There are many reasons. All have a lot of validity.
Part of the answer is given by a blogger named Attila Gyuris, in a Quora blog. It says about this question:
“The key word is that these foreigners are almost all retired or retired and most are from the US.”
Although in reality there is also a small number of foreign marriages that come from Europe or from the US with children to study in a better environment than, for example, in the US.
Cuenca is a very humanly warm city and very respectful to everyone, although there are exceptions. Cuenca has very little violence and very little crime compared to the US, for example, where there is an incredible amount of drugs in primary and secondary schools, and the gun violence prevalent there now days.
Cuenca can be compared, in a well meaning and respectful manner, to the town where Andy Griffith lived whose town was inhabited by people who loved each other and there was no malice on the part of any of the inhabitants, the town of Mayberry.
In Cuenca, there is still a lot of love between families and it is not uncommon to see multigenerations enjoy the park on a sunny day, or boy and girls or grown men hugging each other with no other intention than that of true friendship.
There is one caveat though, you must watch for car drivers. They do not respect the pedestrian and will likely run one over without stopping to help them or give first aid. Perhaps one day they will correct this terrible issue.
Thus, be careful when crossing the streets, drivers have no respect for pedestrian in this beautiful city, although they will likely greet you very politely (Buenas Tardes, they will say) if they see you waiting for a bus at any intersection.
What else brings expats to Cuenca?
And also, “Because these expats – in the great majority – are middle-class and working-class retirees who, after retiring, financial pressures make it difficult for them to maintain their lifestyle in their own country, while in Ecuador they can easily maintain it. In others words, they are “economic expatriates.” That is, they moved to Ecuador in the first place for economic reasons, … but it is not the only one, … there are other reasons as well. ”
“Secondly, due to the good weather, thirdly due to the low cost of medical care and the possibility of joining the Ecuadorian medical social insurance for the small sum of $ 70 per month, in fourth place due to the less frenetic lifestyle in Ecuador, especially in Cuenca, compared to their countries or cities of origin, and in a distant fifth place, because of the thirst for adventure that some of these retirees who worked all their lives feel and now have the time and resources to prove the adventure of living in another country with a different culture, “says Attila Gyuris.
Gyuris continues, “Because the idiosyncrasies of the Americans is that, once they are retired, they don’t like living in big cities – with the stress that entails – but they still want to be close to the conveniences of civilization. (Doctors, internet, telephone, drinking water, electricity, etc.) during their retirement. Everyone dreams of living in an inexpensive, pretty sight, relatively small, quiet, but civilized place. And Cuenca meets those requirements very well. ”
“Quito is too big and life is very frantic for your taste (although in Quito there is also a good population of resident foreigners.”
“Life in Guayaquil is perceived as too dangerous and it is too hot all year round, and, although it is on the coast at sea level, there are no beaches. So what is left? … Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador “.
It is said that “during the years 2009 to 2014. For 5 consecutive years (sic), Ecuador (and specifically the city of Cuenca), was chosen as the No. 1 country to live for retired foreigners”. As a result there was a lot of propaganda and there is no person in the US who has not heard at one time or another about Cuenca, Ecuador.
Then many Americans moved, attracted by the quality of life, the low cost of leases and food, and with the ease of obtaining a residence visa and other government facilities and programs to attract these retirees, such as possibility of bringing up to two 40-foot containers with all household items, free of customs duty, and the attractiveness of VAT (tax) refund.
Cuenca, really is all that is said in social networks. It is even much better than bloggers paint them.