Hey, everyone! Jason here, kicking off the year with some positive vibes. Took a stroll by the Yanuncay River, and guess what? The Cuenca Council did some tree clearing. They thinned out those thirsty eucalyptus trees, making room for new native ones. Big shoutout to them for keeping our parks green and lively.
New Year’s Day Greetings
Happy New Year! Hope you had a blast last night, whether it involved burning monigotes, munching on grapes, or following your favorite Ecuadorian traditions. Here’s to an awesome 2024!
Farewell to Cuenca Events Calendar
Now, for some bittersweet news. We’re saying goodbye to the Cuenca Events Calendar. I know, I know, many of you loved it. It’s been a tough call, but it’s time. Family needs more of my time, and the business needs to refocus.
So, the online events calendar is taking a bow. No more updates, and the Thursday events newsletter is going too. We’ve invested time (I’ve spent 255 hours) and money (I’ve spent $2530) since September 2021, but it’s time for a change. Real talk, my focus in 2024 is on family and growing our real estate service.
Maintaining the calendar is no walk in the park. Monetizing it crossed my mind, but let’s be honest, that’s not likely to work. If the calendar is to survive, we need a hero from the community—a volunteer to spend a couple of hours each week. Could that be you? You don’t need to be a tech whiz. Honestly, your biggest issue will likely be overcoming the monotony of uploading 20-30 events each week. Reach out to me if interested ([email protected]).
Alternatives and Apologies
I hate to break it to you, but there’s no perfect alternative. You can check the city’s events (though it’s limited – try this one too), explore other gringo publications, or dive into Facebook events. It’s not the same, I know, and I’m sorry.
Focus on Video Content
But hey, it’s not all bad news. We’re ramping up video content in 2024. More insights, more stories. Even though the calendar is taking a break, we’re not. We’re still here, committed to helping you navigate life in Cuenca.
Thanks for your continued support as we navigate these changes. Here’s to an amazing 2024! Got questions? Drop me an email at [email protected]. Ciao ciao!
View full video transcript
Cuenca Events Calendar – Vlog 2 (Transcript)
Happy New Year. I’m down by the Yanuncay River and you can see that they’ve actually done quite a bit of clearing recentl. All these trees that they’ve basically just thinned out a bunch of these big eucalyptus. They are thirsty and they do drink a lot of water from the river, so I think that was one of the reasons behind it. But what I do love is that, yeah, they’ve thinned out the trees, but they’ve added all these other ones in a few different spots. You come down here and there’s all different little trees. I believe they’re native. I mean that would make sense to me, but some look like coffee, but I don’t really know. But the fact is they have put a whole bunch of trees down here, which is really nice. And so thanks to the Cuenca Council for, you know, clearing this up and making sure that our parks remain vibrant and green for everybody.
Hello, welcome to our first video for 2024. It’s currently New Year’s Day. I hope last night you were out partying. Maybe you were burning monigotes or eating grapes, wearing different colored underwear, whatever Ecuadorian tradition floats your boat, I hope you enjoyed it and I hope 2024 is a brilliant year for you.
Now the bad news. As much as it hurts me to say it, we are going to be discontinuing our Cuenca events calendar. I do know this was a very popular feature for many of you and I am sorry for this, I truly am, especially if you’ve come to rely upon it for your weekend activities and socializing and things like that. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly and it is a tough one, but I do think it’s the right one both for our business and for me personally.
And so what exactly is happening? We’ve taken down the YapaTree online events calendar and will be no longer maintained or updated. We’ll also be ceasing to send our Thursday events newsletter because the online events calendar effectively powered this newsletter. And so if we don’t have the events on the website, we’re not going to be able to send the newsletter either.
Why are we doing this? Why are we discontinuing the online events calendar? The short answer is I want to spend more time with my family. The more nuanced answer is that I’ve been doing a lot of planning for 2024 and I just don’t see how we can continue to support the calendar in its current format. Since we’ve published the OR since we started to first publish events on the 10th September 21, I’ve spent about $2530 on software and also an admin assistant to help upload some of the events and we’ve published over 1643 events since then. And I personally have spent around 255 hours maintaining the calendar and it was honestly only since I saw those numbers on a spreadsheet that I had to take a bit of a step back and go hang on. I’m not sure how sustainable this practice actually is moving into 2024 and I’ve basically concluded that if we do want to hit the big juicy goals that we do have for 2024 that this particular feature it just needs to go. We can’t be maintaining any more unfortunately. Our real estate service does continue to grow and I’m finding that most of my time is being spent towards servicing those clients and also helping with growing the team and so I really owe those clients and the team my full attention in 2024.
And this combined with the fact that I’m currently just not spending enough time with my family made it very obvious that this is not the answer moving forward and we do need to make some changes. I did consider monetizing the events calendar, but let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to get people to upload events there for free. When we start charging people for the privilege, I really don’t think that’s going to work.
The only potential path for what I see for the events calendar is if someone from the community wants to effectively volunteer their time to help maintain and upload events on a weekly basis. You would need 2 hours every week once you’re up to speed. You don’t need to be a technology whiz or anything like that. I will teach you how. It’s really quite simple. You’ll probably find it boring after you’ve done your first one or two.
I’m very reluctant to ask for help. I’ve never reached out to help for the events calendar in the past simply because I don’t want to burden anybody with this. But the reality is now if you do want to see the events calendar moving forward in Cuenca, we do need that additional help support from whoever and the events calendar will remain offline until we can potentially find that person. If we don’t find that person, no one comes forward, then the events calendar will just, you know, basically stay offline and that’s OK, life moves on. We did consider just keeping the events calendar there but not maintaining it, but that would just be a slow death and I don’t think anybody really wants that either.
So what alternatives do you have now? This is the tough bit for me and it probably hurts me the most because there is no real alternative. The problem we were solving was we were having all the Cuenca events in the one spot and so they’re easily accessible, organized, and so you could actually use it as a resource to plan your weekend.
Unfortunately there are no real alternatives that do the same thing. There is a good option from the city for the city events and I’m going to provide a link to those, but obviously this is very limited. They only include the city’s events and they don’t even include all of those. Probably next best is some of the other gringo publications they do allow you to post events in more like a classified type format and so this is OK, you will still see the events there, but you will have to do a lot of digging and all that sort of stuff. But that is currently the next best solution and so that’s the only thing I can really recommend.
Facebook events, OK, but everything relies on someone uploading the events and that tends to be the bit where people struggle with, especially in Cuenca. Very few events are actually uploaded or even organized ahead of time to allow people to upload them. So it is a challenge finding the events and uploading them. But we do have a little bit of a system in place where we can capture most of them now. We just don’t have the ability to continue to maintain the system and keep uploading the different properties. So again, I really do apologize if you have come to rely on the events calendar to help plan out your weekends.
But the good news is I am committed to providing a lot more content in 2024 especially in the video format. You may have noticed that our output in video has increased and I do think that’s where we can make a real difference to the expats moving here and basically taking on different topics and learning about different things to make them move to Cuenca a success. And that’s where we’re going to be focusing more of our effort on 2024. So we’re certainly not taking a big step back or anything like that. We’re just trying to figure out how can we use our time to provide the most useful service and that’s what we have decided to move forward.
Now this is the part in the video where I’d normally ask you to subscribe, but given I’ve let you down, I clearly cannot do this. But maybe go check out one of our other videos and if you feel like they’re worthwhile then maybe hit the subscribe button after that, I don’t know, it’s up to you. Now that’s all for today’s video guys, and I sincerely hope you have a brilliant 2024. You’re always welcome to reach out to me with any questions [email protected]. Ciao ciao