Trouble in Paradise?

Yesterday morning while walking downtown we spotted this graffiti.

San Clemente 12.28.2012 002

Roughly translated it reads: no beaches, no paradise. No! the road for the beach. Long live San Clemente.

We have read one article in an Ecuadorian paper and heard from several folks that there are plans in the works to take our beautiful pristine beach and ruin it with a road.

Roughly translated, the article reads as follows:

Friday, December 14, 2012 00:00


A road along the beach from the mouth to Bahia, drawn on paper seems harmless, as argued by its operators serve to promote tourism in the area.

But what is the reality?

According to the plans of the road contractor of approximately 12 meters wide would be built on the beach, from San Clemente to Bahia, cutting in some places the mountain. A path of about 50 miles long, located in the sand stretches and close exposure to sea flows is surely an expensive project not only in terms of construction, but also the subsequent maintenance.

The unfortunate effect of this work is expensive loss and / or reduction of beaches, which have been and are the main attraction for domestic and foreign tourism. Beaches near the villages which have grown as San Jacinto and San Clemente that for decades has been welcomed with warmth and traditions to countless visitors. People who would be directly affected by the highway traversing the beaches.

Is it valid to spend so much money for a road deteriorates the main tourist attraction and also do not respond to any pressing need of the surrounding towns? Priority needs of these populations are such basic services, security or improving roads but a new road to Bahia exist primarily as a good way to that city.

I think the fanaticism that the waterfront is “ocean view” leaves out of sight cheaper alternatives and profitable for responsible tourism and the enjoyment  envisions only a few.

A less expensive alternative, more productive and inclusive is: first, to enable current paths from the road to the beaches (routes that would also benefit small farmers / rural dwellers) and, moreover, sensibly invigorate tourism infrastructure in San Jacinto and San Clemente. This way you could preserve the irreplaceable value of these natural beaches yet where – without pollution and danger of a highway – could be developed with this charming tourist spots dwindling pristine in the world.  END OF ARTICLE

I am distressed at the thought of a road right on the beach. We have a perfectly usable highway going into Bahia running on the outskirts of the downtown area, and IMHO it is a waste of money and of a perfectly beautiful beach putting in another one. How will this road affect the fishermen who have worked these waters for so many years?  How will it affect folks like us who have moved here anticipating the use of the beautiful waters and clean beaches? How will this affect tourism, the environment? How will it affect those owning rental properties right on the beach? Where is this road going and who is paying for it? I hope to have some answers when I attend a meeting today.

There is a huge development being planned past the bluff towards Bahia that may have something to do with this. Hopefully it’s not  just another person from the states looking to make money by paving paradise to put up a parking lot scenario that so many of us tried to leave behind………

San Clemente 5.8.2012 050

But the most important question is: Is the sun setting on our Paradise?

28 thoughts on “Trouble in Paradise?

  1. Nancy, good article and post.

    I expect, and we can only hope, that the alternative plans I have heard regarding improving the exiting road (Quito Avenue) and staying inland with the road around the boca will be adopted. Let’s hope reason prevails and/or money is not available and the current plan is scrapped!

    • Hey John & Mary, Until I saw you yesterday I knew nothing of other plans. I am waiting to hear what happened in the meeting. Nancy

  2. I hope that you get some answers, and I hope that your sweet community is not altered by a new highway. A highway helps one get from a to b, at the expense of those who live in between those points. There’s a need to preserve areas of untouched coastline, not only for the humans, but also for nature! z

  3. That would be terriable, I hope it doens’t happen. That why we chose to come there in April 2013 because its not over populated like the larger towns and because the city was still in a natural state, not a concrete jungle. keep us post after the meeting!!!

  4. I am living in Wolcott Vermont and have enjoyed your site foe a long time. My fiance and I think about it down there alot. She has alergies and wonder if she could take it with all thats growing there. You are so close to the beach, don’t you worry about some tsunami or are you in a considered safe from storm area? I started out to just say. You might be wishing for a Road worthy only tsunami if they deface your view or use of the beach. I am sorry if you didn’t have knowledge of this before hand. Malcolm

    • Malcolm, Glad to have you as a follower. My niece lives in Waterbury VT, I heard you were expecting a bit of snow the day after Christmas, hope it wasn’t to bad!

      I had a hard time in Salinas and Playas because it was very dry, very dusty and I could not get used to it. I constantly had sinus issues and chest conjestion until a doctor in Playas told me that I was not born there and because of that I would always have issues with the “seco and polvo” dry and dust…moving to San Clemente I have had no issues since June…I was sick every month in the lower section of the country…

      Malcolm, back when Japan had the huge earthquake we were evacualted while living in Salinas, there was some damage done to boats out in the bay as well as to the yacht club but no flooding. When it comes to worrying about things like a tsunami, I just don’t allow a “what if” to stop me from enjoying the “right now”, sure it COULD happen but this village has been here for a very long time, if God sends us a tsunami I guess our time here is up and we will be blessed to see the true heaven…Joe is 62 and I am 61 we have had a exciting journey so far, I hope it continues but it is not in my hands. We do not have hurricanes like we did in Florida, we do not have snow like we did in Pennsylvania so I guess I feel blessed that we have good weather, great food and wonderful people to spend our lives with. Who knows what will happen with this road, money is a big motivating factor, not sure how expensive this will be but Ecuador is a poor nation, spending a huge amount of money on one road where there is already a good road seems very wasteful to me. We can only wait and see what happens. Blessings to you, Nancy

  5. oh 😦 A road ON the beach? That sounds wrong in so many ways. It seems also if you build a road on beach sand which can be subject to erosion, you are going to have problems. Enable current paths from the road to the beach – that sounds much more sensible. Good luck! I hope it doesn’t come to pass.

    • Kris, you are right. I just don’t know how it will impact the beach, but from what I understand the road will be elevater only 3 meters over the sand…is that 3 meters at high tide, low tide at this point I have not seen the plans and I have heard that there are plans…I will post as I hear news, Nancy

  6. i WOULD BE INTERESTED TO HEAR WHAT HAPPENS AT THE MEETING – I know a while back some engineers where surveying the beach along Las Gilces, Los Ranchos and Crucita – Our civil engineer that we use for the interior roads in our little development in Los Ranchos says the government is crazy for thinking they can build a road along the beach – an engineering nightmare because of the high and rough tides at times – he believes it just gives the government something to do and talk about. I hope so.

    • Audrey, I was not able to attend the gathering but will find out what I can today. I have heard that there is a developement of high-end homes planned up the coast from us between here and Bahia, money is always a motivating factor…I will post when I hear anything more. Nancy

  7. we are interested in san clemente. just read your article about the road that might be going on the beach to Bahia. Have you learned anything more about that at a meeting you mentioned going to? Would this road go past the condo project that is located behind a motel/spa/. the condo project I believe is called Vistazul. Also about the catholic church there in san clemente. Do you know if the priest speaks english? Any more info about that would be appreciated also. Do you know if any of your friends, ect. would have anything for sale – condo or house? Looking and gathering information. Please feel free to give anyone our email address and phone number, which is 701-570-7651. We are in Arizona in U S A right now.

    • Marilyn,
      dzień dobry, your last name looks slavic, my background is Polish!
      The Vistazul project is off the main road Quito one block from the hotel which is located right on the beach. The road, if built will run right in front of the hotel, across the sand from what I have heard. As to the priest at the Catholic Church I really have not talked to him, he is probably living in Cherapoto and services many of the churches in this area. The church itself is never open during the week. I will let you know if I hear of any properties for sale. Nancy

  8. I hate that! There are plans to put a road in over our beaches, too. The problem is the erosion and the heavy rains. Hopefully, this will not become reality. I’d like to see a small bicycle path and walking trail. Now that would be perfect. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    • Oh Deb, a bicycle and walking trail, how wonderful would that be!!! Who knows what will happen, as I find out I will do a post. Nancy

    • In Los Ranchos our front fence is less than 100 yards from the mean high tide line – sometimes the tide comes under the fence – I can’t imagine how a road could be built on the beach – it’s crazy – –

      • Hi Audrey, what I heard is that it would be 3 meters above the beach, not sure if that is at high or low tide, we will see what is going to happen and are hopeing that this is scraped for a less expensive option…N

        • Hi Nancy: There is just no room for a road – I can’t imagine how they would build it with the waves coming all the way into the fence – How can they possibly hold back all that water while trying to build a road – I think they will cut east before the river and connect to the road between Las Gilces and Los Arnales. I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime – We built a wall on the north side of our property and the maestro’s had to go down over three meters just for the footings so it would not get washed away. Last November the waves were so strong that the beach that was along the wall washed away and exposed the three meter deep footings – we just had an additional footing put the length of the wall to strenghten it.

          • Audrey, I hope that you are right. We did see a survey team on the beach about a month ago, but did not think anything of it. Now the little red markings on the rocks lead us to believe that they are seriously thinking about putting the road in. I pray that it does not happen in our lifetime, our beach is just so peaceful adding a road would destroy that peace and beauty…Nancy

            • We also had a survey team about four months ago – their faces and heads were all covered – I though they were “la drones” lol. They said they were surveying for a road – but now all the markings have faded or washed away – It would be an engineering nightmare – Bill and I are engineers, not civil but nevertheless we just don’t how this can be done – they could not even dig down to put in footers – unless they plan on building it above the beach in the air. Should be interesting if I live long enough to see it

              • Audrey, I pray that this does not happen. When we were out last evening in downtown we were talking to some of the locals, they are very unhappy about the road plans and it looks like there is going to be a fight…We did see two more signs along the main street. It would do such damage to our beautiful town and beach, and what we have heard is they are saying it would help tourism, not in San Clemente it would distroy tourism. If we don’t have a beach why would folks come here? That is the stupidest statement that I have heard in my life. Sad very sad!

                • I agree with you 100% – our little community is on the water – that’s why we built and invested there – I’m sure there will be a fight all up and down the coast if this ever comes to pass. – We are looking to returning to Ecuador on the 18th of this month for at least six months. Have a wonderful, blessed New Year.

                  • Hi Audrey, what I have been told is this road would start here in Clemente using the current main street right to the beach, turn north towards Bahia and head right up the beach…we will wait to see how the locals handle this. Happy New Year to you. Nancy

                    • Hi Nancy – We are South of you in Las Glices – Just North of Crucita – We understand that the road will stretch from Crucit to Bahia – but I don’t see how it will get across the river let alone be built on less that 100 yards of beachfront which is along Los Ranchos where we live – We have a perfectly good road going from Crucita to LaBoca without disturbing the beach – it’s crazy and I and our civil engineer that has been putting a road in our litttle community just laughs and says
                      “forget about it”. By the way we are friends of Eileen and Jeff Sandler –

                    • Oh My Word, what a small world…Eileen and Jeff are so sweet…I pray you and the engineer are correct…from what I heard on New Year’s Eve the locals are very unhappy about this road…we just want a peaceful and quiet retirement, we are not looking for a great deal, just calm for the balance of our lives. Nancy

                    • I have been reading your blog and we went to San Clemente with our caretaker one day and I said I wonder where Nancy lives – We were looking at Palmazul to see what the layout of the condo’s where. We are building a few townhouses in our little development (nowhere near as big as Palmazul) and we were interested in layouts. Eileen and Jeff live in our town here in the states – I’m sure you know they have sold their house and will be leaving on Jan 22nd with four suitcases – we will be arriving at our casa in Las Gilces on Jan 18th and will be staying for about six months at least this time. Next time we get to San Clemente I will look you up or if you get down to Las Gilces, Crucita area look us up.

                    • Hi Audrey, you were pretty close to our home. We live only 4 short streets away from Paulazul going towards the bluff. Next time you will need to give me a call on my cell and if we are home we would love to visit with you. Our cell number is 09 8895 9338. Please give me yours, you can email me at if you do not want to have it posted as a comment here. This way when I see the number come up I will know it is you. I am happy to know that Eileen and Jeff will be back here soon, it is such a small world that you are from the same town back in the states. We are not doing much traveling right now, we are nesters I guess and once we find a spot we kind of hunker down and nest ha ha..but if we do get down your way we will get in touch so we can meet. Nancy

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