Quito: to love or to hate?

I have a love/hate relationship with Quito. My first 2 days here I liked it a lot: yes it’s crowded, people jostle each other in the bus, some places are dirty, buildings look decrepit. But these were what I liked about it, it was lively and real. Then I met some people with stories of being mugged, and I thought Nah they were just careless it will not happen to me. But it did happen to me. My bag was stolen while I was staying in the lovely (but very dangerous) historic center. After wasting an afternoon filing a police report, I moved to the Mariscal area of the New Town (the “nightlife” area).  Life went on anyway. I took spanish conversation lessons to improve my grammar, enjoyed it immensely and settled into living like a local.  But everyday I keep hearing stories of mugging in the Mariscal area also.  People coming home late in the evening were mugged right outside my street. So I made a rule to be back by 8pm before people get too drunk and crazy.  I’ve talked to many locals and each of them have experienced being mugged several times a year. What a city! I love Quito but this is the first place in my travels where I’ve felt unsafe. I’m glad to be leaving this environment for a while and breathe deeply in the Amazon.

The Ecuator Line

The Ecuator Line

Mariscal, New Town. Where all the bars are.

Mariscal, New Town. Where all the bars are.

up at the end of the hill you can see a statue, don't walk up there, lots of muggings...

up at the end of the hill you can see a statue, don’t walk up there, lots of muggings…

La Campania Church, Historic Center

La Campania Church, Historic Center

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San Francisco Plaza, Cathedral and Convent

San Francisco Plaza, Cathedral and Convent

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street vendor