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.
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!