Monthly Archives: July 2011

Cuenca Life Is Sweet – Single-Origin, Organic Chocolate Sweet

Living in Cuenca brings many lifestyle benefits.  There’s the lower cost of living, the more relaxed atmosphere, and of course, the chocolate.

Chocolate has long been a major force in the Ecuadorian economy.  The industry as a whole is referred to as “cacao” which is the Spanish word for cocoa, the raw material that gets made into chocolate.  At one point in its history, cacao exports accounted for near 80% of Ecuador’s economy, and even today Ecuador is a major cacao producer for the world.

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4 Ways A Cuenca Life Saves Your Money

One of the most frequent questions people ask us on their way to Cuenca is “What do I need to spend to live well in Cuenca?”  Today we’re going to look at the question from another angle – what DON’T you need to spend to live well in Cuenca.  Here are four key ways a Cuenca life saves you money:

#1 – Goodbye, Vehicle Expenses!

Most people in Cuenca don’t have a car.  They use taxis or take the bus.  A bus ride is 25 cents – 12 cents if you are a resident certified senior.  Taxis are $1.50 for short rides, and $2 – $3 for longer or rainy day rides.  If you spend more than $100 a month in local transport expenses, you’re really getting around!

Compare that to what you might spend at home.  There’s the cost of filling up the tank, parking fees, and maintenance expenses.  Annual insurance, registration, and vehicles taxes are another pretty penny.  When you move to Cuenca, you can leave those expenses behind for good.

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Think Twice Before Bringing Pets To Cuenca

We vividly remember helping our downstairs neighbor bury his beloved cocker spaniel last year.  The dog had fallen victim to distemper, a common Ecuadorian disease we have almost eradicated in the States.  As a result, the dog hadn’t been vaccinated against distemper and was gone in less than two weeks despite multiple trips to the vet.

Why bring this up?  An increasing number of our clients are telling us they plan to bring their pets with them when they move to Cuenca.  While in the US some 61% of Americans routinely travel with their animals (according to the June edition of Prevention magazine), an international move is just not comparable to a weekend getaway in the States.  Having grown up with animals ourselves, we get why people want to travel with their pets … but we still ask anyone thinking of bringing their pet to Cuenca to think twice before they travel with their beloved cats, dogs, rare birds, ferrets, guinea pigs, or pet rats.  Here’s a short list of why:

Different Pet Culture

Cuencanos have a very different pet culture than what is found in the United States.  There are no city-wide leash laws or PooperScooper rules here.  Pets are rarely spayed or neutered.  Exotic pets are extremely rare, and guinea pigs are a local delicacy.  Unpopular local animals (such as yappy dogs or wandering cats) will be poisoned without regret by the neighbors, even if they are normally kept in private yards.

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