Best Blog Cuenca Ecuador 2016

| February 29, 2016 | 38 Replies


Best Blog Cuenca Ecuador 2016


Hello Ecuador and thank you. Thank you for voting for this blog and for all your support. We won again! Best Blog Cuenca Ecuador 2016. I am very happy.

Look at this picture that was taken in Times Square. Can you believe we are that popular. Being GringoPost Best of 2016 must be a really big deal. All kidding aside, thank you for all your votes. This is just wonderful.


Best Blog Cuenca Ecuador 2016

Ecuador George In Times Square



In This Post

So I want to take a bit of a chance today and do a little change up. I am actually going to do a story that is a bit of a reality check. About why people leave Ecuador and go back home. You really need to read this if you are seriously thinking of moving here. It will give you balance.

And of course I have a few of my weird and fun original stories. I have 3 short stories that will explain how my dark side developed over the years. Dark Evil George comes out to play today.

There are also a few photos of our 15 hour tour where we ended up on a great train ride up to Devil’s Nose.

But let’s start this post with a very important and timely announcement, about a really good group of people, trying to do some really great things.



Will You Help Please?


Did you know that there is still a huge stigma attached to HIV and AIDS here in Ecuador. And if you are found out, you are often ostracized, looked down upon as if you are being punished by God.

In order to not be found out, many people travel long distances to be treated and to obtain the needed medicine. This causes many hardships. Travel, housing, food, and time off from work, take a giant toll on families already struggling to survive.

Hogar de la Esperanza , translated Home of Hope, will be Cuenca’s first large scale social project specializing in providing temporary shelter, programs and services for men, women and children affected by HIV.

Please click here, Bringing Hope Home. This link will take you to an invitation to their first event, happening in just a few days, on March 5, 2016. Please just take a look. There has been a lot of work done for this cause by my friend Gary Vatcher and a number of very dedicated volunteers. The money raised here will help get this organization off the ground here in Cuenca. If you can not attend, maybe you could afford a small donation. For more information or to donate a little something, see their website at



Devil’s Nose Train Tour

Our first tour went off without a hitch. My favorite part was the train and the sit down dinner. Chicken fried chicken is one of my favorites, and it was good.

The day started at 6am and ended at 9pm. Lots of fun, time to visit new people, so many laughs, and just an overall great time. Look for more trips like this sponsored by Cuenca Expats Magazine coming up in the near future.


Best Blog Cuenca Ecuador 2016

This Group Was Big Trouble



No Shortage of Fun on This Tour

No Shortage of Fun on This Tour


best blog cuenca ecuador 2016

This Young Man Wanted My Pizza…. So We Shared       (S. Herron)


Where Is The Train?

Where Is The Train?




What Do You Mean You Are Going Home? Why?


“I am leaving Ecuador and going back home.”

I have heard this many times in the last 2 years. For some reason, everyone seems to tiptoe very carefully around this subject. And I don’t know why. Some are even defensive, thinking that people might say that they failed or were not able to adjust to the new expat lifestyle and local culture.

Maybe this person just wants to go somewhere else. What’s the big deal?

Maybe the ones pointing those fingers and making those comments need to go look in the mirror.

But to be completely honest, I am kind of curious. I want to know why people leave. Not to judge them, but to better understand the dynamic of the big move out of the country, and then the realization that maybe it just wasn’t what they thought it would be. Or maybe the adventure just played itself out and it is time to return or maybe make a new plan.

So, I have taken a very unscientific poll and below are some of the reasons people gave as to why they go back… Enjoy.


  • The language barrier is too difficult to overcome
  • Wandering spirit
  • Never intended to stay forever
  • Lack of convenience
  • Failed marriage
  • I miss Costco
  • Unable to change the culture to suit them
  • Locals lie about everything
  • Poor expectation management
  • Health problems/altitude sickness
  • Miss closeness of family members
  • Fear of the local culture
  • Miss my golf buddies and playing
  • Good booze is too expensive
  • Miss family holidays
  • Originally misled by national retirement publications
  • Spouse threatened divorce
  • Cost too much to visit family in country of origin
  • Birth of a grandchild
  • Employment opportunity
  • The non achiever culture bothered me every day
  • Too much gossip
  • Retail shopping is not good here
  • Everything moves so slow I became uncomfortable

The language barrier and the difficulty adjusting to the local culture, were the two categories that came up over and over.

I also received many comments from survey participants and I copied 5 of them for you to read below. These were people who had very strong opinions or have experienced this first hand.


Herman V.      I have been an expat in Latin America for 18 years, and from what I have seen the percentage of people who don’t stay is well over 50%. It’s just that some last longer before leaving, say over 5 years. Also, when you ask them why they go back, they will often not tell you the truth. They don’t want to say ” I was stupid, I made a mistake, I hate it here, life is better back home” whatever. They especially won’t say anything negative whilst they are trying to sell you their house or their stuff.


Chris P.       We moved to Ecuador expecting to live out our lives there. We were there for four years. Although it is purely anecdotal, I would say the percentage of people (of the ones we met while there) who leave after two or more years is more like 60%. Of those we know who have also left, most, if not all were planning to stay forever. Convenience is the one word I would use to describe what i missed. Having to pay bills in person, not being able to go to one store or area to shop. No drive thru restaurants. That kind of thing. I also never got used to the public urination, the stopping in the road and blocking traffic to buy something being sold on the side of the road. The incredible juxtaposition of friendly people walking and daredevils driving. With no hint of following rules or laws. The cultural belief that it is OK to take whatever you can get from a Gringo. We had several so called friends and one employee, who asked to borrow thousands of dollars. Others we know who did lend the funds, never saw the money again. Mainly, I felt like a “Stranger in a Strange Land” and I knew no matter how fluent I ever got in Spanish, I would never be really accepted.  Just my “two cents”. Not saying we are sorry we moved or that anyone should be offended, just that you never really know what it will be like until you get there and live there for a while.


Lorraine Askam          Well George, I have experienced in my two years of living in Cuenca, some of those things. They used to always say people buy houses when their marriages are the problem! Some of us move to other countries instead….Thinking a change of scenery will make all things better. Of course that is just wishful thinking I’ve found!

Most seniors I’ve found stay thru about the 3rd holiday season. Then they miss the grandkids growing up or there are medical issues. New people come to EC, old friends leave. I’m always surprised when someone has been here 5 years…to me they must be happy and content.

After 2 years I am happy here and have few things in the US to draw me back… No grandkids…except now I have a wonderful boyfriend with 2 little grandsons…..And those little guys are adorable. But the cost of living in the US and the reality of my Soc Sec are at odds. I am comfortable here, the weather is good, and a trip back every few years is about all I need. No driving, good inexpensive food, lots of Expats and Ecuadorians to get to know. If they just had good quilting cotton in Ecuador it would be paradise! But it’s close! And when or if I ever leave, I consider it wonderful to have moved to a foreign country. Good questions George. We need to meet up for a drink and a talk about our experiences!


Lee W.         My wife and I moved here with the intention of living out our lives here and, so far, see absolutely no reason to change. We are loving our house and farm. We live in a house we had built in Cotacachi and have a farm in the Intag where we are growing coffee. Our coffee gets rave reviews from everybody who tries it. One cafe serves my coffee exclusively and people come in just for the coffee.

I know some people who have left, but very few, and mostly for health reasons. We cannot think of any reason we would ever leave. Yes we will get older and probably have health issues down the line (I am 72 but in excellent health). One of us may die but the other will still stay until they die.

I hope to take the citizenship test soon. Still not comfortable enough with my Spanish yet, but it is coming along. Have to speak Spanish in the Intag. Nobody speaks English! Also no cellular service or internet, but I think that is great. We’ve found our home and are here for life.


Jennifer Lynne         When some people brought it up before, the “Ecuador is perfect” chanting got really loud and aggressive to stifle the conversation.

I would estimate that far more than 30% leave in a relatively short time. I say this because so many seem to leave, and because of the sentiment by many expats that “you aren’t a real expat until you’re here at least __ years”. That tells me a LOT of people leave, maybe the majority.

Also, moving from a developed country to a developing one, no matter how adventurous one may be, is a huge adjustment. Little things like easy access to services and products become a big deal. Having to deal with language barrier is a big deal. Having to figure out how to navigate a completely different system is a big deal, especially later in life.

Sometimes people simply realize they don’t want to have to deal with all that. Maybe they don’t want to have to seek out doctors who speak their language or find translators; maybe they don’t want to have to watch every step on a sidewalk for fear of breaking a leg. Maybe they don’t want to have to search high and low for something as simple as index cards. Maybe they realize being near family and longtime friends is more important than they thought. Etc etc etc.

I think, for a lot of people, the expat experience probably shows them all the things they took for granted before, and they go home with a new appreciation for their home countries.

There is another type, who simply move on. These people are more like lifelong adventurers who get more enjoyment out of experiencing a new place than anything else, and so they keep moving. It doesn’t say anything about the places they go. They just like to go. I’m more like this second type. I came back to Las Vegas for the time being, but Ecuador was not my first rodeo and it won’t be my last. I have moved so many times…..I will surely move again. Haha


Ok, that is the end of this story.

And why did I post something like this? Because I don’t want any of you to think moving here is just a cake walk. It is not. It is challenging but also rewarding. It is lovely and it can also be ugly.

No place is perfect, including Ecuador. But for now, this is where I live…

And I like it. I like it a lot.


Artful Song Break

While I was writing the last few paragraphs, this song started playing in my head. So I went searching for it. This rendition is the best I have ever heard.

I think it moved me…




Growing My Dark Side… The Dark Side of George


Little Miss Pissy Pants
The Desk

The Desk

I have always been a bad person, for as far back as I can remember.

When I was in the first grade, I poured a little water on the seat part of Gracie Lou’s desk. Not too much, I didn’t want her to feel it when she sat down.  By the way, Gracie Lou was the biggest and meanest girl in school, and was always turning around and slugging me, and calling me Bed Wetter George.

Pay back can be a bitch, even at 5 years old.

After recess we always had a heads down on the desk, rest time, for a few minutes. That’s when I poured the rest of the water on the floor under her chair. No one saw me.

When rest time was over, I raised my hand to ask a question. As I stood up to talk, I pushed two pieces of notebook paper off my desk and they both floated down to the wet floor, right under Gracie Lou’s chair.

Do I really need to finish this story?

Everyone is now looking at me as I address Mr. Davila, but at the same time I am bending over to pick up my dropped papers.

Oh my god, my papers were dripping wet. I jumped back and some of the water hit the boy sitting in the desk next to me. He jumps up and starts yelling.

At the same time, Mary Lou decides to get out of her desk to see what is happening. A boy, now looking back from the front of the class notices the big wet spot on Mary Lou’s flannel skirt and yells out, “Oh, she wet herself”

The whole class is now out of their desks and screaming out of control. Everyones eyes are fixated first on the wet floor, and then on Mary Lou’s butt.

Within seconds, Mary Lou has completely twisted her skirt around so the wet spot is now in the front. She is absolutely still for what seemed like a lifetime, and then she ran from the classroom.

She never laid another hand on me. Pissy Pants is not a nickname you want to go through adolescence with. And she never called me Bed Wetter George again, either.

My formal education was now in full swing at the tender age of 5.


Don’t Mess With The Nerd

You would have liked me when I was a kid. I was a schemer. Always had a plan, and my one-upmanship was usually untouchable.

I used to deal candy in grammar school, a black market of sorts. This was a Catholic School, and no candy was sold on the grounds. But you could buy it from me, for double the regular price.

I used to get mugged by this bully. Jack Lloyd was his name. He would push me down, have his two friends hold me, and he would rifled through my pockets for the sugary stash.

After a month of being repeatedly robbed, I decided this highjacking of local commerce had to stop. Otherwise I would have to raise my prices. And nobody likes that.

Jack was in my math class. I got to class early one day and slipped an empty box of Fireball jawbreakers into his desk. About five minutes after class started I reached into my pocket and pulled out a handful of jawbreakers and rolled them along the floor towards the front of the classroom. Nothing happened. I had about ten left so I threw them into the mix too, but this time in different directions.

The teacher noticed one that had rolled under his desk and he bent down to investigate. As he was looking under his desk, some nutcase picked up a jawbreaker from the floor and threw it at the chalkboard. Within seconds another one hits the side wall.

Now we are having some fun….

This little prank went from zero to a hundred in just a couple of seconds. Jawbreakers were hitting the walls, the front of the teachers desk, and some were being re-rolled around the classroom floor.

Things had gotten a little crazier than I had planned. The teacher was furious and now heading towards my desk. It was no secret that I was the campus candyman, and he was after my butt.

He had me stand up and he searched me, but I had left no incriminating evidence. What I did have was “Jack did it” written in large bold letters on my notebook.

See ya later Jack… the empty box was found in Jack’s desk and he was suspended.

Later that week I hired this real big guy to protect me. We became fast friends and Jack and his buddies had to get their sweets from someone else.


You Stole From Me… Now You Will Pay

I am a homebuilder by profession, and one of the reasons I retired early was because clients were starting to not pay. Collecting that last installment was often a challenge. I had a contract, and a budget, and a draw schedule, and I delivered a fantastic product. But still, they would make up any kind of excuse not to pay, or they would become amateur wheeler dealers with that last bit of my money.

It was awful to see these seemingly honorable people trade their integrity for $5,000. I wouldn’t sell mine for less than $100,000. But then, I have always had higher standards than most.

I had never experienced this type of bad behavior before. The first 20 years of my career I had perfect clients. Everyone loved my work, and everyone paid. Only in those last couple of years did I have a bad experience with these dead beats.

And I am not admitting anything here, but you need to be careful when you don’t pay your contractor.

Remember those subscription inserts that would always fall out of magazines. I used to find so many of those in our little local post office. They were always in that open recycle bin next to the post office boxes. I could easily find 2 or 3 different ones whenever I was there picking up my mail.

Of course I never did this, but someone told me you could address those subscriptions to anyones house and then just drop them in the mail. You could do one or two every week for six months if you wanted to. What a horrible trick. Can you imagine. All those magazines coming to your home, over and over and over. You would call and cancel one, and then the next day another would show up. What a nightmare…

But not as bad as mortar and cement in your sewer pipes. Of course, I would never do this, but all you have to do is ask to use the bathroom. A quart size baggy of mortar in the toilet, maybe a little in the shower and sink drain, damn that bathroom drains slowly.

And a syringe full of urine into carpet pad. Who would do such a thing to a new house. Or vice grips on a couple of the copper pipes to limit water flow. Who thinks of these things.

My favorite one, and this is genius, is a water balloon filled with Doomsday vegetation killer delivered at night, to someones favorite vegetable or rose garden. A Super Soaker squirt gun works really well to, but isn’t as precise.

I have more, but I am retired now. And I have had some therapy to get rid of such thoughts.

No resentments here. Just gratitude.

Life is good. And confession is so good for the soul.


A Couple More Pictures Before I Close


Craig Poopie Pants With Ricardo

Craig With Ricardo…. That Desk Sure Looks Familiar


Best blog cuenca ecuador 2016

Great Ecuadorian Woman at Devil’s Nose   (photo by Susan Herron)


That is all for this time.

Next time I will review the new gym I just joined, Spartan Gym, just a block back from Remigio Crespo near the State College of Cuenca, and I will finally introduce you to my friends who all own local businesses here in Cuenca.

And we are going to California in two weeks and we will tour the coast from Laguna Beach all the way to San Francisco. One of the stops is the Queen Mary where I have booked a stateroom. And I will have a surprise guest along for this tour. Can you guess who it might be?

March will be a busy month. Thanks again for being so loyal. Hope you will stick around for a long time.

Comments are always welcome. Stay well my friends.


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Category: Living in Ecuador, Retiring in Ecuador, Visiting Ecuador

Comments (38)

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  1. vikki gerhart says:

    Great stuff as always George. Bad Catholic boy indeed. 🙂

  2. George says:

    Thanks Vikki,
    Glad you liked the post. And I was a bad Catholic boy. I had a good heart but a naughty nature. But Catholic School was probably one of the best things that happened to me while growing up. I needed the structure and disipline that was required to be there. I never did fit in, but it was a good thing for me to be there now that I look back at it.

    Stay well my friend,


  3. Michael says:

    Another great post George. And congratulations on winning Best Blog Cuenca 2016! I really love the last photo on the page of you and the woman at Devil’s Nose. Keep it up!

    • George says:

      Thank you Michael,
      I love that photo too. She has such a classic look. It was a privilege for me that she let me take a picture with her. Thanks for reading my friend.


  4. Craig says:

    Hey George, I always enjoy reading your stuff! Great writing and it is always fun to see the pictures. Keep up the good work. I think two blog posts a month would be AWESOME! hehe

    • George says:

      Damn you Craig,
      Maybe I could do two posts if I made them shorter. I need some story ideas. Maybe you could offer up some of yours for me to write about. Hahahahaha. You know what I’m talking about. Thanks for the comment.


  5. TJ Brownly says:

    Ecuador George,
    I have been in Cuenca over 3 years now and I cannot believe we have not met yet! You do a wonderful job and your humor gets me every time. When are you planning another tour? I would be interested in a Galapagos tour.. maybe a land based discount tour?

  6. Pat says:

    Always a great read – congrats!

  7. Jim Gould says:

    Loved the childhood stories.

    The leaving expats stuff was a bit heavy. Unless you have family here, chances of being a “lifer” are slim. Every time a good expat friend goes back it is a blow and it is only natural to reevaluate your own situation – are things going as planned? What colour (UK spelling) is the grass on the other side now? etc…..

    • George says:

      I can tell you are a writer. I always try to keep my stuff light. The heavy stuff bogs the reader down and they lose interest. I did a little editing but it is still heavy. Probably why not to many people got to the end to leave comments.

      This post is an interesting experiment. If I can write and make you feel happy, or find some commonality, the comments go on like crazy. Write something heavy and I think it takes the wind out of the reader.

      But this was a subject that needed to be addressed. Next time I will write about chocolate cake and pony rides.

      Thanks for the comment and the observations.


  8. Tom Gallagher says:

    Nice job George! My only concern was food but I learned to adapt to it. I usually need to drink my meals and supplement food with Instant Breakfast for the vitamin content. The workaround would to dissolve multi vitamins in fruit juice (beer). The rest of the list does not apply. Have a great trip.



  9. Ken says:

    Great “reality check” information George. Well rounded blog.

  10. Bob Santini says:

    Jack Lloyd? Really….

    • Ecuador George says:

      Be careful,
      I might have a story with your name in it next time. Hahahaha. You caught me.

      I make some of these stories up. The jawbreaker one was 60% true, the contractor one was 100% true, and Little Miss Pissy Pants never happened. But I was inspired by a girl that was in my 3rd grade class that did wet herself and made a puddle. That poor little girl.

      I like the alias… Bob

  11. Jean McCord says:

    Great job, George! As someone who plans to move to Cuenca before long, I especially enjoyed the reality check and the responses to it.

  12. Todd says:

    Thanks George for your humor, wit, and seriously irreverent dark personality!

    I know why your blog wins…Congratulations!!

    I have been in Ecuador 50 days today with my wife of 33 years and my 25 yo son. So far no one wants to go home…unless you count my wife when she says, “Hey lets just run over to Target a minute and get…”, or “Costco has it, lets grab a cab and run there…we can get a buck 99 slice of pizza while we’re there too.”

    My wife is an awesome woman who handles the common sense side of things. If not for her I’m sure I would be living on the beach in Canoa…which is great until the sand fleas find that sweaty place in my board shorts.

    Because of her, we are in a great condo in Bahia de Caraquez overlooking the Pacific. Even have AC…I told you she is smart.

    I had been reading your blog when I was still in the should I jump or shouldn’t I jump phase of our move to Ecuador. Thanks for keeping it real George…and having a whole lot of fun in the process!


  13. Colette says:

    Dear George,
    So nice to get your latest blog via email. I’m planning a friendly reconnaissance to Cuenca in September. I’ve been telling my friends to read your blog just because it’s well-written and funny, the EC stuff a plus for me. It’s a no-brainer that you won for 2016. If there is another that is even close to yours, please tell me. I promise to stay true, though. Thanks for being online and on the earth.

    Being from a small town (by Mt. Lassen, CA), having lived in Montevideo for 2 years and traveled in S.A., I’m not concerned about the reason-to-leave list. I’m anxious to meet the people, see the art, and check out the flowers and critters. Time will tell how long I might want to stay, but I’m hoping it will be for the long term. Thanks for trying to thoroughly cover both good and bad aspects of life in EC. Have you heard the story about the guy at the pearly gates who took a tour of heaven and hell? As somebody said, we all have different expectations/needs/tolerances and they change.

    When you have time, could you please address two questions? I’ve been watching the weather for the last month. I’ve read several sites concerning the climate.
    One ? regards the rainiest season weather that comes on in March and lasts for a few months. Does the sun normally come out every few days or for part of most days? How often are absolute downpours where you would not want to be outside?

    Also, you mentioned that you would look into the situation for cyclists. Are there neighborhood markets with fresh produce, cheese wagons, copper pots, flowers, etc? If so, can a cyclist access them through back streets?

    Finally, could you please include some photos to show what working or out-and-about non-gringos wear on the street?

    Look forward to your next post and hope you have a really big time on coastal tour.
    Cheers, Colette

  14. David Blackwell says:

    Congrats on the award. Well-deserved!

    Enjoyed your stories but I especially appreciated the “Going Home” poll. It is insightful. My analysis is that people have unrealistic expectations and are ill-prepared for culture shock. It’s largely a matter of attitude.

    Twice a month blogs would be nice but I’m happy for your monthly effort.


    • George says:

      Unrealistic expectations is a big reason. Language was the top reason, only because is can cause many daily challenges. Even knowing how to speak enough to ask questions will not help if you can not understand the answer.

      And if you are not a patient person the culture can be a bit hard to get used to. They do things differently in other cultures. I still don’t understand some of the things but I just let things go now. Getting upset only hurts the person that is mad.

      Thanks for reading.


  15. Jo Merriam says:

    Hey, George!
    Another great Blog Post! I just have one question: when you built a house, or did a re-model for clients, didn’t you ever have a Lien clause in the contract to prevent non-payment? I was a Realtor for many years and worked with a lot of builders in different states, including Calif. We always had a clause in the original contract that the deal didn’t close until the builder got paid. No pay, no close, builder keeps the money he was paid, and gets the property. I wanted to make sure my builders were protected, and it sure weeded out the would-be dead beats. Never did have a problem buyer/client. Just sayin’….
    Anyway, loved your stories about Catholic School!

    • George says:

      Most contractors use pre-liens in order to collect money. In 20 years of building homes, I never used one. Of course if there was a construction loan, the bank would issue the checks to me, and I never had much problem but for all the paperwork. The banks took care of most of the pre-liens.

      I never had a problem because I always preformed over and above what was standard in the industry. People loved me and would never consider not paying me. A couple of times I was given a $5000 bonus.

      But something changed and I got smarter in the end. I charged a little more for the house and made sure the last draw was very small. I could walk away if the client didn’t pay without loosing to much. Just the way I chose to do business.

      Not a bad run for a building contractor. But I got out just in time. To many regulations and requirements now. The city and county governments have ruined homebuilding. So sad. I really loved building beautiful homes.


  16. Dale Morris says:

    Great log George, as usual. That’s why you are famous! And now I’m really wondering about dark George, hmmm, you sure have the details down pat. Hugs

    • Billy says:

      Although I am a recent fan of the blog, I check almost daily to see if there is anything new. Best blog ever, anywhere.
      The reasons for leaving were really helpful. I read everything I can find about moving to Cuenca, good, bad, and ugly. Some blogs get pretty negative, talking about crime, frustration with pace, government, etc. So, it is good to read a balanced view.
      The stories are always fun to read, too. (Do you know about suspension of disbelief?)
      I may take an exploratory trip in June. I would appreciate any pointers and would especially like to meet you, George. Keep it up!

  17. David says:

    Uncle George-

    Can we see you when you are here?


    • Ecuador George says:

      Hi David.
      Come up to Forest Falls or I could come down and visit you. Let’s make it happen for sure. Love you. George

  18. Mary Woods says:

    Love reading your blog George. Very interesting the reasons people leave and the comments from those who have something to say.
    Oh, be careful on the Queen Mary. Even though it was 9 years ago, I stayed overnight in a stateroom with a porthole with a perfect view of Long Beach but I woke up to lots of little bites and itching. I then realized the bed was full of bed bugs! I could actually see them. I was so totally grossed out. So check your mattress very carefully before crawling in or you could have lots of crawlers eating a free lunch!

  19. Lina says:

    What a great blog, George! Now I understand why people love it, and you, so much! You were a bad boy, though, weren’t you! Making stuff up, even now! Much love,

  20. Fiona says:

    Thanks for posting the reasons people are leaving (and staying). I find that some people get very defensive here in the US when you tell them you are going to move to Ecuador (and I am not even an American). They automatically take it as an insult that you would not want to spend your days out here. I find myself about to justify our choice (no family here other than my husband, our retirement will go further there) but then step back and just figure that peoples worlds are different, that their world view and perspective is different and no matter what I say, they do not want to change their mind.
    I would love you to keep posting reasons for them leaving. I mentally went down your list and was able to categorize “yes” and “no” when they applied to us.

  21. Eva says:

    Dear George,
    Everything has been said and I wanted to enjoy Every Word anonymously as per usual, but if Everyone would do that, you would get no feedback and warm fuzzies…here is my enthusiastic praise for your thoughts, insights and information: right on! I joyfully anticipate your new article every month and am delighted to read every word, I find truth and humor and personal exposure so endearing, that I feel I know you, even when from afar. May your life continue to be upward bound!

  22. Edie Baxter says:

    Hola George,
    I started reading your blog a few years ago when you were still in California and we were still in the States but planning a move to Ecuador. We finally got moved just over a year ago but we moved to Alto Boquete, Panama. We have been extremely happy here because we read so many blogs from people like you who shared the details of preparation for moving and then adjusting to the new country. Life isn’t much different here and the people’s reasons for leaving are pretty much the same.
    I like your attitude about where you live now, not saying it is or isn’t forever. Nobody knows exactly what the future holds or how one might feel about it.
    We will get to Cuenca eventually just because we haven’t been there yet. We can’t imagine being this busy when we are retired but part of the reason is because you can pretty much only plan one thing in a day because it could take an hour or several hours.
    Of course you won Best Blog….Keep it up!

  23. Debra Mac says:


    I don’t know how I missed your blog while I have been researching Ecuador! Well deserved award!! I have been trying to catch up by reading some of your older posts. Love your sense of humor and great insight to many different places in Ecuador. Now I just don’t know where to start!! I am planning to visit Ecuador next year. My goal is to make a couple of visits with my husband and then make the leap! Thanks for all of your info and stories!

    • Ecuador George says:

      Thank you Debra,
      I am meeting with a couple of editors this next week to see if we have enough information for a book about Ecuador. It might be nice for people to just be able to buy a paperback or ebook with all the information right there. Thanks for reading and I hope to meet you and your husband when you are in Cuenca.


  24. Deb says:

    I especially liked your “tricks to play” when people are hesitant to pay an agreed upon fee for service. Having been in the building trades, we were quick to place leans on properties when contractors decided to be unwilling to pay for work done. Another good trick in bleach on a new sodded lawn. Takes a few days to start showing up, but works wonders. Usually a person who has shorted one subcontractor has shorted another, so who knows who did the deed. I love your blog and learn much about life and Ecuador. Thank you.

  25. M & M Smith says:

    Hello George,
    My wife and I went to Ecuador for two weeks in April (2016). We were scouting Cuenca, in particular, with the thought of retiring there. We had a wonderful experience. The cuencanos were very warm and welcoming.
    The light rail was supposed to be finished some time ago. Can you tell us how the work on it has progressed? Is there a projected opening date?
    We hope to come back to Ecuador to live early in 2017. Do you think the light rail will be completed at some point in 2017?
    Thanks for your blog. We enjoy reading it.
    M & M Smith (currently in Virginia)

    • Ecuador George says:

      Hello M and M
      Thanks for the comment. The Tranvia won’t be ready until early 2018. Everything take twice a long in Ecuador. George

  26. William, the Minstrel of Rock says:

    My name is William and I am seriously considering moving to Ecuador. Thank you George for this blog. It makes me think that I have already made the right decision.

    As you can tell by my title William- the Minstrel of Rock, that I am a musician. For the last year and a quarter I have been a street performer in St Augustine Florida. I am wondering what if any laws prohibit the performance of music anywhere in Ecuador.

    • Ecuador George says:

      There are street performers everywhere in Cuenca and Quito. Come on down. You will love it here. George

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