope everyone is well. I have a question. I have been trying to send money to a relative in the States. That doesn’t sound like a difficult thing to do, but everything like PayPal, Venmo, Western Union, etc. has failed for some reason that I never understand. Furthermore, no one seems to care. I have been trying for two weeks and I would be very grateful for any help.

Sherry Nadeau

Question about EC voting

Hello Everybody!

Does anyone know when you are required to start voting? I’m a permanent resident, but thought you could only vote when you’re a citizen?



Cuenca Post Office

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year. Has anyone heard the latest news regarding Cuenca reopening a post office?

It was supposed to happen November/December, 2022.



Does anyone know an ophthalmologist in Cuenca that speaks English?



Does anyone know an ophthalmologist in Cuenca that speaks English?


Cooperativa SAC

Cooperativa SAC offers you financial credit and investment services.
The investments with the best rate in the market are around 11% and have opened 15 agencies nationwide, the last being in the city of Cuenca, we have completed 3 months in our new agency and we already have more than 1.5 million on investments.

Located in the historic center of the city of Cuenca on Sucre and Presidente Borrero streets.

Goty: .

City: Cuenca

Visa appointment in Chicago for Ecuador professional visa

My family of 6 has our interview appointment in Chicago next week. We have four children 16, 14, 12, 11. We each have 30-minute appointments. Does anyone have experience with these appointments with children? Do they go by themselves or with a parent or are we all together? Or what kind of questions are asked?

We can’t wait to get down to Ecuador. Hoping our appointment goes well. It’s been quite a process.

Thank you!

Also, I’ve been watching rental ads. We will be looking for a furnished 3 bedroom or preferably 4-bedroom, house or apartment close to public transportation. If anyone has any experience with a good realtor, I’d love to hear about it.


Quito safety

Good morning,

How much safer is the El Ejido Park area than the Southern Terminal (Quitumbe) area with regards to finding an economical hostel at 8 PM on a weeknight?

Thank you,


Where can I get a drug called mizollen?

I have been suffering from urticaria. Back in my own country I was prescribed a drug called mizollen and its active ingredient is called mizolastine. The drug was really effective.

I have looked for the drug in Quito for a few days and it seems they don’t have the drug.

Does anyone know where I can find the drug in Ecuador? Or do I need to go to the hospital to get it?

Thanks in advance!


Bus from Cuenca to the Quito airport?

Good morning,

When taking a bus from Cuenca to the Quito airport, where does one transfer from the bus starting in Cuenca to the bus which actually arrives at the airport?

And how late does the latter bus run?

Thank you very much,


Recent use of TMA Logistics?

Has anyone used TMA recently? I could use some assistance and the email for Sandi Curry, who had recommended them and provided lots of detail, is not working now.

If you could help me out, I’d be very grateful. I don’t speak or understand enough Spanish yet to call them. WhatsApp +593 99 773 5551


What do you miss the most from your hometown?

Hello friends!

My partner and I recently moved to Cuenca and we are thinking about starting a business here. We have a few ideas but we are curious to see your opinions.

Is there anything you would like to see more of in Cuenca? Is there anything you miss having here? A specific product or service you think would be nice to have?

Thanks, in advance for your time! You never know, maybe we can start doing something you have been missing!

Karen V

Airport check in?

Good morning,

Regarding a trip from Quito to Miami to Austin — are passengers required to show the credit card used to purchase the plane tickets when checking in at the Quito or Miami airport?

Many thanks,


Need a low cost US cell plan

Help. I ported my US number to Mint Mobile.
After 3 months they tell me my Samsung phones (S21 & A30) are incompatible with their systems outside of the US. Have been able to send and receive texts but zero calls via WiFi or international calling.
Oh, and they refuse to re-fund my 3 month pre-paid plan as they claim I had to cancel within 10 days of activation. (Still waiting on that activation)

I have Google Voice (thank God) as that works for another line but I can’t port my business line as Google voice has my business line associated with that number. (so, I would lose my existing personal line. Ugh.)

I only use WiFi calling so looking for an inexpensive carrier like Mint purported to be ($15/month).

I ported from T-Mobile (which Mint uses their network in US and in Ecuador) That was $65/month for WiFi calling. Anyone else having luck with a low-cost carrier that is compatible with Samsung phones?

Thanks in advance,



I believe that the fee for withdrawing investment funds and sending the money back to the US (or another country) is now 4%. One representative of a credit union made the following comment; “yes, that is the current rate but every 6 months the rate will be reduced by 0.5%, so in 3 and a half years the rate will be 0, that is by government law and for 2 years the rates have been reducing, so it is a good business to invest here.”

Can anyone verify that this is now actually a law? This is very important to those of us who want to invest in these CDs but also intend to return to the US at some time in the future. Thanks.

Robert Smith

Does anyone have experience with goat milk kefir?

In trying to make kefir with goat milk, I get a thick scum on the top. Is this normal or am I just making sour milk? Is it possibly the grains I am using, which don’t seem to separate into individual grains. If you are willing to talk about it, could you please email me your telephone number and I will call you,

Thank you,

Jean: .

City: Cuenca

Old sound system

What does one do with an old tuner, multiple tape and CD, DVD and VHS tape players?

Lane King

Rental price increases?

OK! Here is a question for the group. I have been checking prices for AirBNB in Cuenca for our initial month or two beginning on Jan 1. Now it looks like we may not be getting there until Feb 1. The prices increases a lot from Jan. to Feb. Why? Does anyone have any idea why?

William Causey: .

City: Cuenca

Temporary residency

Does anybody have an idea regarding the current time frame for having
a federal background check apostilled by the US State Department? My info was received by the SD November 9th, 2022. Please advise if you have any current information.

Charles L Varga

Water pic/oral irrigator

Hi friends, we are just ending our first month here in El Vergel. Our travel oral irrigator has died. Tried to buy on Tiendamia, but it says not available in this country.

Anyone know of a store or maybe a dental office that sells them? Especially would like another rechargeable portable one.

Under $50 is a major plus.


Laurie Stolmaker

Obtaining a temporary resident visa with an arrest in 1974

I hope to get some guidance. I was convicted of being a disorderly person in 1974 in NJ, and was fined $150. Two other accompanying charges were dismissed. I have certified disposition letters from the court for all 3 charges. I have contacted and read the entire sites of three agencies facilitating immigration. An attorney told me no problema, whatsover. Another agency said it could be done, wanted me to get new disposition letters (have them from 2010) and said it would be an additional $450 for her service without providing explanation.

I have lived in the Philippines and obtained a cedula there. I have had many FBI, state, local clearances for jobs I have held. Still, I don’t want to pursue coming to Ecuador if it is a lost cause.

Does anyone have experience getting residency with a criminal record, albeit from a long time ago? Gracias, sorry for the long post.

Tom OBrien: .

City: Loja

Does anybody know Coon Terrance Mathew?

At hospital Vicente Corral there’s a gentleman name Coon Terrance. If someone knows his family, please let them know. I found the post from the Comunidad Cuenca Post.

Rosana Padron

City: Cuenca

Looking for an alternative operating system (OS) for my PC

Has anyone had any experience in using something besides Windows as an operating system for your PC? For instance, Linux, Ubunto, or Mint? What differences in performance, ease of use, security, Internet access, cost, and apps might I expect from using an alternative operating system? Thanks for your input.

David Naccari

Living with arthritis in Cuenca

Hi all. If you have arthritis, does the rainy season in Cuenca bother you? If so, is it chronic or occasional?

Thank you!


iPhone 11 MaxPro

Left in taxi Tuesday at Paseo 3 de Noviembre and Puente Roto. Photo of dog on screen. Reply here or to email.

Brahmi Ishaya:

Copy of Cedula

Some time back there was mention of a business in Cuenca, where one could get a copy of the cedula made. Can we get the information about the business published again.

Venki Narayan: 099 517 6950. Call Noon.

City: Cuenca

JEP deposits

I always thought and heard here that the CDs at JEP carry over the interest rate through (automatic) renewals, meaning after a few years I would still have the interest rate CD was set up with.

But when my CD was automatically renewed in May it got stripped down to the actual interest rate. Can you guys confirm this or is it just me?


Golfing in Cuenca

Will be in Cuenca in January and half of February, I understand there is a private 9-hole course in town. Is it possible to play a few times at that facility and if so at what price?

Mike Woods

Christmas donations for Hearts Of Gold

This December 17, we’ll go to the community of Punta Hacienda in Quingeo to share with them a Christmas party and to bring them support for their orchards.

Punta Hacienda community is mostly dedicated to agriculture and poultry farming. But after Covid-19 emergency, many of them lost their jobs and have not been able to recover until now. Punta Hacienda is made up of 300 families including older adults, single mothers, children, youth, people with disabilities and with a high rate of alcoholism, who cannot receive continuous help due to their geographical location and difficult access to it.

Our objective is to support these families with the implementation and improvement of their orchards and corrals, allowing them to generate their own income and thus improve their quality of life, and to bring joy and happiness to the 250 kids from this community with a Christmas party for them.


Non-aluminum Teflon

Is there such a thing as this for frying pans on or off Amazon? Hoping I just overlooked it, if so. Please call 099 086 2839 between 9 and 9 if you know of such. Thanks for your time and help.


Was I “taken to the cleaners?”

Recently I took an expensive sweater to the cleaners. About a week after I picked it up, I wanted to wear it but it was much too small, now shrunken, and the finish changed. I returned to the cleaners to show them and was only then told that when there is a problem after cleaning, the item must be returned within 24 hours. How often would most customers take items home and try them on within 24 hours? That was the first I knew of such requirement. That clerk was not so cordial as the regular one and I left with a large loss. Hoping to save others such…


Need to renew visa

We need to renew our visa in Azogues and were not able to make an appointment. Is it possible to go to the office there without an appointment and still be seen?


Traffic, school buses, and children

We live in a great neighborhood, El Vergel, on a busy street, but in an area with lots of single family homes with children of school age who ride school buses. We often watch them being picked up and dropped off, and there are several living in our building. I was appalled the other afternoon as a bus was unloading two children on a narrow side street on the corner of our building. As the children were exiting the stopped bus, the car behind the bus began honking, repeatedly, and then hurriedly drove around the stopped bus and around the corner without so much as slowing down. The children noticed the car and hurried to the safety of the sidewalk. If the traffic laws here are “different” concerning the rights of pedestrians, of which most of us are familiar when crossing streets, perhaps it’s not widely known that drivers should stop behind school buses until they start to move. I would like to appeal to anyone who drives a vehicle here who reads this, please think about how hitting a child would impact the lives of so many people, and drive more safely around school buses.

Concerned resident

City: Cuenca

Transfer visa to new passport

I recently renewed my US passport and was wondering if anybody has gone through the process of doing the digital visa transfer over to match up with their new passport number. What is the process? Where to go? And how much is the fee? This is a topic I have not seen discussed much here on this forum so I must admit to my ignorance on this subject. I will appreciate any and all feedback!


City: Cuenca

SSA direct deposit

I need info from anyone who has their SSA check deposited into a ProduBanco account. I tried doing this at Banco Guayaquil almost a year ago and never heard back from anyone. The paperwork was sent to San Jose, Costa Rica. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My email is Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Dan: .

City: Cuenca

Which phone service?

Hello, I am going to be moving to Cuenca in two weeks and I am very excited. Could people reading this please give me recommendations what I should do about cell service. I would like to have an Ecuadorian number and a USA number so I can both make calls to Ecuadorian phone numbers and USA phone numbers, at an inexpensive rate. Do I need two separate phones?

Also, I would like to have smart phone capability to use Google maps, etc. Any recommendations from the many expats who have already dealt with this questions?

Many thanks,

Ted Hazard

Reasons to get Ecuadorian citizenship

In my recent posts about the new citizenship test, many people have asked why someone would want to become a citizen here in Ecuador. Below is a list of reasons. Some or all of the reasons might not matter to you or apply to you, but to others they might be important.


The reasons are as follows:

1. It’s actually permanent, and will certainly never be revoked. Permanent residency is likely permanent also (hence the name, ha ha), but you would always be a guest/foreigner, and in Ecuador things can change quickly.


I failed the new citizenship test (Nov, 2022)

I just took and failed the new Citizenship test (Evaluacion de Historia-Geografia-Cultura Actual 2022). It’s so hard that it’s unreasonable. No one could possibly pass, and likely no one will pass until they realize what they’ve done and change it to make it reasonable — or until all of the questions leak out as happened with the previous test. That way one can simply study the question bank. (No one in my group of four passed, no surprise).


Bank dealings with Cooperativa CREA?

Hello, I read in this forum a few weeks ago a post about Cooperativa CREA, with Agent Giovanna, near Huayna Capap, was wondering if any of you have opened a Bank account? Long term CD? Was the rate 9%? Did you have any issues with wiring money to the account from overseas bank? Any info and personal experience about this cooperativa and agent please share or send me an email. Thanks in advance.

Kleber Delgado: .

City: Cuenca

AirBNB Cuenca

Hey, guys! If you are so kind as to help me filling out this 4 minute AirBNB survey, I would greatly appreciate it. It’s for a study about AirBNB use here in Cuenca.

Link to survey:

Thank you in advance to all of those who help me out!


Mountain trail run, Nov. 21-26?

Hi! Anyone interested in joining/guiding me for a run/hike on some of the trails near Cuenca? I’m free most times, most days through November 26. Ideally, something that’ll take 2-5 hours, preferably with some views. I’m an experienced mountain-trail runner from Colorado but not especially fast and am always happy to hike (especially the climbs!) to suit the terrain and mood.

I speak and understand Spanish reasonably well, if that helps. And I’ll cover any transportation/food costs for the day out. Let’s get out!

Mike Randall

Latest citizenship test?

Has anyone taken the citizenship test lately? My test is this week (Thanksgiving Day) and I’m panicking. Any info would be helpful. To be clear, I understand that the test has been re-made, therefore the old bank of questions circulating from a few years ago would not be helpful – hence my concern.

Any info would be so appreciated.


Guidance for SSA “Proof of Life” form filing

Help! Can anyone give me updated information about filing this? If I understand correctly, since we don’t have mail service, it can be filed with the office in Santo Domingo, but I can’t seem to get any information from them.

Thanks in advance,

Reid Tanner

US Social Security reps coming to Ecuador

Message for US Citizens: US Social Security Administration – Regional Federal Benefits Unit, December 5-9, 2022 Visit to Ecuador:

Locations: Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Quito

Event: The US Embassy in Quito and the US Consulate General in Guayaquil are pleased to announce that representatives from the Regional Federal Benefits Unit will visit Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Quito from December 5-9 to offer services for beneficiaries or individuals with questions regarding US Social Security and other federal benefits.

Guayaquil: December 5-6
US Consulate General, Calle Santa Ana y Av. José Rodríguez Bonin


Piedra de Agua question

Hello everyone, So, my cousin is coming to visit and I would like to take him and his wife to Piedra de Agua.

I would like to know what day is best to go where the water is at its cleanest and hottest. Any help is greatly appreciated,

Cheryl DeWitt

Health Insurance advice please

Could I please receive recommendations on what health insurance I should get? I assume there is a lot of expat experience of people who already dealt with this issue, so I would appreciate some recommendations on what health insurance I should get.

I am moving to Cuenca in December and planning to get a 2-year temporary resident visa. I am 75-years-old, in good health, no pre-existing conditions, exercise a lot. What should I get in the way of short-term health insurance as my visa is being processed. And what health insurance should I get once I get my 22-year visa.

Many thanks for everyone’s assistance,

Ted Hazard

Plexiglass, acrylic

I need 15 small pieces of plexiglass/acrylic cut so I can build dust covers for my miniature dollhouses. Does anyone know where I could get these? Someone made all of the sneeze protectors for the pandemic, so I’m hoping it’s someone local. Please reply by email. Thanks for your help!


You entered Ecuador with a passport but you are irregular?

Hello everyone, for the people that have entered Ecuador with a passport but are now considered irregular:

As of November 16, 2022, there is now a legal way to register to live legally in Ecuador without leaving Ecuador and without paying fines.

“Foreign citizens of another nationality (not just Venezuelans) who have registered their entry through an official migratory control point, will be able to begin their registration process as of November 16, 2022, to comply with the registry of migratory permanence.”


New 2022 Citizenship Test

Has anyone taken the NEW 2022 Citizenship Test?

I’m wondering if anyone has taken the test, or knows anyone who has taken it, or has even heard anything about it.

The Ministerio emailed me last week informing me that my test is in 30 days (November 24th – Thanksgiving, heh). They included a mountain of materials to study (all in Spanish, of course). There is so much material that I’m getting nervous.

Any info would be very appreciated.

(I have seen many multiple choice questions from the old test, but supposedly it has had a makeover).



Can or must foreigners vote in the coming Ecuador elections?

Hi all,

This question was called to my attention, and, this is what I know:

Ecuador’s Constitution: Article 63, page 31: Foreigners living in Ecuador, have the right to vote, after 5 years living in Ecuador.

And, we have the CNE, Consejo Nacional Electoral, Elections National Council, and the Regulation created by the CNE is into the Official Gazzette,
Page 4, Article 11th, of the Organic Democracy Code, regulates the foreigners’ access to vote in Ecuador: from 16 years old, and after being in Ecuador 5 years.

And art. 78, page 22. regulates how the foreigners are registered to vote: The Civil Registry will send to the CNE the list of Ecuadorians, from 16 years old, and with the obligation to vote. Foreigners will have to do a voluntary registration, in order to vote.


Alex Mejia, I-tech

I have a time urgent, very important need but am unable to reach Alex. Does anyone know if he is all right, or is out of town?


Podiatrist, Dr. Marko

A few years ago I heard of Dr. Marko’s practice at Casa de la Diabetes. Does anyone know if he is still in practice here, and if so, how to contact his office? Or of another podiatrist here?


What is going on with Amazon?

I ordered 6 supplements that were divided into 2 orders; then into 3. There were ultimately 5 changes, and I was just notified that the last bottle that was changed to be delivered Wednesday, Nov. 9 rather than being delivered with one of the other divided orders, is now to be delivered to the courier tomorrow, Monday, instead of Wednesday. It is difficult for me to keep the courier informed of all the changes, and for them.

The Amazon notices state that the orders are being delivered by Amazon. Am wondering if Amazon uses USPS and that is the problem and Xmas shopping. I will hold off on re-ordering for a while.


We are thinking of seeing the Galapagos

Hi Gringo community. We are thinking of seeing the Galapagos. We are residents with visas. Please share any suggestions or warnings. Thanks so much!


Best way to ship items to the US

We are wanting to ship some items home. Pictures. blankets paintings jackets and wondering what is the best way to do it. Thanks,

Randy Reese

Coming to Vilcabamba from Cuenca?

Hi, is anyone coming to Vilcabamba from Cuenca anytime soon? I have a cell phone I need brought down and would be happy to pay you. Let me know.


Jan Wallace

Need information on heater repair

I own a Ragatzi propane heater. It used to work fine, however now it will not stay lit. Does anyone know who I can call to repair it?

Robert OHara

Seasickness medication

I ordered patches for seasickness but because of the holidays this week my order will not arrive in time for my upcoming cruise. (Leave November 7th.). I cannot use an antihistamine drug and only have on hand crystalized ginger and chewing gum.

Does anyone know if something like the patches is available in Cuenca?

Many thanks for taking time to answer,


Taxi to Dos Chorreras from Cuenca and back

Hello All: I’m wondering if it is possible to take a taxi, (preferably Azu Taxi) from downtown Cuenca to Dos Chorreras in the Cajas, have lunch there and wander the grounds, and then summon another taxi, (preferably Azul again) 3 or 4 hours later from Dos Chorreras and return to Cuenca. I’m thinking about taking an excursion there with a couple of friends, and have some hesitancy, due to my limited knowledge of Spanish, and don’t want to get stranded in the Cajas or something like that. Any help and current information would greatly be appreciated! Thanks in advance.


Travel from Cuenca to Guayaquil

What is the best and safest way to travel from Cuenca to Guayaquil? Is it safe for a gringo to drive since they closed the highway in Cajas National Forest?

Shammi Talreja

Good quality laundry soap that actually cleans clothes?

Does anyone know of a good laundry soap brand one can purchase here in Cuenca? I have yet to find one that actually gets my clothes clean and removes general everyday stains from the fabric.

Any suggestions will be very much appreciated.


New rule for obtaining IVA refunds on physical invoices

A newspaper article in El Mercurio early this week mentioned that as of October 18 IVA refunds on physical invoices could no longer be requested online. Instead the “tramites” would require a personal visit to the SRI office. I have no information on how this process works and which form is required.
I can confirm that indeed the SRI website no longer has an option for submitting information on physical invoices.

Eric Fraterman: .

City: Cuenca

Question about shipping for expats

Hi, I have been quoted between $7,000 to $8,000 to ship a 7×7 pallet to Ecuador. This is too much and I don’t need to ship that much stuff.

However, there are things I want to bring. Not a ton, but stuff like my sewing machine, some personal stuff, etc. I know the laws about imports through DHL, etc., with the under $400 costs but here is my question:

Are there any other options to ship stuff that falls in the middle of both of these options?

I am trying to bring as little as possible but packing a sewing machine in a suitcase, for example, isn’t possible. I don’t even think you can ship a box on an airplane through baggage like the old days.

Any expats who have found other alternatives? I would be grateful for the information.


“Small pet ok” question about rentals

Hi all, I’m still in the US and looking at rentals, I often see “small pet okay” with rental advertisements more often than anything else. I have a small dog of 15 pounds and a 30-pound dog too. How rigid is this “small pet okay” rule. Have other expats answered ads with this caveat and found two dogs are allowed?

Any advice would be appreciated.



I’m still in the States and throwing out questions so I can sleep at night. I am sure many of you had all sorts of questions pop in your head late at night before you left.

I’m not the best dishwasher and one thing I’m going to have a hard time with is not having a dishwasher. Has anyone purchased a dishwasher and had it put in a rental? If so, how did you find someone to install it, how was the landlord about it being installed, and was it an issue to install?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!