The sea in Ecuador is more blue than ever, ‘at what cost, I know’

This email comes from a dear friend in Ecuador who lives in a coastal town called La Libertad.

Renier Orellana is a Cuban architect who immigrated to Ecuador but has not been able to work in his field after his first year in Ecuador. He now manages a home décor store. He speaks three languages fluently, Spanish, English and French. This is his description of what is happening in the coastal region of Ecuador. I have corrected his grammar only for clarity.

Dear Barbara,

The news is terrible specially in Guayaquil where there’s no space in current cemeteries and bodies are piling up in hospitals and freezing containers spread over the most affected areas. New graveyards are under construction in order to bury the awful amount of dead people. Which by the way some have been killed by the virus and some have not, but you know how media speculates and can create a bigger cloud than the real situation.

Here in La Peninsula things are mostly under control. We have had some casualties, but not even close to the rest of the country. People are under confinement, all activities are on hold, everything is closed except for SUPERMAXI, AKI, TIA and HYPER supermarkets, of course drugstores and banks. Downtown market is also functioning. Everything from 7 am till 2 pm when the whole country goes into curfew.

All services are functional, running water, electricity, internet, we have food, and everything is “normal” so far. The confinement situation should last until next Monday when, if indicators shows some improvement little by little and under government’s strict directions some business and companies will reopen to service, my company included. But nothing’s certain so far.

It is true that some families are in bad situation because as you know most of them depend on fishing, day by day sales etc, a lot of immigrants from Venezuela, Colombia are on the streets, begging for food or any help, but as there’s no one on the streets, I really don’t know how they manage. I’ve helped some every time I go for food, but the thing is everything is cut in half even our salaries, and some companies even had to let go some workers on unpaid leave.

But all in all, we are alive and good. People are trying to stay at home as much as possible, and I think this is the only way we will stop this.

So tell me about you and your family. The sea is more blue than ever, there are seagulls and pelicans all the time. Nature is emerging!!! At what cost I know, but still…

I hope you, the girls, Irwin are fine.

Love Rey

Editor’s Note: The immigrants on the streets from neighbouring countries are youth who usually live from selling jewellery and homemade food to tourists and beachgoers.

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