A Canadian Family Traveling & Living Abroad (in Ecuador)

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Learn about Bryan & Dena Haines and their media company Gringos Abroad Publishing.

Here’s how you can get in touch with us.

  • Canada Mailing: PO Box 1438, Greenwood, Nova Scotia, B0P 1N0 Canada (payments only please)
  • Ecuador Mailing: Casilla 01-01-541, Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador, South America (review materials and normal correspondence)

Please check out Press Page and contact us (below) before sending any materials.

Email Bryan: bryan at gringosabroad dot com
Email Dena: dena at gringosabroad dot com

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Contact Bryan & Dena

While we would love to be able to answer your specific questions – there are (unfortunately) a limited number of hours in the day. Please post your question on the appropriate blog and we’ll cover them in an upcoming blog.

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{ 45 comments… add one }

  • Debra Hamilton January 8, 2014, 11:36 am

    Very interested in this country, glad to have found your site.
    Thank you for being there to keep us informed!

  • Susan February 15, 2013, 7:05 pm

    Hi Bryan and Dena,
    Saw you on HGTV today and said to myself those people look familiar. Then I received mygringosabroad newsletter and confirmed it was you. The newsletter addressed a topic in which I have been researching, silver and other items from Ecuador, that I can use to start an import business. Do you have any on the ground resources or personnel that I can contact regarding this topic? I enjoyed seeing your journey to Cuenca and your blog which addresses many topics that I have an interest in. Thanks.

    • Bryan Haines February 16, 2013, 12:49 pm

      The best thing I can suggest is to come and build your network. Once you are here, you can build your business.

  • colon campos May 4, 2012, 10:22 am

    hola mi nombre es colo soy chef internacional y pienso retirarme en cuanca ec. quiero habrir un bar rest. alla he tenido restaurantes en can cun ,ecuador . us hoy vivo en naples fl tengo una nina en la u usf y sale en junio me gustaria hablar con ud que me recomienda tambien soy tenis coach gracias colon

  • Bryan Haines May 12, 2011, 9:21 am

    Hi Ross, the contact form was accidentally removed. Its back up – sorry for the error.

  • melanie May 6, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Hello and thank you for such an informative site….more pertinent information in one place than i have seen any where else.
    We have been researching Cuenca Equador as a possible move in the future. Our youngest (7) is up for any adventure. However our 17 yearold daughter is certain she won’t like it. She is interested in everything european and prefers speaking french.
    We can’t afford Paris but can afford Cuenca. I’ve read general statements that Cuenca is Equador’s cultural center. Is this true and if so where can I find more detailed information? My reluctant teen might be more agreeable if she can socialize with some “worldly young intellectuals”…..
    Any information you can direct me to would be much appreciated.


    • Connie Peek June 9, 2014, 5:17 pm

      Hi Bryan & Dena, My neighbor is from Ecuador and we were talking about it the other day. We are living in GA, but we are getting very disheartened about the way things are going in the USA and want to get out of here and find our HOME!!! However, we have 2 very important questions about Ecuador; My husband is a IT/computer tech and knows everything there is to know about them. Is there a demand for Techs, and what kind of money can we expect from that? Number 2, I am disabled and have many health issues, and take a lot of medications including taking 2 types of Insulin. Is there adequate Medical Insurance and Doctors for me? We look forward to hearing from you. God bless!

  • E. Lutz March 26, 2011, 5:14 pm

    Hi Brian and Dena.Just a few words of commendation for all the time you spend to research all those answers .If I were younger i would be there and fit in someplace between the palm trees to help out. You may even find me between the palm trees in a hammock.

    • Bryan Haines March 26, 2011, 5:49 pm

      Thanks Eric,Great to hear from you. Never say never. Maybe you'll make it here yet! (By the way, I'm still searching for my hammock).

  • Dianne January 29, 2011, 6:06 pm

    Hola Guys!

    Have sent an enquiry in, so may be repeating myself–I am arriving in Cuenca Feb 1, 2011 and looking forward to meeting up with other gringos, especially from Canada–I am from Vancouver Island–Dianne

  • Charles Simonson January 28, 2011, 3:44 pm

    I am just getting started with your site and all the information. So far I have been a little amused at some of the comments and it brings to point very important advise to anyone moving to a foreign country. Live there for 6 months before you make any further permanent plans. We had a coffee plantation in Costa Rica for 12 years and lived there in Escazu four years. A lot of people came there to live and a very high percentage moved back home. I think the culture ran me out. I love the country and have recently wanted to move back. Been there, done that and it is not the same as it used to be. Has gotten expensive and the poor country does now know where it is going. Heard about Ecaudor from Intl Living and started researching and found problems. Since then I have come back to looking since it is covered much more. Sounds like we need to come look. We feel the tours are too expensive and since we know Central America, we would like to come down and tour ourselves, with the proper guidance. We love the mountains, so will pass on the beaches. I got carried away here, but felt people need to live there for 6 months before making any further plans. I will be in touch with you for assistance on car rentals an what you found out about bringing our dogs. Regards. Charles Simonson

  • Jim January 8, 2011, 3:17 pm

    Hi Guy's

    My Father n Law and I are traveling to Ecuador at the end of March we live in Northern B.C and Flying out of Vancouver to Guayaquil. We are looking to do some property searching along the coast to start escaping the Long Winters. The Question I have is that we are not intrested in a tour, we would like to hire a driver for a couple of weeks and get a feel of the country on our own do you have any Info on how we may aquire a driver in the Guayaquil area? Also when you moved to Cuencea, did you do the whole vacine thing for traveling or Moving Abroad?

    Thanks for your Help Jim.

    • Bryan Haines January 18, 2011, 11:54 am

      Hi Jim, I don't blame you for wanting to get away from the winters – we used to have long cold winters in Nova Scotia. That a really benefit of living here.

      We did get the vaccines (Super Germ-Fighting Family: http://www.gringosabroad.com/super-germ-fighting-… but not everyone does. Depends on your lifestyle and comfort level. There is a driver here in Cuenca that we've used, but I'm not sure about on the coast. I've emailed a few places and I'll let you know when I hear.

      • Randall Talley February 12, 2011, 2:51 pm

        Hi Bryan, First let me thank you for all the useful info your site provides. My wife and I will be in Cuenca this coming April, vacationing and scouting for retirement next year. I would like to know how to contact the driver you mentioned in your comment to Jim. Thanks. Randall

  • Stephen Golding January 1, 2011, 7:55 am

    Thanks for your blog it is the first I read that is written by people with a family living in EcuadorI have a 11 year old boy and a fellow Commonwealthian excuse the spelling I am from Canberra Australia. What is a realistic monthly cost of living for a family

  • Awais Irshad December 19, 2010, 10:21 pm

    Hi Bryan, How are you doing? I just check that you are following me on twitter. I will do the same. And got your blog link from your twitter page. You blog is very nice and good info on it.

    I am very new to blogging but have good experience in graphic design and web development. I wish to keep in touch with you. So we can go further with some internet friendship.

    I hope to get a friendly reply. Take good care of yourself and family.

    Best Wishes

    Awais Irshad

  • Miguel & Grace R December 10, 2010, 7:09 am

    Hey you guys! Finally took time to see your page. It's wonderful. It makes us want to go there and check out the place. Take care now, now we know where we can read whats going on with you…


    • Bryan Haines December 10, 2010, 7:17 am

      Hey Miguel and Grace – great to hear from you! We would love to show you around Cuenca. Just let us know when!

      We should work on some content for Margarita Island together. We will be adding some from our experience there over the next months.

      Bryan & Dena

  • Hugo Bebiano December 6, 2010, 7:55 am

    Hi there Bryan!

    We at weebiz.com already knew your work from about.com online business. Thank you for following us now.

    We also invite you to take a look at the free online B2B community. It would be an honor to have you commenting about what we have to offer to our members.

    Best regards and good luck abroad!

  • David Bailey November 29, 2010, 6:05 pm

    Hi Family: Thanks for your blog. It is quite interesting and detailed in its content. I have a question, what is the cab fare from the airport to downtown Cuenca ? Thanks for your help and continue to serve us.


    a wanna be expat

    • Bryan Haines November 30, 2010, 1:35 am

      Thanks for your feedback David. I have to admit that I haven't gone Airport to the center in a cab. The reverse trip is about $2.50. The official rate from Mall del Rio to Terminal Terrestre is $3.00 and it is significantly past the center. Cuenca Taxi Rates.

  • Mary-Lynn November 28, 2010, 4:36 am


    I was just reading the article "What Language in Cuenca" and you mention being able to get private Spanish lessons for $4-5 or group lessons for a bit less. Could you provide me with some contact information? I've checked a few places, but they want $8/hr unless I can find a second person to bring, then it is $8 for two.



    • Bryan Haines November 29, 2010, 2:03 am

      Hi Mary-Lynn – Welcome to Cuenca! Offhand, I don't know any trainers. If you visit some of the English hangouts (we'll be covering them soon) you'll find some business cards, etc. Also you can check at the Tourist Bureau off of Parque Calderon.
      The course we took, was $180 a week. It was Mon-Fri – so it cost $36/day. At 4 hrs a day, that's $9/hr. There was two adults, so the cost was $4.50 per hr. We also had our daughter, which they let sit in for free. Not sure of the cost for one person.

  • Bill Hunt November 19, 2010, 2:34 am

    Hi Brian, am really enjoying the newsletters, please keep them coming! My step-daughter has a 5yr-old that will be moving with us to Salinas next year. What are some options for her education that you might be aware of? We were wondering about a private school or English-speaking tutor, any info or contacts that you may be able to provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks much, Bill

  • David Marshall November 17, 2010, 7:23 am

    Brian, thanks for your response on the air quality issue. We had heard a number of people complain about the diesel buses and we were concerned that it effected the general air quality.

    As I mentioned before, we are visiting at Christmas with a view to moving in June 2011. We will be coming with two of our children / young adults (21 & 18). Any suggestions that you might have that would help our move be successful would be valued.

    Thanks again, Dave.

  • David Marshall November 15, 2010, 9:25 pm

    Hi Brian, we have been hearing some negative comments about air quality in Cuenca. What is your perspective? Regards, Dave.

    • Bryan Haines November 16, 2010, 7:23 am

      Hi Dave, Not sure what type of comments you've been hearing. About 10 months ago, there were some forest fires in the hills around Cuenca, and as a result the downtown section, especially Avenida Solano and the Stadium were thick with smoke. For a few days, it looked like the smog ridden cities of east Asia – complete with people with wet cloths over their faces. But the smoke quickly passed. The problem is that Cuenca (meaning Basin) is surrounded by mountains, so if there is smoke it tends to settle in the center. That being said, we don't live in the center and the smoke of last year didn't affect us, except when we were in the center.
      Now bus and traffic pollution is another matter. The emission controls are fairly loose here, so the diesel buses frequently belch clouds of black smoke. Unless you're standing right there you shouldn't be affected. The city smells good – of bakeries, fruit and fresh air. Of course, as with any city, sometimes you get whiffs of garbage, smelly people and diesel fumes.
      I know a number of people who had been told by their doctors prior to visiting Ecuador that the Andes (with its higher altitude and cleaner air) would be good for their asthma. And it was.
      In my opinion, despite the traffic pollution, the air quality here is better than any other city I've visited – in Canada, the US or abroad.
      Hope this helps.

  • gerry martin November 4, 2010, 4:11 pm

    thinking of cuenca as a retirement spot and plan to vacation there this december,but i am having a little trouble booking a flight.

    can you explain the best way to get there from toronto,?.

    keep up the good work.


    • Bryan Haines November 4, 2010, 8:17 pm

      Hi Gerry – from my experience, there really are two main routes. One goes through Miami and the other to Bogota Columbia. Theres a bit more info in comment below.

      I think most people arrive in Guayaquil and then catch a national flight to Cuenca. Let me know if this isn't clear.

  • Denise November 1, 2010, 9:37 am

    Hi Bryan.

    Can you tell me what airline you flew down on from Canada, and what airlines fly into Ecuador. I am trying to estimate the cost of a trip. I am interested in the Coastal areas. Which airport would you suggest flying into. We would be flying from Alberta so it might make a difference in Airlines.

    Thanks so much. Have a great day.


    • Bryan Haines November 1, 2010, 12:40 pm

      Just about everyone come via American Airlines, through Miami. The other option is to use a consolidator web site and they often use Avianca for part of the route. You’ll change plans in Bogota – they are a Colombian airline.

      We've found Travelocity good to find the routes, and then often the airlines sites themselves have had the lowest prices.

      • Denise November 1, 2010, 6:37 pm

        Thanks so much Bryan for the info.

    • Mary-Lynn November 28, 2010, 3:41 am


      We flew down from Edmonton to Miami (via Houston) on Continental. We then had a direct flight from Miami to Guayaquil (on the coast) on LAN Ecuador. Our flight from Edmonton to Miami was a one way and cost $276 US each. Our flight from Miami to Guayaquil was round trip and cost $428 each. We had to overnight in Miami to get this direct flight (we didn't want to have to go through Bogata or Quito and it was a great price). Unfortunately, our direct flight was canceled after we arrived at the airport and we were put on another, later flight, through Quito. We overnighted in Guayaquil, then took a bus the next morning to Cuenca. We weren't very impressed with Guayaquil, but we love Cuenca. We have been here just about a month and are staying until the end of Dec. Whether you fly into Quito or Guayaquil depends on what area of the coast you'd like to end up at.

  • Tyson November 1, 2010, 5:53 am

    Great Site,

    I wrote you an e-mail about my interest in moving. Thanks so much for putting together such an informative site.

  • Judy and Bill Collin October 31, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Bryan, do you have any information on private health insurance?



  • Teena October 28, 2010, 3:32 am

    Hey there from British Columbia!

    We are tired of the cold and looking to try something new… We have been researching many countries in Central and South America to escape the cold North Pacific. At first we thought Costa Rica would be the place to be, however, moving there would take a huge investment. After forgetting about Costa Rica and looking at other options, we started learning all these great things about Ecuador. We would like to visit for a few months then go from there…

    I am wondering if you could help with a few questions. I am looking to teach english (I do have a TEFL certificate) – Can you recommend any schools in Cuenca? As well, my spouse is an electrician – Any chance of him being able to find work? Can we get work Visas?

    We will also be bringing along my 12 year old daughter. How safe is Ecuador for children?

    The other question I have might seem like a silly one, but we are wondering if we can take our dog with us. Where can I find out about bringing our pet into the country? Would it be hard to find a rental with a pet?


    Teena and Justin

    • Bryan Haines November 16, 2010, 7:42 am

      Hi Teena and Justin,

      Sorry for my slow response. Vacation and traveling has put us behind on comment responses.

      Regarding Spanish schools, there are lots. In this post, you'll find 4 spanish schools here in Cuenca. We studied at Simon Bolivar Spanish School in the center. It is my understanding that you can get work visas. You may need residency to work in the economy. Over the next weeks and months we'll be adding articles from some immigration and real estate lawyers here in Cuenca, which will answer your questions better. Stay tuned!
      In our opinion, Ecuador is as safe as you make it. We are here with our daughter, and we haven't had any problems. Safety standards are different here, so sometimes there are open manhole covers on the sidewalk, or random pieces of metal sticking out of walls. We found it kind of bizarre at first, but now we are comfortable with it, and it doesn't cause any problems.
      I understand that you can bring a pet, but I'm not sure. We purchased our dog when we arrived. I think it would only be the furnished rentals that might limit pets. Everyone has animals here and I can't imagine it being a problem. We've lived in 2 apartments and now a house, and our dog hasn't even raised an eyebrow with the landlords. I'll check with our contributing lawyers about pets and we'll add an article.
      Thanks for your questions!

    • Bryan Haines November 23, 2010, 10:17 am

      Hi Teena and Justin, the law office that is going to be contributing a seriec of articles over the coming months just sent me this link. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/an
      It should help a little with your questions on pets.

  • Mike October 3, 2010, 12:43 pm

    We live in Quito (work), but plan on moving to Cuenca in Dec 2010. My wife goes to Cuenca this week to see a house. If all goes well we will be moved in before Christmas. Hope to meet you when we get there.


    • Bryan Haines October 3, 2010, 2:18 pm

      Sounds great Mike. Looking forward to hearing from you when you arrive. We'll do coffee.

      All the best.

  • Glen Birbeck October 1, 2010, 12:25 pm


    I will be arriving in Cuenca in early December for three months.

    I'll be investigating Ecuador as a long term home. I am a writer

    and artist (line drawing/cartoonist) and wonder about freelance

    work in Ecuador. I read that you have "in-house" talent in those

    areas but one never knows.

    I also worked in broadcasting a long time ago (I am ancient) and

    I've suggested (on expat forum Ecuador) an expat webcast. This

    would be best as a "side bar" to a vibrant page addressing the

    same subject (expat EC wanabeez). An hour a week would be a

    lot. Man on the street interviews, translated reading of the local

    paper, the RE listings, news of interest.

    on Expat Exchange Forum I am withoutego.

    An area of growth, EC expats.

    saludos, glen

    • Bryan Haines October 1, 2010, 8:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment Glen. Let me know when your dates are firmed up and we can arrange to have a coffee or something when you're in town. I'm sure we can come up with some ideas.

      All best!

  • Lisa September 1, 2010, 10:06 pm

    Hello. Look forward to seeing more of your postings. We are glad to see of your success. Hugs.


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About Bryan & Dena Haines

We are a Canadian family of 3 living in Ecuador since 2009. We blog about life and travel in Ecuador. If this is your first visit, start here. Interested to work with us? Read more about Bryan & Dena

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