Wednesday, May 1, 2013

LIVING IN ECUADOR - ANOTHER PARADE DAY - 1 De Mayo International Workers Day 2013

 1 De Mayo International Workers Day

May 1st was International Workers' Day, and the area around El Parque Calderon was crowded with street-lined spectators, the police force of Ecuador and loud chanters with demonstration signs parading along the streets.  It was a demonstration of opposing workers involving the pro-goverment and opposing government sides - for and against President Rafael Correa.   Workers' labor unions protested with signs and slogans criticizing capitalism, imperialism, poverty, and unemployment.   Those who are pro-government defended Correa's changes since his election, especially the lower unemployment rate and rising wages. 

Our friends who live on Simon Bolivar called us in time for me to grab my camera and walk on up to capture this event.  Though some ex-pats could not understand what they were loudly chanting about or figure out what their waving signs were protesting against, I was able to understand much.  We ran into one of our ex-landlords who began to warn Bo and me to be careful, especially being "Gringos."  He said that violence between the opposing parties was bound to happen, and we didn't want to find ourselves in the midst of this.

No violence occurred, we stayed for most of the event, and I've captured some interesting street photos of these working-class protesters for those who missed it.

This protester's sign reads, "I'm hungry.  It's been 4 months since they took my job.  Return my things and my Kiosk....  Help me."

Protesters chanted loudly as they marched along.  Some of the marchers were directed down Simon Bolivar while others were detoured down Benigno Malo - depending on what side of the government they were on.

This sign reads, "One can't talk about democracy or liberty if no liberty exists for the worker to organize."

This worker blared her displeasure for workers' rights over this loudspeaker as crowds gathered to listen and cheer her message on.

Marchers with bands leading the way held signs that read, "We demand a decent life.  We're humans!" 

These workers signs demand, "Worthy wage and not minimum wage."

The innocent were also present.  This child was busy downing her ice cream, unaware of what her family is fighting for so she can have a better future.

Adults and their families lined the streets of Simon Bolivar.  This Ecuadorian woman munches on her salty plantain chips.  I watched her and wondered, "What side is she on?  What is her story as one of the hard working vendors of Cuenca?"

At one point, the anti-government marching stopped and crowds gathered to listen to the pro-government marchers before they were released to begin marching down the streets.


The pro-government workers are released to begin their marching.

"Rafael (Correa) thank you for your works!"

Police line the streets......

In the park, some are oblivious to the marching and chants of the demonstrators. 

Bo and I finally head home to continue our day in Cuenca.  There is nothing boring about our Cuenca city life!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the Socialists are working in Ecuador, too.


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