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Providing knowledge, skills & resources to ensure Ecuadorian self-sufficiency

 

Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, with a total land area of approximately 250,000 square kilometers and a population of 14,134,000. Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. The Ecuadorian capital city's mix of colonial and modern architecture creates a fascinating environment for tourism and shopping which many missionaries take advantage of while visiting the area.

 

Quito Barrio Outreach services poor areas, or in Spanish-“Barrios”, on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador. These districts or neighborhoods with altitudes 0f 10,000 to 11,000ft in the mountains surround Quito. Socio-economically, the higher the elevation, the poorer the people.  Much of Quito Barrio Outreach (QBO) mission work takes place in the barrios of Colinas del Norte, Rancho Alto, and Mirador.  

 

Poverty is severe in this region with many basic needs unmet and poor infrastructure. There is minimal or limited healthcare throughout the area. In case of illness, residents of Mirador have to find means of coming down from the mountain to Colinas del Norte, the closest barrio with a medical clinic, approximately 10 miles away. 

 

Mirador, a barrio with approximately 100 shanties, sits isolated in the mountains, ignored by the government; residents rely on each other and the generosity of missionaries for survival.  Rancho Alto, a barrio in the mountains that is lower in elevation, is recognized by the government and has small family run stores and limited resources for its residents. Fr. Don Kenny, priest and missionary, built a church, San Antonio de Rancho Alto, a daycare center, and an Educational Center that enrich the lives of many.

 

Colinas del Norte, one of the largest barrios, is 20 miles from the Quito International Airport. Streets are paved and family run stores dot every corner. Families work long hours and odd jobs to make meager incomes. The medical clinic and Soup Kitchen in Colinas del Norte, St. Charles Borromeo, built by Fr. Don Kenny and the Joliet Diocese in Illinois, provide medical care and nourishment to the people in the surrounding barrios.

 

The people of the barrios are extremely appreciative and grateful of the support provided by QBO. Often, missionaries are treated to performances of Inca dances depicting their rich traditions and folklore. Sharing cultures and stories connects us as brothers and sisters; no longer separate but one in Christ.