Last Updated: 24/09/2020

Ecuador has confirmed nearly 122,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 11,000 related deaths, with the majority of cases in Quito. Additionally, Indigenous groups in Ecuador have been hit hard by the virus; many who live in remote areas have little access to testing or hospitals. Curfews are still in place, and masks and social distancing are encouraged. Testing remains extremely limited, however, and death tolls indicate that the number of positive cases is higher than reported.

All Compassion frontline church partners and Compassion centers are closed to group activities. Church staff members continue to provide emotional and spiritual support by making regular phone calls to families. The Compassion Ecuador national office has also been able to help provide some pastors with counseling and emotional care. Center workers have been able to deliver 301,388 food packs and 60,114 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to 13,117 individuals since the pandemic began, including helping families access telehealth services. Some partner churches have been able to hold online worship services, prayer meetings and training in child protection.

A Message From Compassion Ecuador’s National Director

Hear from Sixto Gamboa, National Director of Compassion Ecuador, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Ecuador.

Updated: 20/06/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Ecuador?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Ecuador, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Ecuador are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 301,388 food packs and 60,114 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

At this point, we are not able to safely deliver letters to children registered at Compassion centers in Ecuador. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Ecuador, although they are currently delayed. In some communities, staff members have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

The quarantine has brought months of uncertainty and hunger for families living in poverty in Ecuador. Social distancing and prevention measures imposed by the government continue as thousands of people struggle to find work to provide food for their families. One of the hard-hit communities is the town of Echeandia, located at the base of the Andes Mountains.

Little Darlin and Daira live here. The siblings, ages 2 and 10, are beneficiaries of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program. Their parents work the fields, growing and planting vegetables. However, since the roads and highways are closed due to the pandemic, they have not been able to sell their harvest to other cities. For more than a month, they have not received income.

“The situation of the families is sad. Without work and without money, the children go hungry in their homes,” says Anita, a tutor at the child development center.

Despite the mobility restrictions and curfew, Compassion's local church partner has mobilized to deliver food and groceries to all of the families of registered children, regardless of the distance from their center. Volunteers gather to distribute the food, keeping six feet apart from one another and using masks and disinfectants.

“When the food arrived at Darlin's home, he immediately opened the grocery bag in the doorway of his house and started eating. It was a very nice and moving thing to see,” says Anita. The grocery delivery mostly includes nonperishable items, including rice, sugar, noodles, tuna, beans and grains. However, it also includes goodies such as cookies and jelly for children, to bless them during this challenging time.

“What I liked most about the food they gave us was the chicken, because rice with chicken is the food I like the most,” says Daira. “I pray every day for my pastor, for my sponsors and for my tutors, because thanks to them, there is food in my house.”

How can I pray for Ecuador?

Pray for the people of rural Ecuador, who have little access to doctors or hospitals. Many doctors from small rural clinics have been transferred to cities during the outbreak.

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