How do I receive text messages from my bank

I have magicJack and a Claro number here in Ecuador. I can’t receive the text messages so I can set up my account. What are others using?

Sharon Burns

Question about IESS and base salary

Recently someone posted information about the rise in the base salary and the new amount to be paid to IESS. What is the new base salary?



Temporary visa

Can anyone tell me where this information can be verified? I am in a situation where I need to return to the US and get the remainder of my musical equipment, and personal belongings. I am in the process of getting my temporary resident visa. My tourist visa extension ends in March.

1st question: if paperwork is submitted to start the temporary residency visa, will I have to leave in March?

2nd question: is the following information accurate? Thanks in advance.

Temporary Residency Visas (generally valid for 2 years of residency):


Wes the Mentalist needs your write-in

Hard to believe, but GringoPost overlooked having a category for Best Mentalist. You have the opportunity to “write” this injustice. Thanks in advance. I know who you are…Wes.

Wes Elliott: .

City: Cuenca

Tested positive for Omicron. Now what?

What is the protocol for someone with Omicron? Do I need to see a doctor, self quarantine? Mild symptoms (with 2 Pfizer vaccines). Appreciate any assistance. Thank you,

Martin P Doherty: .

City: Cuenca

Using Hulu in Cuenca

Has anyone in Cuenca had success viewing the programs on Hulu without being in North America? What do you use to access it?
Thank you,

Harry Windsor: .

City: Cuenca

ATM withdrawal amounts/fees

Which Cuenca Bank allows the greatest ATM withdrawal amount? What is the amount allowed per day/per transaction? What are the ATM fees associated with the withdrawals? Thank you for your help.

Shirley Smith

Looking to speak with anyone currently volunteering in Cuenca

Hi folks, I’m writing an article about current volunteer opportunities for expats here in Cuenca. If you are currently volunteering at any of the following organizations, and would not mind if I were to contact you to ask a few questions about your experience(s), please email me or send me a quick WhatsApp message. Thank you.

– Hearts of Gold
– Hogar Esperanza
– Mujeres con Exito
– Cuenca Soup Kitchen
– Fundación ARCA

Thank you very much (in advance)!

Fiona Mitchell
099 071 3501

Medicare Insurance

Does anyone know how a person can put their Medicare insurance on “hold” while working in Ecuador and not be penalized when/if they return to the States?


City: Cuenca

Looking for some advice

Is there anyone experienced in Ecuador real estate who would be willing to hop on the phone for 30 minutes? Looking for some advice regarding property purchase in the Quito area.


Anyone have knowledge about Ecuadorian Condo Associations?

I recently watched an Ecuador home buying video, and it mentioned to be careful buying in condos as there is a weak HOA structure in Ecuador to enforce rules, or collect HOA fees from delinquent homeowners…

Anyone have any experience or advice to share? I see several realtors posting on here.

Thank you,


Need address of New Thought, spiritual group meeting this coming Sunday

On Wednesday, January 12th, Ruth Bennett posted an upcoming spiritual study group meeting this coming Sunday. It is to be held in the area of Fernando de Aragon y Primero de Mayo. She asked to text her to get the specific address. I was unable to text via WhatsApp, but did text her sms. I have not heard back as to the location of the meeting and would very much like to attend. I hope to hear back from Ruth.

Thank you in advance.

Luisa Nelson
099 870 3577/ WhatsApp, as well

Medical exemption vaccine

Concerned about the vaccine. It is mandatory. I would like to know where I can obtain a document to not get the vaccine, an exemption from the vaccine. Thanks for your help.

Juan Diego

A few questions from a newbie

Hello everyone:

Do you suggest having a US number for banking purposes? Although I have Traveling Mailbox, how do you get credit cards through the mail? I am still waiting, over a month to receive a letter, registered mail, from the US.

Your answers are always helpful.


2% withholding on interest of a CDP?

If a CDP is short-term, then 2% of the interest is withheld. This can only be gotten back if you file an Ecuadorian income tax return.

Some coops say it will be withheld if the term of the CDP is less than 1 year.
Others say withheld if term is less than 6 months.
Anyone know what is correct?


Registering a “foreign” vaccination certificate with the government?

An ad yesterday read: Registering a “foreign” vaccination certificate with the government. To register a vaccination received in another country enter the requested data in the following web site. The process was fairly straightforward. They recommend using Firefox browser (which I did). Scan your vaccination card too since they ask you to upload the file.

Well guess what? Using Firefox I was able to access the site, but it would never send me the code needed to verify my email. With internet explorer or Google Chrome, I could get the code but could never advance to the page to put it in. So, I thought I was smarter than a 5th grader. I entered my information on Internet Explorer and got the code. But the Firefox application ejected it! I gave up!


Beware the SuperMaxi shopping bag scam

Today I went to SuperMaxi, Las Americas, only to be told I would have to buy a shopping bag, at $3 per bag. I’d made bulky purchases, so I was going to need four. Twelve dollars extra on an $88 purchase! Early a 15% penalty, for what?

As I asked what had happened, I was told they were “out of bags.” And yet, I saw every single customer and every single shopping trolley leaving with the standard blue plastic funditas — at least a dozen customers. Only I was being denied these bags. When I told the cashier to return my credit card and keep the groceries, she miraculously found blue plastic shopping bags, and plenty of them.


City: Cuenca

Car accident

While driving, I got hit from behind by a reckless driver as I was turning left. Car repair estimate $10K to $15K. No insurance from both involved. The guilty party stated to a policeman that it was my fault. My abogado tells me it’s 50-50 to win. Has anyone gone thru car accidents and won the damages? How realistic is to get dinero?

Andrei Vankov

COVID testing requirements for entering Ecuador

The US Embassy website list some requirements for entering Ecuador. It currently says you need a negative RT-PCR type test withing 72 hours.

I’m having a lot of trouble getting RT-PCR testing with expedited results. Has anyone had any success with the Rapid Antigen test?

If RT-PCR is really the only path, any tips you can share for getting expedited results?


Bus map

Can anyone tell me where to get a bus map for local Cuenca buses? Thank you!

Kevin OKane: .

City: Cuenca

Gramm Bulk Shop and Gracie’s Naturals tienda

What has happened to Gramm Bulk Shop? Went by today and it wasn’t open.

Does anyone know the days and hours of Gracie’s Natural tienda on Hermano Miguel? Went by today and it was not open.

Both after 10 AM


Any game players in town?

Hi all, I enjoy playing games from time to time. Nothing too serious and I just enjoy the conversation, sometimes even more than the games. But if you know how to play Farkle, Euchre, Tripoley, Po-Ke-No, Yahtzee, or any other type of card or dice games, I’d appreciate hearing from you.
Maybe even some Cards Against Humanity, You Don’t Know Jack or video games would be fun too.

I just feel stuck in a rut, sometimes, trying to meet new people and games like these are fun to me and I’ve enjoyed playing them with others back in the States. Also, if anyone has a Wii system, I have quite a few games for it but sadly, I didn’t have space in my luggage to bring a console.

Life’s too short to be seriously competitive all the time and some of us (me) aren’t in prime physical shape to be overly active. If you’re interested, or think you might be, hit that reply button now! Operators are standing by to welcome you!



GYE airport hotel question

Leaving Cuenca for trip via GYE. Any suggestions for a hotel I can safely walk (at 5:30 AM) to the international terminal in GYE with suitcases?

Also has anyone heard if there’s a site in the airport offering rapid result COVID test for flight back to USA? Thanks


Best Health Insurance Coverage

I need help choosing the best health insurance coverage for my husband and myself. We are both healthy.

Over 30 months, we’ve gone from Confiamed to IESS to BMI. We switched to BMI because we thought it was the same as United Healthcare. It’s not.

I’m ready to change insurers — again. What is the best way to make sure all major accidents and illnesses are covered? I’m ready to pay out of pocket for the small stuff. The important thing is to be protected.

I want to say, Blue Box Insurance have been very helpful brokers. But it’s still confusing. I’m embarrassed to show up at their door again. Mostly because of the issues I’ve had with BMI Insurance.

I appreciate your advice.


Looking for best English TV programs

Now that a local cable TV service is dropping another 10 or so star channels and adding more soccer (again!), we are wondering what you use for your television service? If it’s satellite, we’d love to know how your reception is on heavily overcast days, too. Though we are fluent in Spanish, it is relaxing to watch programming in English. Appreciate your thoughts.


Steam iron repair

If you live in Cuenca and have had a steam iron successfully repaired, please comment with the name and contact information of a reliable repair service, thank you!

Marshall and Nadine

Condo lease

Does anyone know the email address for Liz, the manager at Condominio Terraza in gringolandia? Moving back to Cuenca; want to check for available units for lease.



WhatsApp: 1 503 901 3432

Sunday dinner?

Greetings and a Wonderful New Years to you all.

I would like to ask for info/recommendations on restaurants that are open for dinner on Sundays in Cuenca. If you know the closing hours, that would be very helpful. Most of the places I keep finding close around 4 PM.

Thank you,


Business question

I was wondering what the cost of renting space for a business is; from a 10 x 10 foot private office to a 1000 sq. foot space in a shopping area.

Any pricing information would be helpful, just trying to get an idea of the market here in Cuenca.



New Year’s Eve Celebration

Good morning, Have any of you celebrated New Year’s Eve in the hotel Oro Verde? Is it worth $100? Thanks,

Carlos Lizarraga

City: Cuenca

2 weeks Ecuador

I am planning my trip in the middle of January and will be for two weeks on the mainland in Ecuador before the Galapagos.

I have the following ideas:

Quito – 2 nights
Amazon/Cuyabeno – 4 nights
Cotopaxi – 2 nights
Quilotoa – 2 nights

and from Quilotoa I would like to go to Cuenca for the rest of the days. Would you recommend taking a bus to Quito airport and then fly to Cuenca


go from Quilotoa to Latacunga, then to Banos (stay 1 night) and take the bus to Cuenca the next day? Alternatively I could also go with the bus on the same day from Quilotoa to Cuenca.

Also, do you have any experiences with the Amazon during the middle of January? Will it be already dry?

What would you advise?


Home and business wood-fired oven users

I would like to do a story on people who use a wood-fired oven and I need your help.
My questions are simple:

What tools are needed, your personal tales and experiences, how you keep your kitchen clean of ashes, how often you use it, and your recommendations.
Please contact me as you have time. I am eager to chat with y’all.

Thanks a bundle, Robert

Robert Bradley

How to handle a warranty repair with a laptop from the US

Looking for feedback on how to handle a warranty repair from Ecuador to US
Laptop in Cuenca. Problem with screen, covered under warranty by
Lenovo US.

Suggestions on how to handle this; shipping / receiving, etc.

Submitted on behalf of an Ecuadorian friend,

Jim: .

City: Cuenca

Dermatologist Recommendation

Any dermatologist recommendations in Cuenca? I get Basel Cell skin cancer and require skin exams and occasional surgery for removal. Thanks,


Mandatory vaccination

Here is a copy in English of the Notice requiring vaccination. Please notice the Exemptions for Government.

Quito, December 23, 2021

In Ecuador, vaccination against COVID-19 is mandatory. This decision was made due to the current epidemiological status, that is, the increase in infections and the circulation of new variants of ‘concern’, such as Ómicron. In addition, it obeys the international trend that shows the speed of contagion and the pressure on health services that have high demand for hospitalization.

Ecuador has the amount of biologics necessary to immunize the entire population. These aspects are contemplated in the Mandatory Guidelines for vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. The document was issued by the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) on December 23, 2021.

The measure has a legal basis. In numeral 4 of article 6 of the Organic Health Law it is read “declare the mandatory nature of immunizations against certain diseases, under the terms and conditions that the national and local epidemiological reality requires; define the standards and the basic national immunization scheme; and, to provide the population with the necessary elements to fulfill it at no cost ”.

Likewise, in the Constitution of the Republic, in its article 32, it is detailed that it is a right that the State guarantees through public policies, programs, actions and timely services for the promotion and comprehensive health care.

For its part, in paragraph 7 of article 83 of the Magna Carta, it is the duty of Ecuadorians to promote the common good and put the general interest before the particular interest.

In several European countries this measure will be implemented. In Germany, Austria and Greece, vaccination against COVID-19 is planned to be mandatory in early 2022.

Alexander Schallenberg, Austria’s Acting Chancellor, noted on December 19 that “despite months of persuasion, we have not been able to convince enough people to get vaccinated.” 66% of the population of that nation had the complete vaccination schedule in mid-November.

The Ecuadorian document includes the resolutions of the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) of December 21, 2021. Among them, the mandatory presentation of the vaccination card or certificate in public areas or for non-essential activities; Those dedicated to health, education, work and public services are exempt. At the same time, the surveillance and control by the authorities who will be in charge of the application of the provisions of this document.

Immunization will not be mandatory for people with any medical condition or contraindication. To do this, they must present a certificate.

The MSP reminds citizens that vaccination is a shield of protection against the disease. It helps to avoid serious illness, hospitalization and, therefore, the death of those infected, especially priority groups, such as the elderly and those with aggravating diseases.

As of Tuesday, December 21, 12.4 million people have the complete scheme (two doses). It represents 77.2% of the 16 million inhabitants that make up the target population to be vaccinated (from 5 years of age).

Epidemiological situation of the country

After the holidays for the Day of the Dead, Independence of Cuenca and Fundación se Quito, there has been an increase in cases of COVID-19. Between December 20 and 21 there was an increase of 467 infections in the country, according to the latest report published on December 22.

There was also an increase in the occupation of beds in the medical units. In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the percentage ranges between 24 and 77% in the health establishments of the comprehensive health network, which groups together medical units of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS ), Social Security Institute of the National Police (ISSPOL), Social Security Institute of the Armed Forces (ISSFA) and private clinics.


Galapagos and Cuenca advice

Hi forum,

I have some questions regarding my upcoming trip:

– I will be in Cuenca before my flight to the Galapagos from Guayaquil. The flight leaves GYE at 11:42 AM – is it doable from Cuenca the same morning if I take an early bus? What time would you recommend to leave and how long is the bus ride from Cuenca to Guayaquil?

– How many nights would you recommend spending in Cuenca? Are 3 nights enough?

– Would you recommend to spend 9 or 10 days in the Galpagos (land-based)? If I go for 10 days I’d have to skip Banos on the mainland…


What’s open on Christmas?

I know a few restaurants will be open but how about buses? Taxi service? PedidosYa? Tiendas? And will things revert to normal the day after or will the Christmas holiday be celebrated throughout the weekend? Thanks for sharing your knowledge and Merry Christmas!



How do I read the comments on this site? Thank you!

Kevin OKane

Editor’s Note: To see comments, click on the title of the ad in question and that ad and its comments will be displayed. At the bottom of the comments, click on the “Click here to read all today’s posts” button to return to the previous screen.

Tourist visa – US and Ukrainian passports

I am a dual citizen. Can I enter to Ecuador second time in a calendar year using my second passport in attempt to extend my stay? Would they have any records on that regard?


City: Ibarra

Tranvia rides expired

So, 3 months ago we finally got our cards for the Tranvia. Bought 20 rides, took about 8 rides in total, and last week attempted to use the tram and the reader said I was out of rides. There was an option at the station to get a printed record of my balance. It showed my card expiring in 10 years, but showed that my unused rides had in fact, expired 8 weeks after purchasing them. Grrrrrr. I had not used the bus since my first visit in 2019, and those fares were still good. So, I have ditched the Tranvia in favor of the bus. Lesson learned: Don’t load up your Tranvia card, at least not unless you know you are going to use those rides within the next 8 weeks. If anyone knows of a way to purchase “non-expiring” Tranvia rides, I am “all ears” (or would that be all eyes?).

Steve G

City: Cuenca

Quito: Teleferico and Middle of the World

Hello, everyone. Over the holidays, we’ll be visiting Quito for a bit. We’d like to visit Teleferico and Middle of the World. Will we need reservations, or can we just show up?



Banco Pichincha email alerts

Up until a couple months ago, I had been receiving email alerts when I made ATM withdrawals. For some reason I no longer receive these alerts.

Can I reinstate this desired feature online, or must I go into a branch?

Thank you,


What are vet care expenses like in Cuenca?

I would appreciate it if someone can give me general cost of vet care, such as general visits, dental cleanings under anesthesia, vaccinations, etc. and procedures your pet may have had, etc.

And what are dog food costs generally for good quality food; both wet and dry?

Thank you so much.


Temporary high speed internet service

Looking for reliable, high speed internet service (200 MBS or better) for a 2/3 month period every year. Any suggestions? I would rather own the equipment and not have to deal with returning each time I suspend the service.


Do you have CD investments?

How long do you plan to keep your fixed-term investment in Ecuador? What if the government re-introduces a ‘sucre’ to replace the US dollar, while your CD is locked in a 12 or even 18 month term?

Shawn H

City: Cuenca

What are vet care expenses like in Cuenca?

I would appreciate it if someone can give me the general cost of vet care, such as general visits, dental cleanings under anesthesia, vaccinations, etc. and procedures your pet may have had, etc.

And what are dog food costs generally for good quality food, both wet and dry?

Thank you so much.


Legal issues?

Does anyone know if it is legal for a residential building to allow a business with no direct street access on the ground floor?

Diane: .

City: Cuenca

When can I return to Ecuador as a Canadian tourist?

Hello and happy holidays gringos,

I left Ecuador on June 30th, 2021 after being there as a Canadian tourist.

1. After how long will I be able to return to Ecuador without applying for a tourist visa?
2. In case a tourist visa is required, can I apply for a tourist visa in person or is it possible to get an evisa online.

Thank you and stay safe,


Orthopedic shoes?

A few years ago there was a store here that made these. Does anyone know if they are still available?

Thanks for your response.


Traveling within Ecuador

Hi, does anyone know is it difficult to get to Vilcabamba from Cuenca? What would be the best option to do this, and how long is the journey?

Thanks so much,


Travel to the coast?

Google maps sends me through Canar to get to Guayaquil because of the closure of the Cajas pass road. However, someone told a friend that the road through Canar is in bad shape. Can anyone tell me what the problems are with going through Canar?

Thanks in advance?

Leita Hulmes

PCR test?

Where can I get a PCR test that has results within a few hours, for a flight?


Question about covid recovery

Hello everyone. What about those of us who have natural immunity (antibody) after covid recovery and have certificate of recovery and doctor’s proof of ability to travel? Is it more work to provide a certificate of recovery instead of a vaccination card? (PCR negative test + travel declaration of course). Any information deeply appreciated.


Need to fill/share a shipping container to the US

I am heading back to California, and looking to fill a shipping container going to CA/US. I am in Quito, and can be flexible with any options. What I am looking to ship is mostly clothes and jewelry. If anyone knows how I can find a way to fill a container, I would greatly appreciate any recommendations!



Ddebit card and ATM use

I am relocating to Cuenca early 2022 and would like any information on the best and most accepted debit card to use to access cash from the ATM in Cuenca? I was told Charles Schwab was widely accepted and credits any fees for international ATM use, any other suggestions?


Sean Doherty

Sick of landlords stealing

Does anybody know what recourse tenants have when landlords arbitrarily retain all or part of a deposit? Thank you for any knowledge or experience you can share.


Customary Christmas tipping in Cuenca

I’m confused as to what amount is customary for Christmas tipping for, let’s say, your cleaning person, the doorman or security in your building, and the building’s cleaning person.

Please let me know your thoughts, traditions or what is customary.


Eva Hollister

AA meetings in Cuenca?

I will be arriving in Cuenca, and will be looking for my daily meeting in Spanish or English.

Do you have a listing or contact? Thank you for your help in this matter.

Phil D Hudanish


Does anybody know of an English speaking nutritionist in Cuenca? If yes, can you please post the email address and / or phone number.

Joseph F Tana

Social Security office in Santo Domingo

Seeking comments from anyone with experience making contact or getting a call back from the Social Security office in Santo Domingo, DR.

I have sent emails to and made many phone calls (Mon/Thurs (9 AM – noon) without success.

Please let me know your experience


City: Cuenca

JEP online banking; worth the hassle?

I use an Android 10 tablet and an Android 10 smart phone. Apparently I need to download the JEP Movil app on my smart phone and the JEP Token app on either device to set up online banking, which I haven’t done yet.

A November 13 GringoPost thread mentioned several obstacles, including using a VPN. My VPN (which I’m very happy with) doesn’t have any Ecuador IP options.

Should I pass on pursuing online banking and simply occasionally check my balance at the branch or pay 30¢ to check my balance at the ATM?

Thank you,


The perfect location in Cuenca

My partner and I just moved here, from Chile. (We are US citizens, have been expats for many years). We got an apartment that is walking distance to practically anything we could want. Yet at night, well, at least after 10:30 or so, the sound of the river flowing is about all we hear through our open window. Within 2 blocks of our apartment, there is also a large park, about 20 places to eat, and a military hospital, which means there are military guards around, making it very safe. and in 3 blocks, a bank and a supermarket. 5 blocks to the main university! Yes, the prices are a little higher than other parts of Cuenca. But the peace of mind, safety even at night, and quiet flurry of the river makes it like being in a small town, without the inconvenience of not having full access to modern culture and assets. We were in Guayaquil for a month before moving here, and the difference is stark! from ugly to beautiful.

Read more….

Storage inside, safe and secure

I have space for storage in El Centro for short or long-term. Please contact me via email.

Thank you,

Karen: 095 886 6091. Call after: 9 AM.

City: Cuenca

Mask wearing

Why is it that the people I see not wearing masks seem to be gringos or expats? Might I remind all that we are guests in this country and should abide by the unwritten laws and customs of this country; which, in this case is, WEAR A MASK please.

Garry Kaulitz

City: Cuenca

Instant Pot – Yes, you can find them in Ecuador

Yesterday, someone posted asking if Instant Pots are available in Ecuador.

Instant pots recently arrived in Ecuador. I’ve seen them in Eljuri. If you’re in Cuenca, there are several Eljuri stores – the most convenient one is on Parque Calderon. They are not the Instant Pot brand, but two other brands.

You’re welcome,


City: Cuenca

Cuenca to Guayaquil

As the road from Cuenca to Guayaquil is dangerous, are the buses using the longer route automatically?

Richard Keye

Covid test for Airline from Cuenca to Quito

Does anyone have recent experience in flying in country? What type of test do they require to board the plane – can an antibody test be used as well as a PCA? Does anyone have a recommendation for a lab? Thank you for your help.


US surplus payments not received

I have never received the payment offered last Spring nor the one for last week, either by mail or direct deposit where my SS is paid. I have spent a great deal of time online trying to find the short answer in vain. Has anyone else experienced this or been able to resolve the problem? Thanks for your time.



What is the average turnover rate for expats in Ecuador? Meaning return to their home countries.


Amazon Prime

Never lose or forget your password for Amazon login. There is a whole new safety measure where I had to “jump through hoops” to prove I was not a hacker.
My username, my personal address, my integrity and my mind were all at stake. There are puzzles that I defy anyone to try to figure out the first time, just to be able to change the password. I was required to play a few visual and/or auditory puzzle games before Amazon was sure that I had spent enough money in the last 10 years to put Beso into space. These were the dumbest visual games imaginable. I finally unearthed a phone number and got someone on the line to help. Support had me hold while he checked my information. I shut all the tabs and started from scratch. After a fairly long interrogative consultation where I had to prove that I was me, he took me off hold and walked me through sign on. I was smart enough to get 6 puzzle questions correct. The Amazon website decided that I was safe enough to be allowed to make a new password. I finally got in.

Suzanne Cerny: .

City: Cuenca

Expats overcharged

Hi all,

I’ve been noticing many ads in different media resources and I just would like to let you know that some of the products and services offered are highly overpriced.

The other day I saw an ad in a gringo page about a XXX product. I contacted the person who was offering it and he gave me a quotation of $140. I thought it was a bit too much and by the way, I am a Cuencana, so, I told him it was too much. He said, well everyone pays. Not me.

I contacted another person who does not advertise in any gringo page and she made the same item for $48.

So, my advice is just shop around. Don’t just pay.

Sole Riquetti: 098 945 6551. Call after: 10 AM.

City: Cuenca

Air flights

Just wondering if anyone knows what is happening with the flights that were talked about between Cuenca and Guayaquil Airport? Now would be a great time since the main road of travel is closed.

Anthony: .

City: Cuenca

Take Anonymous Posters With A Grain Of Salt – Part 2

On Friday, Nov.19, there was a post from Teresa Durrant entitled, “Take Anonymous Posters With A Grain Of Salt”. A woman obviously fed up with the rude, crude, nasty, mean spirited, obnoxious comments from gringos who feel it is their right to insult and defecate on the people who use this site to post helpful information to the expat community. I applaud Teresa Durrant for her bravery and honesty in bringing this issue to light.


Mercado Libre purchase gone bad

Just wondering if anyone has had a bad experience with using the online shopping site Mercado Libre?

We transferred funds from JEP to Bank of Pichincha but have not received our item.

Any suggestions on how to report this issue would be appreciated. Share your experiences please.

Thank you for your help.


Power of Attorney (Registro Civil)

I’m a US born citizen and earlier in the year received my dual citizenship in Ecuador. However, I need them to correct my name on my Ecuadorian birth certificate and the consulate told me that it can only be changed from the Registro Civil in Ecuador. Since I am in and live in the US, I can only do this via a power of attorney with someone in Ecuador. I can ask a family member to be my POA but I was told that there is a specific template for a letter that my family member can use to make the change on my behalf.

Would anyone know of or have the letter/template I can use in Spanish to enable my family member to act on my behalf on Ecuador at the Registro Civil?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,


City: Cuenca

Take anonymous posters with a grain of salt

As an expat living in Cuenca for nearly 10 years, I am always surprised at the level of snarkiness found in some of the comments to questions found on this site. Most of them are from people posting anonymously and several act like they are experts on everything.

By far the majority of expats are helpful and leading productive lives in this wonderful city. Don’t get put off by nasty ones that hide who they are.

Teresa Durrant

City: Cuenca

Considering a move to Ecuador

Hi! I am an American looking to relocate next summer or fall. Looking for recommendations for visa lawyer, moving company, realtor, and such. I have a small amount of stuff to ship from the States; trying to get it smaller. Probably stay in a furnished place until I find what I’m looking for, then move to an unfurnished. Looking at Vilcabamba or another warm area, but a reasonable distance from Cuenca. Don’t need beach. Have small pets. Would like a vibrant community with some amenities but prefer not to be in a high rise. Need a walkable area or good transit to stores, etc. Any recommendations greatly appreciated!


Travel from Guayaquil to Cuenca

Planning a trip to Ecuador flying into Guayaquil. What is the best way to get to Cuenca? Can you recommend a car/taxi service?


Salsa dancing in Cuenca

Anyone know a bar/disco for salsa dancing for a crowd that’s a bit older? With, say, a fair number of people north of 40-50? Thanks. — Greg


Internet banking log in problems

I am unable to log into the enlinea services of JEP as well as Cooperco.

Is anyone else having the same problem?

For JEP I get an internal server error message and for Cooperco I get a privacy error message as if the system has been hacked.

I am not in Ecuador right now and wanted to check the balance in my accounts. The mobile application for JEP is not working either.

I did read about the Banco Pichincha cyber attack. Have these cooperativas been affected as well? A bit worried…

Appreciate any advice or feedback.


Expat Cuenca

JEP Bank cut their service to pay the water bill

Where do I go to pay the water bill? Is there a water company? JEP said to find another cooperative bank to pay it. Does anyone know of the coop bank called CREA? It has some interesting architecture from a nationwide call for a design. Very nice. But where do I pay the water bill for my rented condo?


Suzanne Cerny

Collecting CDs that you no longer use

Hello everybody. We are collecting CDs that you no longer use and you want to get rid of.

You can leave them at Huma, at Luis Cordero and Presidente Cordova next to Movistar. Another place is Garasa, at Calle Larga and Vargas Machuca. If you have a lot of CDs we can go to your house too.

Besides that, we invite you to check the exhibition that we have at the moment at Huma. From small things, clothing, small sculptures to furniture and lighting.

We are opened from 10 AM to 7 PM, from Monday to Saturday.

Pablo: 099 830 0338. Call after: 10 AM.

City: Cuenca

Acupuncture for chronic cervical disease?

I would like to know if anyone with cervical pain and chronic condition has benefited from acupuncture and if there is an acupuncture provider in Cuenca. Thanks for any input.

Dodd Sheikh WhatsApp +1 310 404 6972

Proof of vaccination?

Has anyone used a copy of their proof of vaccination on their phone to get the booster? Or is the original required?

Ted Behr:

Attempting a 4×4 import using various courier services

It’s great Ecuador removed the $42 tariff on import Category B, items less than $400 and weighing less than 4kg, AKA 4×4. But try creating an order of multiple items that complies from the courier’s perspective, which is an order must arrive to them in a single package. When was the last time your Amazon order of multiple items was shipped in a single package? Here’s my experience:

Clickbox: Advertises their rate is $40 for 4×4. But the fine print they don’t talk about is a package consolidation fee of $30, bringing the rate up to their per pound fee. They do order management via email and your total is unknown until you pick it up or have it delivered. Clickbox used to provide excellent service when they started. With my last order last week, they didn’t even bother to contact me that it was in. I just showed up in their office because WhatsApp texts and emails, politely composed in Spanish, went unanswered.


October 26, 27 meetings?

Good morning. I read the many announcements about the meeting that was to share a “new” law (that you may never have heard of), requiring residents of Ecuador to disclose their world-wide assets to the SRI. Unfortunately, I was out of province, and unable to attend. I’ve asked some attendees (including a local accountant), what this means to ordinary expats, but am still left with unanswered concerns.

I’d like to hear your conclusions.

Sieg Braun

Authentication of documents in Canada?

I will be needing a legalized certificate of marriage to obtain my Ecuador cedula. I have hired a facilitator but is unable to answer the following question:

Will the consulate in Ottawa accept for legalization a marriage certificate that is authenticated by my province rather than from foreign affairs?

I tried emailing and calling the consulate many times and they do not reply to mail or return calls.

Foreign affairs has a 35 business day processing time and the province is only 5 days.

Anyone have experience with this?



City Hall and condos?

There are municipal laws regarding condos. How does one get an appointment with the City Hall attorney regarding very serious problems with same?


Returning to Cuenca Nov. 27

My wife is returning to Cuenca Nov. 27. She has room to bring your items for $12/lb with 1 lb. minimum. Computer is $150, Cell phone is $100. Your purchase(s) need to arrive no later than Nov. 25.