Ecuador at the crossroads: Honor the traditions of the past or import meanness from the north
When I was younger, I spent a year with a team of artists, filmmakers and anthropologists documenting the Inuit culture of southwestern Alaska. Our autumn trip was to a remote inlet to record a seal hunt. It was late September. When the weather unexpectedly turned snotty, we figured we needed to quickly find shelter to wait out the storm — the temperature was dropping past minus 10 degrees. The wind was freshening.
We joined the first encampment we saw, a fieldstone hut lined with caribou hides used by nomadic natives on their hunting expeditions. Inside it was a comfortable 60 degrees, warmed by a small fire and body heat provided by four families huddling together for shared warmth and camaraderie. We were greeted with simple hand gestures as they made room for us around the circle and offered a portion of their carefully rationed food. These formidable hunter-gatherers were practicing a truth learned countless generations before:
“Embrace one another, regardless of tribal affiliation, if you too want to survive the frostbite of the Arctic.”
I moved to Ecuador for good reasons. I came to restore my faith in humanity, to witness the unbending faith and kindness that defines Ecuador’s character, and to find solace in the comfort of warm weather and bustling stalls in vibrant Mercados.
However, all rewards come with responsibility.
Ecuador is a civilized country. It doesn’t need dolts — some living thousands of miles away — who insist on importing their antagonistic propaganda to Ecuador and throwing temper tantrums insisting they have “a right” to do so. That is parasitical crazy talk of the worse sort. We certainly don’t need so-called highbrows advocating for the 2nd Amendment or any amendment of the U.S. Constitution as if it applied to Ecuador. This is not the ‘United States of South America,’ and there is no rational reason for any of us to mimic the lunatics who are obsessed with verbally bludgeoning each other with reckless abandon or have murderous intent toward those not aligned with their diatribes.
We have good reason to be vigilant.
Poland and the U.S. are two of the better-known countries currently being shell-shocked by a blunderbuss of extremist ideologies perforating everyday society and violently pock marking the founding principles these countries are charged to protect.
Peru is careening wildly, whiplashing left to right, smashing lives, digging political trenches, and tearing apart the elaborate social fabric that was once the pride of its people.
And then there is Venezuela…
Poor old Venezuela has become just another failed state ruled by cocaine-fueled narco-terrorists who vandalized or stole the jewels that once crowned the country: pristine resources, faith, and trust.
We must not allow such shenanigans here at home.
The people of Ecuador chose a direction that uncoupled the legacy of the past , which may or may not be a good thing. Still, it by no means suggests that the people of Ecuador desire policies that are not comprehensive or want their representatives to spend precious time seeking revenge for old grievances. Too much is at stake for such foolishness.
One needs only to look to the U.S., a country that, in its hysterical haste to disconnect from its past, also severed ties to publicly practicing religious faith. The rapid national decline of active affiliation with a temple, church, mosque, or synagogue marks a dark and stunning turning point for the country that is a cause for serious concern, if not despair.
If the umbrella of spiritual doctrine tatters and the distinction between truth and justice becomes murky, someone, or something, will take its place.
Ecuador is at a crossroads. It has an opportunity to engage the world stage by showing leadership in protecting the rights of all of its citizens through innovative programs that enhances participation in a global economy and protects them from foreign interests hell-bent on siphoning our finite resources for their own short-term advantage.
The foundation on which Ecuador heroically built itself — grit and determination — must be respected. It requires honoring the past, living in the moment, and patiently guiding all of the many stakeholders toward a consensus of opinion based on sustainable development.
This is not the time to be hasty or reckless; it is a time to thoughtfully build a future that incorporates centuries-old traditions, technological innovation, and the essential principles of faith and accommodation that makes Ecuador such an enchanting place to call home.