I don’t want to bombard you with posts so I do my best to keep them to about one per week. Although it’s only been about 3-4 days since my last post, I wanted to share something with you that happened to me today.
A number of folks considering a move to Ecuador have asked me about crime here. Is it safe? Will I be mugged? Are Taxis safe…and on and on and on. I don’t wonder why. Another author has written a book that proclaims all the “dangers” of living in Ecuador and it has sold quite well.
Not only have Diane and I had no problems related to crime here, quite the opposite is true. We have received tons of help from local residents in many, many ways. We extend trust and respect and it has been returned to us in spades!!
I am assisting in managing some rental property in our area. I placed a new tenant, a newly arriving expat, into a unit today only to discover that the connection from the gas stove to the bottle of gas was missing; no regulator, no hose…nothing! It was almost sundown on a Sunday. I jumped on the motor scooter to make, what I thought would be, a useless effort to secure the parts needed to make their stove work tonight. I rounded the corner not 20 yards away and saw an old man on a pedi-cart ( a pedal powered cart…used to haul freight and people) hauling an old stove. I stopped and told him that I needed a hose and regulator for a stove connection at a house just around the corner. He followed me to the house, looked at what was needed and said he knew where to buy the parts. He said he could return in 15 minutes to do the repair. He and I estimated that the needed parts would be around ten bucks. I gave him $15 and off he went, peddling away.
Now, you would not be out of line to think that I just kissed fifteen dollars goodbye! I wasn’t worried. On many occasions over the past eighteen months, I have paid men I didn’t know, in advance, for parts and services and have, not once, lost a dime!
As promised, the man quickly returned with the new parts and a receipt and set to work making the necessary repairs.
As Diane has often said, “Just because they are poor does not make them thieves”. The man was, no doubt, grateful to earn a small bit of extra money. I was grateful to have a repair done late on a Sunday afternoon and the tenants were thrilled to have a stove that worked. Had I not had faith in the general goodness of people, the tenant would have had to wait a day or possibly two for the repair.
It wasn’t as if I had given the guy my ATM card and PIN number. It was fifteen bucks. My exposure was limited and I was confident that things would be just fine.
If you are one of those considering a move to Ecuador…yes…you will hear of crime. But hearing of it and actually experiencing it yourself is not the same thing.
That’s it for now. Go ahead and try the same thing in your home town and I’d bet you’d discover that the results would be the same. Most folks will respond honestly and won’t take advantage no matter where on the planet you are.
The thieves and thugs get way more press than they should. I just thought I should share the other side of how things are.