Travel Diary: "Fiesta de Democracia"

Posted by Megan Tetrick
June 10, 2010
Secretary Clinton Waves while on Her Way to Meet with President Correa
Secretary Clinton Greets the Public in Quito
Secretary Clinton Delivers the "Opportunity in the Americas" Policy Address in Quito
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shows a gift given to her by Quito's Mayor Augusto Barrera

Interactive Travel Map|Text the Secretary|Trip PageAbout the Author: Megan Tetrick serves as a Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Quito.

I was fortunate to be present and experience the atmosphere in the room in Quito, Ecuador, when Secretary Clinton gave a speech on Tuesday, June 8. The venue was gorgeous -- a beautiful historic building, the sun shining through the glassed-in roof and exposed brick walls lit up with cool white lights, yet what really created the atmosphere was the Secretary herself. When she walked in to the cavernous room, animated conversations stopped abruptly, and the audience stood to welcome her with applause.

During the speech, I was busy monitoring a live video stream, a chat room, and a satellite feed -- all of which occupied a great deal of my attention -- yet the Secretary's voice and her message cut through my multi-tasking madness. Her message was a simple one -- for us to work together to bring hope and opportunity to the Americas that stretch from the northernmost points of Alaska and Canada to the southern tips of Argentina and Chile.

I felt her message resonate in the room, and in the chat room, where folks from Argentina to Oregon were logged in and listening. Ecuadorian university students, indigenous leaders, artists, politicians, religious leaders, librarians, and women leaders were all present. The audience, physical and virtual, embodied the idea that we are all together in the Americas and reflected our great diversity. The Secretary listed many examples of how we are working together and where we can do more. For me, that challenge charged the atmosphere in the room. Sure, it sounds simple enough, but history tells us it has not been so easy. And I know some skeptics are now rolling their eyes.

But the people I chatted with in person and online were excited. They were excited at the opportunities for working together outlined by the Secretary, and excited to be able to talk to one another about those possibilities. People in the audience said that they felt the Secretary was sincere, that there was meaning and honesty behind the words she uttered.

One woman online said she was glad to be part of the "fiesta de democracia." I can't think of a better way to describe the atmosphere at the speech than that.

Comments

Comments

egberto g.
|
Ecuador
June 10, 2010

Egberto G. in Ecuador writes:

BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION OF THE ATMOSPHER IN THE COLONIAL CAPITAL CITY OF ECUADOR QUITO, I ALSO THINK THAT MRS CLINTON WAS VERY SINCERE, THAT DAY I WANTED TO PERFORMANCE LIVE FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF U.S.A , THE SONG AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL , BUT MY LETTER THAT I WROTE TO PRESIDENT CORREA NEVER CAME TO HIS HANDS .
I WOULD OF BE AN HONOR FOR ME TO SING FOR MR HILLARY RODAHAM CLINTON , HERE IN MY COUNTRY ECUADOR .
BEST REGARDS
AND GOD BLESS AMERICA AND ECUADOR
YOUTUBE.COM/EGBERTOGARCIA

OysterCracker
|
United States
June 10, 2010

O.C. in USA writes:

Una Fiesta? Quiero ir. Can you talk about the food? What did they serve to eat?

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
June 10, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

That's a big ten four on the eye rolling, Megan. Some of the postings here about Madam Secretary do make me wonder if she can walk on water, cure lepers and raise the dead. I hope you get that promotion!

Patrick C.
|
Iraq
June 13, 2010

Patrick C. in Iraq writes:

Nice article, Megan! I felt the same way when I hear the Secretary speak last year in Jakarta. Take a look at my photos if you haven't seen the candid shot of me and her. Keep up the good work!

lynn
|
North Carolina, USA
July 21, 2010

Lynn in North Carolina writes:

Economic sanctions against Ecuador PLZ! The Guayaquil prison starves the women
and gives the choice of 'visiting' the men's prison on Wednesdays as prostitutes
or starve to death. Children born and raised in the prison and dumped on the streets at age 12. No crime in Ecuador is as heinous as the prisons themselves! Young children to elderly women are unjustly there! The release after 5 years without a trial is not enough. This horrible crime against humanity must no longer be ignored!!!

.

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