I spent the first four years of my life in the country of Ecuador. When I was younger I thought that Ecuador was this amazing country that had no problems at all, but as I got older I realized this was not the case. I go back to Ecuador almost every summer, and every time without fail, I will always see a story on the news about companies take resources from the Amazon Rainforest. companies take the wood, oil etc. and ruin the whole ecosystem for the animals and indigenous people that live there.
Ecuador is a very ecologically diverse country. Ecuador is split into 3 terrains the Sierra, the Amazon jungle and the coast. All these places are rich with natural resources. Since Ecuador is rich with many natural resources, they trade with many countries all over the world. Ecuador has sold about 11.3 (1) billion dollars in non oil exports. One of the biggest exports from Ecuador is Oil. With about 8 billion barrels of crude oil in the reserve, Ecuador has the third (2) largest reserve of any South American country.
With oil being such a big part of the economy since the 1970’s there are many companies trying to profit off this business. Some of these business include Petroecuador, Chevron and Texaco. Most of the oil in Ecuador is located in the Orient. The Orient is also home to many indigenous people. These communities (3) include Kichwas, Shuar, Achuar, and Cofán. The constant drilling of oil has affected these communities profusely.
There have been statements (4) by natives about Chevron's impact on their towns that are horrendous.“Many people in our community now have red stains on their skin and others have been vomiting and fainting. Some little children have died because their parents did not know they should not drink the river water." says a Secoya tribe member as a statement against Chevron. Texaco has dumped 18 (5) billion gallons of toxic waste into water into the rivers of Ecuador. Not only does this pollution affect millions of people every year, it affects the beautiful wildlife of Ecuador. Animals are drenched in a toxic sludge, fruit is being grown in water that has strong traces of chemicals such as Naphtha and Kerosene. Poisoning anything that consumes it.
This is a photo of just one of the thousands of toxic pools scattered around the rainforest of Ecuador.
This topic is important currently because of Yasuni National Park. If you did not know, Yasuni is one of (if not) one of the most biodiverse areas in the whole world. It is heavily protected by many organizations. This area has been fracked and extracted since 2015. Just as of February 12th, 6.1 (6) million Ecuadorians voted to reduce exploitation in that area. The bill passed and d'exploitation is now in the works. This is one step on the right path to ending the exploitation of Ecuadorian resources and people.
This is a photo of the diverse Yasuni National Park ]
This injustice of explosion isn’t just one thing happening in Ecuador. There are so many countries that are dealing with the same issue that Ecuador is dealing with. There are big companies all over the world taking people's land and resources and not paying for it. What we have to do is open our eyes. We need to be look at all these problems and learn to not just ignore them. They may seem big and whatever you do is insignificant. It may sound cliche but no action is too small. Vote for someone you know will stand for the issues you care about, educate yourself about topics that are important in today's society so you are able to have a conversation about it. Find what you are passionate about and fight for it with every fiber of your body.
Writing this made me feel more connected to my home. I have learned much more about this topic. I want to use all this information and passion to make an actual difference. I know I'm not going to single-handedly take down Chevron in one night, but just starting a conversation and exposing people to this would be amazing.