On the “Ruta del Sol”, the coastal route connecting Ecuador’s main beaches, there are many communities where time seems to pass more slowly.
Daule is a village with no more than seven dirt tracks, far-removed from the rush of the world and so close to the sea which we recently visited with the local president, Fernando Estrada. Full of pride for his region, he told us how it is one of those magical corners whose main characteristics remain the simplicity and smiles of the local people.
Fernando has been supporting the Sunrise Project for many years in the neighbouring community of ’10 Agosto’. He took us to hear about the dreams of the Daule community, its countless needs but also, with surprising energy, about the potential and projects that could change the area.
Talking to a group of mainly women and young people we discovered how some of the projects are hampered by problems that many have been trying to resolve for some time. First of all, the isolation: after years, there is finally an asphalt road leading to other towns. Or the problem of waste contaminating the rivers and mangroves. As well as being dangerous for the environment and the health of the local people, it is preventing the “sustainable tourism” and nature project from being launched that could start income-generating activities involving at least 20 people.
There is currently a group of young people in the community who participate in the ecological clubs that were set up this year through the Sunrise+ project, a start to building the dream of more people, starting with building relationships, reciprocity and care for the environment.
One might think that these communities are all the same but every time we visit one we notice differences that make each one unique, far removed from life’s comforts, close to nature, immersed in a simple and slower pace of life.
This may be why such a great syntony has developed with the work of AMU which, as Fernando says, “is not an NGO that gives things” but seeks to accompany communities, first and foremost by building relationships, exchanges and experiences of reciprocity so as to give the communities opportunities to realise their potential.