The attention Ecuador has suddenly been getting in world news! Chaos, unprecedented explosions of violence, escaped prisoners, the fight against drug gangs, the state of emergency and a curfew. Not often have I received as many worried messages from overseas as in the past few days.
But I can be brief about it: things are quiet in and around Quito, and fortunately, even the flower sector as a whole is hardly hindered by all the commotion. How different things were in October 2019, when local 'indigena' uprisings completely disrupted our operations for several weeks.
This time, the riots and unrest are mainly taking place in the coastal provinces, particularly around Guayaquil. That is at least a four-hour drive away, and no cut flowers are grown there. To be honest, the biggest nuisance for us, in recent weeks, has been the renewed (sigh!) precautionary closure of schools, since the safety of the students cannot be guaranteed, according to the Minister of Education. Well, it couldn't be guaranteed before, and it certainly can’t be guaranteed anytime soon. Unless she plans to put a soldier on every school bus.