How many expats in Cuenca still keep a primary home in home country?

We are thinking of moving to Cuenca in the next 12-24 months but not quite sure if we should sell our primary home in the US (Texas) before our move or keep it for a couple years in case we return home or move out of Cuenca. We are curious what folks’ experiences have been and pros and cons that you have experienced. BTW – We have visited Cuenca twice already so we are familiar with the area. Financially we do not need to sell the home before the move, but we will need to find someone to take care of it while we are not living in it.


City: Cuenca

Permanent visa question

My wife and I are 3 months out from the end of our temporary visa here in Ecuador. We traveled to the USA for 5 weeks 2019 July and August and again for 10 days in early January 2020. To those who have recently received their permanent visas with a similar travel history during your temporary visa period, I have the following questions:

1. Did you have to get an updated apostilles criminal background check?
2. If so, how did you get finger printed and your background check submitted and apostilled and then get it back to Cuenca?
3. How long did it take?

I know we can pay a lawyer as much as $2000 to get it done but we would like to avoid that if possible.

Thank you for your help,


Card players in Cuenca?

I enjoy playing card games and am looking for others who do as well. I enjoy playing Gin Rummy, Euchre, Spite and Malice, games such as those. I’m not a Poker player but I would really like to learn to play Bridge, if someone would be willing to help me with that.

I know that with the Covid situation, face to face meetings are tough but I just thought that I’d put out some feelers and see what I’d find. I plan to be here in Cuenca until probably late February. If you’re interested please let me know.

Thanks so much,


PS You also can message me via WhatsApp – +593 99 235 4396

Alternative cancer treatments

Looking for a friend who has cancer to see if anyone knows of alternative treatments in Cuenca or Ecuador such as IV Vit. C & K3 (Apatone) or Coley’s Toxins like used at Chipsahospital in MX?

Dan Wiseman

Situation on CDs?

People are saying that many expats in Ecuador are currently cashing out or selling their CDs held in the financial institutions here. Is this legit or simply hearsay?

Der Went

Ecuador charities

As many of you know I have been involved in many humanitarian projects. These include organic farming, nutrition, education, clean water, helping Immigrants and more. There may be folks looking for a target for their time and resources.

If you are interested in focusing on sustainable charitable projects, feel free to reach out to me. We are not currently looking for additional projects.

If somebody was interested in piloting an English-speaking Rotary club in Cuenca, I may be willing to lend some support.
Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy

Ned: .

City: Cuenca

Share a shipping container out of Los Angeles area

Does anyone need or know someone wishing to ship their things out of L.A. area.

I am only half full in a 20′ container and looking for someone to share a 20′ or even a 40′ container if they need more room.

I am ready now or could wait a certain time period.
Thank you, Brian

Brian Musich

Flu vaccination update

My doctor is connected to the MSP (Ministry of Public Health). She told me that flu vaccination has been postponed to mid-February.

Eric Fraterman: .

City: Cuenca

Neural therapy injections

Which dentists (or other practitioners) in Ecuador do oral neural therapy injections?

Thank you,


Document titled Estado Civil

I am going to marry an Ecuadorian lady and she has told me that I will need a document called Estado Civil. If you can explain to me what this is and how I can obtain one from the USA, I will appreciate your sharing with me

Richard Mateyko

Mail situation in Cuenca

I used to have a PO address which is no longer available. Where are expats receiving mail? I would like to provide Social |Security with an address. Thanks,

Lourdes Ramirez

Where is the post with the google drive of information?

I had the tab open so I could go through it slowly, but somehow it got closed and now I can’t find the post again through the search in GringoPost. Could someone post me the link or what title I can put in the search finder? Thanks


Book clubs?

With all this apparent time on our hands, I am curious to know if there are any existing Book Clubs in Cuenca that are now using Zoom or other virtual group meet-up options?

Lorell Stewart: .

City: Cuenca

Moving to Cuenca with a teenager

Hello, We’re thinking of moving to Cuenca with our 13-year old daughter. We visited about 5 years ago and really like the city and have been planning on moving at some point. We’ve picked up the discussion again and wanted to hear from others who have moved to Cuenca with teenagers or who have been in Cuenca for a while with kids/teenagers.

How was the transition?
Is it easy to make friends, especially being handicapped by a mask?
When are schools opening back up?
Any other words of wisdom, thoughts or advice?

Thank you,

Kelly Albin

Missing a best friend?

Two larger, lovely dogs are still waiting for their forever home; one is bigger. Both have been waiting a long time for their forever families. Can be placed in approved homes separately. Please consider opening your heart.

Both are spayed, current on vetting. Both are lovely dogs, if you’re a big or bigger dog lover, please be in touch.

Doreen Dvorin
WhatsApp: 099 075 8455

Doreen Dvorin

Quick PCR test?

I’m going on a business trip to a country that requires a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival. Where can one get a rapid test done locally?


Where to get less invasive anterior nasal swab

Does anyone know where the less invasive tests (short swab) are being done? I have a medical condition making the long swab impossible for me and we need to go back home to see our family in the spring. according to CDC guidelines published only last November, they say it is just as effective. These less painful tests are widely available in the US.

Danielle Lino

Is the restaurant Le Petit Jardin still open?

I have phoned and left messages over the past two days with no answer from Giovanni. I just love that restaurant and would be greatly saddened to learn that it is now closed.

Luisa Nelson

EMF meter for sale (electromagnetic field detector)

TriField meter 100XE. Used, but in good condition except part of the plastic cover housing the analog needle has chipped off. Includes 9v battery and instructions (though very simple to use).

Please google “TriField 100XE” for more information, photos and YouTube videos.

Selling for $20. You can try it before purchasing.

If interested, please email



A guy is trying to scam others on other sites so don’t fall for it:


City: Cuenca

Pay all your bills in one place

Are you new to Cuenca and still trying to figure out where to pay for all of your services and utilities each month? Struggling with your Spanish while learning to navigate the systems here? Or perhaps you have lived in Cuenca for many years and just want to simplify your life while supporting a good cause. Well look no further – you can do it all and more at Hogar de Esperanza’s new Expat Services Center.

One stop shop for bill pay:
Come on by our Expat Services Center, our one-stop shop to conveniently pay all your bills at once: water, lights, phone, cable, IESS and more. We speak both English and Spanish. And by paying your bills with us, we receive a small commission with each transaction that goes back into our work here at the foundation, helping those most in need.

AUtomatic bill pay from home:
We also offer automatic bill pay, where we pay your bills for you each month without you needing to leave the house. We can also arrange to pay your rent for you when you’re out of town. For all of your unique bill payment needs, we are here to help you. Contact us for more information.

Open hours for our Expat Services Center are: Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 5:30 PM, and Saturday from 8 AM – 1 PM. The Center is located at Mariscal Sucre 12-84 y Juan Montalvo, just around the corner from our Esperanza Thrift Shop. Stop by to check it out! Thanks so much for your support.

Teresa Eklund: 099 094 7611. Call after: 6 AM.

City: Cuenca

Car registration 2021

The schedule for renewing the car registration (Matricula) is according to the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate.

February: digit 1
March: digit 2
April: digit 3
May: digit 4
June: digit 5
July: digit 6
August: digit 7
September: digit 8
October: digit 9
November: digit 0

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Daniel Mocha: 098 176 7735. Call after: 8 AM.

City: Cuenca

Boy wants electric guitar for his 13th birthday

Hi All,

Our boy wants an electric guitar for his 13th birthday. I know nothing about guitars. He does not currently play an instrument.

They come in 30” and 39” sizes. Hi is 5’ 9” and growing. Which size is appropriate for him?

I made him promise to take lessons and learn to play the instrument and not just make noises to drive his mother and the neighbors mad. How much would they cost?

Can we buy one in Cuenca or better to have one shipped from Amazon? The budget is no more than $200. Must be new.


Be safe, be well

Gerald Brown

Respond on the User Forum


I live across the street from the river. A rat hole has opened up in my front yard and they are consuming packets of rat poison like candy. I can keep buying more…maybe this brand is ineffective, or maybe the whole river colony is stopping by. Does the city have a rat elimination program? (Okay, stop laughing). Any helpful suggestions?


Mayas tortillas integrales

For some time we have enjoyed these from SuperMaxi, removing the loose thin plastic dividers with no problem. Recently they have stuck to the tortillas and unless we remember to check and remove them from the bottom of the tortilla, they get tossed in the pan with it. A couple of times lately we did not notice until we turned the tortilla. It was too late; the plastic divider had melted and stuck to the nice pan and would not come up.

Not only was the expensive pan ruined but we are especially concerned as to having eating plastic, unaware it had stuck to the tortilla as well. If you consume these otherwise healthful whole-wheat foods, you should be careful to look for the dividers and remove them before placing the tortilla in the pan.

(I have taken time I don’t have in order to help others. No nasty responses, please.)


What can you get on Netflix here in Cuenca?

I have not purchased Netflix since I moved to Ecuador because I have an issue with not being able to watch everything available to us subscribers, even though I would pay the same monthly fee. I feel that as a paying US citizen I should be able to watch everything Netflix offers no matter where I live in the world. But there are two new shows I would like to watch, “Bridgerton”and “The Serpent.” Can anyone tell me If you presently have a subscription to Netflix and are able to access these series?

Carolyn V Hamilton

How would it be your ideal granola (baked muesli)?

At “Cuenca Muesli” we are interested in learning more about your preferences in order to adapt our products to suit your needs.

Please feel free to answer this question with any of the following options:

a. I don’t like Granola because __________

b. I love Granola, especially if it has ___________(say the ingredients you love to find in a Granola)

c. I like to buy the cheapest granola they sell at the supermarket, I’m just not looking for a special one.

d. For me the package is very important, a beautiful one says a lot more about the product, you should invest in a better package.

e. ____________ (any other)

Find more about us here:

Order your Super Granola with 12 magic ingredients here:

Or send a message to:

Thanks for your support,

Daniel Osorio

Recommendation on Social Security check?

I need recommendation or advice about having my Social Security Check deposit here in a bank in Ecuador, and if so which bank as an agreement with the SS administration? Thank You,

Jerry Betancourt

Shipping dog in cargo from the US to Ecuador

I was hoping to get input on shipping our dog from the US to Ecuador. She is a Lab and too large to sit with us in the cabin. I have been researching how to make it work by just getting her a ticket via cargo on an airline but with the COVID pet embargo right now it is complicated. I was wondering if anyone had any experience shipping their dog in cargo during COVID? And if so, did you use an international pet shipping company? Any advice and recommendations for companies to use would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.


I need new glasses

It’s time for an eye exam and new glasses. Can anyone recommend a place where I can get this done? Thank you in advance for the help. Be blessed,


Vaccines against Covid 19

Questions and answers related to vaccines against Covid-19.

1.- What are vaccines against SARS-CoV-2?
There are many candidate COVID-19 vaccine products under investigation, but two of them stand out for the progress made. These are the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. These vaccines have been approved by the FDA in the USA and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has recently obtained approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

In both cases, it has been developed with messenger RNA technology (mRNA, or mRNA in English), which has not previously been used in humans. Messenger RNA is a Natural molecule produced by our own human cells and contains the information necessary for the production of the proteins that make up each cell. This messenger RNA is carried by lipid vesicles, which allow the RNA to reach the interior of human cells, where the S protein will be produced, without the risk that it can be integrated into their DNA.

In both cases, our immune system would recognize protein S as something foreign and generate antibodies and cellular immunity against it. It is an immunization mechanism similar to that achieved with the DTP vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.

2.- Are vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 safe?

The safety of a vaccine is the first thing that is checked when it reaches the research phase with humans. Vaccines are drugs that are generally administered to healthy people and for this reason the highest level of safety is required. Yes a vaccine causes serious adverse effects and is considered to be unsafe and the investigation is stopped immediately. The safety of vaccines is traditionally tested on laboratory animals and then with a small number of volunteers, but in the case of COVID-19 vaccines, thousands of people have been vaccinated prior to approval.

In the case of Moderna and Pfizer- BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines, they have been tested in hundreds of people during clinical phases I and II. The first vaccinations to assess safety began in March and May for vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech respectively, which means that the safety of the vaccines has been evaluated for at least a period ranging from 7 to 9 months.

Only mild or moderate effects (fever, local inflammation, headache, malaise, fatigue, etc.) have been observed, which are common to other vaccinations. In no case serious effects have been detected. Testing these vaccines in tens or hundreds of thousands of people, as has occurred during phase III, will allow the monitoring of rare adverse effects that may occur in less than 1 in 10,000 people, and that are also given in other vaccines. On the other hand, the follow-up of the volunteers initially vaccinated in phases I, II and III will make it possible to detect whether there are long-term adverse effects.

These infrequent and / or long-term effects have to do with the own biological variability of each person. In the same way that there are people with allergies to certain medicines, foods, etc., adverse effects can also develop to some of the components of the vaccines. The vast majority of vaccines marketed so far have shown very high safety both in the medium and long term, which is what can also be expected with these new vaccines.

3 – Can the virus become “resistant” to vaccines?

The two vaccines approved by the FDA and / or the EMA are based on immunization against the S protein of the virus, although it also contains other structural proteins. Keep in mind that viruses mutate, since it is their natural mechanism to evolve. To date, multiple mutations have been documented in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, and some of them could cause changes in the proteins of its structure.
Although protein S does not appear to have a higher mutation rate than the rest of the genome, it is not possible to predict how the virus will evolve once mass vaccination has started. In the event of accumulating several mutations in protein S, vaccines their effectiveness could be reduced. If this were the case, there is the possibility of reformulating the vaccine preparations with the information corresponding to the new virus, in the same way as is done for the seasonal influenza vaccine.

Dr. Paúl Wilches C.
Allergy Specialist
Consultorios Monte Sinai Tower 2 third floor office 304
Phone: 099 925 6953

PS: We will continue to explain topics related to COVID 19 and especially vaccines and any disease of interest related to Allergy.

Paul: .

City: Cuenca

Tennis Courts?

Hello, Everyone,

My fiance and I are planning a long visit and a probable move to Cuenca this summer and I’m wondering about the availability of tennis courts. Are there many public courts readily available? If not, any feedback about private club membership/fees would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much,


Gas pipe installation needed


We need a professional to install a gas line for our house.

We live in Cuenca.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Carol Griffin: 098 654 1987

Moving to Ecuador – medications

Hi Everyone, I am moving to Cuenca in less than a month. I am wondering what is the best way to get prescriptions transferred from a pharmacy in the US to Cuenca?

If I need to get a doctor over there to prescribe them to me, any recommendations?

Thank you!


Banco del Austro has increased their ATM withdrawal limit

I thought I would pass along this tip for those who use Banco Del Austro’s ATM for cash withdrawals.

Banco del Austro is one of the few banks that does not charge an ATM fee for out-of-country ATM cards, although your own home bank may charge fees.

The other day I was withdrawing some cash from Banco del Austro’s ATM and noticed that you can now withdraw up to $500 at one time from their ATMs. The daily maximum will vary depending upon your home bank’s policy (for US banks it is often $1,000).

Previously the largest single withdrawal was $300, so if you wanted to get $800 you had to do multiple transactions. You can now do $500 for each transaction, which is nice.

Ann Fourt

City: Cuenca

Looking for someone that can copy and re-make some favorite clothes

I thought I had seen a post on someone who duplicated a favorite shirt or pants and they also made soft sheets for bedding. Does anyone have a recommendation?

I am looking for someone who will copy a pair of stretchy pants for my wife and if we get lucky maybe they will make bed sheets too!

David Locke

Looking for a Dutch oven


Does anyone have for sale, a cast iron Dutch oven?

Please, can you contact me with the pictures and price on my WhatsApp?


Barbara: WhatsApp: +1 647 241 6840


Looking for recommendations

Looking for recommendations for a palm Orthopedics surgeon.

Please WhatsApp me +1 647 241 6840 or email me at:



Survey on self-sufficient and sustainable cabañas in Ecuador

Hello Everybody,

My name is Andreas Senkel. I´m a student in the tourism department at the Instituto Tecnológico Sudamericano, here in Cuenca.

As part of my final thesis, I am developing an environmentally friendly tourism project with the aim of designing a property with self-sufficient and sustainable touristic bungalows (cabañas) in the tropical area of Ecuador with the objective to strengthen structurally weak areas without having a negative impact on nature and the social structure of the local community.

With this survey I want to include the expectations of possible future visitors into the project. It would be a great help, if you could spare 5 to 10 minutes of your time to fill out the survey, which is anonymous and is available in English, Spanish or German. It can be completed on a smart phone or computer.

If you want to participate, please click the link below to start the survey:

Best regards and thank you for your cooperation,


Andreas Senkel

Washer/ dryer installer

Looking for a washer and dryer installer/technician who speaks English.


Barbara Schreiber

Laundry service?

Looking for laundry service to pick up from home.


Barbara Schreiber

Contacts at Cuenca Universities


We have clients in the USA interested in hiring IT professionals living in Ecuador and other Latin American countries who might be interested in working remotely. In the past, we have focused on hiring expats and I am wondering if we have been overlooking local talent.

It might be interesting to speak with faculty or students at Cuenca’s Universities to see if there are folks looking for jobs. With that in mind, if you have any contacts at the various universities, please feel free to send me their contact information or forward mine.

593 95 927 9375 via WhatsApp or my USA number: 469 678 7224




Steve Feuerbacher

Craft supplies?

Hello, I was wondering if there were any clear acrylic beads, form boards, etc. for crafting or stores that carry these items. Thank you.

Back to top
Enable notifications for new posts    OK No thanks