We revived this article that we wrote four years ago, complete with updates. We're still here and this is why! This post still stands true for us four years later.
There are many things that we appreciate about Cuenca such as the fresh wholesome food in the Mercado and in the many family run restaurants; we appreciate the patient and friendly Cuencano’s as we try and speak their language; we appreciate the splendor of the mountains that envelop Cuenca and keep her protected from the harshness of winter, and the beautiful flowing rivers that adorn all of Cuenca. Ah, wonderful Cuenca has so much that is loved by us but what we appreciate most is the closeness of families.
Why We Moved to Ecuador!
Update 2015: Our number one reason for moving to Ecuador in June 2011was for the abundance of fresh, clean, wholesome food. Of course we had other reasons to choose Ecuador and it was because of the awesome family oriented culture; both of these wonderful features about Ecuador helped us make the move to Ecuador.
It is not unusual to see fathers holding hands with their daughters as they walk down the street, or whole families, dad, sons, daughters, and mother holding hands walking down the street going out to dinner. Mothers and daughters walk arm in arm and big brothers and sisters keep an eye on their little siblings. They work together, play together, pray together, and stay together. Latin American's, for the most part, put families first and that is a beautiful thing and makes for a beautiful atmosphere.
As we travel around through the city of Cuenca, we see family run Panaderia’s (bread shops), restaurants, hardware stores, café’s and small grocery stores that line the cobblestone streets wherever you are in Cuenca, whether you are in colonial downtown or driving along the avenue of the Americas.
Although there are plenty of Universities here and many young people attend, there is not as much individualism in Ecuador as you see in North America. It’s all about family and relationships here. Families work together and help each other. It’s not uncommon for the young people to live at home until they are married. Businesses and schools in Ecuador shut down between 1:00 and 3:00 pm so families can dine out together or dine at home together for an extended lunch. Now if that is not family oriented, I don’t know what is.
There are very few nursing homes in Ecuador. Unlike in the U.S where most grown children put their elderly parents in a nursing home, here, they take care of their own. The ideals and values that are intertwined within the family unit here in Ecuador is similiar to how North America was back in the 1950’s, however many things are changing.
The closeness of family here is greatly appreciated by us!
If you love seeing families going about their day, caring for one another, you'll love Cuenca Ecuador!!
Update 2015: Now about the food. We have clearly observed that most people lose weight when they move here. The food is no doubt much cleaner and fresher, which accounts for some of the weight loss, nice complexion, skin rashes disappearing, etc, etc.
Speaking of food, another exceptional aspect about Ecuador is the amount of healthy foods available. Other Latin American countries do not have such a variety of grains and healthy foods available, or at decent prices. If you're a "health nut" (lol) you'll find Ecuador, especially Cuenca and Quito has everything you need. You will have to go to a variety of stores but you can find health foods, grains, fresh herbs and other healthy products in Ecuador that you will not find so easily or maybe not at all in other Latin countries.
And so we really appreciate these things about Ecuador, and even more so, four years later!
We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the Discover Cuenca Ecuador blog!