The Centro Project
Thanks to Our Donors & Volunteers
Snow Angels in Ecuador is grateful to our wonderful donors and supporters, who have made the work that we do at Snow Angeles in Ecuador a possibility, so first a well-deserved “Thank you very much” is in order. We are equally thankful to the enthusiastic and hard-working volunteers for making the time and effort to go out into the field in these most dangerous times. They have been out in the trenches feeding the sick (sometimes dying) and elderly, the homeless, the stateless, and the working poor in and around the area of Parque Calderon and the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception (commonly called the New Cathedral). Beginning with our collaboration with Hearts of Gold and Cuenca Soup Kitchen, Snow Angels has been devoted to helping these seemingly invisible angels that, that we see every day, and who live in the very heart of the community we call home.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought “business as usual” to a rapid standstill, the most significant fallout is that Snow Angels in Ecuador no longer has access to the Posada San Francisco as a principal base of operations. That meant that for the first few weeks of the lockdown, we could not operate in any capacity whatsoever. Making this worse was that many of the families that interacted with daily had no choice but to go out into the streets to beg for that day’s meal and money to pay for a floor to sleep on for the night. Because we were unable to attend to our client’s needs, they and their families were more likely to contract the virus, as the needy had few choices other than to continue to beg for food in this toxic environment. Imagine catching Covid-19 in a country where you have no money, no health care, and seeking relief from an already struggling social system. We felt compelled to find a way to continue supporting the people and families that we fed regularly during the pre-Covid days. These people mostly gravitate around the Parque Calderon probably because of its nearness to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Cuenca, which is also a location that we visit daily, as many of the Cuenca’s poorest, stateless and disabled regularly congregate here seeking alms from those that can help.
During that time, our power team Kathleen Rodas-Quelland and Lynn Smith 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.
Centro Diurno Don Bosco Project (Covid-19 Survival Kits)
Starting this October 2020, Snow Angels in Ecuador is working in collaboration with the Centro Diurno Don Bosco people to provide relief for low-income, high-risk members of the Sevilla de Oro community with Covid-19 Survival Kits. Each kit contains enough food and day-to-day materials needed for one member of the community every two weeks. Every two weeks, a volunteer from the Don Bosco Day Center meets us in Cuenca, where we can hand off 30 kits are delivered to those most at risk of being infected with Covid-19 due to their age and possible co-morbidities.