We are living in Salinas for almost 11 months at this point. In looking back over my articles we have been more than pleased with our new Hometown. But as with living anywhere there are things that cause me to stop and take notice. A few days ago Joe saw the following Letter to the Editor in the El Universo newspaper on Salinas. Translation to English below original article.
sábado 23 de abril del 2011 Cartas al Director
Cantón Salinas no experimenta cambios
Se pensó, y así es el criterio generalizado, que “por fin” el cantón y balneario Salinas (provincia de Santa Elena) tendría un cambio radical, pero la situación sigue lo mismo y me atrevo a decir que peor que antes: no hay obra de infraestructura de gran envergadura.
Hay unas calles dañadas con “cráteres” (huecos); cerramientos inconclusos de patios de colegios, etcétera; la basura, que es un mal de toda la vida en Salinas, no tiene una solución, y se agudiza más en los feriados y en estos días de Semana Santa en que vienen muchos turistas, y los desperdicios se apilan por montón; en el malecón hay gente que hace sus necesidades fisiológicas y los borrachos se toman las aceras para beber, a vista y paciencia de autoridades.
Los turistas que visitan la provincia de Santa Elena, y de manera especial Salinas, se topan con que en pleno siglo XXI el considerado primer balneario del país no cuenta con complejos de duchas y baños públicos. ¿Cómo puede ser posible que se permita la instalación de baterías sanitarias portátiles, que al pasar el día y con el calor del sol traen malos olores?
No se puede tratar así a las personas que caminan o trotan por el malecón haciendo deportes y oxigenando sus pulmones; los visitantes y los salinenses merecemos respeto, no se puede dar esta imagen deplorable. Son ellos, los turistas, los que dejan una buena inyección económica a toda la provincia, que de manera directa e indirecta vive del turismo; también hay que darles un buen trato porque muchos tienen casas de descanso aquí y vienen a cancelar sus predios urbanos.
William César Tomalá Bazán, Salinas
Saturday April 23, 2011 Letters to the Editor
Salinas Canton remains unchanged
Thought, and so is the general criterion that “finally” spa canton and Salinas (Santa Elena) would be a radical change, but the situation remains the same and I dare say worse than before: there is no work large-scale infrastructure.
There are a damaged streets with “craters” (hollow) walls unfinished school yards, etc., the trash, a bad life in Salinas, has no solution, and is particularly acute on holidays and in these Holy Week in which many tourists come, and the waste pile by pile, on the boardwalk there are people doing their physiological needs and take the sidewalk drunk to drink, a full view of authorities.
Tourists visiting the province of Santa Elena, and especially Salinas, they run in the XXI century the country considered the first resort complex has no showers and restrooms. How can it be possible to allow the installation of portable restrooms, which passed the day and the heat of the sun bring bad smells?
Can not deal well with people walking or jogging along the boardwalk playing sports and oxygenating your lungs Salinas’s visitors and deserve respect, you can not give this deplorable picture. They, the tourists, who leave a good economic boost to the whole province, directly and indirectly lives on tourism, we must also give them a good deal because many have vacation homes here and come to cancel their urban properties.
Tomalá William César Bazán
As you can see from this article Mr. William Cesar Tomala Bazan (name updated after correction received in comments), who is probably a citizen of Ecuador, had some pretty pointed comments about things on the beach. It got me thinking about my blog and the fact that I have not addressed the cons of living in Salinas.
I cannot tell you a morning that has gone by that I have not smelled urine while taking my morning walk up the malecon. I have seen men stand no more than 10 feet from me urinating against a wall. I watch a women every morning for the past month squatting doing her business on the beach right in front of our building. This along with piles of dog feces that are deposited on the sidewalk (malecon) is a real turn-off.
Most evenings the parties and fiestas move to the malecon bus benches or the beach, where the next morning you must navigate around broken beer and liquor bottles. It is an unheard of concept to use a trash barrel, there are many provided up and down the malecon and also huge recycle type bins have been installed on the beach.
One example was Friday evening a group of “Rastafarian looking” vendors with a drum moved their party to the beach about a block away from our building. Next a big white SUV parked on the malecon directly across from the beach party with all its windows and doors opened playing loud music until after 4am. All the while the vendors banged on a drum… Curfew here is 2am on weekends – no police came by to put a stop to this and I guess the Ecuadorians in those buildings will not make a fuss. Salinas is peaceful, not quiet.
The beach cleaners (a minimum of 15 people) show up at 7 – 7:30am but I start my walk at 6:30am like a lot of folks before the sun gets too intense. This crew starts to comb the beach and malecon sidewalk cleaning up last nights mess. The city also has a team of workers that just sweep the sand off the sidewalks and from the curbs. Garbage is picked up at least twice a day and on busy weekends it can be six times a day we see some sort of truck and workers emptying the trash barrels, that are overflowing onto the sidewalks where the dogs move it around. BUT they cannot monitor those that decide that nature’s call outweighs any modesty they may have had. If you Got to Go you Got to GO! Human or animal! And there are no bathrooms at our end of the beach. During season I saw three port-a-potties at the far end of the Los Palmeras section and another two located about the middle of the malecon. And according to Mr. William Cesar Tomala Bazan (name updated after correction received in comments) they stink so bad because they are not maintained. There are what looks like two bathrooms directly across from the Barcelo Hotel but this is not sufficient for the number of people that use the beach on busy weekends. Now that season is over all the port-a-potties have been removed.
Because there are so many people that come here to enjoy the beautiful waters and activities that Salinas offers, it is sad that so little attention to bathroom and shower facilities has been addressed. Unless you are staying right on the malecon and can run into your apartment every time you need a bathroom you are pretty much going to use the beach or the water as your bathroom. Not such a pretty thought.
There are uncovered drainage ditches on sidewalks and in the middle of streets, crumbling roads and sidewalks and unkempt vacant lots filled with trash and debris. And these are found within a block or two off the malecon. Yesterday as Joe and I were out looking for almuerzo Joe spotted a large dead rat on the side of the road within one block of our building. This will sit until it is no longer recognizable even though it is right next to a garbage can that gets emptied several times a day.
All of these issues aside we love living here – just trying to keep it real.