CaptivatingCuenca is a website that we both work on. Who are we? We're Lulie Lawry and Jeff Johnston, an American and a Canadian who met in Cotacachi, Ecuador.
We married in December 2009, in Cotacachi, and moved to Cuenca in February 2010, where we developed a second romance, with the city itself.
We like Cuenca so much that we decided to create a site about it, which you're reading now.
We want you to know a bit about us (or, as you'll see on Spanish sites, quienes somos -- "who we are") so that you know where we're coming from when we tell you about all the things we've found here in Cuenca.
I grew up in Asia, where life was simpler and quieter. I have always felt a deep longing to return to what I perceived as a simpler life, a calmer and more studied journey of life, love and the pursuit of helpfulness, which, to me, is what equals happiness.
We (my cat and I) found ourselves in Ecuador after I received an opportunity to teach English here. Since then, I've used my Spanish skills to help others take the relocation plunge, or flight, into another world, first in Cotacachi and now in Cuenca.
I've found Cuenca to be wonderful beyond words, which is why we also include many photos on the site. The words often just don't do the city justice.
I hope my words and photos will inspire you and draw you into our world here, as a visitor and perhaps, eventually, as a resident. You'll find Cuenca ever-changing and ever-amazing. And I hope you'll find it a joy as well!
Be sure to write or visit soon! And if I can help make your visit or move here, or your life here, a bit more pleasant, let me know. Life is so much more fun shared!
I grew up in a much more mundane location than Lulie, just outside of Toronto, Canada, in what was then called a "bedroom community." I lived in a couple of large cities, including Toronto, after leaving home, and thought that I'd never live in another one.
Cuenca, however, is the perfect combination (for me) of large city activities and small town friendliness. The city's architectural beauty and the surrounding mountains help a little too!
I work over the internet, so my job can go wherever I go. After I realized that I just couldn't take the Canadian winters any longer, I sold my house and we (my dog and I) headed south, where the coldest temperatures are like a November day in Canada.
I'm still working while I grow CaptivatingCuenca and my other site, www.dogquotations.com, the most popular site on the Web with quotations about dogs. It also has a section where dog lovers can write a memorial to their lost companions.
As you can tell, I'm the technical half (Lu thinks I'm too left-brained) of the family and CaptivatingCuenca. I edit Lulie's content (I think she's too right-brained), optimize the photos, and build the pages. It's a good thing she's the extravert and I'm the introvert!
If you have any suggestions for how we can make CaptivatingCuenca the best site on the web about this beautiful city, please let us know.
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I just want to thank you both soooo much for creating this web site. I am originally from Cuenca but moved to New York 11 years ago and have not being back since. My husband and I are planning on visiting Cuenca over the Summer and this web site has helped me a lot.
When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.
My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)
Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!