It has been a demanding weekend for Ecuador and its people. The earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, could be felt throughout the country, from the coast to the Amazon. Ecuador is a small country with outgoing people. Therefore, we all have friends, family, colleagues or acquaintances who have been affected by the tremor in one way or the other. Fortunately, the majority of the country was largely spared from physical harm. Walls shook and lamps swayed, but we were left with few material consequences of the quake.
Certain coastal areas, however, was not as fortunate. Some places, particularly small fishing villages and a few towns, have suffered tragic destruction. Buildings have been reduced to rubble, families are left homeless and the news are constantly coming with grim reports. Yet, despite the bleak circumstances, the situation is not all dark. Aid and support are being arranged and channelled not only internally in Ecuador, but also from people and countries around the world. Organisations, governments and people from all corners of the globe are dedicating their attention, resources and efforts to help alleviate the detriment in the coastal areas affected by the earthquake. Thus, while Ecuador has taken a severe blow, the disaster has also brought solidarity, strength and altruism. Ecuadoreans are a strong, resilient people with great resolve to always persevere in adverse circumstances and this will not be the exception.
While the earthquake has maimed the country, the nation is striving to get back to normal and prevent the disaster from inhibiting our everyday life. Hence, outside of the most severely stricken areas at the coast, life goes on as usual, although with a certain gravity of mind. We therefore encourage people to come to Ecuador and experience the natural wonders, beautiful cities and hospitable people of this Andean country despite this sad event. Nothing will help the country more than to continue to visit us and enjoy the best that Ecuador has to offer.