Flor de Bastion is a small sector located in the north of Ecuador’s
economic center, Guayaquil. The sector and its people have experienced much
adversity, and feels like an entirely different world from the economic hub it
borders by just 9 miles. Nowhere is this contrast more apparent than in El Paraiso
De la Flor, which translates to “The Paradise of Flor.” It is the main road of the city of
Flor de Bastion, and contains all varieties of shops, restaurants, and schools. Flor de Bastion is a large neighborhood where mostly low-income working families live. El Paraiso serves as their center for everything from groceries and barber shops, to knock off clothing stores and sidewalk tattoo parlors.
Ecuador’s economy can be divided into two sectors, the formal and informal
economy. If Guayaquil is the center of Ecuador’s economy, El Paraiso De la Flor is
the informal economic center of Flor de Bastion. I passed this area frequently in my
six months of living in Flor, and it became of interest to me for it’s fast pace and
diverse mix of people and shops.