It is true that Ecuador is rich in natural resources, terrible politics and the people suffer needlessly. But, the gentleman who wrote this article did not himself appreciate or describe the beauty and history of "Mitad del Mundo." I have also made the trip with my family and have the same picture he describes. Fortunately, I was able to hire a local who gave us a tour and described the history for which I translated to my family. Until you get all that information, you cannot appreciate where you are, and our school systems don't cover it either.
We also have to look at the whole picture. Although most Ecuadorians don't have material things, they are not the typical third world country. They have the agricultural resources (fish, coffee, fruits), natural resources such as oil and a beautiful country (the Galapagos Islands, the beaches, the Andes, the Amazon). Politics and foreign companies destroy the ability for its society to enjoy their wealth. And though not the best, they do have free national health coverage (but the best doctors go into private practice) and free universities (but no jobs).
I feel all the political turmoil is necessary, maybe they'll get it right sometime.....hopefully.
This story was published on May 4, 2005.