A Weekend in Cuenca

In order to stay here longer Elena and I had to apply for a tourist visa extension. Currently we are here as tourists. We entered the country on our passports, which gives us 3 months, or 90 days. For now the only option we have to stay here is to apply for a 6 month, or 180 day visa. There is no office in Loja. The nearest office is in Cuenca. We were going to wait until our current visa ran out to apply for the other one, but we found out it is normally recommended that people apply 30 days before their current visa runs out. Since September 30th was officially 30 days until our visa ran out, we planned a last minute trip to Cuenca this weekend.

We decided we would make it not only for buisness, but for pleasure as well. Turns out, a brother and sister in the english congregation there in Cuenca, run a small “bed and breakfast”. Thankfully, even though we called them last minute, they had room for us. It was a great situation. We really enjoyed there help, and there company over the weekend.

We went to the visa office soon after we got there, and found out exactly what we needed to have in order to apply for the visa. We had the weekend to get everything together.

We hung with the English congregation on Friday night for their bible study, service meeting, and school. We also went in service on Saturday morning. We really enjoyed the time we spent with the congregation there. English meetings were a nice break for our minds, as we have been taking in nothing but Ecuadorian Sign, and Spanish for the last 2 months. Two Languages that we are obviously still learning. There are many in the congregation that have made moves like us in order to be here in Ecuador to serve in a greater capacity. It was nice to hear there experiences.

Saturday afternoon we really got a chance to explore the city. Cuenca is a beautiful city! Among the streets of Centro are many old spanish colonial buildings, including large cathedrals, and many homes. Just outside of Centro sits the Universidad de Cuenca. During “Almorzos” or lunch, students and others alike move across the river up the many sets of stairs that connect Centro to the park that lines the river. Estimates have put the  North American population in the area at about 4000.  This does not include other foreigners, including Europeans, and Australians. We also found Cuenca to be a very clean city as well. Here are some pictures.

Streets of Cuenca

Streets of Cuenca

Along the river

Along the river

Along the river

Along the river

Along the river

Along the river

Streets of Cuenca

Streets of Cuenca

Streets of Cuenca

Streets of Cuenca

A Microbrewery

A Microbrewery

Flower Market

Flower Market

A fountain in a small park downtown

A fountain in a small park downtown

A women in traditional dress

A women in traditional dress

Heres a video of a guy playing the flute on the street near the center of town.

We found some really great Architecture in Centro. Here are some examples.

DSC00701

One of the many Cathedrals in Cuenca

One of the many Cathedrals in Cuenca

Another Cathedral

Another Cathedral

DSC00714

A Church

A Church

Yet another Cathedral

Yet another Cathedral

Building in Cuenca

Building in Cuenca

Building in Cuenca

Building in Cuenca

More great architecture

More great architecture

There were some great spots to hang out too! Like Cafe Austria, and Cafe San Sabas

Cafe Austro

Elena’s Dish at Cafe Austria

http://www.gringosabroad.com/cafe-austria-gringo-hangout-cuenca/

Cafe Austro

Cafe Austria

 Cafe "San Sabas"

Cafe “San Sabas”

Cafe "San Sabas"

Cafe “San Sabas”

We went to the park!

Parque Paradiso

Parque Paraiso

Parque Paradiso

Parque Paraiso

Some good shopping too.

Antique store in Cuenca

Antique store in Cuenca

Antique store in Cuenca

Antique store in Cuenca

Authentic Jewelrey in Cuenca

Authentic Jewelrey in Cuenca

We got the word on Monday that our application for the visa was accepted, and that we will have to come back October 25th. We still wont be sure whether we get the visa till we return on the 25th. We had a great time in Cuenca, and cant wait to go back again!

In front of a nice cafe "San Sabas"

In front of “San Sabas”

12 thoughts on “A Weekend in Cuenca

  1. Great post!! Glad you got your visas extended.
    I’d love to see Cuenca someday, and serve with the English congregation. I’ll put that on my “possible options for the future” list.

  2. Wow! So awesome! we’d love to visit…I wish you didn’t have to have shots! 😩
    You 2 are looking so svelte…must be all that fruits,veggies & of course the workouts your getting in the ministry.
    Totally understand needing a break from foreign language!
    So happy about your visa extension!
    As always ….missing you to pieces
    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    Chris & Franz

  3. Glad you got a small break from the challenge of trying to learn new languages and culture. You are amazing and beautiful couple. I would say that even if I weren’t your mom. All our love

  4. Beautiful city, it really is super clean. Looks like it has architectural influence from Europe. I hope and pray the Visa get extended !!

  5. Looks like a beautiful and fun city. It’s interesting How the architectural design seems influenced from Europe. I hope and pray the Visa get extended :-). We love y’all.
    -Nate

  6. Hello you two..we still look at your blog as part of our family study. By now you should know if your visa is extended. I love the tour of the beautiful city and the music and food..Our Father, Jehovah, is walking you through this journey, showering you with beauty, filling your hearts with good cheer and. Training you all the while!

    • Hey Steve.
      I don’t remember the address to our place of worship in Cuenca. Probably the best thing to do if you want to learn more is to check out our website http://www.jw.org . Under the heading “about us” you find “meetings” you can then find the nearest meeting place for the language you speak. I know that there is an English congregation in Cuenca. If you are interested in attending there is no charge, and everyone will be happy to have you. Hope it works out! Enjoy your stay in Cuenca.

  7. It is beautiful there! Could you tell me how difficult a transition it was to learn Ecuadorian Sign? I have been in an ASL congregation for several years, but I know it would still be an adjustment! Just wanting your thoughts. Also any insight on the needs in the deaf territory in Cuenca or Loja would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    • Hi Jen! We are currently back in the states, but there is a deffinate need in Loja. It is a beautiful area, with a wonderful congregation. We dearly miss the friends there. It is very isolated though. There are very few North Americans there. Cuenca would be a much easier adjustment as far as that is concerned. Im sure the congregation there would be happy to have you as well. We made some very dear friends there. The transition from ASL to Ecudirian sign was easy, I’m sure with several years in ASL you would have no problem. There are many needs through the country in sign language. They need people experienced in teaching the deaf. If you are serious about making a trip down there I can put you in touch with the Sign C.O. He would be happy to further advise you. I hope you guys can do it. It is a truly beautiful country!

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