This is part of our Ecuador Expats Series.
My Life in Ecuador: Gary Sisk Living in Cuenca
The Expat: Gary Sisk
What is your blog url?
Where are you currently living?
Cuenca, Ecuador for three months.
What’s Your Story?
I am a single 63 year old man still seeking new adventures in life.
I am retired, I was born in Long Beach, CA and grew up in Ojai, CA. I have lived in Oregon, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Ohio, Colorado, Missouri and Mexico.
When and where did you get the idea of living in Ecuador?
I wanted to live in a healthy affordable environment and after a few months of on-line research I decided Cuenca, Ecuador was the place.
I have been living in Cuenca for almost three months now and plan on becoming a resident here. I have applied for retirement residency and expect it will take a few months.
How’s your Spanish?
I speak several words in Spanish and I can communicate when it is necessary but I have relied on my Ecuadorian friends for major tasks.
It is important to speak Spanish if you are going to live here and easier to learn while you are living here. I am American and speak English.
What do you do?
I am retired from the Time-Share industry, which I got involved with in 1983 in Hawaii and continued in the industry in Puerto Vallarta, Cabo and Playa Del Carmen during my twelve years of living in Mexico.
I also worked in Time-Share in Branson, MO., Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas.
How do you find the cost of living in Ecuador?
Everything in Cuenca is much less than the USA except for imported items which I can live without. The cost of living here is pretty much what I expected.
What do you love about life in Ecuador?
The things I love most about living here in Cuenca is number one the Ecuadorians are very friendly and seem happier than people from my hometown.
The positive things for me about living here is the clean enviroment. Fresh air, great water and fresh fruits and vegetables all year around. I really did not read many negative things about Cuenca other than some unhappy Expats who probably would not be happy living anywhere anyway.
I feel very safe here, but of course watch what I carry with me as I would also do anywhere in the USA.
I found a great two bedroom/two bathroom condo here on the 11th floor overlooking the Tomebamba river. My rent is $280 a month, water is $8, gas $6, electricity $8, Cable $56 and Internet $26. My major expense was appliances and furniture.
Any gringos considering moving here should do their research on line. I found GringosAbroad to be my best resource.
I contacted my attorney recommended by GringosAbroad before I came here. I faxed them my paperwork to make sure I had what was required. I followed Bryan’s advice about finding an apartment for rent and the cost of furnishings.
I have been to a couple of Expat parties and made a few gringo friends. But I also have made some great Ecuadorian friends that I enjoy being with very much.