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Here is a basic breakdown of our feelings about 5 different aspects of life in Cuenca. You may become a victim of crime like we did, whether it’s a snatch-and-grab or something more scary.
For example, our family comes from small town Canada and Cuenca is the first city we’ve lived in.
That bad decision left us an easy target to the two thieves that robbed us.
We had been told that Cuenca is not all that safe at night (like most cities) but we had been there for a few years with no problems so we were feeling a little too comfortable.
That said, there plenty of appealing and affordable communities for those looking to retire.
We all carry certain perceptions and habits that could influence the outcome of experiences we have in Cuenca, good or bad. The many things we like about Cuenca (…culture, architecture, climate, language, mix of modern and old infrastructure) could be the same things that other people don’t like.
Not all of Ecuador’s amenities are as advanced as an American might be accustomed to, but expats express satisfaction with their medical care.
And though Ecuador is only about the size of Arizona, it has a varied topography ranging from snow-capped mountain peaks to rain forests to beaches (and flights that can whisk you from one area to another in a couple of hours).When it came time for Mike and his wife, Patty, to retire in 2010, Grimm, by then a teacher and living in Arizona, knew he wanted a low-cost location with good health care, natural beauty, nice weather and plenty of cultural opportunities.Grimm and his wife opted for Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador. That includes rent for their three-bedroom apartment with river views, utilities, and food (Patty says they eat even better here than in the states, as there’s locally grown produce year round).This probably would not have happened to people used to city life. It does have a low crime rate compared to cities of a similar size in North America.
So should hearing that we were robbed make you write off Cuenca or Ecuador all together? And as a foreigner you may feel more vulnerable because perhaps you don’t know the culture or language, but when it comes to crime it often has more to do with habits and decisions than the area itself. So by taking precautions, like not being in isolated places (especially at night), not wearing gold and expensive jewelry, and wearing your bag diagonally across and in front of your body you will avoid much of the crime that does exist in Cuenca and pretty much everywhere else. It does get cold – cold enough to make you shiver and see you breath in the air.This could leave a person calling it a paradise or an unfriendly desert… One thing to remember when doing research about relocating is that when you read blogs, you are reading personal opinions – and opinions can differ greatly. It’s always best to get a big picture by reading many different sources and then checking things out for yourself.