Good morning beautiful Cuenca!

2022 is almost here. The holiday season is in full swing all across Ecuador. In Cuenca, I am seeing colorful lights, Christmas decorations, beautiful trees, and holiday events beginning to be held. Many shoppers are out grabbing those “must have” last-minute items. Bands are playing, children are performing and several exciting Christmas and New Year’s events have already been scheduled throughout the city. The most exciting thing I have witnessed this season is that families and friends are starting to slowly gather and celebrate this year’s festivities together. My hope is that all of our readers have a cheerful, joyous and peaceful holiday season. I’m eager to share with you our cover story this month. New Century Planning Associates, with over 35 years of experience in financial advice, has recently opened an office to serve expats in Ecuador. New Century Planning recognizes the unique needs of the expat community and therefore, highly recommends a financial check-up for those living abroad. A yearly financial review of your income, taxes, investment and estate planning strategies should be on your “To-do List” in order to ensure you meet your specific needs in this rapidly changing financial environment.

Please join Ed Lindquist as he begins a Travel & Adventure series on visiting Ecuador’s many wonders. Our friends at Metropolitan Touring (largest in Ecuador) are helping prepare his itinerary.

First stop historic Quito and the world-famous boutique hotel—Casa Gangotena. You’ll want to read all about his adventure. 

An expat icon is back. Carolina Book Store has returned to their original location in el centro. This “mini oasis” of reading material has a new management team and with that, many noticeable improvements. You will recognize changes in design and atmosphere as soon as you enter their doors. And, if you are looking for an English or Spanish language book on almost any subject, they have over 10,000 books in inventory! 

So, make it a point to stop by and grab a book for those rainy afternoons (of which there have been many lately), or pick out a unique book as a Christmas gift for that avid reader in your family. Jane Hiltbrand is back with her monthly feature on Cuenca Architecture as she shares an interesting story about QUINTA BOLIVAR. Simon Bolivar, The Great Liberator, visited Cuenca in September 1822. The current building; however, is not the actual house where Bolivar stayed, as that location was demolished many years ago. Instead, sitting in its place is a beautiful museum in his honor. So, if you are a history buff, this museum is a must-see regarding Cuenca’s heritage.

You will also enjoy reading Barbara Garcia’s article “My Ecuador Journey: 1001 miles alone in an economy car”—a travelogue of ridiculous and fun proportions. Relish in reading her daily diary of her escapades along the coastal regions. Speaking of adventure, how would you like to bike around the world? Joan Monterde, a Catalan from Barcelona, is on this quest to help raise awareness about child poverty. He is currently working with Casa de los Niños in Cuenca. I think you will find his story and mission to help others inspiring. And finally, don’t forget to check out how FUNDACION PELUDITOS CUENCA is providing a safe haven for the dogs in our city at their two facilities. Miriam Lucia Espinoza Teran shares with our readers their many qualifications as well as the various services they provide. The organization is also in need of food, supplies, and volunteers. So, if you are looking to volunteer, FUNDACION PELUDITOS CUENCA may be the place for you.

Best always, Medody.


Ps. If you haven’t already, please go to Cuenca Expats Magazine’s Face Book page and “like” it. You’ll find information on all the upcoming expat events.