We Want To Move to Cuenca for the Culture and Local Relationships
by Rey Waters
(Buford, Georgia, USA)
My wife is a Japanese who lived as a volunteer in Costa Rica for two years. She loved the people and made many friends and if we choose to retire in Cuenca, it will not be to live in an expat community.
She speaks Spanish and I am learning. I want to come not to change things, but to change myself. I lived in a very fast paced career and recently stepped off the treadmill.
We have had to adjust ourselves to two very diverse cultures and have managed very well. We have had to be open to opposing views and not try to change each other. This is our starting point for Cuenca.
We are coming in January for 11 days and will be checking out Cuenca as a possible final place to retire. Our goal is to become active in the community and to give back whatever we can to leave a positive footprint.
I have seen the impact in San Jose of the expats. They have their own gated communities and hardly ever mingle with the Ticos. I for one do not understand why they moved. All of our friends there are Ticos or those who assimilated into the society. We look forward to seeing them every time we visit, and it is mutual.
I have read everything available including the DIY book, as well as viewed the many youtube videos, and all the blogs/web pages I could find. Much of the information is confusing and, as you previously stated, very oriented towards Gringos making a dollar.
I feel somewhat prepared. My only concern is that too many egotistical expats will try to change the city to fit their needs and desires. That is not what we are looking for.
Our main reasons for choosing Cuenca is they have a good healthcare system, a nice living environment, many places to walk (we try to walk 20 miles per week), great historical culture, and the local people seem friendly and hospitable.
If this is what we find in January then we will make our move during the summer.
Rey & Miwa
Rey, I think you'll fit in fine here. There are lots of things to do, you could probably walk 20 miles a day along the rivers if you wanted to, and expats here don't wall themselves off (although a lot hang out in certain places).
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