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.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Host families and the part they play in Ecuador

With all the hard work the GVI volunteers, interns and staff put into the schools and communities we work in, it is sometimes easy to overlook the rest of the impact we have on the town of Otavalo. One of the groups of people most affected by us is the host families that our volunteers live with, and specifically the woman who run these households.

Ecuador, while making strides as a country in some aspects, is still a male-dominated society. Women rarely work, especially if they have a husband, and are expected to stay at home cooking and cleaning during the day, sometimes not venturing outside once during the day.

Despite not wanting to send their wives out to work, a time often comes where the family needs more income than the husband can generate at work. Often the women have been home for 10, 15 or 20 years and have no experience or skillsets to help them get jobs. Being a host mom with GVI allows the woman to use the skills they have to earn money for the family, while not shirking their responsibilies as a mother and wife.

GVI gives at least 14 women in Otavalo employment. They take their work very seriously and definately consider hosting the volunteers their ¨job¨. It gives them a genuine sense of purpose, confidence and self-worth and enables them to help their families, earn their own money, and improves their social status in the community (which is something they take very seriously here in Otavalo). When we as managers compliment them on a job well done their eyes often fill up with tears and they respond, ¨Thank you, I work really hard at this!¨. It is a great feeling to know we are affecting so many lives here!


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