Manta Pros & Cons
October 20, 2007
Here is an update from Steve about President Correa, Manta and the US military base.
I was recently in Manta and read an article which interviewed the Deputy Mayor and the President of the Chamber of Commerce. They were asked their views on Manta’s explosive growth over the last eight to nine years. Both deputy Mayor and the CoC President claimed it had been their initiatives which were responsible. They disagreed on that point but both agreed that the U.S Manta base had had very little impact at all apart from starting the equivalent of a gold fever in the town in the late nineties.
Back then the local citizens were expecting a base of thousands of soldiers. Money was speculated and services sprang up.
The reality is that only a few hundred servicemen are present and their impact on the local economy has been less than significant. After 9/11 the base has had even less impact on the local economy as security measures put in place restricted who could enter and leave the base so also restricting the trade created by the base.
I met some servicemen at a cafe on the beach and they were having a good time carousing and joking with the barmaid. Here’s a photo below – (photo 1)
I only spent the briefest time in Manta but I was privileged to see the main beach at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning. It seems that the Mantenos love to jog, walk and run with the dog on that beach and what struck me was how this could be anywhere in the U.S where there is a sunny warm climate. See photos 2 and 3