We have been extremely fortunate to have had an almost perfect and seamless transition from the U.S. to Cuenca, Ecuador. When you prepare to move to another country you have an almost endless list of questions, concerns and unknowns that you have to figure out.
The first order of business for us was trying to obtain the Residency Visa’s and cedulas we needed to establish residency in Ecuador. We, like many before us contacted one of the well-known companies that specialize in helping you navigate that process. Fortunately for us they never responded to our second email request for more information. I say fortunately because in the meantime, we read a superb book by Connie Pombo called, Living and Retiring in Cuenca: 101 Questions Answered (There is now a Second Edition). It was the best book of relocating to Cuenca we had ever read. In it, she highly recommended using the services of Noshy Pinos to help with visas and everything else.
Meeting and hiring Noshy to be our facilitator was the best decision we ever made. She has been a godsend to us. She explained what documents we needed ahead of time so that we could begin gathering them and get them apostilled. We would then send them to her electronically so that she could begin to translate them. We brought the original copies with us when we came to Cuenca, and within a few days of our arrival, she took us to the government office in Azogues to file our paperwork, and within a few weeks, we had our visas and cedulas in hand and were official residents of Ecuador. The only headache we had with our paperwork was in the U.S. as the FBI rejected our fingerprints four times!
We have heard horror stories from people who have used one of the more well-known visa companies or even a private attorney to help them with the process. We have heard of paperwork not being filed timely, or being lost, etc. When you work with Noshy, you are working with someone who knows the requirements and the system. When we went to the government office, we had to take a seat while we waited to have our name called. The person who went up before us had several of their documents questioned and some were rejected. So when our name was called, we were hoping that everything would be ok, and the person who waited on us inspected all of our documents thoroughly and one by one, she laid them on the table – meaning they had been accepted. What a big relief it was for us. Noshy had delivered for us exactly what she promised.
We also quickly found out that Noshy’s services were extensive and we have used her for establishing a bank account, ordering prescriptions, getting a cell phone and service, making doctors’ appointments, and the list is almost endless. Oh, and she is a superb Spanish teacher as well! When you are dealing with things as personal as your bank account and doctors, you want someone you can trust and who understands that your privacy is of utmost importance.
Her husband Alfredo is also part of the team and has been invaluable to us as well. Besides being an all-purpose handyman – he can fix anything, we have also contracted with him as a driver. For example, when the airport in Cuenca was closed, we contracted with him to take us to Guayaquil to catch a flight. Getting to know both Noshy and Alfredo has certainly made our transition to Cuenca a smooth one. They are now our two best friends in Ecuador and we are so happy that we made the connection with them.
For anyone who is thinking of relocating to Cuenca, it is without reservation or hesitation that we highly recommend the services of Noshy Pinos. Her website is: http://www.cuencaexpat.com/about.html