Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gringo Gatherings in Cuenca: Inca Bar, DiBacco's, Zoe's, and CA Kitchen

Cuenca is unique as a gringo retirement community because it has a reasonably cohesive group of gringos, made cohesive by three social events a week. Everyone attends these weekly gatherings off and on, and the events have become a wonderful means of interaction with old-timers and newbies. Everyone is friendly, and people move around and chat with each night’s attendees, ranging from 30 to 50 people per event. Common questions are:

Where are you from? Gringos here hail mostly from CA, FL, Las Vegas, and Texas, with a smattering of people from other states (we met three Minnesotans). There are also some Brits and Aussies tossed in for dialectical flavor, as well as a large number of Canadians.

Where are you living? Much discussion revolves around what apartments are available for rent, what houses are available for sale (realtors are most often in attendance, as well as an individual who can help with financing), the advantages and disadvantages or various locations around the city, the advantages of buying versus renting, etc.

How long will you be here? Are you permanent or temporary? Some people have been here for several years, others a year or so, and some (like us) fly in for a few months. There is also a significant number of attendees who are here for a week or two, just checking out the place. If you plan to become permanent, people will help tremendously with ways to go about getting your cedulla, etc.

What events are going on this week? The gringo gatherings also are a great place to learn about what’s going on in and around the city.

Where are you traveling to? The group does significant traveling, and people are always sharing information about places they are going, travel agents, hassles, etc.

So, if you are heading to Cuenca, remember these questions, and head for the gringo events. We should also mention that several of the gringos are teaching English at local schools (in some cases for pay and in some cases volunteering), and gringos are also volunteering and helping families in need in the area. “Gringo Bingo” started recently, after the Tuesday night social gathering, with all the proceeds going to help people in the area.

These Gringo Gatherings are held at three different locations in town, but one other location has also become a popular hangout: Sundays at 1:00 at Inca Bar, Tuesdays at 5:00 at DiBacco, and Fridays at 5:00 at Zoe’s. The other popular hangout is the California Kitchen, owned by George and Carol Evans from CA, and although nothing formal is set up there, gringos hang out there quite often.

Inca Bar -- Sundays at 1:00

Inca Bar -- Sundays at 1:00

Some of the back room crowd 
Some people watch TV too 
 DeBacco's-- Tuesdays at 5:00
Harold -- ready to head in to DiBacco's for our "swan song" evening

The owner who has spent considerable time living in NYC

DiBacco's before the gringos arrive 

after they arrive
Can you tell what questions these gringos are asking each other? 

Zoes' -- 5:00 on Fridays

If you look carefully at this picture, you will see both Joe and Sharon Wieners -- ex-pats for a week!
Good times are always had by all! 

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