Ecuador 2008 -2009


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Hey everybody. I want to say thanks for taking the time to watch/read my presentation. I hope it answers some of the questions that you have had. But if you do have more questions, please visit the website or email me. Also, if you feel moved by what you saw, there is always an opportunity to donate. You will find all the information you need at the above stated website.

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Ecuador 2008 -2009

  1. 1. Ecuador 2008 - 2009 How do I sum up a year of my life? Well this is my attempt
  2. 2. Arbolito This is the neighborhood where I lived. Arbolito is an invasion, where people built their ‘houses’ on unclaimed land. As one can see, there are limited power lines, no running water, and for many, no bathrooms. Some houses are made of cane while others are cement.
  3. 3. Arbolito, Con’d The picture to the left is a common cane house. It is put on stilts to fight against severe flooding which occurs in the rainy season. The canister below is how people receive their water, since they do not have running water. Doesn’t look too safe, huh?
  4. 4. Rostro de Cristo Volunteer House The house on the left is the volunteer house. Typically, seven volunteers live in this house. The other house (not pictured) is in the neighborhood Antonio Jose de Sucre (AJS) and is home to five volunteers. The picture on the right is basically of all our property. The house on the left is the retreat house where we house about 12 groups annually. We also have various cars to transport retreatants or in case of emergencies
  5. 5. Inside the house, my room As one can see, the rooms are quite nice. Mine at the time is a little messy. But the room meets all our basic needs. The sign above was made by Colie, we each got a name and made a sign to decorate to put on that person’s door.
  6. 6. Inside the house, Chapel & Living Room
  7. 7. Kitchen and Living Room
  8. 8. Arbolito Neighborhood Church Although this is a small church, the drums and the electric guitar and singing filled the church with joyous praise. The faith that the people display is amazing and something that filled my heart and soul.
  9. 9. Volunteers Left to Right. Back Row: Myself, Tracy, Colie, Melissa, & Andrew. Front Row: Amy, Carolyn, Gina, Lauren, Kasia, Karen and Elyse
  10. 10. Community Election Day. We were invited by the consulate to see who our next president would be. Halloween. The Arbolito community. (Those who lived with me).
  11. 11. Families & Friends Patricia and her family. I would say that Patricia was my mom of Ecuador. I spent a lot of time in her home with her and her family. She is the one next to me in the white shirt. Wellington and his family. Wellington has an incredible story. He used to have Hanson’s disease or leprosy (not used anymore). He is a guard at the other RdC house.
  12. 12. Family & Friends Cont’d Paul, Sonia, Galo, Iris and Elkin. Another family in Arbolito who opened their home to me. Oscar, Nico, Jenny and Luis. Jenny’s husband, Oscar is not present in this foto. She was very involved in the church, and is a moving example of a strong woman in a male dominated society.
  13. 13. Family & Friends Cont’d Elsia (next to me) and her family. I was fortunate enough to meet this family but unforunate to have met them towards the end of my volunteer year. Mercedes, her grandchildren, and some neighborhood kids. Mercedes befriended Elyse and I in the 28 de agosto community where we had Manos Abiertas. Two of her grandchildren attend our program.
  14. 14. Co-Workers & Friends Abrahan. He is our head of security. We call him Superman, because he can get any job done and knows a lot of people. Basically a really cool dude. Eduardo. We gave him the nickname ‘payaso’ or ‘clown’ because he is always joking around and in a good mood. An awesome guard and fun to chat with.
  15. 15. Co- Workers & Friends Left to Right.Diana, works at our afterschool program, Valdivia, in AJS (Antonio Jose de Sucre) and translates for retreat groups. Aide, works at Manos Abiertas with me and also translates for retreat groups. Ricardo, works at Semillas in the Arbolito community. All three are amazing people and role models.
  16. 16. Work Sites Rostro de Cristo’s mission is ‘to be’ with the Ecuadorian people, which means that we accompany and build relationships with the people of Ecuador. We are not so much there ‘to do,’ such as build a house. Along with being with the people, we seek to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What do volunteers do? Each volunteer has two jobs. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the morning, Rostro de Cristo contracts out with other foundations. In the afternoon Rostro de Cristo has its own programs set up in our home neighborhoods to serve the needs of the communities.
  17. 17. Work Sites <ul><li>Morning Sites: </li></ul><ul><li>Chicos de La Calle (more info to come) </li></ul><ul><li>Redima – Health work, AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Santiago de Apostal – School for street kids </li></ul><ul><li>Hospital del Niño – Hospital for children with AIDS and TB </li></ul><ul><li>Padre Damian – Working with Patients who have Hanson’s disease (formally called leprosy) </li></ul><ul><li>Afternoon Sites: </li></ul><ul><li>Nuevo Mundo – This is actually an afternoon site, but one that we contract with. In the morning the school opens its doors to the wealthy of Ecuador and from that tuition, use it to fund the afternoon school that buses poor children into the well-renown school. Volunteers teach English. </li></ul><ul><li>Valdivia – afterschool program in Antonio Jose de Sucre </li></ul><ul><li>Manos Abiertas – afterschool program in 28 de agosto </li></ul><ul><li>Semillas de Mostaza (Mustard Seed) – afterschool program in Arbolito </li></ul>
  18. 18. My Morning Site: Chicos De La Calle ( Salesian Program for Street Boys ) -Albergue Nuestros Hijos The Proyecto Salesiano Chicos de la Calle is a Catholic foundation run by the Salesian congregation. The program consists of 3 shelters, a street outreach program, two after school programs, and a recreation and catechism program on weekends. Rostro de Cristo volunteers work in the third shelter, the Albergue Nuestros Hijos in Duran. At the shelter volunteers help teaching english, planning lessons and working with the boys in trade school workshops. Volunteers also assist the program in the office and with special projects, make home visits to the houses and families of the boys, and spending one-on-one time with boys who are having difficulties. The goal of this work is to build relationships with the students and provide safe space and support when needed.This shelter is home to about 60 former street children, who live and study there. The shelter offers both academic classes and a trade school where boys learn either carpentry or metal working. In addition to the shelter residents, about 20 boys attend the school and workshops during the day but go home at night. (RDC website:
  19. 19. Chicos De La Calle Here lies the church at my morning work site. We had morning mass every Wednesday at 8.
  20. 20. Chicos de La Calle The main grounds. There are about 6 classrooms, a adminstrative building, computer lab and 3 workshops. Comedor or cafeteria. This is where I had lunch. Typical lunch is juice, a bowl of soup, with a plate with rice and some type of fish or meat. ¡Que rico!
  21. 21. Chicos De La Calle Taller Carpintería or Carpentry workshop. This is where I spent most of my time, working with the boys, connecting with them. On the right is Beto, one of the instructors. He is 23 and studying graphic design. Great guy.
  22. 22. Chicos De La Calle While they do have machines, they are fairly out of date.
  23. 23. Chicos De La Calle Another part of my job, besides the workshop, was to teach 2 classes of English. As you can see it is a pretty simple classroom. The sides are windows with no screens or glass. There are 2 ceiling fans but they are pretty beat up. The desks are actually relatively new.
  24. 24. Chicos De La Calle Here is one of the four dorms that the boys live in. Pretty simple yet beats the alterative to sleeping on the street.
  25. 25. Chicos De La Calle – Boys Working in Mechanic and Carpentry Workshops
  26. 26. Chicos De La Calle
  27. 27. Chicos De La Calle
  28. 28. 28 de agosto (August 28 th ) Manos Abiertas (or Open Hands) Rostro de Cristo runs three after school programs. Two of those programs are in the neighborhoods where we live and one is outside of where we live, which is in 28 de Agosto, or August 28 th which is when the town was recognized. In terms of development, Antonio Jose de Sucre (AJS – where one house of volunteers are) is the “most developed”, then comes Arbolito, and then 28 de agosto. 28 de agosto is home to the Manos Abiertas afterschool program where I worked in the afternoons with Elyse and Aide.
  29. 29. Manos Abiertas The way the program worked is that it was broken up into parts. At 2:30 pm, the kids with homework were allowed to come in to start their homework and get the necessary help they needed. From 3 till 4 we did an educational activity to really work the kids critical thinking skills since the school system in Ecuador is not very strong and does not stress those skills in class. The picture of the classroom on the left is a typical classroom where we conducted one of our activities (we broke them into age groups). At 4:00 we had a recess to allow the kids to play in a safe environment. At around 4:30 or so, we had a little talk about Christian values such as respect, responsibility or whatever the theme of the week was. The picture on the right shows kids playing soccer during recess. After our talk, we give each kid a banana, bread, water and a vitamin (those have been donated by our retreat groups).
  30. 30. Manos Abiertas The picture on the left is of Elyse. She is from Connecticut and studied at Fairfield. Elyse and I basically ran Manos Abiertas. Every week Elyse and I switched between running the activity for the older kids and the younger kids. Aide, on the right, lives in Arbolito. She was a huge help at Manos Abiertas as she was in charge of the homework room since she is Ecuadorian and understands the school system and the language more than Elyse and I. She also helped with the little talks. Aide is currently studying at the University of Guayaquil and is at the top of her class.
  31. 31. Manos Abiertas
  32. 32. Manos Abiertas
  33. 33. Manos Abiertas Another neat part of our after school program is that we have the ability to take kids on field trips such as this field trip when we went to a Park, places that these kids would probably never be able to go since many are constrained to their neighborhoods.
  34. 34. 28 de Agosto Like stated before, 28 de agosto is a community in which Rostro de Cristo does not have a house. As a way to spend more time in the community, Elyse and I went to the church in 28 de agosto every Saturday afternoon to teach Confirmation classes for the majority of the year. On the left is the inside of the 28 de agosto church and on the right is Father Liam, a priest from Ireland who is living in Ecuador, who says mass in the community on Saturdays with some of the kids who come for the classes.
  35. 35. 28 de Agosto
  36. 36. 28 de agosto On our last day of class, the community put on a little party in our honor. Since most of the kids go to our Manos Abiertas program, they made us the sign on the left. The picture above is with all of us and the parish. It was one of the most amazing experiences hearing how the kids enjoyed Elyse and I and how the community went out of their way to give us the going away party.
  37. 37. Vacation Time – Baños and Puyo
  38. 38. The Beauty of Ecuador – The Places
  39. 39. The True Beauty of Ecuador The Faces