Monday, September 28, 2015

Saturday afternoon in Cuenca

This is Mike...
Cuenca has long been an exclusive area in Ecuador. Today, the 8,000 foot (2,500 meter) high city has another claim to fame, an expat mecca. The city draws retirees or easy going folk looking for a slower pace of living from all over the world. Cuenca,_Ecuador has a moderate climate, affordable housing and has great health care for cheap. The population of the metro area is about 700,000 people and is a relatively clean city for Latin America.
   We are renting a home from expats who moved here from Colorado almost 3 years ago. Their old lifestyle in the US cost about $5000 a month to sustain, down here they pay less than $2000 a month. According to them, they did not sacrifice quality in the move and as we can see in their home, have all the amenities of a modern American home. Moreover, they were both on Social Security Medicare back in the states and their monthly premium was $90 and had a co-pay of $150 a month. The husband takes 3 medications daily and back in the states his monthly expenses for the meds was $240. Here, he does not have to get a refill monthly, rather he gets a 3 month supply upfront. Also the cost for a 3 month supply of the exact same drugs is $60, working out to $20 a month with no B.S. follow-ups etc. On our travels to date, affordable healthcare has been a real issue for many people considering retiring abroad.  After seeing what is available outside the states, one could hardly blame them for leaving.
One of the many squares in the old town

Beautiful buildings surround the open spaces

Many churches and cathedrals are near the town epicenter

Colonial chic

One of the many flower markets in town

The streets were clean and we did not see any panhandling

The building of a bygone era.

There was a lot of action in town giving it a nice urban feel.

The famous cathedral of the Cuenca skyline.

Deutsches Zentrum (German Center) showcasing German heritage in the area.

The buildings were tastefully restored to their former grandeur 

Different sections of town had different specialties, leather goods, textiles, flowers, etc.

Clean and safe feeling town. There is a noticeably large police presence here to maintain order

One of my favorite buildings

The textile market - great deals on any alpaca or llama items

Stately buildings are a backdrop to commerce below

The flower market is where $1.50 can buy a lot of joy

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