Building connections in Cuenca, Ecuador is something that I am trying to work on. Part of the barrier is overcoming my natural tendency to keep to myself. Most of the expats I've met are very friendly and seem more than willing to share information and company.
For example, today I met a lovely duo at lunch who have promised to point me in the direction of the best dentist in the city. One was from California and has been in Cuenca for a year, with intent to stay. The other was actually a North Carolina connection, and we shared a moment of small world when we discovered that we had both worked for Bank of America in Charlotte. She's moved here recently, plans to spend the rest of her life here, and rents a five bedroom house with a fruit and herb garden for $300 a month.
Also, I met a few of the local teachers, and have connected with the editor of a local English language magazine. We're trying to find a time to meet. I've just been so pleased with how laid-back and open the people I've met have been.
On Friday's, both Zoe's bar (Calle Correro, between Presidente Cordova and Sucre) and Cafe Eucalyptus (Gran Colombia) have expat meet ups at 5 pm. I'm planning to go and just see who I meet!