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Khatu Organic Cuenca store

I just wanted to recommend Khatu Organic for being a very honorable business to work with. I purchased a product that had gone bad. I brought it back the next day and was fully refunded. She was very apologetic. I don't get that kind of experience with small businesses here in Cuenca. I am very impressed with their customer service. I highly recommend this business.

Address: Hermano Miguel and between Honorato Vásquez y Juan Jaramillo

Contact information: 097 908 1666

Recommended by Brynja Turner: bynja71@gmail.com

Alex Dotson, handyman

Recently moved to Cuenca.

Class A contractor from Virginia

Has over 26 years construction experience including structural, plumbing, electrical, finish work and cosmetics. He especially enjoys remodeling work.

He is also an ASE certified auto mechanic and loves working on older and classics cars. Over 40 years’ experience.

Recently worked at my house fixing a variety of problems. On time, pleasant, knowledgeable and efficient. Reasonable rates.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: AlexDotson1@gmail.com 098 339 2115

Recommended by Mary Overcash: overcashmary@yahoo.com

Orlando Seguenza, private driver and tours

We booked Orlando to drive us from Guayaquil to Cuenca. He has a good reliable vehicle and drives very safely. He speaks excellent English and is a very nice, pleasant person. We also booked him to drive us up to the waterfalls El Chorro and Lake Busa. We had a great day with him. We highly recommend Orlando for any of your driving needs.

Address: Cuenca Ecuador

Contact information: orlando_seguenza@yahoo.com

Recommended by Adele Briscoe:  abriscoe@sympatico.ca

BellGenica Insurance, private health insurance

On February 2, 2017, my wife and I signed up with BellGenica for health insurance. We were happy to have found a health insurance that did not discriminate on the basis of age or pre-existing conditions. A friend had contracted with them not long before and explained the no age limit to us and the cost was reasonable enough for the coverage. I remember as we were signing up that Madeleine Gonzalez, the sales rep who is perfectly bilingual, said you are covered starting right now. God forbid but you never know when something will require you to go to the hospital or doctor.

Well, what do you know, on the 14th of February, I found myself at Hospital del Rio, which is in their network, sick as a dog. I was admitted and stayed in the hospital until Thursday while they were getting me back on my feet. 

While in there, I was wondering about the: "you are covered starting right now" part, less than 2 weeks into the coverage. Well I am pleased to report that at discharge time I was billed the 20% that we had signed for and the insurance picked up the other 80% as per the contract. Further I was contacted by Madeleine to make sure I was looked after to the highest standard possible. I would and did recommend BellGenica to all those I know or don't.

Address: BellGenica, Madeleine Gonzalez, sales representative

Contact information:  095 896 9609

Recommended by Robert Long: robertjlong1840@gmail.com

www.jorgesarmientojr.com, Photography

I had the opportunity to have worked with a great photographer. His name is Jorge Sarmiento, he Speaks English as well as Spanish.

I met him during my visit to St. John USVI and he happened to be Ecuadorian who lives and works there. He was great during our photoshoot and knew exactly what he was doing. He will be coming to Cuenca soon. 

Please check his webpage and his contact information if you need to schedule an appointment or know about his work. his website is www.jorgesarmientojr.com

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:  1 340 514 6892

Recommended by Sofia Solano: 098 113 2984.

Steve Hyde, installing KODI

f you currently have an old version of KODI (like I did) or would like to install KODI brand new, I recommend Steve Hyde for installation. Steve came to my home to install the newest version of KODI which is much better, faster and has more content than older versions. KODI provides literally thousands of viewing options. Now, I can watch any sporting event from around the world, newly released movies that are still in the theaters, any TV series dating back decades (including NetFlix, Amazon, BBC, PBS and other networks). I am a huge sports fan and now can watch any NFL game, hockey or baseball game no matter what city the game is being broadcast – and I don’t have to hundreds of dollars on the packages they sell.

Steve came to my home right on time and spent about an hour to get me up and running. Steve is extremely polite, responsive and easy to work with. There is no tech problem that Steve can’t fix and his decades-long career in IT is evident. If you like movies, sports, news, sitcoms, etc. - I recommend calling Steve and have KODI installed, it’s absolutely amazing.

Contact information: hydeaway62@gmail.com

Recommended by Todd Hetzel:  todd.hetzel@yahoo.com

Marina, house cleaning

I'd like to recommend Marina, a lovely young Ecuadorian woman who has been cleaning for me a total of three years once a week. Marina is very trust worthy and with her own RUC number.
She is extremely thorough and hard-working, and nothing is ever too much trouble. and she always leaves the apartment spotless.

She is willing to do other types of work like washing clothes and ironing for an extra charge. If you need someone trustworthy Marina is the one for you.

Address: Cuenca Ecuador

Contact information:  099 572 5608

Recommended by Robert Arechiga:  raa_designs@hotmail.com

Roberto Dager, hotel tesort

My wife and I stayed at this beautiful location in Puento Cayo, Ecuador. The rooms are large and clean with screen window covers which means no bugs in the room. Ocean front location with beautiful views and a nice clean pool. The owner and his helpers are there for all your needs. The premise is very nice and quiet like a sanctuary has its own restaurant with great food.

Address: Km. 4 Via Puerto Cayo, Ecuador

Contact information: rdager@sanctuarypuertocayo.com 099 948 3709

Recommended by Robert Arechiga:  raa_designs@hotmail.com

Elizabeth Washnock-Butler CMT, massage therapist

I am receiving the full benefits of one of Elizabeth's healing massages. There is a luxury, extra wide table. Not only does she have great hands but also the ability to put you at ease and request what it is that you need from your appointments. She is as adept with the medicinal massage as she is in tune with the relaxation aspect. Please be sure to save time enough to take in the amazing view from her sky perch. Thank you Liz.

Sky Fit top floor. 7-70 Sucre y Cordero
Next to the old Cathedral and across from Teatro Sucre. Near Parque Calderon.

Address: 7-70 Sucre y Cordero

Contact information: lylacs.washnock@gmail.com 099 906 5982

Recommended by Sherry Taylor Thompsett:  groovies@gmail.com

Ligia, home cleaners

We have tried for some time to find a house cleaner who does a great job, for a reasonable cost, and whom we can trust.

We finally found Ligia and her husband who are a team, and who do an amazing job. Everything (and I mean everything) was spotless. She was recommended by our Spanish teacher who uses Ligia, so that meant a lot to us. I highly recommend Ligia. You will not be disappointed.

You can phone Ligia, or text her. She only speaks a few words of English.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:  098 430 1757

Recommended by Paul Smith:  paul.smith99@gmail.com

Living Abroad Taxes, tax preparation

Thank you Michael and Living Abroad Tax Services for your much appreciated help this year. The service was timely, professional, and for me, stress free. With Michael's help I didn't have to spend hours upon hours wondering if I was preparing my taxes correctly or worry if I was leaving anything out. Using the secure online portal also assured me of how safe and private my information was. I would highly recommend the service he provided to anyone.

Address: Otavalo, Ecuador

Contact information: michael@livingabroadtaxes.com 098 779 3713

Check out his website for more info: livingabroadtaxes.com

Recommended by Davita Forman:  davita.forman@gmail.com

Cuenca Garden Co-op, firewood supplier

We've been using Louis at Cuenca Garden Co-op to deliver the perfect dried and cut (16") eucalyptus. It burns with no popping and has a delightful scent.

We also have been getting their awesome soil delivered as we rework numerous large built-in planter beds. Great stuff.

Address: San Jose de Balzay

Contact information: cuencafirewood@gmail.com 418 5383 or 099 524 1088

Recommended by Bill Wallace:  billwallace54@gmail.com

Trebol roses, home rose delivery

We bought 25 beautiful roses for only $10 including free delivery. Absolutely amazing.

Phone: (593-7) 283 2733
skype: angeet@trebolroses.com

Recommended by Gerald Hagen: gerrydhagen@gmail.com

Steve Liggett, DJ services

I would like to recommend Steve Liggett as a DJ here in Cuenca and the surrounding areas. We have used him at our wedding. He has tons of music (American and Spanish), great equipment, and people had a ball dancing and enjoying his fun personality. His past employer voted him DJ of the quarter several years in a row and DJ of the year. Give him your business, I promise he will not disappoint.


Ed and Ellie Greene

Address: Cuenca and surrounding areas

Contact information: houseofliggett@yahoo.com 098 388 6534

Recommended by Ed and Ellie Greene:  ed-greene@live.com

Diego Maldonado, tour guide

I would like to recommend Diego Maldonado for most kinds of assistance in Cuenca. Diego speaks fluent English, and he is responsible, professional and reasonable. Contact information is below:

Bilingual professional assistance in Cuenca.

- Spanish / English Translation
- Tour guide
- Transportation
- Spanish classes
- Processing of documents
- Advice on Ecuador's places to visit, culture and customs, historic sites, medical services, publicity, etc.

Address: Cuenca Ecuador

Contact information: diemalnoboa@hotmail.com 099 841 2450

Recommended by Ann Vardock:  annincuenca@gmail.com

Damon Vincent Breeden, computer technician

Damon has been fixing my computer´s problems for about one year. He also does computer related tasks which are too complicated for me to do. He shows up at the scheduled time every time right on time. Three examples among the other services he performed are the speeding up of a slow internet connection by installing a cable from the router to my computer---updating the WhoIs information on both my blog websites---and the setup of an international money wire transfer account with Xoom.

Damon charges $20 an hour plus the cost of any material. Since his Spanish speaking capacity is advanced, he is able to understand and be understood when speaking with Ecuadorians such as the reps at Etapa. I have found Damon to be thorough in the doing of the work and also in the conduct of the management of his business. 

Address: Gran Columbia 11-02 y General Torres

Contact information: damonbreeden@gmail.com 099 033 0345

Recommended by Michael Bell: 098 034 2676

Dr. Anthony Guillén, general doctor

I became sick with appendicitis. I wrote at 8:30 AM asking to see him and he gave me an appointment at 9:30. He immediately thought it looked like appendicitis and sent me to the radiologist right away for an ultrasound to confirm. The radiologist confirmed and Dr. Guillén asked what I wanted, the nicest facility or the best surgeon. Of course I replied, the best surgeon. He immediately called the best surgeon he knew and had me scheduled for a surgery. It was my first surgery and I was nervous and do not speak fluent Spanish so Dr. Guillén took me and my family to the clinic. Not only did he talk with everyone for me he stayed with me through the entire surgery telling me what was happening all along the way. It made me feel very safe and cared for. I highly recommend him as a doctor.

Address: Remigio Crespo and Las Americas

Contact information:  099 539 8105

Recommended by Marie Chelya:  enjoylife3@mail.com

La Cilindrada Restaurant, Restaurant

If you haven't been to the new La Cinindrada Restaurant, Roberto Crespo Toral 3-47, yet, you're missing the best cuisine in Cuenca. Lima-trained chef, Michael Wagner, prepares a menu of absolutely spectacular Peruana/Thai/Andina palate-pleasers, from the appetizers to appertifs! I'm not exaggerating when I say that everyone with whom I've eaten there (and, so far, there have been two large parties) has raved about the food--not one single complaint about ANYTHING. I suggest you go now, before it's impossible to get a reservation. (Don't be misled by their ads for hamburgers; that's a minor part of their cuisine!) Michael has future plans for a smokehouse, a formal dining room, as well as the current casual dining room.

They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and are open until 10 PM. Their Facebook page is www.facebook.com/LaCilindradaCuenca/

Address: Roberto Crespo Toral 3-47

Contact information:  099 946 6241

Recommended by Bobette Jones:  bobettejane@yahoo.com

Anisleidis (Anis) Infante, certified translator, interpreter

As a Canadian health care consultant who does not speak Spanish, Anis provided me with amazing interpreter and translator services while my work took me throughout Ecuador over the past 4 years. I can attest that Anis very capably provides simultaneous translation and interpretative services to individual as well as to large groups. Her knowledge of the Ecuadorian health care system and medical terminology is excellent. She recently provided simultaneous translation services for the World Psychiatric Association Conference held in Cuenca. She is a registered member of the American Translator Association and has degrees in English Literature as well as French as a second foreign language. Although Anis is well versed in the medical world her knowledge and skills are vast. She readily adapts to all needs and circumstances. Additionally, her professionalism is exemplified in her ability to be discreet and very reliable. A true professional who takes pride in her work. It is with great pleasure that I recommend Anis to you. I know you will not be disappointed.

Address: Guayaquil, Ecuador

Contact information: anisleidis.infante@gmail.com Cell: 099 975 9325

Recommended by Patricia Somers:  somepat@aol.com

Vasil Kamalov, photography class

I just attended a beginner's class with Vasil and was very impressed with his knowledge and ability to transmit this to the students. You get to learn about composition, camera settings and all you need to know about Photoshop or Lightroom processing of pictures. The instruction is hands on and specific to each student’s needs.

Contact him through Gerónimo Molina: vasilkamalov@gmail.com 098 221 3640

or visit his website: vasilkamalov.ru/gallerygaleria/

Spanish Institute of Cuenca (Calle Larga 2-92 y Tomas Ordoñez)

Vasil Kamalov: vasilkamalov@gmail.com

Address: Spanish Institute of Cuenca (Calle Larga 2-92 y Tomas Ordoñez)

Contact information:  098 221 3640

Recommended by John Foote:  twofeet2ofus@yahoo.com

Fredy Ordóñez, Spanish tutor

We highly recommend Fredy Ordóñez as a Spanish language teacher/tutor. We used Fredy's services when we recently visited Cuenca and were extremely pleased. He is a great guy and a very effective teacher. He was prompt, on time, and quite knowledgeable. If you are seriously interested in improving your command of the Spanish language, we think that Fredy is definitely the right person. As a native Cuencano, he also knows a lot about Cuenca points of interest and restaurants.

Address: Cuenca, Ecuador

Contact information: fredisaun@yahoo.es

Recommended by Kevin Quinn:  quinnkj@hotmail.com

Black Olive, hotel and bistro

We attended the grand opening of the Black Olive Bistro located in the Black Olive Hotel. Awesome and elegant are the words to describe Chef Melissa Maher's dinner that was prepared for us. We started with a French gratinated onion soup filled with caramelized onions, an excellent broth, croutons and cheese on top. A beautiful trout filet en papillote, fine herbs and white wine accompanied with linguini al aglio y oliowith cherry tomatoes and asparagus. The chicken pot pie filled with chicken, potatoes and a perfectly created crust and served with the black olive house salad. The evening was accompanied with an excellent band from Bogota, Colombia: Cacao Munch. Thanks to Melissa and all her staff for a wonderful evening out.

Address: Paseo 3 de Novembre y Escalinatas.

Contact information:  07 283 6790

Recommended by Hugh Prather:  hitattractions@gmail.com

Daniel Endara, Spanish teacher

Daniel is a delight to work with. Though very professional and thoroughly prepared, he has a great sense of humor and a warm presence. His lesson plan is geared toward your level and he comes to your home. You choose how many hours you want to work and his price is very reasonable. I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information: danielendara@hotmail.com

Recommended by Mary Mullowney:  memullo@aol.com

Grace Parra, Spanish teacher/ tutor

I recently completed 7 weeks of individual Spanish sessions with Grace and highly recommend her as a Spanish teacher and tutor. She is a professional teacher and has taught as part of a language Institute and now teaches from her home. I spent a month in Cuenca and then a month on the coast and Grace continued to tutor me via Skype. I appreciated her ability to asses my learning needs and my learning style. I learned a lot in my time with her. And she is a lovely woman with a great sense of humor and lots of patience. She is located very close to el Centro so easy to find and get to.
I have had other tutors (in Mexico and Colombia) and have found that building a relationship with them where I can be comfortable to make mistakes is really important. Grace created a very safe space for me to learn.

Address: Cuenca (close to el Centro)

Contact information: gracepc@ymail.com

Recommended by Penny Lane:  penny.isabel.lane@gmail.com

Tatiana and George, cake decorating supplies

At last a cake decorating supply store right near SuperMaxi. Just in the process of opening but pop in and see the huge range of cake decorating supplies and information on upcoming classes and demonstrations. We went in yesterday and they were in the process of a cake baking class that was taken by one of their pastry chefs and I believe there is another one on today, Saturday at 9-12....
All the American Wilton products are there.

Address: De Las Pencas 1-13 y Americanas Esquina Diagonal a Punto. Cuenca

Contact information: tatisarte@hotmail.com 099 977 8376

Recommended by Jane Hunt: 096 970 3768

Maria Isabel, expat assistance

Maria showed me the sights of Cuenca and the surrounding area during my week visit last month. Maria worked with me to create a plan that met my needs and desires for the six days I was in Cuenca.

She was always organized and had a smile on her face even when she had to make alternative arrangements due to unforeseen events. Her skills include organization, excellent language skills in English and Spanish, a pleasant disposition, a positive attitude and flexibility to meet even the most difficult challenges. She has lived in Cuenca, Ecuador her entire life and understands the local culture and how to get things done.

I highly recommend her.

Address: Cuenca Ecuador

Contact information: isabella0908@gmail.com

Recommended by Robert Cooprider:  bsky9@hotmail.com

El Mago Aleman, comic magic

The German Magician - Varieties of Magic in Perfection. "The German Magician" is one of the best magicians in America and Europe. With its magic shows it has been very successful on both sides of the Atlantic, mainly in Europe, the United States and South America. You are now in Ecuador for events.

The Magic Show of El Mago Alemán (Quito), Mr. Marc Magic, creates a magical atmosphere. In his magic shows he acts serious and comical at the same time. He reaches the audience in a mysterious and fun way. The German Magician, if requested by the interested party, can present his magic show in Spanish, English and, of course, in German. He likes to amuse everyone at either private events or companies.

Close-up Magic: Close-up Magic (Magic of Close) is the most impressive form of magic, here the public is so close that it can interact directly with the magician. The German Magician (Quito) can make this form of magic in a very classic way (with tuxedo), as a comedian waiter or in other costumes or costumes.

Magic for Kids: The Wizard for Kids "gets on the track" and knows how to surprise and amuse children with tricks specially made for this small audience. The German Magician attracts his audience with charm, wit and spontaneity.

Guido Marquez, remarkable artist

Remarkable artist - custom art work at reasonable prices.

I had Guido create a painting for me based upon the work of the Spanish Impressionist painter - Juaquin Sorolla who's work I admire. I just couldn't afford any of Sorolla's originals.

He took a combination of two of Sorollo's work and created one Sorolla style painting for me. I am extremely satisfied with his work product, his style and his work ethic. He respects the original artist and he will always describe on the back of his painting the source and proper attribution to the original artist.

He has items in his location ranging from $2.50 to $700. His place is located on the first floor near the stairs and in the general direction of the bathrooms.

Address: Cemuart - General Torres 7-33 y Presidente Cordoba Booth / Taller 031

Contact information: Phone number: 099 296 8493. Website: www.5por5.com

Recommended by Jim McBride:  jgmcbride@gmail.com

Mudanzas Espinoza, movers

I'm adding my voice to the chorus of folks who previously have recommended Sebastian Espinoza of Mudanzas Espinoza moving company.

Sebastian assembled a crew of six strong guys to move the furniture of our three bedroom apartment to another apartment across town. Due to elevator restrictions in our new building, the crew had to haul everything up six flights of stairs. They did so without complaint or any damage to our furnishings or the stairway. (Everything was wrapped in thick blankets.)

Best of all, Sebastian's price was quite reasonable -- and one-third the bid of another highly reputable moving company.

Mudanzas Espinoza does small jobs as well as large, e.g., moving a single sofa for someone we know.

Sebastian and some of his crew speak English.

Contact information:  099 751 5644 mudanzasespinoza@gmail.com

Recommended by Gil Castle:  ghc_3@hotmail.com

Milton Pacheco, gardening and more

Milton removed a large amount of various scrap material and waste that I was unable to manage myself.

He also cleaned the garden, mowed, trimmed bushes and trees all in record time and with no fuss or problems involved.

He and a small team only took a few hours to complete the work for a very reasonable price and I will be happy to have them back for the upkeep of our garden from now on.

I thoroughly recommend them.

Address: Cuenca

Contact information:  099 888 3272

Recommended by Becci Farley:  becci27479@hotmail.com

El Santo Mexican, restaurant

El Santo is a famous Mexican masked wrestler, and as authentic Mexican as El Santo is, this small, cozy restaurant is also authentic. Just 3 shops down Calle Larga from the Sunrise Cafe. Their meat and cheese nachos bowl is scrumptious. Then the quesadillas are large and filled with really flavorful items. If you like picante/spicy hot, they have Chile salsas you can add. They also have real Mexican Horchata. And if you like economical meals this is your place. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 to 10. Great for late night snacking.

Address: Calle Larga 9-82 between Benigno Malo and Padre Aguirre

Contact information:  099 274 7145

Recommended by Julia Rux: 097 929 7490

Portal Artesanal, exquisite crafts/gifts

The new artisanal market behind San Blas now has a fabulous craft shop. The shop doesn't have its own name, it's just in the Portal Artesanal. The craft items are exquisite and the space is totally lovely. I recommend it highly. It's open 7 days a week from10 AM to 8 PM and is staffed by a charming Cuencana. Do visit it; you'll really like it. (Sorry, they don't have phone or email information yet. They've only been open 1 month.)

Address: Cordova y Huayana Capac

Contact information: noneavailable@yahoo.com

Recommended by Bobette Jane: bobettejane@yahoo.com

Maria Arpi, facilitator

Maria was with me for about a year, helping with everything you can think of. She assisted with travel, finding repair people, translating agents, and assisted with the residency process. She was with me every step of the way and became a good and valued friend. She was not only totally trustworthy (handling thousands of dollars for me) but also watched out for others that were maybe trying to take advantage. She has a bachelor’s degree in business, and has lived here her entire life. No matter what you may want to know, she will know it. An amazing person.

Address: El Centro, Cuenca

Contact information:  098 950 0823

Recommended by Loren Lowe:  netlogicusa@hotmail.com

Dr. J. Fernando Vega, dentistry

My experience with Dr. Juan Fernando Vega R. was nothing but exceptional in every way.

I had been to multiple dentists in Cuenca, all giving me an extensive (=expensive) treatment plan... until I, by chance, ended up with Dr. Fernando. After a very thorough examination - even calling in a second opinion to make me feel really comfortable - he gave me a completely different diagnosis, than any of the others (including dentists in the US).

According to Dr. Fernando, I did not need as drastic a treatment (and expensive) as had been proposed by many. My own teeth could be saved - at a much lesser cost, as well as with less invasive treatment.

I recommend Dr. Fernando for any dental treatment, without hesitation. He did a fantastic job on me, at the most reasonable price I could find in Cuenca... and I did my research thoroughly.

The same goes for root canal specialist, Dra Daniela Rosales.

Address: Aurelio Aguilar 1-59 y Av. Solano

Contact information:  099 218 0227

Recommended by Eva Charlotte Larsson Ruiz:  evachar@ymail.com

Agile Publications, banners and laminating

We recently played a board game called Sequence with friends on the coast and liked the game. They had taken the cardboard game board, which another friend here in Cuenca had, to this business to see if they could reproduce it onto a thick, quality piece of plastic material. Their cost to set it up and a copy was $21. I was happy to discover the owners of this business still had the information on their computer and would reproduce it for me for a reduced rate of $15 because all the setup had already been done.

The Ecuadorian owners speak very good English and are very nice to work with. So, if you'd like to look up the board game online to see if you want one too, here is the link www.jaxgames.com/seq2.htm.

Additionally, I asked if they could do a quality laminated copy of a cedula which they can do as well if you need one. We used to have banners made for my wife's business in the States and these folks can do the same quality banners with the mechanical frames in various sizes. I was amazed at how little a quality banner costs there.

They are located on 3 De Noviembre, directly across the river and the Jefferson Perez Colisio. If you need a banner or were thinking about one for your business see their display and equipment. The business phone number is 099 830 2173 or landline 07 282 3494.

Address: 1-32 Paseo 3 de Noviembre Y United National

Contact information: agilepublicidad@gmail.com

Recommended by Rick Crook:  ahipychipy@cox.net

Brian Vamiar, massage therapy

After having both hips giving me much discomfort while standing in one place very long, aggravated by falling over backward 6 months ago, which caused on-going and sometimes breathtaking pain, I can now report that for the last 2 weeks I have been without any hip pain at all. And it is all due to friends who referred me to Brian Vamiar, Shiatsu massage therapist.

Brian is a caring and sensitive young man, who knows the human body inside-out, one might say. He is constantly reading, taking courses, and improving his knowledge and techniques in helping people help themselves.

Brian is a near-classic example of the "Wounded Healer." As a senior in high school, Brian was on his way to college with an athletic scholarship for competitive track. Unfortunately, a fellow teammate approached him in a relay event on the wrong side. They entangled their legs and in the fall, Brian wound up with a broken leg. End of competitive track for Brian; end of college scholarship. All this to say, that Brian's empathy for his clients and his desire to see them get better appears to come from a deep-seated personal motive.

(Disclaimer: While I recommend Brian Vamiar, massage therapist, highly, and the deep tissue Shiatsu approach, as well, I have no stake in making this recommendation public, other than the need to express my gratitude to a great man, a great healer.)

Address: 900 Louisiana Blvd #203, NE

Contact information:  099 424 3193

Recommended by Ron Wooten-Green:  wootengreen@msn.com

Bene Placito, specialty food store

I finally found Bene Placito next to SuperMaxi in Plaza las Americas, and found fabulous blue and goat cheeses at reasonable prices. I'm overjoyed with the quality, strong flavored, firm blue cheese (both goat and cow) and firm (but not rock hard) Manchego-style goat cheese. I also sampled their roasted eggplant, Kalamata olives, and bought a couple chocolate chip cookies. Everything's top, US quality--and, although I didn't try it, the NY cheesecake (homemade from top to bottom) looked fabulous, as did their breads and pastries. Did I mention, they'll deliver?

If you shop or live near SuperMaxi, definitely give Bene Placito a try. Mon to Sat: 10 AM – 8 PM / Sun: 10 AM – 6 PM.

Address: Súpermaxi Plaza de las Américas. Shop #15,next to SuperMaxi

Contact information: beneplacitoec@gmail.com 099 439 6619, 07 407 4878

Recommended by Bobette Jones:  bobettejane@yahoo.com

Vegetable Bar, restaurant

A special thanks to Michael at the Vegetable Bar for the Real Estate Seminar he hosted. It had a very good turnout and everyone seemed to have gained valuable information concerning rentals and the purchasing of property. While there were some comments before the seminar about a panel type format, I feel that the laws were presented as they are written. I'd be interested to find out if any other attorneys or realtors offered to speak or showed any interest in participating.

Address: Michael Vegetable Bar

Contact information: thevegetablebar@yahoo.com

Recommended by Mike Dodson:  mikedodson01@gmail.com

Erika Squadrone, Reiki massage

This is a great, soothing experience. Erika has great empathy and it shows; I felt more energetic and was able to walk better; I am very grateful and recommend her  highly. I was new to Reiki, but not to energy medicine, where I've had good success. I had been traveling for several months and needing some healing. It worked.

Address: Cuenca Ecuador

Contact information: erika.squadrone@yahoo.it

Recommended by Andrew Makovsky:  amakovsky@protonmail.com

Ruta 72, restaurant

Newer restaurant. Had almuerzo there twice and both times food was very, very good as well as tasty. Diego is both owner and a chef. Speaks some English. Well worth the dining experience.

Address: Romegio Romero y Remigio Crespo

Contact information:  096 922 2269

Recommended by Scott James:  winnersfirst1@gmaii.com