Expatriates in Salinas Ecuador making difference for children

Posted on September 12, 2012 • Filed under: Ecuador, Latin America Health, Social Issues

Expats helping kids in Ecuador was started 15 months ago by a group of expats that wanted to contribute their time and efforts to improving the lives some of the least fortunate kids in Salinas and the Santa Elena Province. We work closely with a medical center in Palmar and the Olon orphanage. Through the generosity of over 80 expats we have been able to offer life saving surgeries, other medical procedures and medicines, clothing, etc for kids whose families could never afford them on their own.

Every Christmas Eve Hostal Aqui provides a turkey dinner for the kids at the Olon orphanage and our expat group provides Christmas gifts for the kids. Last year the kids put on a dance recital that no one who attended will ever forget. There was not a dry eye in the room.

In the last year we have sponsored 5 fundraiser dinners that raised a total of $9800.00 by selling raffle tickets for various gifts like dinner certificates and other gifts donated by local restaurants and other businesses.

In the last month alone we have raised an additional $4100.00 for the Olon orphanage to help them through their severe financial crisis. Most of the $4100.00 was made by people in the US donating through our paypal account listed on our Facebook page which is “expats helping kids in Ecuador”. Without these funds it would have been difficult if not impossible to feed the 84 kids at the orphanage for the last several weeks. We hope and pray the funding will resume soon.

We have no employees,office or other administration cost. All the organizers are volunteers who consider their efforts to help the children a privilege and a labor of love. We all feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful country as Ecuador with their warm and caring people.

Every dollar donated goes directly to help the children.

We are proud of the fact that so many of our expat community have contributed their funds and time to benefit the children. It truly has been a total community effort.

We are attaching photos of 6 children who have had surgeries and other medical procedures provided for them. Also, a picture of Johanna. She is a work in progress as we look for a plastic surgeon and the right age to fix her nose..She is such a upbeat little girl and we can’t wait to help her out..

1. Narcissa, the baby girl being held by her mother, was born with “water on the brain” and required surgery to implant a shunt in her brain..Without the surgery her future was bleak. We are happy to report she is home and doing very well.

2. Carolina, sitting on the stool, was born without an anal track and had a colostomy bag attached at birth. After 2 surgeries her colostomy has been removed and she is doing very well.

3. Javier, being held by his mother, was born with a blocked colon and also had a colostomy bag attached at birth..He recently had his surgery and the colostomy bag was removed..Javier has fully recovered and is home doing well.

4. Angelica, the 12 year old with the big smile, was born with cataracts in both eyes and needed surgery to remove them. After the surgery her vision is much improved. Without the surgery, Angelica was on the road to total blindness..

5&6. The 2 boys wearing their new glasses are Angelica’s brothers..The boys didn’t require eye surgery but couldn’t read without the glasses.

It is impossible to put into words the gratitude and appreciation shown by the families of the children that our expat group has been able to help. The very idea that complete strangers from another country have done so much for them blows them away.

While we don’t have the resources to help every child in need, we will continue to help the as many as we can one child at a time..

The Salinas Expat Group
Further Information – Contact Susan Schlesinger at: theoceanhideaway@aol.com


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