, , , ,

Locals in Jama Ecuador send a message to thieves.  You're not wanted here!

Locals in Jama Ecuador sent a message to thieves. You’re not wanted here!

Jama Ecuador (Manabi)  28 April 2013

The people of Jama Ecuador have always cherished the lack of crime in their town;  children roam the streets,  leave their bicycles parked near a front door and meander inside without fear of someone stealing their wheels.   People peer from upstairs windows and watch the passersby.  A few old timers ride their horses or burros into town on weekends to trade their produce and purchase supplies to take back to their farm.  Cattle patrol the streets late at night.

Til the Cows Come Home

Til the Cows Come Home

A Mayberry RFD atmosphere permeates the town, and one wouldn’t be surprised to find Barney Fife scratching his head while he ponders who tied the bull to the gazebo in the center of the park!     Gomer would feel right at home repairing the ancient vehicles that share the streets with the latest model cars and trucks.  Bicycles  are popular modes of travel here, as are mototaxis and motorcycles.   Neighbors swap stories around street corners or sidewalk tables or play chess or dominoes.

The coastal highway skirts around Jama, although last year a road construction detour routed all traffic through town.   Ironically,  burglaries increased, which tapered off after traffic no longer detoured through town.   Recently several businesses were robbed during the night, and the residents of Jama aren’t happy about escalating crime.

I wasn’t surprised when the locals organized their community MARCHA BLANCA POR LA PAZ, a white march for peace.  This impromptu march addressed the question, “What are we going to do about this?”

Walk with us on this MARCHA BLANCA POR LA PAZ and see if you think that Barney and Gomer would feel at home in Jama!

P1690894 silvana y doc white for peace - Copy

Doc and Silvana tested my Spanish skills with this sign, which addresses the president and the mayor and asks for security and peace for our families. .
With wide eyes, I chuckled and asked Doc, “You don’t want extranjeros here?”
He peered at the sign and explained that they didn’t want illegals crossing the border from Columbia here!
I did not know what SICARIATO meant, and he put his index finger to his temple and made the sound of a gun! No murders, please!

P1690977 white for peace jama

The kind Doctor removed the word ‘extranjeros’ from his poster so that no one else misunderstood his message!

P1690908 jama white for peace

The participants gathered in front of the church.

P1690911 jama white for peace paz

Everyone transferred to the upper end of Jama Avenue.

P1690920 white for peace jama - Copy

P1690927 white for peace police - Copy

P1690929 white for peace policia - Copy


P1690960 jama white for peace


P1700010 silly moments

P1700014 LET'S WALK

Shall we begin?

P1700021  jama white for peace - Copy


P1700046 white for peace jama - Copy

Compared to other cities in the province, Jama has always scored extremely low on the crime index. The locals want it to stay that way!

P1700024 PEACE P1700033 LITTLE BOY WHITE P1700036 GORDON P1700043  jama white for peace

P1700081 palo santo reflection - Copy

P1700089 gema white for peace - Copy

P1700104 jama raquel white

P1700064 jama peace march bench windows doors - Copy

P1700063 jama peace white - Copy

P1700055 little boy white for peace - Copy

P1700096 jama peace rolando sawyer jaime - Copy

P1700113 amparo y madre white for peace

Sometimes people shrug and give flimsy excuses for not participating in community events. Note the affection between these three!

P1700118 amparo y madre white

This dear blind woman walked the entire distance with her daughter. What an amazing example she makes!

P1700116 jama white peace

P1700168 jama white peace

P1700170 JAMA WHITE PEACE window

P1700139 old man corner wheelchair closeup

P1700158 jama white peace

Whistles, chanting and horns punctuated the march!

P1700161 jama peace cropped

P1700164 papelito

P1700175 JAMA 3 story house peace white


P1700225 jama white

P1700312 jama  para dady

The march ended in front of the police station, where many shared their thoughts about crime.

P1700186 window smiles
P1700334 jama white gloria

P1700343 silvana speaks up for peace

P1700350 coco beach jama white

P1700370 jama white

P1700369 jama white

P1700366 jama white

P1700357 silvana speaks jama white

P1700319 police force

P1700232 little boy smiles

No more crime!

P1700259 jama hammock smiles bicycleEveryone agrees;  crime is not welcome in Jama!