Ecuador Diary


June 14 th 2008, Women on Waves arrived in Ecuador. Here is a day by day account of the campaign, the action, the activists, the progress of the hotline, the reactions on the local level to this initiative and the personal impressions of the people involved.

  • Hotline update

    The hotline has been funcioning for about 2 weeks now. It operates in the afternoons from Monday - Friday, and all day during the weekend. At least 5 women a day call for help, plus more calls come from people who are curious, journalists, and of course people against the hotline. However, the… Read more »

  • Banner action in Machala

    The banner strikes again! This time, the banner was flown from the municipal building of the coastal city of Machala. The action, which took place in the central plaza of the city, was accompanied by an awareness action in which a woman dressed as Death raised awareness about the realities of… Read more »

  • Training for Medics

    About a dozen doctors attended the training for medics on medical abortion. It was a very interesting discussion since, although all the participants were in favor of therapeutic abortion, the participants ranged from doctors firmly in favor of abortion rights to doctors against abortion in all… Read more »

  • Day and Night Street Parades Get the Message Out

    In the morning, a team of activists participated in a procession through Quito that was part of the Inti Raymi Equinox festival, a traditional Andean spiritual festival. Then at night, in the polar opposite environment, we held a festive street parade through Mariscal, the district that is central… Read more »

  • Hotline Announced in Radio Debate

    Abortion is suddenly a hot topic in Ecuador. Yesterday, the whole day in the constitutional assemblies was devoted to the subject of a woman´s right to choose. Next to the football game, it was the biggest story of the day. After a reporter saw a stencil for the hotline, he called and invited a… Read more »

  • Football Spectators Raise Call for Safe Abortion

    Everyone was excited by the success of the banner drop at the Virgin, and wanted to do another audatious visibility action as soon as possible. All eyes in Ecuador were focused on the big football game against Columbia. Where else to go and be seen than the stadium? Read more »

  • From the Virgin: the call for safe abortion

    Today the help telephone number was launched at the hill overlooking Quito. The night was short, everybody were busy with preparations till late. We had to get up early to finish the tasks and then we went to the Panecillo. Everyone was curious to see what the action might bring. Read more »

  • After graffiti first call

    A group of activists swarmed the city and sprayed the hotline number wherever they could. They worked all night. Next morning before 7.30 the first woman called for help!!! Read more »

  • Trainings and preparations

    New action plans, now there is no ship to launch the hotline. After all, the ship could only have helped a few women, and the most important aspect of the campaign always was the helpline, which will be in place here so that women will still get help after the campaign ends. The question remained:… Read more »

  • Planning for action

    We arrived!! After a long and sleepless flight, we arrived in Quito. However, there was no time to rest. That same afternoon we met with the local activists to start making the plan of action for the week. Since there is no ship, how are we going to have a successful hotline launch? Read more »

  • All salvage attempts fail

    Chiel and Dolf, the crew, tried to push the ship back in the sea during high water. It did not succeed but the ship was in a better position. A day later they tried again after a tractor made a ditch. Despite their frantic attempts to pull her in sea, the Harmony ended up higher on the beach. Read more »

  • At the beach

    We still hope the damage is not too bad and can be fixed in a few days. Read more »

  • "Harmony" hit by tropical storm

    Just one day after setting sail for Ecuador the ship was caught in a severe storm and stranded ashore. Fortunately the crew Chiel and Dolf survived and are unharmed. It is still unknown what the damage to the ship is but it is almost sure it will not be able to arrive in Ecuador for the planned… Read more »

  • Just one more meeting

    The last meeting 2 weeks before the campaign will start. All the volunteers are ready. Emergency search for security firm. They all predict trouble in Esmeraldas. Tasks are divided, but nobody really feels like becoming part of the security group. Do we have to wear bullet free vests? Read more »

  • The "Harmony"

    We just needed to find a ship near Ecuador. We did and since a few weeks Women on Waves is the proud owner of its own "ship"! After all, in order to be able to sail to international waters to allow women to swallow the abortion pill, one does not need a huge ship with a hospital on board. Read more »

  • 200 miles !!!!?

    Ecuador is actually claiming 200 miles territorial waters instead of 12 miles like other countries like Colombia. Fortunately Esmeraldas is only 24 miles from international waters. This is still a bit far but possible. Read more »

  • Preparations

    The Coordinadora Juvenil por la Equidad de Género (Youth Committee for Gender Equity, ‘CPJ’) invited Women on Waves to come to Ecuador to support them in their stuggle to legalize abortion. CPJ is a youth led organization of men and women between ages 13 and 30 years old. It fosters the voice of… Read more »