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In some places, tens of thousands of North Americans — far more in numbers than the Central Americans in the “migrant caravans” coming to the United States — are relocating for a mix of lifestyle ideals, climate and lower cost-of-living.Since 2011, I have documented the lives of people moving to Cuenca from Canada and the United States.But the truth is more complex, and reveals global inequalities inherited from a colonial past. At this moment in history, however, failure to address them in any systematic way produces localized forms of global inequality, gentrification and dispossession, as transnationally mobile global middle classes rub shoulders with street vendors in the tourism cities of Latin America.
For him, El Centro was his community, the place that he worked.
International “lifestyle marketers,” such as International Living, with ties to real estate investors and developers in select destinations, often promote these communities online.
Ana Jane chose to live in Cuenca, Ecuador, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage city of 330,000 people located high up in the Ecuadorian Andes, and where the average monthly household income is about 0, well below what most retirees say they live on in the US.
When Ana Jane* turned 60, she decided she wanted “a complete life change.” Approaching retirement, she was suddenly laid off from her job as an interior decorator in early 2009, during the peak of the financial crisis.
Having endured cancer, job loss and an addiction problem, she was hoping to turn her life around.