Gringo Tree: Where Cuenca Expats can branch out to the community

13/Julio/2012 | 14:22

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Alan needs a good dry cleaner, Oscar wants to sell his Montero, and Debra is looking for equestrian lessons.

Nancy recommends a handyman, Marilyn is having a moving sale, and Susan offers raw food classes.

Some new yoga teachers just came to town, the Quito Symphony Orchestra has an upcoming concert, and the Café San Sebas wants you to know about their weekly specials.

Can you help? Are you interested? What are you selling? Do you just need a friend?

All of these needs are announced and often satisfied through one of Cuenca’s greatest expat resources: GringoTree.

Started a few years ago by American, ex-patriot David Morrill, GringoTree is an email alert service that announces services, businesses, things for sale, and allows expats in general to communicate with one another in an open forum. 

“It was intended to fill an information gap and keep Cuenca expats up to date on what was going on in both the expat community as well as the community at large,” explains Morrill.

How it works

Signing up for GringoTree is easy.  Simply go to Morrill’s other website,, which has current articles written by local expats and useful information for those who live in Cuenca or are thinking about moving to Cuenca.  It is also on the home page of www. and

All that is required is your email.  Once you sign up you will receive daily message about what is happening around town and who needs what to help make life easier in Cuenca.

“We send out two editions on weekdays and one each on Saturday and Sunday,” explains Morrill, who says the service is very popular and is growing rapidly.  He currently has 4,000 subscribers.  “A year ago it was about 30 going to 2,000 subscribers, to give you an idea of the growth.”

Morrill says they have a number of regulars who advertise services for Spanish classes and craft classes, “but there are quite a few others advertising household goods and electronics.”

Posting services is not complicated.  Morrill has some basic rules to keep the service non-commercial (see insert on this page).

Naturally, with such a useful and popular service, people may be wondering what plans Morrill has for the future. 

“We are planning to expand to other areas of Ecuador with large expat populations, and possibly to other countries. We hope to announce the expansion soon. It will continue to be free but we will be selling advertising to cover our costs,” which so far have been paid by Morrill.

So the next time you want to have a garage sale, are searching for good vegetarian food, or need a mole removed, just notify the local Gringo community via GringoTree.  Somebody is bound to respond.



GringoTree email service can help you find the freshest vegetables or the best pizza in town.  It can put you in touch with other expats or tell you where to adopt a pet.   And it matches you with people who have similar interests, such as fellow bikers or guitar players.   Photos courtesy Boria Romolereux, David Morrill, Deke Castleman, Ketzel Levine.


Sign-up for GringoTree at one of these sites:

How to Send a GringoTree Message and GringoTree Rules

Email your message to [email protected].

There is no charge for posting.

Please note: GringoTree is an email service sponsored by; it is not a website or an email forum.

Rules: keep it as short as possible and include a contact name. If it is about items for sale, include the rice. If it is about an event, send it in several days in advance and be sure to include the “who, what, when and where” information. Look at recent postings for grammar and style standards; please check spelling and punctuation (pre-editing saves us time). Avoid excessive superlatives and all caps. We will edit as needed for space, style and sense. Please note that we cannot include attachments to GringoTree emails. Please double-check phone numbers, email and web addresses. Please do not send us instructions on how to edit or when to send out messages (we are a small, volunteer effort and are unable to take orders or perform “bookkeeping” functions). Depending on the number of messages in our in-box and editing requirements, it may be two to three days before a message is sent out.

We are not a commercial advertising service but will run notices from businesses announcing what we think are good deals for our subscribers, particularly special events, discounts and needed services. We also post announcements of new businesses or professional services or, announcements about established businesses or services that have not been included in GringoTree previously. Except in the case of some scheduled events we do not repeat messages although exceptions can be made by contacting the moderator. We do not accept messages advertising items from other commercial websites, such as eBay. We accept and encourage messages from subscribers recommending businesses or professionals but they must include the recommender´s name and email address. We do not include real estate (for sale or for rent) ads except for those advertising homestays and rooms for rent and those seeking a rental.

We are not responsible for the information contained in GringoTree posts. Subscribers should always conduct their own due diligence.



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