CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The family connections in Ecuador

In our communities in Ecuador, volunteers quickly become connected with the family units in their school. Being an almost totally catholic society the families are big, and in some cases one family makes up to a third of the school.

For example in Huayrapungo, the Guitarra family contributes 6 children to the small school of 28, Cecilia, Oscar, Alex, Edwin, Kevin and Nina. The Lanchimba family are not far behind with Patricio, Rosa and Caesar being supported by us in high school and William, Jose, Darwin and Diego in regular school. The Lanchimbas actually have 10 boys in their immediate family!

In Urcusiqui, we have the Panama Pinsag extended family quietly running things, with Cristian, Aida, Geovanny, Jon Jairo, Franklin, Doris, Katharine, Jonito, Mateo, Myra and a new, as yet unnamed baby (that’s right, they don’t tend to name babies here until they are about 6 months old and have developed a personality that helps shape their name) all around the school and all living in one house. The little ones sleep in with their parents, and the older kids share a room. The 4 boys share a bed, and the 3 girls share a mattress and blanket on the floor. It is quite a sight to see.

Larcacunga is no different. The Aguilar Torres extended family contributes 11 regular faces to the Larcacunga school. Jose Edgar, Anahí, Brayan, Nayeli, Nathaly, Liza, Jhordy, Lisbeth, Andrew and baby Nayeli all in the school, with older sister Tania teaching in the kindergarten.

Volunteers love getting to know how the families connect, and who is brother, sister and first cousin of whom. The kids all know the connections and are very quick to tell you that they cannot marry so-and-so because they are their cousin. When you sit down and try to work out the family tree of the community it quickly becomes apparent that only a maximum of 3 or 4 families in each of community are not somehow related. The poor children do not have much choice in 10 years or so, when it comes time to pair off and make a family.

Maybe we should start a GVI matchmaking service in the future, introducing families from one school to the families of another!


How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects