Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cuenca, Ecuador expats get together at Zoe and Di Bacco Restaurants

I have been in Cuenca since 12/01/11 and have not met any gringos or what are also called expats.

There are different gatherings of these expats which are Spanish classes - cooking classes - concerts - and even some Holiday bus and dinner trips. All these events are announced on which I receive in my e-mail daily, people advertise special services,   apartments for rent,  things for sale and other activities.

And then there is regular Expat parties, Friday nights at ZOE! and Tuesday nights at Di Bacco!

So I decided to go and see if I could make some gringo friends who live here.

           The dinning area is downstairs and the Bar is upstairs!

                        Located at Borrero 7-61 in El Centro

               And here's Juan, he can mix up some good drinks!

I sort of just sat at the bar in the corner being the new guy on the block. I did have a couple of guys who were here on vacation checking out Cuenca for future residency ask  me several questions about living here. So I really did not get a chance to meet any of the locals except for two!

The guy on the left is Michael Berger, he is originally from Oregon and now resides here with his Ecuadorian wife and child. Very nice guy, he owns they offer rentals and full ownership.
 The guy on the right with his mouth open and his hand in the air, not so nice! Guess there is always one in the crowd! Michael and I were talking about Expats living here and how many of them speak Spanish and this guy says: anyone who moves here and does not speak Spanish or understand the culture is just stupid and nuts! Not knowing if this was directed at me or not because my Spanish is not perfect! Thankfully he departed to the balcony to smoke a cigarette, one Expat I will not be making friends with! Ha!

Zóe Restaurant dining area

I have not eaten here yet but I understand the food is great! They serve steaks and seafood's for around $8. Guess I will give ZOE another try this Friday night!

  Anyway my Ecuadorian friends showed up to finish off the night.

The guy on the left of Bryan is Tyler from Oxnard, CA he met his Ecuadorian girlfriend Michelle, in Peru while he was in the Peace Corps, he is trying to figure out how he can stay here past his 90-day tourist visa to be with her. And to the right of her is Juan Carlos an Attorney here in Cuenca and Jimmy!

And on Tuesday night the Expat gathering is at Di Bacco, which is an excellent Italian Restaurant. It is small but it was pretty full.

                            Also in El Centro on Tarqui St.

       Great dinning area and the Bar is in the back of the room!

                      And the bartender Lauro and his bar back.

And I met another tourist! Anyway she is from Canada and will be moving here in a few months. She is here now for a couple of months checking out Cuenca and she loves it of course! No more cold winters for her!

              Expat night starts at 5 pm and is over around 8 pm!

And I did get to meet Jim, the guy in the middle, he is a Professor from Chicago who lives across the street from me and I have been reading his blogs. And the guy on the right is from Tennessee and he is just 48 and was a truck driver and decided to retire early and move to Cuenca. He is here on an Investor's visa because he is not old enough for a retirement visa and did not want to purchase a house. So he deposited $50,000 in a Coopera 10.5% CD and he lives off the monthly interest.

 And the fourth Expat I met is a great Lady from Texas, she's been          living here for about a year a loves it.

Well until next Tuesday, Di Bacco! Guess I will check out ZOE again this Friday night.

Guess I better get down and take another walk around the river! Until next time everyone have a good day!



  1. Hi Gary, I am glad you started this blog. Thanks for sharing. Ann

  2. Gary, you rock!!!! I love you details about your life in Cuenca. I read other bloggs - but yours is te bes!!!! I feel like I am in Cuenca already. I plan my trip to Cuenca late September 2012 for a month to see if I would like just like you. I am 54 y/o emptynester and a teacher, originaly from Poland, but lived in Germany and France. I would love to get together and talk more. You are like an encyclopedia - full of knowledge and experience! My email is Please drop me a line if you find the time to do so.
    Congrats on your move and a new life!
    Jadwiga Rytych

  3. Gary- you are an incredible photographer! I really hope to make it to Cuenca sometime.

    1. Thank you but I bought a Fuji camera for $89 from Walmart and I leave in on automatic. Unfortunately it is hard to hold still all the time and some of the photos are blury! But I am happy with it over all!

  4. Gary, your photos are pretty darn good no matter what camera you are using. It takes an artists eye to take good photos and you seem to have that. Keep up the good work. I am excited for the guy who retired early and is living off of the interest he deposited. He must be making close to $500 per month in interest off the $50000 he deposited. That is a big deal, especially when we get less than 1 percent in the states.... This just keeps sounding better and better.... Love the blog. By the way, I want to meet those Ecuadorian friends you have. I really want to know the locals. I think it makes life much more interesting. George

    1. is this still going on i hear that the coop had closed there doors

    2. Coopera has been closed down by the Government and most of the people have been refunded.

    3. Hi Gary its the COOPERA restaurant in San Joaquin closed down also?

  5. so are the abnks there have the same deal qith c/ds at 10.5% or was it just the coopera. we are looking to come down in about 16 months. and looking forward to it. thanks walter

  6. JEP another credit union since 71' pays 9.25% The Government Bank pays 8% and the other National Banks pay up to 6%

  7. actually JEP pays 10% if deposit is larger then 1 million.
    That's what they told me back in June