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SH Rico, restaurant

We discovered a Chinese (Shanghai) restaurant, SH Rico, that makes the best chow mein in Cuenca. It isn't on the menu so you have to specifically ask for it. The wife who does the cooking complains that she can't find the correct type of Chinese noodles here. But other than the noodles being a little different, this is the real thing, and not the typical Ecuadorian-style Chinese food you find in all of the chifas.

The special Shanghai dishes are quite tasty, as well. However, most of the stuff on the published menu is just typical Ecuadorian-style Chinese food, except for the Shanghai dishes. The wife specialized in cooking chow mein in China before they came to Ecuador.

If you ask for chow mein, you may have to use the Mandarin pronunciation: chow myen. They don't speak English, and they don't speak much Spanish either, for that matter. The only reason I know what I am saying about them is that my husband is Chinese, and converses with them in Chinese. This is also the how I learned that I could order chow mein even though it wasn't on the menu. They are very friendly, and love to talk and talk (in Chinese).

They are open seven days a week, even Sunday night.

Address: Presidente Borrero 5-91 y Juan Jaramillo, Cuenca

Contact information:  098 739 4454.

Recommended by Bruce Engle: 098 626 7402 Bruce.Engle@outlook.com

GringoGreetings, greeting cards

When we came to Cuenca I could find not greeting cards. Finally, an acquaintance told us of some in Spanish. Today we visited Common Grounds with all its vendors that show their wares monthly. We were very pleased to see the new greetings cards table and to meet lovely Lori, the proprietor of GringoGreetings. Lori is a graphics artist and does a splendid job with the greeting cards.

I picked out 3 Thanksgiving cards, and another kind for an individual. So neat were the others it was hard not to take at least one or 2 of each. I was pleased to learn that Lori also does custom cards. I found her to be very accommodating for my preference and taste.

Her email address is ZippyLZ@MSN.com

Address: Gran Columbia y Manzaneros

Recommended by Susan Wilkins: 099 085 2837

Sonia Tello, massage therapy

Sonia Tello gives wonderful massages that are a unique combination of shamanic cleansing rituals and familiar western techniques. However, Sonia’s most noticeable gift is her warm, empathetic and intuitive heart which imbues her practice, as well as her cozy, warm studio, with a particular healing energy. You leave her studio recharged physically and spiritually. Sonia is learning English and manages to convey whatever she needs to say with creativity and Spanish dictionary.

Address: Agua Viva, Alfonso Moreno Mora 242 y Frederico Proano, north side of street, middle door; one-and-half blocks west of Italdeli on Solano.

Contact information:  07 281 2131 / 099 590 0625.

Recommended by Finn O'Gorman:  finnogorman@yahoo.com

Alfonso Yupangui, general construction fix-it

I highly recommend Alfonso Yupangui for general construction, plumbing, electrical, gas fitting, welding, painting, and even gardening. Over the past two months, Alfonso has installed gas appliances (running and connecting gas tubing), installed a 220V service for a kitchen range, moved toilets into new locations, converted a gas dryer from gas to propane, hung curtain rods and fixtures, and has generally been our Johnny-on-the-spot guy. He is punctual, honest, inexpensive, and resourceful. Hi speaks limited English, but with my limited Spanish, I believe we could plan and have him carry out brain surgery.

Do call Alfonso for any of this work. He also has a sparkling personality. Incidentally, he's Monica Gonzaga's (the excellent facilitator's) cousin, and will help for no charge if you need a bit of translation. I only needed her once to do this.

Please tell Alfonso Paul sent you.

Address: Cuenca, Azuay

Contact information: florecindoyupangui@hotmail.com 099 681 1219 Claro / 099 566 0657 Movistar

Recommended by Paul Green:  bronzefish77@yahoo.com

Flavio Munoz, guide

We arranged for the Devil's Nose Train and Ingapirca day trip with Cazhuma Tours, who always provides excellent service. We were picked up at our condominio by Freddie and Flavio. They are both contracted by various agencies in Cuenca. Freddie was an excellent driver; however, I did not get any contact information from him. Flavio was our guide for the day and really took great care of us and provided lots of information. When we returned to Ayausi on the train, besides providing a tasty and filling box lunch, he even bought us ice cream cones in the plaza. Flavio was our guide at Ingapirca, too, and provided the best tour we've had there to date. He took photos with his camera throughout the day and, a couple of days later, sent us a link to his photos. The four in our group all had a wonderful day and you can bet we are keeping Flavio's contact information.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: flavioe75@hotmail.com 095 967 5853.

Recommended by Jane Miner: 096 821 7809

La Quimica Laundry, laundry dry cleaning

For the past 2 months, I have logged 23 hours of recording/mixing with Juan Pablo Olivieri at Tardes de Musicos. I was a professional singer earlier in my life and wanted to re-test those skills. I looked at a few studios here in Cuenca and settled on Tardes de Musicos because his rates were half of what I was quoted by other studios, plus, as a singer, I recognized the equipment - microphone and mixer - Juan was using as being among the tops in the industry.

The studio is not the fanciest and the isolation room is small and basic, but I am very pleased with my results and Juan Pablo's commitment to deliver great sounding results. And results are the most important factor to me; not how stylish the studio's atmosphere is.

I highly recommend Tardes de Musicos.

Address: 24 de Mayo y Chilcapamba front roundabout Parque el Paraiso, inside CEBCI school (enter for Chilcapamba), Cuenca

Contact information: tardesdemusicos@outlook.com 098 747 8485

Recommended by Steven Ellison: 098 505 4656 stevenjellison@yahoo.com

Tardes de Musicos, recording studio

For the past 2 months, I have logged 23 hours of recording/mixing with Juan Pablo Olivieri at Tardes de Musicos. I was a professional singer earlier in my life and wanted to re-test those skills. I looked at a few studios here in Cuenca and settled on Tardes de Musicos because his rates were half of what I was quoted by other studios, plus, as a singer, I recognized the equipment - microphone and mixer - Juan was using as being among the tops in the industry.

The studio is not the fanciest and the isolation room is small and basic, but I am very pleased with my results and Juan Pablo's commitment to deliver great sounding results. And results are the most important factor to me; not how stylish the studio's atmosphere is.

I highly recommend Tardes de Musicos.

Address: 24 de Mayo y Chilcapamba front roundabout Parque el Paraiso, inside CEBCI school (enter for Chilcapamba), Cuenca

Contact information: tardesdemusicos@outlook.com 098 747 8485

Recommended by Steven Ellison: 098 505 4656 stevenjellison@yahoo.com

Luis Condor, handyman, construction projects

Speaks English and did construction in the US for 10 years. He lives in Challuabamba and knows the area. Will work in Cuenca area too. He is a neighbor and I have watched him build on his property - house, outdoor oven, fences-- fast and good quality. Do not know prices.

Address: Challuabamba/Cuenca

Contact information:  098 392 2367

Recommended by Michele Rebstock:  michelerinnm@yahoo.com

Miguel Escudero, $26 to Guayaquil

Miguel has new shuttle vans that go to Guayaquil daily. I went on a 5 AM shuttle, got to my embassy at 8:30 AM - finished my business and was on the return shuttle at 1 PM.

All for $26.

He has a staffed office open to purchase your tickets. Very professional.

Pro Travel & Tours

Miguel Escudero 099 927 9745

He does plane tickets and tours also.

Five Star Service, Thank you Miguel

Address:  Miguel Cordero 1-104 entre Francisco Moscoso y Paucarbamba, Cuenca.

Recommended by Gail L:  coba321@mail.com

Casa Yaruqui, hotel

We booked Casa Yaruqui on the recommendation of another gringa and were not disappointed. We booked them via Booking.com with ease. Located in the barrito Yaruqui about 15 minutes from the Quito airport, their rates include breakfast and a free airport shuttle. To arrange for the shuttle and to let them know about food allergies in our group of four, we had several communications (emails) with Hugo Andrade, the owner/operator, who always replied quickly. The hotel is very clean and comfortable and Hugo and his staff made sure that we had whatever we needed, including free tea from the small, new and very clean tienda he operates right next door. Our travel plans include three more stays at Casa Yaruqui during the month of October and we look forward to each one. A plus is the location right next to the lovely church and park in the center of this small barrio. If you want to be near the airport with excellent service, this is the place! www.casa-yaruqui.com 277 7175

Address: Eugenio Espejo 897 y Simon Bolivar, Yaruqui, Ecuador

Contact information: info@hotelyaruqui.com 099 637 5165

Recommended by Jane Miner: 096 821 7809

Jamu Lodge, lodging, eco-tourism

Guillermo Gomez is the owner/operator of this lodge on the Cuyabeno River in the northeastern section of the Ecuadorian Amazon near the Columbia border. He happened to be there during our stay because a film crew for the Discovery Channel had also just arrived for 20-days of filming. Upon recommendation from friends, we booked the four-day package. Just getting there was an adventure: 40/min flight from Quito to Lago Agrio where the lodge picked us up for a 2/hr bus ride to the river. There we had a good lunch before boarding a motorized canoe for the 2+/hr ride to the lodge, stopping to see and learn about several species of monkeys, a small anaconda relaxing on a tree branch, a sloth w/baby climbing high in a tree, and beautiful birds along the way. A very personal young man named Galo was our guide for the duration and we couldn't have been more impressed and satisfied with his care and knowledge. Among his many skills, which include making a torch from leaves and sap and climbing trees with a vine wrapped around his feet, his keen ability to sight even the tiniest critter from a moving canoe kept us in wonder: baby caimans at night, baby boas and anacondas, birds and so much more. Our canoe pilot was Cesar and did a wonderful job working in tandem with Galo. The lodge was very clean and the staff was very accommodating and friendly. The lodge provided excellent meals and there was plenty for all; they even prepared special lactose-free and vegetarian entrees as needed. Our group of four all agree in highly recommending Jamu Lodge. www.jamulodge.com/

Address: Cuyabeno River

Contact information: jamu@ecuadorverdepais.com +593 222 0614

Recommended by Jane Miner: 096 821 7809

Wilson Andrade, guide

Wilson works with a privately owned tour business in Quito that was recommended by friends here in Cuenca. The owner is Fausto and was our excellent driver. His son Israel is also a guide and was not available, thus Wilson escorted us for two days and we couldn't have been more pleased. Our hotel, Casa Yaruqui was about 45 mins from Quito and only about 15 mins from the Quito airport. Fausto and Wilson picked us up on Saturday and took us to the long-dormant volcano Puluahua where people live and farm inside the massive crater. It is also a hiking, camping, fishing destination. Then on to Equator Park and a tour of Old Town Quito. On Sunday they took us to Cotopaxi and a walk around the lagoon. Cotopaxi was mostly in cloud cover so we went on to Quilotoa, stopping at the home of an artisan in Tigua. Quilotoa was amazing and on our way back to Quito the sky cleared in all directions and we had spectacular views of Cotopaxi and the Twin Peaks until the gorgeous sunset faded. Each day we stopped for a delicious lunch. Wilson was very informative and took a lot of care that we all had a great time and were well cared for. Fausto was a very safe driver. We would book with these guys again in a heartbeat. Wilson said he will guide just about anywhere in Ecuador.

Address: Quito, Ecuador

Contact information: wilsona620@gmail.com 098 378 2892

Recommended by Jane Miner: 096 821 7809

Carlos Colmenares, Latin Dance Instructor

Come join a great dance class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 at Hotel Coronel at Calle Mariano Cueva y Simon Bolivar. Carlos teaches social salsa (4 different styles) merengue, mambo, cumbia, and bachata. He is patient, enthusiastic, and so positive. It's really been a great experience learning to recognize and dance to different Latin rhythms.

Also on Thursday, the 27th of October, same time, same place, there will be a dance party with Carlos, his students, and friends. For non-students, the price is $6 for dinner and dancing.

Address: Hotel Coronel, Mariano Cueva 9-42 y Simon Bolivar

Contact information: abailarencuenca@gmail.com

Recommended by Dancy Bluhm:  nbluhm1953@gmail.com

Artesanias en Cuero, leather shop

I bought my hand-tooled red leather purse two years ago. I have carried it daily, and it's gotten rained on, on many occasions, but it is still in perfect condition, due to the quality of make and leather. I went back the other day to look for a second purse, and the English speaking owner remembered me. Take the time to walk up Gran Columbia, this store is just a few doors down from the former "Magic Spoon". The owners on this street are really hurting due to the extended construction, and besides leather, there are many beautiful clothing and jewelry shops in this area.

Address: Gran Colombia 8-62 entre Benigno Malo y Luis Cordero

Recommended by Lisa Musil:  lisakaymusil@gmail.com

VisperaDel Chuchaqui, bar-restaurant

It's a new, great place in the center of Cuenca, on Calle Larga Street. There is an amazing terrace, a fantastic view of the Tomebamba river and great cuisine, food and drink. I have been for a dinner and it is amazing.

Calle Larga 7-119, phone 07 282 5654 for reservations or you can go - without reservation.

Contact information: dulcedelechelover@hotmail.com

Recommended by Elizabeth Maisto: 098 066 3037.

ServiCuenca, home-cleaning and repair

I had a few issues with my toilet and the shower drain in my bathroom, and I received ServiCuenca's contact info through a close friend that had used their services before. Mr. Richard Totoy and Felix Piltras were the 2 representatives that were on site for the duration of the project. They were very prompt, efficient and completed the work in about 3 hours’ time, which included changing the entire toilet as the old one had reached the peak of its lifespan. I am very happy with the work and they speak perfect English, so communication was never an issue. ServiCuenca is an excellent resource for professional home cleaning and repair. They are still developing the agency site, but you can email them your inquiries and they will respond immediately.

Address: Avenida Gonzales Suarez 8-58

Contact information: info@servicuenca.com

Recommended by Richard Totoy

Karen's Home, homestay in Cuenca

Hey gringo community, I Just wanted to share this with you and recommend those who are wanting to stay and visit Cuenca, Ecuador to stay with Karen and her husband in their lovely home. I stayed with them for a little over a month and had an amazing time. They live right on the strip of Calle Larga so it was pretty close to everything. They are an American couple but speak Spanish, English, Hebrew and Russian so I got to learn a few extra words in these languages. They were super nice and showed me around and helped me with anything that I needed. Next time I come back to Cuenca I will for sure come back to their home. It was truly a great Cuencano experience. You can reach out to them through the owners email.

Address: Calle Larga, Cuemca, Ecuador

Contact information: Karenrosedawson@gmail.com

Recommended by Akiko Litvin:  akikolitvin@gmail.com

Tuber Payé, AC tech

I recently took my MacBook Pro to AC Tech for a software problem. The problem was fixed promptly, and at a reasonable price. Yuber speaks some English for those who have not mastered Spanish.

Address: Downstairs across the street from Millenium Plaza KFC. Cuenca, Ecuador.

Contact information:  099 532 5315

Recommended by Gary Sims: 099 541 1610

Samuel Lojano, construction, painting and repairs

This is the third time we have used Sr. Lojano for construction and repairs, both in our home and business. He is prompt, honest, experienced and very knowledgeable about any type construction or repair need. He even does plumbing. We were satisfied every time. He is Ecuadorian and lived in Spain for a number of years. He is an active leader in his indigenous community.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador. (off Don Bosco)

Contact information:  093 979 3706.

Recommended by Craig Adams:  farleyfarquar@hotmail.com

Michelle, Spanish language instruction

I have been studying with Michelle for several months, three times a week, in a one-on-one tutorial setting. Twice a week, now, I observe her teaching two foreign-born teenagers, who are as excited to learn from her as I am. I studied Spanish in junior high and high school, and then Portuguese during my freshman year at UCLA, where I got my B.A. and M.A. I can say without qualification that Michelle is one of the top two or three teachers in any subject that I have ever been privileged to study with.

Michelle's teaching style is highly knowledgeable, her command of both Spanish and English is impeccable (her mother is Chilean, father American), and her demeanor is consistently enthusiastic. She is prompt and professional, and always brings appropriately chosen study materials. To me, she brings terrific short stories, for example, by Garcia Marquez, and poems by Garcia Lorca, as well as interesting pieces illustrating women's issues in Latin American history. To the two teenagers, who must learn Spanish to attend high school and university here, she brings worksheets and assigns fun, short written exercises they love completing.

Anyone from rank beginner to ambitious professional seeking to master the exquisite Spanish language can do no better than Michelle. I waited a month before an available time-slot opened up, so if the rare openings she posted yesterday are taken when you inquire, get on her waiting list. Studying with Michelle will contribute enormously to your enjoyment of this beautiful city we live in.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: michelle@popachuchu.com

Recommended by Wendy Allen:  cuencanawendy@gmail.com

Eric Hendrickson, hair stylist

I am recommending Eric Hendrickson as an outstanding stylist. In the '90s, I worked as a recruiter for the most successful cosmetology school in the state of Oregon.  I know the difference between a student who will probably struggle in building a steady clientele or a student with potential for a six-digit income.  Eric is an example of the latter stylist.  Three minutes into my first conversation with him I knew he was very, very special.  Eric knows how to cut along the natural texture of the hair.  He understands how added hair color visually affects the vibrancy of natural skin tone.  And, he accurately assesses the face and physique of his client in advising a new style.  This man is an artist. His prices begin at $8 for women and $6 for men. We are very lucky to have a stylist like Eric here in Cuenca.  Please call him for an appointment.

Address: Benigno Malo 12-27

Contact information:  096 950 2033

Recommended by Jackie Sario:  sario7@hotmail.com

La Sorrentina, Filippo's Cheese

If you have lost track of Filippo, your hunt is over. He is now located at Seminaro San Luis across from Parque Calderon between Tutto Freddo and Raymipampa. It is a beautifully restored courtyard soon to be filled with other restaurants and shops. Filippo has not only cheese and bread but also wine, olives, pizza, pasta and more. He will be open seven days a week from 10 AM until 10 PM.

Address: La Sorrentina, Seminario San Luis, Benigno Malo

Contact information:  098 382 0645

Recommended by Greg Angstrom:  greg.angstrom13@gmail.com

Fausto Bravo, painter

I hired him to paint a mural on my garage door. I gave him a picture I wanted him to reproduce and he did an excellent job in only 4 days. It's the hit of the neighborhood. If you want to see it in person, my address is 2-88 Nicanor Cobos

Address: Dir Brumel 118 y Santiago Carrasco

Contact information: faustobravo50@hotmail.com 288 0734

Recommended by Carrie Speckman: motherspeck@yahoo.com

Tours in, out and around Quito

Hello, If you are planning to visit Quito for leisure, business or transit, we offer airport pick up and one day tours to any of the beautiful places in or around Quito with our team of personalized Spanish/English speaking guides. For more info and prices you are welcome to visit www.ecuatouring.com

Address: Carlos Maria de la Torre Oe7 174 y Francisco Londoño, Puembo Ecuador, Quito (capital).

Amanda Mena: 099 519 8944.

Jose Argudo, real estate agent

During my 75 years of life I have bought and sold 10 properties in California, 1 in Costa Rica and I just finished buying an apartment in Cuenca. Of the 22 real estate agents I have dealt with the last, Jose Argudo (Pepe to his friends), is by far the best. He has been a Cuenca real estate agent for 4 years. He is bilingual, charismatic, extremely knowledgeable and unselfish with his time. He did many things for my wife and me for which he refused payment. He even found a buyer for my leather reclining chair I wanted to sell. I highly recommend my new friend, Pepe, for any and all of your real estate needs.

Address: Edificio Palermo, Cuenca

Contact information: joarguda@gmail.com 099 552 8835

Recommended by James H Hendrix: 098 732 7775

Sonia, cleaning services

If anyone is looking for home cleaning services, I have the perfect person to recommend. Her name is Sonia. She has been working for us for the last 3 years, and we love her. She works half days (minimum 5 hours) and has some room available in her schedule to take more clients at this time. Sonia has openings for one or two regular clients (e.g., half a day a week, or two half days a week). She is legally registered as an independent worker offering cleaning services, pays her own social security, and issues receipts for her services. Sonia is
very responsible, honest, reliable, and the sweetest person. She charges very reasonable rates too. Spanish only, please. Give her a call for an interview. She can provide additional references within the English-speaking community of Cuenca.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:  099 951 4533

Recommended by Silvana Spano:  silvana@SouthAmericanHealth.com

Narcisa Peña, super healthy juice

 We highly recommend Narcisa Peña´s organic juice business. She makes and sells Gerson Therapy type, organic juices made from fresh vegetables and apple. She makes them twice a week, by the order. As many bottles as you'd like.

If you are interested in having Narcisa make this super healthy juice for you (green blend or red blend) for you, please contact me, Silvana, at Silvana@SouthAmericanHealth.com and I will pass on the order to her -- as well as give you details for your pick up.

Narcisa offers 500 ml bottles (half a liter) at a special rate of $5 each. This is a pre-paid service. You pick up from a central location in downtown Cuenca.

This service helps you save time and effort in shopping for organic vegetables, disinfecting, juicing, bottling and cleaning up. Awesome deal, absolutely amazing choice for your health and nutrition. No preservatives, additives or fillers. Just fresh organic juice.

Narcisa speaks Spanish only, but I can help translate your order. You won't be disappointed.

Address: Cuenca

Recommended by Silvana Spano:  silvana@SouthAmericanHealth.com

Deborah Lynn, fantastic home help

I have to recommend Deborah Lynn for almost anything home related. She's an expat herself, has an incredible personality and the skills to match it. For us, she does an amazing cleaning job, covering areas I don't even think of. She also does home sitting, pet sitting, painting… Really she is a Jack of all trades and it has been my immense pleasure to have her in my home. I love her.

You can contact Deborah at : dslynn17@gmail.com

Address: Cuenca

Recommended by Liz Butler:  lylacs.washnock@gmail.com

Rafael Lliguisupa, handyman/facilitator/transportation/gardener

Rafael has become a friend to us. He can fix anything, paint anything, help you with anything and he shows up when he says he will. He has helped us with plumbing problems, carpentry work, electrical work and gardening to date as well as acting as a translator when we needed him to. He is bi-lingual as he lived for many years in the USA. He also works hard to find you the best price on anything you might need or want. He has his own car and is also offering pick up and delivery to the airport in Guayaquil at a fee of $105. He is a kind and personable young man. If you need something done, I highly recommend him.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: rafaellliguisupa@yahoo.com 097 912 5666

Recommended by Cindy Tesno:  cjtesno@hotmail.com

Eats & Treats, restaurant

Some friends and I stumbled upon this new restaurant, and we're delighted with the food, service, and menu variety. I had the lamb curry with coconut and for $7.50, I brought home enough leftovers for two more meals. It was absolutely delicious. This place is an epicurean treasure.

Address: Benigno Malo 4-96 y Calle Larga

Contact information:  099 043 4357

Recommended by Janet C:  jingles1945@icloud.com

Charles Wolf, tax service

I had been trying to get a tax transcript from the IRS for two months, I was advised to contact Charles through contacts on GringPost. Charles had the document sent from IRS to my email in two days, I would advise using Charles for migration or visa application as well as all tax service. Thank you Charles.

Address: Charles Wolf RWB Tax Service, Villa Rica, Georgia

Contact information: cwolf.rwbtax@gmail.com

Recommended by Robert Murdock:  bobmurdock456@gmail.com

Romulo y Remo, restaurant

Romulo y Remo is on the north side of the Stadium. Shared a salad of arugula and sun dried tomatoes and we each had a pasta dish. The salad was delicious and plenty for two people. I had a carne ragu and my friend a fettuccine with bacon in a cream sauce. The pasta was cooked to perfection and the homemade sauces were outstanding - Best I have had in years.

Address: 3-14, Florencia Astudillo, Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information:   07 245 5565

Recommended by Gertie Italiano:  cuencagertie@gmail.com

Dennis, computer repair

I would like to recommend PC Guru. I spilled a soda on my keyboard and then saw their post. I also liked the idea of bringing my computer to them and getting a discount. When I brought my computer to them Dennis just took the battery off waited a little while and amazingly enough it worked and doubly amazing there was no charge. Their address is Vargas Machua y Honorato Vasquez and phone is 098 606 0863. My experience was great and yours will be too.

Address: Honorato Vasquez y Vargas Machua

Contact information: pcgurutech@gmail.com

Recommended by Dennis McBride:  DennisMcBride@gmail.com

Instituto Cuenca, Spanish language school

For those seeking to learn Spanish, I heartily recommend Instituto Cuenca. Located in a house near Parque Paraiso, it has a dedicated staff of highly trained professionals who are willing to accommodate your schedule and language needs.

At break time, there’s a friendly atmosphere in the kitchen, and the school offers a range of extra activities (included in the fee of $10/hr.) These include iron working at a family-run forge, hiking and cultural activities.

Address: Calle Liribamba 1-36 y ave 24 de Mayo (1 block from the Parque Paraiso redondel)

Contact information: teoperez@hotmail.com 099 581 3182

Recommended by Nancy Galloway:  laportea2@yahoo.com

Artist, Santiago Sutton, custom art

You may be familiar with some of the wonderful trees that were sculptured in Parque de la Madre. One of the artists is the talented, Santiago Sutton. I recently turned one of our rooms into a Bisto and it looked great but I had a 7-foot high glass door that I wanted to use to finish off the room. We commissioned Santiago. He did a great painting on canvas and glued it to the glass. It is marvelous and finishes off the room perfectly. I highly recommend Santiago for sculptures, commissioned paintings and murals. He is fast and reasonably priced.

Contact information: santisutton@hotmail.com

Recommended by Susan Moore Vault:  susan@moorehq.com

Vanessa Coronel, landscaping, architecture, construction

After Vanessa's company did a fantastic job on landscaping our new home and putting grass, plants and trees on our quarter acre, I asked her about a water feature in our home. We put our heads together to decide what would look good and work. It is beautiful and adds so much to the home.

I would highly recommend Vanessa's company for all your needs. She has offices in Challuabamba and Cuenca. Below are daytime and nighttime photos of finished feature.

Address: Espacio Verde, Challuabamba and Cuenca

Contact information: vanessa@espacioverde.ec 099 593 7996

Recommended by Susan Moore Vault: 098 083 4851

Hermanos Calle, carpentry/ furniture making

Joel and Roman Calle are extremely talented and conscientious workers. They custom built a wall unit with doors and shelves and a matching cabinet for under our TV where we can store stuff in the drawers, etc. Both pieces are beautiful and they spent 1 ½ hours at our apartment installing and making sure everything was perfect. They also installed shelves in a closet to make me a pantry. Next week they are building me a smaller cabinet for my kitchen to hold my pura agua on top and to hide my laundry products. Gorgeous and prices are more reasonable than the sub-par, pre-fab furniture you buy at Kywi and Coral. You better hurry and hire them before I think of other things for them to build for me. Email me if you'd like to see pictures of my furniture.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information (Roman speaks English):  093 910 9764.

Recommended by Becky Davis:  bwdmusic@gmail.com

Mt. Sinai personnel, hospital

Upon our arrival in pouring rain and with difficulty mounting the tile steps, we asked a passing doctor where to find the doctor with whom we had an appointment. He told the front receptionist to call said doctor. To our surprise, Dr. Marlo Palacios, an internist, soon came to the main lobby to greet us. After spending some time with us, this very kind doctor understood our confusion and referred us to Dr. Gustavo Vallejo, an orthopedist in building 2 across the street.

As soon as we arrived at Dr. Vallejo's office he took us right in; treated us both for a total of 30 minutes for a very low fee, even in EC, though neither of us had an appointment with him, and he was already busy. It was still pouring rain when we left to get a taxi but unsuccessfully. A hospital guard who noticed we had only one umbrella that had blown inside out in the strong wind, vigorously motioned and successfully called for a nearby parked taxi to come. 

Wilson Talbot Insurance

Recently I needed an emergency heart procedure. In my approximately five years of business with Andres of Wilson Talbot Insurance, I have received excellent service. This last hospital stay was no exception. Although policy is excellent, unless one has an agent that can perform, there could be many challenges with insurance claims. The deductible was already paid when entering the hospital and there was no other effort by me to have hospital bill paid at the end of the hospital stay.

I highly recommend Wilson Talbot for all your insurance needs. Reliable, honest, efficient staff.

Thank you.


Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: andres@wtalbot.com.ec

Recommended by Alisha King:  solarbirdking@aol.com

Sofy Glocal Cuisine, restaurant

Had brunch this past Sunday at Sofy's with three friends. Cheese and squash ravioli, roast beef sandwich, smoked trout sandwich and shakshuka (a dish of eggs poached in tomato, peppers and onions), along with artesanal beer, coffee and raspberry/vodka mojitos. I lived in Manhattan when I was younger and Sofy has some of the best food that I've eaten anywhere in the world.

They are open Wednesday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Sunday 9 - 3 or so for brunch (although I think they are considering being open 7 days a week). Wednesday nights they have a special 3-course dinner - last week featured Argentinian food, and the week before was German. Not sure if you need to make reservations for these so I included the phone number just in case.

The outdoor patio is dog friendly and they have homemade treats for your pet. A great place to eat or to just relax in the afternoon over a beer or coffee. Highly recommended.

Address: Benigno Malo y 3 de Noviembre, just north of the Tomebamba, Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information:  099 955 4901.

Recommended by Penny Manelli:  pennymanelli@gmail.com