Centro Diurno Don Bosco Project

Joel Munn, working with Saxon Gotfried and Jose Luis from GRACE to load a taxi full of the Covid-19 Survival Kits to be taken to the Centro Diurno Don Bosco (Don Bosco Day Center) located in the Sevilla de Oro Canton, some 70 kilometers from Cuenca, or an hour by cab.

Centro Diurno Don Bosco in Sevilla de Oro Canton

Earlier this year, the folks from the Centro Diurno Don Bosco (a day center located in the rural canton of Sevilla de Oro, about a 60-minute drive east of the city of Cuenca) reached out to us, explaining some of the difficulties their community was experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Several of their more at risk, elderly, and disabled community members are not meeting their daily needs (items like flour, eggs, meat, toilet paper, rice, lentils, etc.). This situation has been dramatically exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, as most of these people are terrified to leave their own homes perchance of catching the deadly virus

Joel and his driver (now with a trunk fully loaded with 30 Covid-19 survival kits) make the mad dash and start the 70 km journey to the Sevilla de Oro Canton, some 60 minutes outside Cuenca, Ecuador.

The Problem

Centro Diurno Don Bosco voiced their concerns that many of their most endangered citizens catching Covid-19 were not receiving many of their daily basic needs due to fear of catching the infection. Due to a combination of advanced age and possible comorbidities related long term diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, many of their clients choose not to leave the house. Others have no family to even ask for help, meaning that often when times get tough, there’s simply no one else to turn to. While these people are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone around them, Ecuadorian and ex-pat alike, the problem is that something needs to be done in the near term to alleviate some of the sufferings of the people taking place in the less populous, rural parts of Azuay.

One of the amazing volunteers that we get to work with from Centro Diurno Don Bosco. This time around, we delivered the kits via taxi and prepared to load another truck with the bags as we deliver them from house to house.

The Solution

While a long-term solution to the pandemic may take years to address, we also understand that these people’s short-term needs must be met, especially those at the highest risk of dying from the infection or who have been devastated financially because of the fallout related to the pandemic. Like much of our outreach work when it comes to matching those in most need of help with necessities like food or medical assistance, much of what we do comes down to logistics and a drive to get it done no matter the cost. On this day, because our volunteers in Sevilla de Oro were not able to make it to Cuenca that day to pick up the kits, Joel and some other volunteers make the journey to deliver the kits, as well as to take the opportunity to meet some of the people the kits were intended for.

A Centro Diurno Don Bosco volunteer hands off a much-appreciated “survival kit” to an elderly woman in the town of Sevilla del Oro. Although not a cure to the pandemic, it’s great to do what we can to address the short-term needs of a community member that are already struggling.

The Proposal

Snow Angels in Ecuador is sponsoring this program through February of next year. We ask for your support to ensure that we continue this project to the point that a vaccine is readily available, and the most ask risk populations can feel safe when they leave their homes. We have heard horror stories of families having 100,000 medical bills related to a Covid-19 infection – too many to be coincidental. However, we feel confident that a vaccine is indeed on its way, and programs like this won’t be necessary. We see this as a short-term but essential solution. We see us as wrapping this program up in the coming months contingent on the vaccine’s practicality to this at-risk population in Azuay, Ecuador.

Related Projects

Food Outreach Project (Parque Calderon)

A hungry Venezuelan family receive several “almuerzos” or hot lunches from Kathy and Lynn from the food they supply via the Parque Calderon Project.

Due to the shutdown in Cuenca due to the Covid-19 pandemic,, Snow Angels in Ecuador were briefly off the streets, and unable to perform the actions we have committed ourselves to as an organization. However, thanks to our favorite power team of Kathleen Rodas-Quelland and Lynn Smith, they decided to continue with the outreach program and improve it where they could. Where our original outreach meal program had consisted of a ham sandwich as well as a cookie or a piece of fruit (and juice for the young ones), Kathy decided that she would also start serving 10-15 hot meals daily to several of our clients most in need. They can now look forward to a hot meal served five days a week, usually consisting of a traditional Ecuadorian lunch (almuerso) of Seco de Pollo (stewed chicken), Menestra de lentejas (lentil stew), sometimes tostones (fried plantains), as well as plenty of white rice and some vegetable or a small salad. Not only the meals hot and tasty, but they are also traditionally relevant to the clients we are serving. For most, this is the only meal for the day, which adds to the sense of loyalty we have committed ourselves to for the hard days yet to come.

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