American couple brutally assaulted in Ecuador

Two Americans spending a year in Ecuador were brutally attacked in the northern town of Esmereldas, according to a report from CNN. One of the victims, visiting Ecuador with his fiancée to celebrate their recent engagement, was reportedly stabbed 24 times, while his fiancée was beaten and sexually assaulted.

The couple has been blogging about their trip here , and this is what they had to say about the recent attack:

“Britt and I were brutally attacked last Thursday. His condition started out as very serious and has gradually gotten even more so. He is in intensive care following three surgeries, and before the last one, last night, I was informed by the head surgeon that there is no certainty that he will survive. That being said, he was conscious and talking last night, and I have continued to be amazed by his strength.” (punctuation added)

We here at Gadling wish the couple, who have flown back to the US for further treatment, nothing but the absolute best.

So, the traveler wonders, is Ecuador still safe? As someone who traveled in Ecuador for four months, I can attest that I never once threatened for my safety, but I also know that the area near the Ecuador-Colombia border is not exactly somewhere I’d like to raise kids.

But please remember that Ecuador is– along with the vast majority of travel destinations– still an incredibly safe place to visit. Unfortunately, we can never completely eliminate the risks associated with traveling in a foreign country (or with staying at home), but the smart traveler will stay abreast of the security situation, get the low-down from locals, and avoid spending time in dangerous areas, especially at night.

So maybe you don’t feel like visiting Ecuador just this second. When you change your mind, check out Gadling’s Guide to Ecuador here.