Humana Pueblo a Pueblo Ecuador is an NGO that started in June 2007 to work towards the development of the poorest Ecuadorian communities. The NGO works with the projects Child Aid and Farmers’ Clubs. Development Instructors, trained at Richmond Vale Academy serve the projects for 6 months during their Service Period in the Fighting with The Poor program.
A brief information about Ecuador
Ecuador is located in the western corner at the top of the South American continent. Ecuador, the smallest country in South America, is named after the Equator, the imaginary line around the Earth that splits the country in two. Most of the country is in the Southern Hemisphere. Ecuador is is bordered by Colombia and Peru. The high Andes Mountains and the Amazon Rainforest form the backbone of the country.
About 10 percent of the population is of European descent. Another 25 percent belong to indigenous or native cultures and the remainder are of mostly mixed ethnicity. Many of the native people are subsistence farmers and only grow enough food for their family.
Ecuador was part of the Inca Empire until the Spanish arrived and claimed the country as a Spanish colony. For three hundred years the Spanish controlled Ecuador. In 1822, Ecuador became independent of Spain.
The Child Aid projects in Ecuador focus on education, health and hygiene, improved nutrition, and income generating activities for the community with the long-term goal of reducing poverty. Children’s health is one of the greatest concerns expressed by participating families as Ecuadorian children can easily fall ill as a result of common diseases, including malaria and dengue fever. To address those concerns, HPP-Ecuador organized training sessions regarding the prevention of malaria and dengue fever.
To work towards better health and prevention of diseases, the Child Aid projects focus on starting and developing vegetable gardens with individual families to secure healthy meals and basic nutrition for children and families. The vegetable gardens not only provide healthy food for the family, but can serve as income generating activities. Other income generating activities empowered by the Child Aid project are to develop animal husbandry, teach handcrafting and assist your groups and women groups in their education to lead successful businesses to generate more income for the families and the communities.
Ecuador’s first Farmers’ Club was established in the Chimborazo province in 2013. The project works with 300 farmers and their families who belong to the parish of Sicalpa, located 3,000 meters above sea level in the Andes Mountains. The families are divided evenly into two clubs, and then each club is divided into five smaller groups that meet every two weeks.
The clubs participate in a wide variety of activities. Farmers switch off visiting each other’s plots where they can present their crops, discuss the results, and expound upon the challenges of cultivating the plot. They are also trained in organic compost production, food preservation and storage, animal husbandry, and other agricultural techniques. Community discussions are held to research and discuss crop varieties that will maximize earning potential. A water supply engineer has also been contracted to improve irrigation systems.
Our Work in Ecuador
Empowered by the Child Aid program, Development Instructors work with projects to remove standing water that acts as a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. In addition, more than 1,000 families attend weekly educational programs about health and hygiene, nutrition, common illnesses, and child care.
Together with the participants from Richmond Vale Academy, families in the program have planted more 2,000 home-based organic vegetable gardens with a variety of food crops. Similar gardens have been established and are operated at local schools in order to assure that children receive healthy meals while they learn.