Friday, February 23, 2018

Godfather Ecuador Links Donors with Families in Need #WATWB

It is the last Friday of the month, which means it is time for the We Are The World Blogfest when we bring you positive stories from around the world. Thank you to this month's co-hosts Shilpa GargPeter NenaEric LahtiRoshan Radhakrishnan and Inderpreet Kaur Uppal. Please visit their blogs for more positive stories.

A Free Education is Not Cost Free  

Education in Ecuador is free for all children but it is not without cost for families. The children need uniforms, pens, markers, crayons, notebooks, backpacks, etc. in order to attend. 

Purchasing these supplies is a financial burden some families are unable to meet. Heartbreaking choices are made - if you can afford supplies for one child, which will get an education and which will be left out? Some families have no children in school because they choose feeding their children over formally educating them.

Godfather Ecuador is working to help struggling families. They match donors with families in need. The donor becomes the family's godparent, purchasing school supplies, celebrating birthdays together, and helping where needed. 

Many children who have missed periods of schooling require private homeschooling to bring them up to grade level. Their new godparents provide resources for that.

From Godfather Ecuador's Facebook page:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Family Friendly Carnival in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

I'm a huge festival fan. I love to dance and dance all night long. 
--Douglas Booth

Laughing children, water guns, espuma and full beaches are sure signs that it is Carnival in Ecuador. During this pre-Lent festival running Friday evening through Tuesday, many families flock to beach towns to swim, hang out on the sand and relax. Puerto Lopez beach's busiest day of the year is Monday of Carnival.

If you are picturing Carnival in Brazil with huge costumes and parades, it is not quite the same. The Ecuador festival is very family friendly and less flamboyant than its Brazilian counterpart.

Puerto Lopez beach on the busiest day of the year
Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Alcohol Free Ecuador Elections - Voting Weekend Prohibition

"The biggest danger for a politician is to shake hands with a man who is physically stronger, has been drinking, and is voting for the other guy." 
-- William Proxmire

Do you celebrate election night victories with a cocktail? Or drown your election losses with a few beers once the polls close? These are illegal activities in Ecuador. There is little chance of the quote above happening on election weekend.

You can, however, have the beach almost all to yourself.

Puerto Lopez beach

Friday, January 26, 2018

Single Father Getting New Home With Indoor Bathroom #WATWB

It is the last Friday of the month, which means it is time for the We Are The World Blogfest when we bring you positive stories from around the world. Thank you to this month's co-hosts Shilpa GargSimon FalkLynn HallbrooksEric LahtiDamyanti Biswas and Guilie Castillo. Please visit their blogs for more positive stories.

Improving Living Conditions for Father and Daughter 

Canadian Dodie Schadlich lives in La Libertad, Ecuador and helps those in her community who could use a bit of assistance. The following project to rebuild a father and daughter's home is an example. 

Current home occupied by father and daughter, to be replaced in February
Photo courtesy of Dodie Schadlich

Monday, January 1, 2018

Christmas at the Orphanage in Olon, Ecuador, the Happiest Place on Earth

This blog has a guest writer today for the first time ever!

Erwin Musper lives with his wife Danielle near the orphanage in Olon, Ecuador. He spends most of his days at the orphanage - teaching guitar and providing a positive male role model for the kids. When not at the orphanage, he is fundraising to benefit it (click here for the current project). He is an internationally acclaimed music producer, mixer and engineer who worked with acts like Metallica, Elton John, Anouk, and Van Halen. See the full list here. Take it away, Erwin!

One two three FOUR!  Just like the famous first Beatles album, the YOKO band counted off their annual concert for the guests and donors at the orphanage in Olon, Ecuador. (YOKO - Young Orphanage Kids Orchestra). The guitar and piano students proudly played their donated instruments and got the crowd going from the get-go.  The first of many performances by the children that day. Self-made costumes and stage props and increasingly more difficult choreography with the different age groups. Rehearsed for weeks, the twinkle in their eyes while twirling dresses made for a great show. This was my fourth pageant at this place and my third one collaborating.

YOKO (Young Orphanage Kids Orchestra), Erwin on the mike with guitar
2017 Christmas Eve | Photo courtesy of Erwin Musper

Monday, December 25, 2017

13 Postcard Photos From Ecuador 911 Surveillance Cameras

Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is. 
--Ansel Adams

You want great postcard-like photos of Ecuador but do not have time to travel the country to take the photos yourself? You can search blogs and social media or you can search Twitter for the hashtag #PostalECU911.

Ecuador 911 is the national emergency response system. Their Twitter accounts are a great follow for anyone visiting or living in Ecuador. Several locations have Twitter feeds, often named after each province capital. They are a great source of information on road conditions, volcanic activity, and other emergencies around the country.

The photos in this post are all from Ecuador 911's various Twitter accounts. They were captured and shared by cameras monitored by Ecuador 911. Here are my favorite 2017 #PostalECU911 tweets.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Pig Road, Cuenca, Ecuador

I have eyes like those of a dead pig. 
-- Marlon Brando

We lived around the corner from Pig Road in Ecuador, Cuenca. Actually we were around the corner from Avenida Don Bosco but it may as well have been named Pig Road. When asked where we lived, the conversation often went something like this:

New friend: Where do you live?
Us: Near Don Bosco and Francisco de Orellena.
NF: Is that near Pig Road?
Us: Yes, Don Bosco is Pig Road!

A long section of Don Bosco is known for pork restaurants. A look a couple of restaurant entrances helps explain the nick name.

Restaurant Picanteria Crespo, Avenida Don Bosco, Cuenca