Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quito and the Cedula Plan, Part 2

The continuing saga of Quito and the Cedula Plan...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
After leaving our lawyers office at 5:30pm, we needed to find a place to spend two more nights, and of course some dinner. We checked out Casa Bamboo, a hostel near our lawyers office, but it didn't quite meet our needs, so we continued our search. We ended up returning to the Travelers Inn, and got a different room (106) for the same rate. We bought some snacks at a tienda nearby, and settled in for the night with low expectations of anything happening the next day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
We attempted to sleep in, but we're awaken by guests entering the dining room directly above our room for breakfast beginning at 7:00am. So, not being able to sleep, Susan attempted to take a shower, but there was no hot water! Old hostels with wood floors tend to be noisy, and have a limited supply of hot water, so beware of room #106. Nick wasn't feeling well after breakfast, so he decided it would be better if he stayed in the room, and played on his laptop. Susan, and I decided to check out the Basilica del Voto Nacional, and enjoyed a nice 30 minute walk from our hostel. The Basilica was beautiful, and after reading Dano's blog,  AHHH Cuenca!, and seeing his pictures we decided we too would climb to the top of the Basilica. We definitely would not have been able to climb the many stairs, and ladders when we first arrived in Ecuador eight months ago, but we were surprised how well we held up now.

Once we returned to our hostel to check on Nick (he was fine), we took a siesta (yes, my favorite part of Ecuador!), and later called our lawyer to check on the status of our Cedulas. We talked to our lawyer, and was told she would call the next morning to fill us in on the next phase of the Cedula Plan. Dinner out again, this time we enjoyed a nice meal at an Argentinian Steak House with an eccentric Italian owner who loves to tango with his staff, and guests. A another nice walk to the hostel, and to rest up for hopefully our last day in Quito.

Thursday, March 29, 2012
We woke up early to shower, thus we had hot water, YES! We waited for a phone call as usual from our lawyer, and lo and behold she called to tell us I was needed to help convince a clerk to speed up the processing of our corrected Cedula form in order for us to possibly get our cedula on FRIDAY!. Well, I rushed to the Registro Civil to meet our lawyers assistant, who after seeing me arrive, explained in Spanish that we needed to go to a different building, which happened to be very near our hostel. I spoke to a clerk, and she agreed to assist with the form, and then I was told there was nothing else we could do today, but wait for a phone call. Back to the hostel, and requested one more night in our room, and luckily there was space. Susan and Nick weren't in the room when I returned, and later I found out they had gone to Subway for lunch. Where Nick enjoyed his first sub in over eight months. So, we had another dinner in Quito at Papa Johns later that evening, and prepared for one more chance at getting our Cedula.

Friday, March 30,2012
We checked out of our hostel at 7:00am, and headed to the Registro Civil to meet our lawyers assistant at 8:00am. Eventually at 9:30 the assistant arrived, and once again I was participating in begging a clerk to fix my problem which was created by our lawyer in the first place. Finally, at 10:30am we were told the forms were waiting on a supervisor at another office to sign the corrected forms along with about 30 other forms from others. We headed to lunch to await one final call telling us whether we would or would not get our Cedulas. The three of us had a little hope at this point, and around 12:30pm we received confirmation that we were not getting our Cedulas, and we had spent 5 nights/6 days in Quito for nothing, Next step was finding our way to the bus station, and to get home to Cuenca. Of course, to cap off our thrilling week-long trip, we got lost going to the bus station. After finding the bus station, buying tickets, and boarding the bus, we were on our way back home to Cuenca.

Saturday, March 31, 2012
The final few hours of the bus ride to Cuenca was the toughest. We were tired, but couldn't sleep, and due to some rain, and fog the bus seemed to be going very slow. The return trip to Cuenca took ten hours, and it felt really great to be back in Cuenca. After the quickest cab ride we ever had in Cuenca, we arrived at our apartment at 3:00am, home sweet home, at last.

So, nineteen hours on buses, five nights in a noisy hostel, hours sitting in uncomfortable chairs in three different government offices, three different assistants, one really long discussion with our lawyer, and the biggest accomplishment of the whole time was that I finished reading three books during the trip. The plan now is to return to Quito once our daughter Courtney's residency visa is approved, and we will all make the journey again. But, we have the residency visa stamp in our passports, so that is what we really needed. The Cedula is something we can wait to get eventually, or at least before I turn 65 years old, so our lawyer has a little less than 12 years to fix her mistakes.


  1. This is horrible for you and your family. Unfortunately, I have heard this many times before. Gabriela Espinosa has a good reputatation that is NOT deserved and people need to know about it.

  2. Your first mistake was hiring a lawyer for this. The government employees dislike lawyers for good reason. Please contact Patrick Minga at: He and his wife own the Quito Hotel Bonanza. His wife is Ecuadorian and they have helped many people with their visas.

    1. Thank you Patrick, but I if I had to do it all over again I would still use a lawyer, or do it myself.

  3. Patrick Minga over states,greatly exxagerates his connections and assistance. He has success and failures. Not your best choice either. Do it yourself with a translator.

  4. Steve, be sure you are correct on the time frame of your Cedula.. when we were here we only had so many days to get up to Quito to do the Cedula stuff..So sorry you had all those extra expenses.. glad you got some tourist stuff done while you were there!