Taking Care of the Water


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South America » Ecuador » East » Misahualli
January 30th 2020
Published: January 30th 2020
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Throughout this last week, we’ve been in and out of different parts of the Amazon rainforest and the highlands of Ecuador. One common thing that I’ve noticed on the side of the road is a type of sign that says something along the lines of “Water is life, don’t contaminate it” (written in Spanish, clearly). In the United States, I may have seen billboards that say something like this, put up by private organizations or nonprofits, but it’s very rare to see a sign like this put out by the government. The closest thing we have to this are the signs that state a fine for littering.

I found this interesting for a few reasons. The first is that the Ecuadorian government is putting more time into making sure that the environment is protected, which I think is really responsible, especially since they encompass part of the Amazon which is one of the most important oxygen supplies on the planet. The second reason I found this interesting by comparison is that these signs use a more emotional appeal than the signs in the States. They want the people littering to know that their actions directly impact the ecosystem that Ecuadorians
rely on so much for food and trade. I hope that this works well, because if it doesn’t, then it shows that people don’t really care too much about hurting the environment. It seems to be working though, as I definitely saw less litter in the rainforest areas than in the city, so I was glad that the environment is at least being helped by this effort. The third and final reason I thought these signs were interesting is because of the way they focused on water more than any other piece of the environment. This makes sense, since water is the most important, but I just found it interesting that you would find these signs in places that were nowhere near a water supply. One in particular was fairly high up in the mountains in Papallacta, about three or four miles away from a lake. It’s just an interesting place to put the sign. At any rate, I think this really shows Ecuador’s ties to the environment and shows how they are working as a community to address issues.

(for grading purposes, this reflection is Social)

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