For those of you who are seriously considering a move to Cuenca in the year ahead or recently have arrived in Cuenca, as I mentioned in my previous post of May 13th, "Transversing Through the Maze of Finances, Furniture and Appliance Purchases in Cuenca"; knowing honest, trustworthy, bilinqual Cuencanos is a must if you are to successfully navigate through the thicket of government paperwork, banking and utility transactions, and major consumer purchases if you yourself are not fluent in Spanish.
I have had the honor of working closely with a number of Cuencanos, who have been a major assistance to me and/or to other expat friends of mine.
The following is a list you may wish to make reference to when you arrive in Cuenca. This is by no means an exhaustive list of Cuencanos who can prove helpful. However, these are people that from my experience and that of other expats I can highly recommend:
Maribel Crespo (Telf: 2 880 438) (Cel: 0984847855) is a gracious lady and a true professional, who found for me my rental condo at the Palermo. She spent a great deal of time with me, and brought me back to see the condo again when I wanted to refresh my memory a few days later as to whether or not this was in fact the condo of my choice, and how I might imagine furniture layout as well. Maribel setup an appointment and provided translation between myself and the son-in-law of the condo owner, and arranged all the negotiations, copies of the association governance in English and the lease signings, as well as arranged the monthly rental payment with the appropriate bank. She provided transportation, and did a thorough job of responding to all my questions related to the Palermo. What I particularly appreciated from Maribel was the fact that she did not steer me toward properties that did not match the criteria I had set out for her in what I was seeking. I very much enjoyed working with her, and appreciated that she was not pushy in attempting to foist a sale or rental on me.
Maribel also has experience in helping in the purchase of property and businesses, serves as a financial consultant, and can be helpful with the assessment of property value.
July Munoz is a seamstress and clothing designer. For expats who find Ecuadorian sizes are often not adaptable to gringo body frames, July is the young lady to contact. July designs shirts, blouses, robes, skirts, dresses, and slacks. July also does alterations. July does not work from clothing patterns. July takes your measurements and works from those measurements. You may bring to July a drawing of the design you desire, or a photo or copy from a magazine or catalog, or a similar clothing item you wished to have made and July will work from the design representation you provide. You purchase the fabric after July informs you as to how much fabric you will need, deliver the fabric to July, and she then creates your garment. I have seen clothing July has made, and they are beautifully tailored to your body. July made me a bath robe, as well as polo shirts. I was very satisfied with all of her work. If you prefer, July will also make house calls for your measurements and discussions of what styles, fabrics, and amount of material you will need.
July Munoz can be contacted at 0939 042 554. July does not speak English. If that is a problem for you, then have a Spanish-speaking friend or acquaintance make the initial contact for you, and to be on-hand to translate for you when Julie takes the measurements.
Fabian Bojorque (0991 078 135) (email@example.com) is another very trusted soul, who can
be hired as a driver for trips out of the city, like to Inca Purca, or
to Quayaquil, or to Quito. He is bilingual and lived for a time in the
United States. Fabian is also available for assisting you in the
purchase of appliances and mattresses, and works with dealers where he
can get you some good prices. Fabian also provides the service and help for catering a party or large dinner. Fabian is another one of those gentlemen,
whose trust in your integrity can be helpful in difficult situations.
Fabian also makes for an interesting and fun travel guide, while he
chauffeurs you to your destination.
Jhony Parra, also has a chauffeur's license, he has lived in the United States, speaks English, and drives a white Toyota Cambry for customers looking for roomy and comfortable rides for out-of-town trips as oppose to yellow cab rentals. Generally, Jhony is stationed outside the Oro Verde Hotel on Ordonez-Lasso across from Edificio Palermo for those seeking intra-city taxi rides. Jhony Parra can be contacted at 288-9537 or his cellular number is 0980 270 494.
Johny Solis of Solmueble designed and handcrafted all of my furniture, except for the living room set. He does not do sofas and recliners.
My dining room set with buffet, all my bedroom sets, the elaborately beautiful T.V. cabinet, my office desk, and the lamp stand in the living room were all crafted by Johny Solis. I could not have been more satisfied with the the quality and the workmanship. The name of the business is SOLMUEBLE; and now in 2015, Johnny has in recent years expanded his studio . Computerized designs can also be submitted to Johnny, and he will let you know if he can accommodate your desires. Johny does traditional, modern, and contemporary designs.
You can see his handicraft in photos of furniture in my condo:
Transportation will be needed,
since their business establishment is on the outskirts of Cuenca. The
address is Cruce del Carmen via Sinincay KM 4 junto al PAI # 15. The
business or factory is on the right side of the road. One has to watch
very carefully once one enters the vicinity for SOLMUEBLE, which if I
remember correctly is located on a curve. Locating Solmueble is the difficult part. One definitely needs someone who can find the location. Having an interpreter with you definitely will be helpful, or call Johny beforehand to procure directions, although when I visited last year there was a young woman, I believe it was his wife, who spoke more English than Johny does. If you can find his business, it will more than be worth it for the quality, workmanship, and cost factor compared to what is charged in most of the furniture stores in Cuenca. Telephone numbers are 0998 367 063, or 2877 298.
I hope the above list of talented people will prove useful to expats and
visitors who may need to employ anyone of them for their particular
services being offered. They have been such a trustworthy and excellent
group of people with whom to work, that I only ask that if you hire any
of these fine, hardworking people that you treat them with the same
level of integrity.