Somethings even cost more, like electronics and brand name makeup (Cover Girl, Revlon…) other things cost the same, like imported food (Orieos, Cheerios…) and clothing. Not really, but you can live on less money than in the States or Canada especially if you don’t buy the things that cost similar to or more than they do there.
Because of our small town habits we made a wrong decision to have a lengthy conversation on the street in front of our apartment in Cuenca, at night.We were having a relaxed conversation with our neighbor.Locals say that in Cuenca you get all the seasons in one day.You may be rubbing your hands together to warm them up while waiting for the bus/taxi in the morning and then arrive home in the afternoon carrying your sweater and jacket over your arm.There is good health care, with clean modern hospitals. There are a lot of specialists and medical care facilities, so it has never taken us much time to get an appointment.
We pay around -30 for an appointment with a specialist.
This probably would not have happened to people used to city life. It does have a low crime rate compared to cities of a similar size in North America.
So should hearing that we were robbed make you write off Cuenca or Ecuador all together? And as a foreigner you may feel more vulnerable because perhaps you don’t know the culture or language, but when it comes to crime it often has more to do with habits and decisions than the area itself. So by taking precautions, like not being in isolated places (especially at night), not wearing gold and expensive jewelry, and wearing your bag diagonally across and in front of your body you will avoid much of the crime that does exist in Cuenca and pretty much everywhere else. It does get cold – cold enough to make you shiver and see you breath in the air.
There are nice parks, restaurants and cultural events to enjoy. Because it’s a city there are fumes from cars and buses especially on the busy streets, but unless there are fires in the mountains (hardly ever happens) there is no smog.
It’s easy to have a healthy diet because there are lots of fresh fruit and vegetables available at the markets year round. Or at least I can say that in the 4 years we’ve been exploring Cuenca we have never seen smog.
That bad decision left us an easy target to the two thieves that robbed us.