Daily Posts

Popacuchu Saturday Brunch Special

Ok folks, you’ve been asking for it… this Saturday, for the first time, we will offer a scrumptulescent ‘special edition brunch,’ the Scrambled Egg Bacon Bread Panini Platter, served from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

What better way to kick off your weekend than at Popacuchu Café, where for $5,50 we will serve you a mouth-watering panini made with one of our most popular ‘specialty breads,’ Bacon Bread with 3 Cheeses, filled with lightly scrambled cheesy eggs, and two sides including hot apples, walnuts, and cinnamon cooked in honey and two strips of bacon, Plus a hot cup of Café Americano. If you would rather indulge your sweet tooth, we have colossal sticky buns, blackberry frangipane that melts-in-your-mouth, and a heavenly strudel, all of which we serve warm from the oven and  if you desire, with a dollop of ice cream on the side.

Come spend your Saturday morning with us; we hope to see you with an empty belly and healthy appetite!

Land for Sale in the Sigsipamba sector

Beautiful land for sale in the Sigsipamba sector, on the way to Ricaurte. Just 15 minutes from the city of Cuenca. The land is flat, has 5,120.24 square meters and is next to the road, near farms and ranches. It comes with a one-level-house (under construction) and has all the basic services (water and electricity). It is located in a very quiet neighborhood, ideal to live or for vacation. The land has pine and fruit trees as well. The asking price is $ 120,000. For more information, please call the following phone numbers: 099-902-0414, 098-713-4435 or to the Landline 07-2881743.


Unfurnished Condo In Desired Location For Rent

This two-bedroom apartment is located on one of Cuenca’s most popular condominium projects, close to shopping, a modern supermarket, good restaurants and a short cab ride to the historic district. It comes with 1 parking space. In great neighborhood popular with expats and it has an amazing view to the city from the balcony. The building has 24-hour security and an elevator. One Year Lease or more. No pets. Price $ 450.

For Pictures, click here


Transpo Ecuador

Takes you from Cuenca to Guayaquil and vice versa for $95. We transport all around Ecuador in a 4 door 2014 truck. Book now!

To contact Jon, click on the reply below or 098-494-9008

Expat’s Confession Of Smartphone Addiction

By Sara Coppler, www.gringotree.com

About six months before moving to Ecuador, I switched from a smartphone to a basic cell phone service plan. I sold my Android through EBay and thought I would never look back. I was a smartphone addict! All day, from the time I woke and to the time I went asleep, my smartphone was within an arm’s reach. Each time it dinged I felt compelled to check the new message and then lingered to view more by clicking on the various apps. I found myself not seeing anything around me but what was on my tiny handheld screen.

Lately, I have been getting a hankering for a smartphone, thinking that having easy access on Wi-Fi spots throughout the city would be nice, especially when my internet at home gets spotty. But, I’m concerned if I get one – will it take me back down that slippery slope and the world will become again the size of my palm.

As with many addictions, sometimes folks are completely unaware that they have a problem, so here is a simple survey to help with kicking smartphone addiction. The first step in curing any problem is self-awareness, so please answer the questions below honestly. Continue reading

Daily News Links

Big Oil in the Amazon
A lawyer takes on Big Oil on behalf of indigenous tribes of the Amazon rainforest and wins. Then, the story takes a turn. Click here to hear the NPR radio program.

Ecuador Police Confiscate 1 Ton of Cocaine: Interior Ministry
Ecuadorean police have confiscated a cocaine consignment weighing one ton, the country’s Interior Ministry said. The drugs were hidden in a container packed with bananas in a vessel in Ecuador’s port city Guayaquil that was to be sent to Kuwait via Spain. Click here to read more.

Joy for Brazil and Colombia, play-off place for Ecuador
Brazil fulfilled expectations by winning the Women’s Copa America for the sixth time and qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, where Colombia will join them as South America’s second representatives. In finishing runners-up to the Brazilians, Las Cafeteras also nailed down a place at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio de Janeiro 2016. Hosts Ecuador took third place and will now go forward to a Canada 2015 play-off against the team finishing fourth in the CONCACAF Zone. Argentina completed the top four, all of whom qualified for the Pan American Games 2015. Click here to read more.

Death Toll Climbs, as Mosquito-Borne Virus Chikungunya Sweeps Americas
Three more people have died after becoming infected with a mosquito-borne virus that is raging across Central America, South America and the Caribbean, killing hundreds. Click here to read more.

We’re arriving at the endgame for BlackBerry
The BlackBerry was the first truly modern smartphone, the king of Personal Information Management On The Go. But under its modern presentation lurked its most fatal flaw, a software engine that couldn’t be adapted to the Smartphone 2.0 era. Click here to read more.

Blog of the Day: Easy Taxi in Cuenca

Cuenca Writer’s Collective

Cuenca Writers’ Collective meets on Wednesday, October 1, 12:30 p.m., at the Loft Café, Sucre 11-75, near Tarqui. All writers are welcome. Please come and join us for lunch, manuscript critiques, and a writing exercise.

New Cuenca International Chorus!

The Cuenca International Chorus is forming.

Do you like to sing? Would you like to be part of a new bi-cultural choral group under the direction of a renowned Choral Director from the U.S.?
If so come join us on Wednesday October 8 at 6:30 PM for our initial organizational meeting.

We have a core group of about 15 cuencano and gringo singers but we need more. If you can read music that would be great but not necessary. Our songs are in English and Spanish and we learn them phonetically. We will be asking a small monthly dues to cover the costs of our professional directors and accompanists.

For more information and directions to the meeting contact Phil Kennemer at
kennemer.phi1@gmail.com or call 098-068-9372.

Question: Water Filters

We are looking to buy a water filter to attach to a tap. I know they can be bought here, but where? Want a better one than the $10 one they sell in Coral.

National Jazz Orchestra From Germany In Cuenca

The National Jazz Orchestra from Germany, conducted by Jiggs Whigham, will perform twice in Cuenca. The concerts are October 6 and 7 at 8:00 p.m.  at the Carlos Cueva Tamariz Theatre of University of Cuenca, Av. 12 de Abril and Agustín Cueva. Entrance free.

Creative Writer For Video Collaboration

Hesitate posting here for this, please respond only if your qualified. I’ve recently volunteered to produce a short (5-6 min) video to tell the story of the developmentally disabled children and young adults who live at a Messengers of Peace shelter (orphange) in Yungilla Valley.

I’m looking to collaborate with a creative writer who can help develop what is now a rough script into a compelling story about these kids and their needs. As I believe that to write passionately about something like this, you have to experience it. So, to get a sense of the environment, I’d like whoever helps with this to make a brief visit with me to see the orphanage, meet the kids.

Click here to keep reading

English Teacher Needed

The Canadian House Center is looking for a teacher for night and Saturday classes to start right away. If you are interested and you like to teach, please send your CV.

To respond to this post, click on the reply below.

Question: Gastroenterologist

My wife needs to see a specialist (gastroenterologist). I have looked at the recommendations for doctors but did not see one. Please reply if you know one and speaks English.

To respond to this question, click on the reply below.

Special Discounts To Gringotree Subscribers

GringoTree has agreements with three accommodations in Cuenca. Santa Monica, right in the middle of town, Casa Lloret, a 10 minute or so bus ride to town, and Casa de Cuenca, a guesthouse about 2 minutes from the Three Bridges. Casa Lloret and Casa de Cuenca are located very close to the Yanuncay river.

The three accommodations offer special discounts to GringoTree subscribers. For prices and reservations please email it@gringotree.com and for information and pictures see the links below:
Santa Monica
Casa Lloret
Casa de Cuenca

Chordeleg, Gualaceo Two-Day Getaway Tour

Come enjoy two days full of culture, good food, outstanding accommodations and visit local craftsmen.

For only $130 you will enjoy Stay at Club Candor,a small private resort and luxurious facility. A two day tour to Macanas ,Orchids, Panama Hat, Clay shops and more.

For more information, click on the reply below.

Homemade Human Grade Dog Food

We make Human Grade Homemade dog food here in Cuenca and offer free deliveries with orders over 20.00. We make three different types. We make Fish chicken and Beef. We cook up whole, chickens, whole fish, and we are not set up to do whole cows yet but we use quality beef cuts that even a Gringo would be happy to eat much less a dog!

All meats are mixed with a combo of either, carrots, chard, green beans and sweet potato. We mix at a ratio of 75% meat to 25% vegetables. We have a number of super picky pups in our client base and they all love our food. We intend to ad a line of cat food soon so if you are interested please let us know as a good response on the cat food front would only encourage us to move forward with that plan sooner.


For more information, click on the reply below or 096-900-7688

Daily News Links

Correa: Ecuador’s Economy Most Robust in Latin America
President Rafael Correa has defended Ecuador’s economic performance from opposition attacks, citing data from the Economic Commission of Latin America (ECLAC) that notes the country’s strong economic growth and reduction of poverty. Click here to read more.

Ecuador to Bring Together LatAm Progressive Forces
A total of 35 political parties and movements will attend next week in Ecuador the Latin American Progressive Meeting, which seeks to join forces on the left front against the conservative restoration in the region. Click here to read more.

Ecuador’s state oil company loaned 1 billion

The U.S. unit of Noble Group Ltd. (NOBL) loaned Ecuador’s state oil company $1 billion, then repackaged the debt into securities that it sold to bond investors this month, according to a prospectus for the notes.
Click here to read more.

Blog of the Day: Buying Property In Ecuador

Expat’s Experience: First Trip To Feria Libre, El Arenal

Part of the excitement of moving to a new country is having your days filled with new experiences. What may be a simple undertaking back home becomes a great adventure when you’re navigating through unknown streets, communicating in another language, seeing strange things, trying new tastes and inhaling different smells.

Today, GringoTree is introducing a new series of posts sharing about an expat’s first adventures in living in Ecuador. If you have a story, please send it to customerservice@gringotree.com. We’d love to share about your first experience.

First Trip To Feria Libre, El Arenal

By Carlos Pebenito

“Spontaneity is the spice of life!” Rudi Bakhtiar

After two mugs of the delicious Ecuadorian coffee and an overdose of the Spanish-speaking news * station, Trini, my wife, and I stared at each other. We were at a loss as to what our itinerary would be for the day.

imgres*Note: Spanish for Dummies said that it is easier to learn Spanish if you constantly watch and listen to Spanish TV news and shows. I have been jotting down unfamiliar words and phrases and looking them up in my dictionary afterward and as a result I learn a couple of new Spanish words every day!

Trini mentioned what she noticed every day is that most of the city buses have signs showing a destination of Feria Libre. We were curious as to what may be over there. Even the bus route diagrams we see in bus stops show that all the buses pass through this common area in El Arenal. So we decided to hop onto bus #7 after confirming from our condominium guard that we were taking the right bus going TO and not AWAY FROM Feria Libre. Continue reading

Miguel Illescas Joins First Friday Art

Renowned innovative metal sculpturist Miguel Illescas is exhibiting at the spectacular 1st Friday Art event, Museo de Los Metales, October 3, 4-9 p.m. Featured is the live band Capulis along with photographer Jay Koppelman, poet Mercy Cáseres, painters Buddy Winston, Kelly Fox, and talented artisans. The Museo is at Ave Solano 11-83, 2nd floor. Refreshments and free appetizers.

Need Boxes

We are moving and need boxes, anyone that has left over moving boxes, we will take them off your hands.

Drivers License – Certificate From DMV

Since I have a valid California Drivers License, I would like to show proof of that fact, by receiving a “letter of certification” from the California DMV. I have yet to be able to receive such a letter. The letter should state that I have a valid license and be signed/dated by a DMV employee. Has anyone successfully received such a letter from the DMV of their prior state, and if so, how?

Cuenca Caregivers Support Group

We took a 2 week break, we’re back! If you are currently caring for a loved one and would like to meet with other caregivers once a week, please join us on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30-3:00 at International Christian Community on Nicanor Aguilar y Avenido Solano, next to Constru-gypsum, near Monte Sinai Hospital. To see a map, go to: http://www.internationalchristiancommunity.org/location.html.

Activities will be provided for your loved ones on the ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible, and caregivers will meet in the upstairs apartment. If you have questions, please contact Diane Palencia.

To contact Diana, click on the reply below or 098-352-6488

To All Future Gringo’s

My name is Richard. I moved to Cuenca 1 ½ years ago. If you are considering moving to Ecuador and would be interested in learning of my experiences before and after I arrived in Cuenca, including questions regarding the Visa process, cost of living and the housing market, please feel free to call me on my MagicJack at 310-742-4618

Question: Live-in Housekeeper Cost

What is the customary cost monthly for a live-in housekeeper? 3 bedroom/ 3 bath, 2 adults, one 8 year.

Question: IESS And Pain Management

Has anyone had any experience with a (Cuenca) Pain Management specialist within the IESS system, or, being referred to one? English speaking?

Question: Vaccinations In Ecuador

We are currently living in Baja Sur Mexico. We will visiting Ecuador and Cuenca at the end of October for a month. We have been unable to obtain vaccinations for Typhoid Fever and Yellow Fever(both recommended by all guide books) here in Mexico. Is it possible to obtain these vaccinations there in Cuenca? We hope to go to the Oriente.

Question: Fax Services Cuenca

Does anyone know of or has already found and used a fax service here in Cuenca. I have had a number of replies to a tax question with most advising to use a fax to resolve issues back in the states. OK respondants , where are these fax machines or services