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Crime in Ecuador

Crime is one of the big questions readers ask me about and a recent note on this at my ezine evoked many responses. Here is what Jimmie Berg who has been living in Cotacachi shared.

Hello Gary,

I enjoyed reading your newsletter today and want to share my adventures in wonderful Ecuador.

My experience in Cotacachi was one of great fun, adventure and safety. I often walked up leather street to the ATM. I never linger around the ATM, just get my money and head back. Not once in the almost 3 months that I was in Cotacachi, did I feel unsafe.

One thing that I do anytime I am in a new place is establish relationships – sometimes just a quick hello to someone who is always there – either a shop owner, a taxi driver, etc. What this does is make me someone they know, someone who is friendly and offers a hello and a smile. I also make small purchases throughout the area so I am known by locals as someone who is making the place home, whether I am there for a few days or a few months.

A simple trip to the supermercado in Cotacachi offers many opportunities to meet and greet. I also went inside the local bank for small change. This small visit made me visible to the clerks in the bank as well as the guards outside the bank. I don’t really do this consciously, it is my nature to be friendly and make any place I go my home – but after reading some of the comments about safety in your newsletter, I realized that what I do helps keep me safe.

Not once did I feel unsafe in Ecuador – and I visited the Otavalo markets – both the Plaza de los Ponchos and the native market – on a Saturday. I went to the doctor and the SuperMaxi in Ibarra and I visited the Rio Intag and bought fabulous coffee. The trick is to enjoy what is there but be aware of the surroundings and stay in safe places. El Meson is a safe haven in Cotacachi and the team there is always happy to help guests find the best way to get somewhere.

I plan on returning to Ecuador and am eager for even more adventures.


Please let us know how you feel abouit crime in Ecuador!