The last week or so has been incredibly busy for us--so much so that a series of three blogs will be needed to give all that has happened proper description. So here we go-----.
Cynthia and I were honored to be asked to speak again at International Living's Fast Track conference in Quito that took place February 7-9. Over 420 attendees came from all over the US and Canada to learn the in's and out's of relocating to Ecuador. Twenty five speakers shared information about immigration procedures, health care, shipping a container, learning Spanish, starting a business, purchasing or renting property, and of course, in depth presentations of the most interesting areas of the country to live.
Our role was expanded this year to give an overview of Cuenca as well as tell our story about how we came to live there. We took the audience through a day in the city from the time they get off the airplane, showing them hotels they might choose and food they would eat. Then we took them on a "walking tour" of the historic district and New Town, pointed out interesting day trips in the surrounding countryside, and provided some current properties for sale and rent.
Then we related the circumstances that precipitated our move abroad, how we chose Cuenca, and what happened during and after our arrival. It was our goal to provide both "information and inspiration," and our talk seemed to be well-received.
In addition to this full slate of speakers, an exhibition hall was filled with businesses assisting all the guests with their relocation requirements. We manned a table in this area to answer questions about Cuenca during coffee breaks. The evenings offered great networking possibilities with cocktail parties and special dinners. I believe the 3 day program was greatly appreciated and extremely helpful to every participant.
During our presentation I asked for a show of hands of how many people were particularly interested in Cuenca. I was amazed that it seemed almost every hand went up. I told everyone to keep their hands up and look around to see who their future neighbors might be.
If this level of interest was indicative of how many folks all over North America are seriously considering our city for their future homes, Cuenca is going to look quite different several years from now.