Does coffee cause cancer?

As a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, I’m privileged to have as colleagues some of the most accomplished Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). Our guest columnist this week is Ashley Oswald, who brings us important news about how the foods you choose can keep your digestive system healthy. Ashley Oswald is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in Digestive Health. She works with individuals struggling with symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Ashley has a private practice in Minneapolis, MN, and has worked with thousands of individuals, helping them find the root cause of these bothersome symptoms […]

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Introducing my Ecuadorian family to the US and farewell to New York City

I am on an extended trip in the U.S. This is a my first such visit in four years. The primary reason for the six weeks here in the U.S. is to spend some time with my 93-year old mother, to introduce her to my Ecuadorian wife and our baby, now 2 1/2 years old. A secondary reason is to visit some of my best friends in Minnesota, where I lived the last 25 years in the U.S. Just a few days ago I took my wife and baby girl to New York City. Just a day trip, but almost […]

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Environmental ministry rolls out new strategy to raise environmental awareness in Ecuador

Ecuador’s minister of the environment has presented a national environmental plan that he says incorporates environmental protection into all aspects of daily living. Above all, Tarsicio Granizo says the National Strategy on Environmental Education is intended to raise consciousness about the environment for all Ecuadoirans. “Environmental education at all levels is essential to guarantee sustainability, good living and to adapt to territorial aspects of the country’s diversity,” Granizo says. He emphasized that environmental matters are not only the government’s concern but should be that of society in general. Among the specific programs Granizo introduced is “Tierra de Niños, Niñas y […]

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Paradise is cheap in Cuenca — and the food’s good, too

When our oldest son, Kevin, was visiting a couple of weeks ago, we decided to treat him to a working-class Ecuadorian vegetarian restaurant and took him to El Paraiso by the San Blas Plaza. It’s a deceptively delicious restaurant that looks unimpressive with no decorations other than posters advertising their products. The furniture is old, the walls need paint and the workers look a bit haggard. The noise inside is a bit too loud for conversations among old gringos so we ate al fresco, in the row of tables in front of the restaurant. The food and the prices are […]

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Casa Mary Corylé will be finished by November

Mayor Marcelo Cabrera announced that the Mary Corilé house, an El Centro patrimonial structure, at Rafael María Arízaga and Mariano Cueva streets,  is expected to be completely renovated by November 2018. According to the mayor, a mural was restored as well as four rooms, many doors, and the roof. All were reconstructed at a cost of $195,614. The building is earmarked to be an urban art center with space to develop other activities for the neighborhood. Mayor Cabrera stated that the municipality has invested over $2 million to restore patrimonial buildings. La Casa de Lira, located on Condamine Street, is […]

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Crime increases 8% in Cuenca in 2017

The crime rate in Cuenca increased 8% from 2016 to 2017 according to the Cuenca District Attorney’s office. In 2017, there were 16,249 crimes reported compared to 15,799 in 2016. The prosecutor noted, however, that the 2017 numbers were still significantly better than those for 2015 when 17,100 crimes were reported. Authorities say the cause of most crimes are the result of the bad economic situation, lack of education, poor moral values, and lack of social rehabilitation. “Even if we don’t count the growth of the population the truth is that we are living in an increasing materialistic society that […]

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Environmental ministry issue a ‘red list’ for fish at risk of extinction

The Biodiversity National Institute (INABIO), part of the Environmental Ministry (MAE), is conducting a study to discover which freshwater fishes could be in danger of extinction.  After the study is done, the next step will be, establishing regulations. “By the end of the year we want to have the first, “Red Book” or of fish at risk, which would be the first publication of its kind,” said Jonathan Valdiviezo, INABIO worker. With this research, it will be possible to determine which species require assistance or intervention due to pollution, invasive species or overexploitation. The ultimate goal is to have a […]

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The Vegetable Bar Moves to a New Location

The Vegetable Bar has announced it will reopen on Tuesday, August 14th  after a two-week hiatus and a big move. Their new location, “The Castle,” is on 3 de Noviembre, 70 meters downriver from the Broken Bridge (the third building on the left). “We’re opening on a Tuesday so that we can welcome back our loyal Trivia customers on our first day in our new digs,” says owner Michael Soares.  “We’ve got more room and hope that the new central location brings even more expats out on Tuesday nights to laugh with their friends while they test their wits.” The […]

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The things that make Cuenca special

I love mornings like this; gray flannel clouds barely muffling the sounds of yawns, creaking bones, and percolating coffee. Pretty soon I will hear the gas-sellers song rolling by and the crow-like caw of Allan pushing his cart. Car noise will increase like waves on an incoming tide.  Doors in my apartment building will start banging open and closed to allow busy people to rush to places I know not where, but sure to contribute to the building crescendo made of clearing skies, bright sunshine, and the gas sellers song once again. I rose early to mosey down to the […]

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Don’t settle. No, really, don’t settle.

“While Michael is taking a break, we are digging into the archives and choosing some of his favorite columns to run again. This one comes from way back; it was in Volume 1, Issue 14 on September 23, 2016!” We think it still reads well today. We hope you do too.” Owning a business in town means that I hear a LOT of stories from people about just about everything.  Some people share great stories of how wonderful Cuenca and Ecuador has been, some tragic stories of loss and some sad stories of how they got “screwed” because they are […]

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