As the Frogette and I travel back to the United States, I suppose I should try and find something profound to say about my time here in Ecuador. Interestingly the one thing that I feel most acutely is that Ecuador really seems to be a country full of hope.
Let me start by saying that my impressions of Ecuador are tempered by the fact that it’s difficult not to compare this country to the United States. Moreover, one cannot understand what Ecuador is like now without knowing something about Ecuador’s history. Not to go into too much detail, but like most South American countries, Ecuador has had it’s share of dictatorships, has suffered from a lot of official corruption, and still has its share of soul-crushing poverty.
That said, Ecuador’s current administration seems to have it’s head screwed on straight, where the United States has completely lost it’s way. Almost everywhere you look you see schools and roads being built; You hear about money being spent on infrastructure, and you hear about the government trying wholeheartedly to raise the standard of living for typical Ecuadorans. Though I have no doubt that there are interests that would prefer things they way they were—the way things have become in the United States—the current administration seems dedicated to fighting those interests. By contrast, the United States government hasn’t just surrendered to such interests, they are a fully invested partner in helping corporations financially rape the citizens.
In addition, Ecuadorans live in an incredibly rich and beautiful land. I was always impressed that, even in the poorest neighborhoods of Quito, it was possible to buy a great variety of the freshest fruits and vegetables. Compare this to the US where, in many less fortunate cities and towns, grocery stores don’t carry anything fresh. Fresh vegetables? Forget it. Pre-packaged meat, dairy and produce is all there is.
I know that I’m rambling…but I guess that my lasting impression is that, for Ecuador and Ecuadorans, the best days are ahead. And why? Because the government cares about its people. Whereas back home in the US, our best days are behind us because the government has abandoned the people.