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Personal Safety

We’ve all read about the expats, who are enjoying the beauty or the city, taking photographs of the cathedral and other remarkable architecture. They take their eyes off their backpack just for a moment and a thief grabs it and dashes off.

We’ve even heard of horror stories such as expats being knocked down to the ground after thieves snatch off their gold necklace, earrings, etc.

There have also been some really scary stories of young women getting into unmarked unregistered taxi cabs and getting sexually assaulted by the driver.


And then there are the stories of intoxicated expats who leave nightclubs at wee hours of the morning and end up getting pounced on and robbed, and sad to say, worse things have happened to them.

The crime stories mentioned above are all true and real. However acts of thievery and violence we just mentioned can be avoided.

Expats and tourists that have no incidents of thievery to report take the needed precautions to NOT become a target of crime, or they simply were lucky that week. Eventually the most vulnerable folks are going to be a target of crime and have something stolen from them, or worse have something bad happen to them. If you play Russian Roulette enough times eventually you’re going to shoot yourself.

Thieves Look for Vulnerability

Crime that takes place in tourist cities such as Cuenca and Quito Ecuador are 99% indiscriminate and random.  In other words, no one is actually a target until they make themselves be a target. Thieves lie in wait, carefully eyeing out the scene looking for vulnerability in a tourist.  When he sees vulnerability he thinks “Hey there’s an easy target” and he goes for it…or they go for it. Sometimes they don’t even lie in wait, they
just do the mustard trick on any travelers that happen to be walking by.

This is Latin America after all, where the police don’t have the resources or money to do much of anything for common petty thievery. The thieves know this…so as long as they can run away…snatch and grabs are good business for them.

Pick-pocketing tourists and expats is prevalent all over the world and it takes a professional to get away with it.

Avoiding Crime is about Being Watchful and Diligent

Ways that we can be safer is by being watchful and diligent and then making these two behaviors a part of our new retirement lifestyle. When we take the needed precautions to stay safe it starts to be habit-forming.

- Remember to not leave our valuables unattended.
- Always hang onto our packs, purses, etc;
- Remain aware of our surroundings to make sure we are not being followed;
- Do not come out of a night clubs intoxicated and alone no matter what time of day it is;
- Don’t climb into unmarked taxis, no matter how tired we happen to be.
- Do not act tired and vulnerable out in public, even if we are tired.
- And most importantly, don’t show a flaunty kind of lifestyle where our jewels, clothing, and stuff make others envious; we try to blend in as much as possible.