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About the Author

Fernando Pagés Ruiz

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fernando Pagés Ruiz immigrated to the United States, where he lived in Boulder, Colorado, until about three years ago when fate brought him to Ecuador with his new wife Martina. They now reside in Guayaquil. A longtime contributor to English and Spanish language consumer magazines, he’s also the author of two books for The Taunton Press.

Curb appeal from the inside: The Latin tradition of courtyards and private spaces

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

I recall almost every detail of my father’s ancestral home in Mendoza, in the wine country of northwestern Argentina. The layout, the tile, the woodwork, the planters — even the service quarters with giant sinks  … Read more

Learn how to develop good hunches: Being lucky isn’t always an accident

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

You can learn to model lucky behaviors that will give you an edge in life, without resorting to astronomy or carrying a rabbit’s foot. It’s better to be lucky than good. The large, impersonal forces  … Read more

Thanksgiving for my Ecuadorian friends — served up with all trimmings

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

On Thursday morning we attended our exercise class in the park. One of our classmates had lived in the U.S., and we got to talking about Thanksgiving. She said she missed the holiday, and since  … Read more

Enjoying the beach life in Ecuador? Don’t sweat the details

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

Where I used to live, in the Midwestern United States, folks often had one room with rattan furniture, shells, and tiki lights to remind them of far-off paradises on warm sandy shores. I secretly loved  … Read more

Some like it close and noisy

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz Latinos are not afraid of close contact even with strangers There’s no “three foot” rule. Why waste the space? Same goes for sound. Why would you turn down the music? Lonely  … Read more

A Shangri-La with less culture shock

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

Images of paradise often include white sand beaches, palms, breezes, and aqua blue waters. Perhaps not for those finding Shangri-La in the cool altitudes of Cuenca. Yet it’s certainly, what expats settling Salinas, Olon and  … Read more

Buildings don’t need to last forever — impermanence is part of life and sometimes it just makes practical sense

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz In the U.S., people are very focused on durability. If something lasts for a long, long time, it’s said to be sustainable by definition, because the environmental and economic impact gets  … Read more

I’m fluent in Spanish, but still had to learn the language of social communication

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

As a lifelong developer, my career began on the jobsite as a carpenter, evolved through business education into project management, and eventually running the company. Nowadays I am as good with spreadsheets, computers and paperwork  … Read more

Bamboo hut on a firm foundation: A close-up look at Ecuador’s amazing stilt homes

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz If you’ve traveled along the Ecuadorian coastal plains, you’ve seen the traditional Ecuadorian stilt homes, standing proud above the grass, built of stiff guadua cane and palm-leaf thatch. (Article continues below  … Read more

Gender PC: Just don’t call me a ¡Latinx!

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

You may have seen the image on Facebook: a poster on a “Wholefoods” storefront window asking customers and employees to avoid “gendered” speech, such as “Hello Sir,” and “Thanks Brother.” It’s actually misleading. The Whole  … Read more

The best little hostal in Cuenca

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz |

By Fernando Pagés Ruiz How does a big love affair become a little hotel? That’s the story of Patricia del Pilar and Stuart White, and their Pumamaqui Accommodations, an elegant adobe inn that the couple  … Read more