With the arrival of Halloween, a celebration observed in several countries on October 31st, I am celebrating my birthday and moving well into my early sixties. Birthdays are usually the time of the year when I tend to pause and look back to all that happened in the prior months while looking ahead with new ideas, commitments, and resolutions. In a true sense, this is my real “new year” rather than at the beginning of the year in January.
The recent social unrest in Ecuador brought to world attention the often ignored and marginalized indigenous peoples that led the opposition to economic reform proposals advanced by the Government. While the unrest ended after some of the proposals were rescinded following a public dialogue between the Government and the leaders of the indigenous movement, deep-seated grievances remain that need to be addressed to improve the social conditions of indigenous peoples.