Expats Living In Cuenca, Ecuador

“Kathleen, I receive several online newsletters; most are apparently from basement boiler rooms, pushing their products.

“You guys are more straight-to-the-point and less hard-sell, which I appreciate at age 76.

“We plan to move from San Salvador to the Diriamba Highlands south of Managua, Nicaragua, this summer. You have been helpful in making that plan.


–Walt B., San Salvador

“Kathleen, good essay from Lief on ‘expat.’

“I have a twist for you. Here in Cuenca, the term for folks from north of the Rio Grande River is, as Lief says in the essay, ‘gringo.’ The Ecuadorians use it as a term of identification without prejudice.

“But west of the El Centro in Cuenca, a red-brick high-rise living area is known as Gingolandia or honkytown or, at worst, the Gringo Ghetto. Many stereotypes are embodied there. A majority of the gringos who do not live there talk about the place and its ‘prisoners’ (of their own making) in rather unflattering terms. The connotative term ‘Ugly American’ applies.

“The good part is that many of the prisoners seldom venture into the real world.”

–Larry K., Ecuador

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