Disabled single woman looking for info about retirement in Cuenca, Ecuador

by Elizabeth (Liz) Wells
(Boise, Idaho, USA)

10th August, 2012
I need any info I can get about whether a single disabled woman would find it possible to retire in Cuenca. I walk with the aide of a walker (or an electric wheelchair at times)to get around as I have arthritis and a balance problem and would fall if I did not have something to hold on to. I originally thought about retiring to Cotacachi but was told by someone who did tours in the area that I would find it almost impossible to live there as there are no elevators or curb cuts in the village and most places I would need to go to have steps to climb. They suggested Cuenca would be better for me, but I have not been able to get in touch with anyone in Cuenca to see if this info is correct. I would be so thankful for anyone who could tell me about Cuenca and the problems that I may face there.

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Nov 17, 2013
by: Ruthie

My husband and I spent a month in Uruguay and another in Cuenca looking for retirement property. We found a condo in Ecuador that had an American upgrade the unit to be accessible (wide doors, on one floor - many units have several floors, elevator access, wheelchair shower, etc). But these are few and far between. What many hotels and restaurants claim they are "handicapped accessible" these are not based on US standards so ramps may be 2' wide and seemingly at 45 degree angles, but personnel are willing to help. Restrooms often have stairs and are teeny-tiny cubicles. We purchased the condo and are working to rehab my back and hip for additional walking tasks. GOOD LUCK!

May 24, 2013
accessible for handicapped
by: Ruth

Hi. I am in Cuenca at present (our first trip) and often use walker or wheelchair. Sidewalks are often rough - although along the river walking trails these seem to be better maintained. We sought and found an apartment that had been purposely designed for limited mobility (wide doors, no steps, wheelchair shower, etc) but think these are rare. Our hotel says "accessible" and has a few narrow ramps inside; but none to enter the dining room. Lose weight fast! LOL Rest rooms in many restaurants are tiny and have narrow doorways. We are purchasing the apartment and giving it a whirl! Good luck to you.

Apr 11, 2013
I am also in the same boat -- I believe there are lots of us
by: Traci

Hi, I also use a powerchair and have chosen either Cuenca or Quito as my new home. I am still in the states. From the comments I can see that there are more and more of us, single women seeking this lifestyle.

Give me a shout at IntlGypsy@gmail.com

I am in the middle of trying to end my ties here in the states, however, timing is an unknown right now. That being said -- it could happen in the next few months.


Mar 27, 2013
Getting around
by: Jim

Hello, I just returned from two weeks in Cuenca. While it is an attractive city, it is no more equipped for people with disabilities such as yours as is any developing country. While I agree that you should visit Cuenca to see for yourself, I recommend you do it with a companion. Plenty of sidewalks for pedestrians, but they are often uneven; don't be surprised to find gaping holes in sidewalks as electrical and plumbing issues often arise, and there are no warning barriers erected to keep one from accidentally falling in; I do not remember seeing even one curb cut; and Cuenca is not flat--everything from undulating to hilly terrain. All that being said, Cuenca has lots to recommend it, and I think you will like it if you go.

Aug 13, 2012
disabled retirement
by: Anonymous

You should go check it out for yourself, that would be the most accurate and usable info you could get. While your there you could go to a lawyer to find out what documents you need for residency.
Good Luckmalice

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