Bringing in the Catch at Puerto Lopez
By David Adler
14 Nov 2013
Puerto Lopez is a rather nondescript and ramshackle small town set in a curving bay on Ecuador's Pacific Coast. Due to a long beach and fine offshore whale watching, the town in recent years has increasingly become a popular destination for both Ecuadoran and foreign tourists. Despite the influx of outsiders, however, the local fishermen continue to pursue their livelihood much as they have always done. Every day they rise early to head seaward in search of fish. Between 7 and 10 AM, when Puerto Lopez' visitors are just starting their day, the fishermen return from the sea, unload their catch, haul it shore for counting and weighing, and then load it onto motor vehicles for later distribution elsewhere. The town's visitors watch and photograph this activity as the local fishermen go about their business. Seeming to enjoy the attention, some fishermen proudly show off their haul to interested observers. This drama is reenacted every day and will likely continue into the foreseeable future, regardless of any other changes that might occur in Puerto Lopez.