There was a lot of misinformation regarding the recent street protests in Ecuador, and most foreign media only focused on the odd violent clash between police and protesters. Both Secret Garden Quito and Secret Garden Cotopaxi were virtually unaffected by the protests. We continued to operate our airport transfers, our shuttles ran between the 2 hostels, and all activities at Cotopaxi operated almost every day, with almost zero interruptions. The biggest problem we had was with the road being sometimes blocked, which caused us to have to make detours, so the shuttle to Cotopaxi took 2 1/2hr instead of the normal 1hr45. There were also problems with intercity buses not running, which sometimes made it difficult for guests to reach us.
From about the 13th of Jun to the 1st of Jul, there were large street protests in Ecuador, particularly in Quito. It was mainly Indigenous people protesting against government austerity measures. In particular, they objected to the government’s plan to remove fuel subsidies (which would have caused big increases in petrol, and diesel prices). On Jul 1st, both parties reached an agreement, the govt agreed to keep offering subsidies/cheap fuel, and the Indigenous leaders agreed to call off the protests.
Things are now completely back to normal(: There are no roads blocked and all the buses are running throughout the country. All flights, domestic and international, are running as normal. In Quito, everything is open – shops, parks, tourist attractions, etc. Both our hostels are open as usual with the shuttles going to Cotopaxi every day and all activities at Cotopaxi as normal. There are no protesters on the streets and all the Indigenous people who came in to protest have now left Quito.
The protesters got what they wanted, so they are happy. Everyone in the whole country is very thankful that it is over. The mood now is very friendly, and positive, everyone wants to move forward in a good way, and Ecuador is as beautiful as ever(:
we look forward to seeing you here soon