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The Best of Living and Retiring in Ecuador

Giving You All the Resources You Need

Welcome (Bienvenidos) 

This is the place where I get to share all the favorite things I love about Ecuador. As a writer, I gain inspiration from the people I meet, the delightful sidewalk cafes where I sip cappuccino, and the festivals where we celebrate the joy of all things Ecuadorian. 


The Olympics Are Over - August 8, 2021

Ecuador can be proud of Richard Carapaz -- only the second Ecuadorian who has won gold in the Olympics. I'm sure there will be a statue built in his honor or maybe even a park named after him. What a tremendous sense of pride we felt as we saw him stand on the podium to receive the gold medal. We can only imagine what Ecuador will do in the future with a whole generation of kids looking to win gold in the Olympics. 

Until next time...hasta luego, 

Connie & Mark 

Nueva Catedral (new Cathedral) in Cuenca - First Stop  

It has and always will be my favorite place in Cuenca -- the Nueva Catedral and Tutto Freddo Heladeria (on the corner). It's where we first went for ice cream and the place I go when I'm in El Centro to meet people, to read a book, to people watch, to take pictures, and to live, breathe and enjoy Cuenca. 

If you're new to Cuenca, it should be the first place you visit as well. There are some great restaurants all around the area -- north, east, south and west. But the best part is to stand back and view the three blue domes (tres cupolas) from across the street. 

Enjoy exploring the best of Cuenca! 

Until next time...hasta luego! 

Connie and Mark 


Coffee Tree, Money and Lists

Posted by Connie Pombo on January 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

One of our favorite places to eat is Coffee Tree (open 24 hours!). Today we enjoyed breakfast (desayuno continental): your choice of coffee, “jugo” (juice), four slices of whole wheat toast, and eggs (prepared the way you like it) for a total of $2.87. Here’s the kicker! If you order the juice alone it’s $2.50, so you might as well have breakfast on the "side"!

It’s a fun place to eat because we always see someone we know or meet someone new. Today we enjoyed both. A “venture capitalist” was talking with his colleagues and he mentioned he never invests in real estate, stocks, bonds, silver or gold. Mark and I looked at each other in amazement and blurted out, “What else is there?”

 “International currencies!”

Mark and I decided we would stick with what we know and let the professionals do what they do best. Anyway, it was an interesting breakfast conversation.

For now, Mark will continue to teach and I’ll keep writing. It’s time to update the book, Living and Retiring in Cuenca: 101 Questions Answered. I’m working on the second edition which will be out in April 2012 with a lot of updates and new information.What started out as a helpful guide to newcomers has ended up being a great way to meet new folks when they come into town. This is one of those weeks and we’re excited for the opportunity to share our journey with others (in person).

Anyone who is a writer knows that we write because it feeds our soul, not our pocketbook, but I have to say that this little Kindle book has shocked me. When you consider that the average U.S. book sells less than 250 copies per year and less than 3,000 copies over its lifetime, it’s definitely a cause for celebration when a book sells more than 5,000 copies (only 25,000 books have sold more than that). And, of course, there are always books that sell beyond anyone’s expectations: Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series is one of them!

This week Living and Retiring in Cuenca surprised me with 1,500 copies being sold since it was published in April 2011. Certainly not a best seller, but it wasn’t intended for that purpose. So this is a personal thank you to all who have purchased it and recommended it to others. As I update the 2012 version, I’m including a list of new businesses and resources. So if you have a business in Cuenca, just drop me an e-mail through my "contact button."

Today I realized that it’s time to make our list for the States when we return in August. If I had to do it over again, I would have definitely packed more Totes umbrellas, rain gear (especially rain boots in sassy styles and colors), raincoats and less summer stuff. And that Nike jogging suit in black and hot pink that I left behind, I’m still regretting it. Oh, and I would have brought a gallon of Clinique Moisture Surge with me! A note about umbrellas: you need some just for the sun (in pastels preferably) and sturdy ones for the rain--the kind that don't fold up on you in the wind.

As far as gadgets, I would have definitely packed the rechargeable batteries and a battery recharger (what was I thinking?). And computers...I would definitely rethink my decision to bring my Dell laptop in pearlized pink. Dell parts are difficult to find in Ecuador, so you may want to rethink your computer choices. Apple, Mac, Toshiba, HP or Vaio are available here and so are the parts. Personally, I think pink is better suited for flowers than computers anyway. But thanks to Amazon and Club Correo, I’m still in business!

If you need to find a new route to the Coffee Tree, the guides are out that include a revision of the bus routes until the "redondel" is completed (in about a year).

Until next time...see you at the Coffee Tree!

Connie, Mark and Mocha

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