The San Mateo Parish is located 15 minutes away from the Esmeraldas city and is considered as one of the sweet-water areas of the Canton with tourism potential, according to the Local Development Plan of the Municipality of Esmeraldas.
Its climate is warm and humid, and its main tourism attractions are the trips along the Esmeraldas River and the visits along the seafront.
The residents in this work in agricultural activities and raising livestock, as well as extracting timber. The town was founded in 1937 and is made up by eight neighborhoods.
Mr. Darwin Sornoza, a resident of Wincheles, one of the neighborhoods of San Mateo, has lived in this area for 18 years and remembers that during the 2013 spill, OCP's response was prompt. “The spill was contained immediately because OCP acted promptly; we received medical care and were provided with drinking water,” he states.
Additionally, the 200 people residing in the area who worked in the remediation were also hired to clean up the stream. “They took samples and the stream was restored as soon as possible,” adds Mr. Darwin.
At present, OCP keeps carrying out preventive medical checkups for the residents and monitoring of water and fauna. “I have a deep well that they dug out for me, and the water came out alright, it is totally ok for consumption,” he adds.