10 Years of Blog Archive

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Answering Readers Concerns, about Living 10 Minutes by Taxi, from Downtown Cuenca (Part 3)

Comment from a reader: Then there's the language issue. If one can't or won't learn to speak Spanish, perhaps finding the gringo-bubble area makes more sense from a safety and convenience standpoint.

Frank and Angie answer: That’s the whole point of what we talk about on the Discover Cuenca Blog. You call it the gringo–bubble area but the gringo-bubble thing is why there is gringo targeting; gringo inflation; and gringo resentment in Cuenca Ecuador.  

If you ask us, the gringo-bubble needs to get popped and the new set of gringos coming here if they will, should find a nice home or apartment to rent for $300 or less, if they will, they need to say no to being over-priced when they know what the actual price is, if they will, they should patronize the Ecuadorian run shops, stores and restaurants, and, if they will, they should learn the language and enjoy being a new part of the Ecuadorian culture, if they will…of course we can’t tell anyone how to live or what to do.

Now we hope that most of our readers are willing to do that; you just have to stick to your guns or else everywhere else in Cuenca will get expensive too. We are now seeing a lot of ads from locals needing a place to live for their family at the $180 to $250 Ecuadorian price, and sadly they can’t find any!!!! 

On another note, not knowing the language makes you more vulnerable to over-paying, to getting robbed, to not making any local friends, to gringo targeting and gringo isolation which leads to more gringo inflation. Now is that any way to live happy, frugal, healthy, and free?

That’s the whole niche of this blog isn’t it?  If gringos want to move to a foreign country, pay U.S. prices, not learn the language, trip over themselves and outbid each other on everything especially property, and be part of or the cause of a gringo bubble, well then, guess who’s going to get hurt when the bubble pops? 

There is a saying in the alcoholism community:  you can’t become an alcoholic if you don’t drink.  Likewise, we say:  you can’t get hurt in a gringo bubble if you don’t participate.  We’re here to be an example to those that decide not to participate.  After all, we’re certainly not asking those very same people to come out and engage in those very same behaviors in the rest of the city and simply expand that bubble, which by default creates the very dangerous and inconvenient for the rest of us, perception, that all gringos are rich and stupid.  By the way, we didn’t say rich and stupid first, the locals did.


  1. Does anyone use bikes to get around?

  2. Hi Becky, thanks for posting. Yep...there are people who ride bikes here all over the place. There is a huge park here with bike trails as well.

    We highly recommend for bikers to have good head gear... and to get a feel for "how the traffic is first" before you head out on a bike.

    You will find the traffic here a bit different than in North America. It is not an uncommon sight for drivers to run red lights here.

    For the most part Ecuadorians are good drivers, but it seems like behind the wheel is the only time they are in a hurry. LOL


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