“Wherever there are birds, there is hope.”
― Mehmet Murat ildan
Jama, Ecuador – Arriving in Jama just before dark, I was happy to see Luchy Cevallos unloading items from his car at Palo Santo Cafe. “Lisa!!” he smiled, “Come in and have a cafe!” I accepted on the condition that I share the tasks before they opened at 7. He also prepared a pizza that we shared, and then he dashed to the cabanas to prepare #3 for me to spend the night. Yay!
Business was brisk, and I suspected that each dime would help with repairs on his hostal. When I left at ten, people were still visiting while enjoying good food at a very fair price.
I also took photos to compare before and after, so here’s an ‘after’ photo taken in front of Palo Santo…
Compare the photo above with one taken a few years earlier:
More before/after comparasons:
Turning back time to 2008: How well I remember walking the lazy streets of Jama as if I’d stepped into a time warp from my childhood. Cowboys nudged their cattle along the streets at the end of the day. The town slowly changed over the past seven years, but the April 16th earthquake turned Jama and neighboring areas upside down.
Many have shared their stories.
“…It began like the usual earthquakes – starting slowly, and we became aware – Earthquake – and assumed it would be finished in a few seconds. But it didn’t, and the slow subtle start sort of tricked us… I was in the street outside my house when it happened… first it wasn’t scary – it was like a normal earthquake and then it got stronger. One house fell and then another and another… and I looked at our house and thought, “Please don’t fall…” – and it didn’t…. A few more minutes, and I think the house would have fallen down.”