Just a side note that blogging is not as easy as I had thought it would be.  It is one thing to have quirky, fun things to say to yourself while sitting, alone, in the car listening to NPR but putting “pen to paper” for an audience is a challenge.  I actually begin to plan my postings as I run through the day and I think of photo caption comments just prior to actually taking the specific picture.

That said, I find this “work” to be exciting and exhilarating.  I love sharing the facts (at least as I perceive them) on the ground and sharing a real-time experience.  I especially appreciate you taking the time to read this blog and post comments.  It pushes me to up my game and make sure the info I share is relevant to the different people who view this blog.

So thank you  – The Black Gringa and Little Lucie

Panama Airport

7 responses

  1. Hi Black Gringa,
    Nice, informative & thorough information. Your hard work is appreciated!
    journeymanjack In Ecuador

  2. Hey K (Black Gringa), Albert put me on to your blog. I must admit I am a blog virgin. But after reading just a few of your blogs I like the whole idea of it. Keep it coming! My hubby and I just enrolled my three year old in Spanish classes. He is the only African-American in the class (as he is in most places… but that’s probably a whole nother blogging topic) — but being of Caribbean heritage, the two of us thought it was important for him to develop an early appreciation for different cultures and language. So reading about your love for travel and successul service on an international level reminds me of the kind of life experiences that he too can have, if he so chooses. –Natalie (one of Albert’s daughters)

  3. I like you have traveled to Cuba, and many other countries as a Black Gringa I did hear in Cuenca that my husband who is darker complexion would not be as well received as myself. But I would like to give the country a try, despite what a few have said…I even opted for staying in the Esmeraldas region if it made him feel more accepted. But I have read your blog, so let me ask…is your view point different because you didnt see it or experience it, or because of who you are.. generating patience and understanding and when faced with an adverse moment made the best of it? I am a nyc teacher 45 years of age and looking to place my roots in another country now for my retirement, and I think Cuenca could be it….but I have more than me to consider. Look forward to your answer..Be well Gina

    • See my comment! Also take a look at Belize. Only issue to me is that its real hot at times. Racism is non issue and they speak English.

  4. See this reply I received today from a Black American residing there:
    Mark,

    Thanks for your question. Cuenca is supposedly the “it” place right now for North American retirees. Most are your typical older white couples that you might see in Florida. We avoid contact with them like the plague. We are a couple in our 40s with two teenage kids, so we are not typical and definitely avoid the gringo hang outs. I really do not have any desire to be part of the gringo scene.

    Unfortunately there is prejudice here in Cuenca, especially towards people of African descent. I am from Georgia and went to school with and have a number of friends who are of Afro-descent (and I probably have a good amount of afro-blood in me since I was raised in the South and Willis is a last name of many black families in Georgia). I feel comfortable around people of all races and find the cultural differences very interesting. Anyway, when we first arrived in Cuenca, I was shocked to see the open prejudice here against black folks. Cuencanos think that all black people are criminals from Columbia or from the coast who will rob you on site. We currently live in a neighborhood on the out skirts of Cuenca and have a black Ecuadorian man as a neighbor. He is friendly to us and we always speak whenever we meet on the road. We were warned by others to never speak to this man, since he obviously must be a robber being a black man. Such ignorance and racial profiling is very common here. Since Cuencanos are so prejudiced you will find very few black Ecuadorians here in Cuenca. Cuencanos are also openly prejudiced against the indigenous people who live here. You will never see a native Cuencano speaking to an Indian or indigenous person. Cuencanos are not politically correct and we find many to be obnoxious and ignorant. You will not read such comments on the blogs or International Living articles, but the truth is the truth.

    On the coast, there are many afro-Ecuadorians. The food is better on the coast and the people are more friendly. In Esmeraldas there is a large population of Ecuadorians of African descent whose ancestors arrived hundreds of years ago. Personally, I would avoid Cuenca. We have lived here for almost 6 years and are getting ready to move to another part of Ecuador because we have learned that in other parts of the country Ecuadorians are more open and friendly. Cuencanos think that their city and culture is the best, but honestly there are other parts of the country that are just as beautiful and you don´t have put up with ignorant people. Cuenca was cut off from the rest of the country for hundreds of years and for that reason Cuencanso have developed their own culture and way of thinking and speaking. Not all Cuencanos are bad, but they definitely have a strange way of thinking and I think that if you do decide to come to Ecuador you would do yourself a favor to investigate other regions. The coast is beautiful and you would probably feel more comfortable living there or even in other parts of the mountains. Loja, Ambato, Imbabura are nice smaller towns in the mountains. I can´t say what their attitude is toward people of African descent, but we have found the people there to be generally more friendly.

    I hope that this info. helps,

    Take care,