Ecuador is a small country in South America along the west coast. Even though Ecuador is small, it has an incredibly diverse geography including the Galapagos Islands, the bright and sunny coast of the mainland, the snow-topped Andes Mountains, and the Amazon Rainforest. The cloud forest (different than a rainforest!) alone is known as one of the most biodiverse places on earth.
Not long ago, in the cloud forest, a person wanted to help a child. In 2003, Founder Cameron Vivanco gave hope to Laura Farango at Carmen Bajo, Quito. In 2009, Education Equals Hope was founded in the United States. Now, Education Equals Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization giving hope to children in communities around the world. E=H began with Laura and now Ecuador sponsors more than 300 students a year.
Argelia Alta: (Educational Sponsorship Program)
Argelia is located above the hills in south Quito. The community members here are very poor. This drastic economic situation is reflected in the children; many come from broken or abusive homes. At the Remanso de Amor site, children receive food, volunteers lead classes, and faith leaders provide Bible instruction.
Argelia Alta has served 465 students since it began, not including those from this school year!
Buen Pastor: (Educational Sponsorship Program)
In south Quito, the Episcopal church of Buen Pastor serves a vulnerable community. Here, there are a high proportion of people involved with drugs and a high proportion of orphans. Buen Pastor began its work 29 years ago, and they offer more than church services. Community development programs include: care for the elderly, breakfasts, tutoring, literacy workshops, and more.
Not including this school year, Buen Pastor has given hope and education to 266 students!
Carmen Bajo: (Educational Sponsorship Program)
Education Equals Hope’s original site, Carmen Bajo, is where founder Cameron Vivanco met Laura and filled a need in the community, providing hope for Laura and for future students. As with many of E=H’s program sites, a majority of the population of Carmen Bajo lives beneath the poverty line (here making roughly $47 USD a month). Many struggle with alcoholism, drug abuse, gang activity, and teenage pregnancy.
Carmen Bajo provides academic support; so far, 673 sponsorships have helped students to finance their educations.
Casa Adalia (Educating Human Trafficking Victims)
Casa Adalia is a haven in Quito, Ecuador for women who have escaped adverse situations. As a result of high rates of poverty and unemployment and a lack of education, Ecuadorian women are at an increased risk for sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Casa Adalia provides women who have survived various forms of sexual exploitation and relationship violence with a place to recover and thrive. Many of these women have infants or young children who join them, and Casa Adalia makes every effort to provide these children with care and support as well. These women are given hope through a team of staff and volunteers who derive their compassion from deep faith.
In addition to continued support for its inhabitants, E=H raised $40,000 for Casa Adalia to help purchase the house.
Casa Gabriel (Casa G) (Education and Rescuing Street Kids)
Casa Gabriel is a resource for young men in Quito, Ecuador to help them transition from life on the streets to a more standard lifestyle. As many of these men had or have difficult family situations, Casa Gabriel hopes to show them that they are part of a larger community of individuals. Staff members and volunteers accomplish this through faith-filled compassion and through training opportunities for these young men.
Their vision is to see youth at risk become successful Christian leaders in their home, church, community, and world. There are seven to ten boys at the home at a time.
Cristo Liberador (Educational Sponsorship Program)
Cristo Liberador is an Episcopal church that began serving the community three decades ago. The church pays special attention to the youth because they are the most vulnerable. They offer financial help with school and offer additional academic services like tutoring and homework health. Furthermore, they look after the mental health of the children and do outreach programs to help families of children in need. Their goal is to develop a healthier community.
They have given 70 sponsorships so far.
Dios es Amor (Educational Sponsorship Program)
Dios es Amor is a church located in an impoverished neighborhood called Ferrocarril in South Quito. Dios es Amor wants to promote the intellectual and physical health of its local children through education sponsorships, a Vacation Bible School program, and Sunday breakfasts for around 30 children. Additionally, Dios es Amor offers parent workshops periodically.
They have given 205 sponsorships.
Emaús (Educational Sponsorship Program)
Emaús is an Episcopal Church led by Rev. Nancy Lluminguano that is situated in a poor area of
South Quito. Most of the parishioners live in the area, although some travel up to 2 hours each
way to be a part of the church community. Members of this church community are mostly manual laborers – maids, factory workers, masons, and plumbers. The church has a strong youth ministry and a strong women’s ministry.
They have given 264 sponsorships.
Gualsaqui (Educational Sponsorship Program)
Gualsaqui is a rural, agriculturally focused Quichua indigenous community 2 hours outside of
Quito. Many children in the area did not go to school because of the difficulty of arranging transportation to and from the area. Thanks to E=H, some of these children are able to go to school.
There are currently 98 sponsorships.
Riobamba (Educational Sponsorship Program)
The area of Guamote, a community of about 50,000 people, is about 30 miles from Riobamba. 96% of the population of Guamote lives in extreme poverty. The biggest problems affecting the indigenous population of Guamote are poverty, illiteracy, migration, racism, political and organizational disintegration, and lack of basic services.
E=H provides a total of 93 sponsorships to children in this area.