Monthly Archives: November 2011

Cuenca Condos Cyber Monday

Hello Everyone,

Christmas is officially here in Cuenca, even though outside it’s sunny and there’s no chance of snow.  The neighbors have their Christmas lights up and the stores are filled with ornaments, Nativity sets, and gifts.  Christmas bazaars are setting up and the local churches are preparing for their annual parades and Christmas pageants.

You can add some Ecuadorian flavor to your own Christmas this year with a visit to our store.  We’ve selected a number of Cuenca and Ecuador related gifts, including books, DVDs, souvenirs, and clothing.

Living happily in Cuenca?  Let your family back home have something symbolic of your new life here in Cuenca and help them understand just why you know Ecuador is right for you.  Guidebooks are great warm-up reading for relatives planning a visit!

Still waiting to make the move?  Check out the guides and DVD’s on Cuenca and Ecuador.  Get a feel for the magic of a new life overseas and learn about the history of your new home.

There are gifts for all ages and something for anyone curious about the attractions, history, and quirks of life here in Ecuador.  Why not take advantage of Cyber Monday and pick something up now?


Happy Holidays,


Cuenca Condos Staff

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Cuenca: Still The Right Choice

As Cuenca celebrates its 3rd year of being International Living’s #1 retirement destination, many prospective residents are asking if Cuenca is still the right choice. Now that it’s such a known destination, wouldn’t it be better to go somewhere else? We don’t think so. Cuenca is popular for a reason, and a life in Cuenca is still the right choice. Here’s why:

1. Cost of Living remains low

Cuenca is a low-cost living environment, especially compared to cities of similar size in other countries. For less than $2,000 per month, you can live in comfort here. You can afford a quality apartment in a good neighborhood, eat out regularly, take part in local entertainment offerings, and see top-notch medical professionals. It’s true that Cuenca isn’t as cheap as it was five years ago, nor is it Ecuador’s cheapest city. However, even accounting for recent price increases on the basic necessities, Cuenca is still very affordable.


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Tres de Noviembre – Independence of Cuenca

This week you will find Cuenca in the midst of a full week of celebrations.  Many streets and shopping plazas are closed to car traffic and music is being performed around the city from morning to night.  Vendors from all over Ecuador are here in Cuenca to sell crafts and artwork.  Most local business are closed so employees can celebrate with their families.

These “Fiestas de Cuenca” are one of the city’s largest annual festivals.  The main reason for the party is “Tres de Noviembre” or November 3rd, a celebration of the independence of Cuenca from the Spanish.  On November 3rd, 1820, Cuencanos achieved their freedom and so, like each major city in Ecuador, Cuenca celebrates its own independence day in addition to the national independence celebration honoring May 24th, 1822.

As you take it all in, we invite you to enjoy this week of festivities and remember the importance of independence, liberty, and freedom.  Cuencanos celebrate it today, but you can live it everyday in your new life in Ecuador.

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Receipts, Taxes and Cuenca’s Clausurado Culture

Ecuadorian business closed by the SRI

The CLAUSURADO sign has confused many new expats in Cuenca.  Put in place by the SRI – Ecuador’s equivalent of the IRS – it marks a business that has forgotten one of Ecuador’s many business accounting laws.

The issue is often receipts.  In Cuenca there are two types of receipts.   Generic receipts are called “consumidor final” or “nota de venta” receipts.  Formal tax receipts, known as “facturas,” are the other type, and these require you to report your name, address, phone number, and passport / ID number.  If you are a business entity expensing a purchase in Ecuador, you need to have a factura matched to your RUC (pronounced rook) which is a part of your company’s incorporation paperwork.  For most everything and everyone else, a nota de venta is fine.  As an expat, your receipt is essentially just a proof of purchase, and consumidor final is what you will get for almost everything you buy.

Coldwell Banker of Cuenca Clausurado for tax code violations

Coldwell Banker of Cuenca Clausurado for tax code violations


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