Canoa is a coastal village, that grew the last 15 years from a fisher village to a small “Ibiza”, till – beginning of 2016 – an earthquake struck the region. 500 people died in Ecuador and a high percentage of the building collapsed. Reasons bad engineering, no architecture responsibility, usage of coastal “salty” sand in concrete and no juridical consequences for the ones responsible. People were shocked at the time, … but now it seems to be forgotten. Fear is that still standing houses that would have to be tore down, are being repared and sold on.
Canoa is the city of the many heroes and also the few organised bastards. It seems that, when the earthquake took place and many people fled to the hills for the tsunami risk, many houses were plundered by organised criminal groups. On the other hand, once back, many persons risked their lives in half destroyed houses to save people who were stuck.
Most people are friendly, but we met the bastards too. On saturday night, we went for a drink at one of the beach party’s (a wooden temporary structure on the beach), after which Marion and I went for a swim while MarionB stayed at the edge with our clothes. When we came back, she just stood up : she had been hit on the head from behind and our clothes, keys and my wallet was gone. MarionB took more than a day to recover and now is fine again. I only lost some money and cards and ID cards. The day later I recuperated our clothes and some shoes on the beach. We also realised very fast that the robbers would never be found. But we had been robbed violently and it wouldn’t leave our mind.
I was in shock. Had difficulties not to see everyone as a part of a group of thieves, laughing with a fantasy of naked gringo’s trying to get to their hotel, while spending a few hundred of newly earned dollars. It is strange to see what that new obsession did with me : I felt agressive and suspicious towards all people we met and I felt compelled to compain with my story, and started to create a larger surrounding story in my mind of separateness to this violence & these people : I am not like that / We are not like that / Europe is better / trustworthy / honest, and so on …. a long story rhyming with “but we are different”.
Meanwhile this storm settled. People are of course not different here and there. But people distrust much more fundamentally than us their governments, their police and army. And they have centuries of evidence for that. Governments are weak compared to multinationals (and their governments) influencial powers. The difference between poor and rich is huge, there is no middle class. … aso…