GringoPost | Ecuador: Going the distance in the time of COVID-19

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Going the distance in the time of COVID-19

Two young mothers, two different days, each finding herself in the long line outside our door this week desperately seeking help. Each had walked the 8 km from Ricaurte in northeast Cuenca after hearing from neighbors of a foundation that might be able to provide some assistance. Neither knew if it was true, but desperation propelled them both to take the chance and move in our direction. The first mother was 25 years old, abandoned by her partner, and left to care for three young children on her own. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked cleaning homes and made just enough to scrape by, keeping her young family fed. Now she was out of work and her children were crying with hunger pains. The second mother was 30 years old. She had lived with her own mother, her two younger siblings and her four children, with no partner in the picture. Her mother was her rock, and they supported one another and took care of the house full of children. But, sadly, her mother passed away last year. Besides her obvious grief, she was now responsible for providing for six children on her own. She worked as a street vendor, but now with the crisis, her work has ceased for the past two months, and she found herself destitute. We were able to provide both women with a food package to feed their children for the next one week.

Everyday people in need, just like these two mothers from Ricaurte, walk here from all parts of the city in search of food. From San Joaquin, from Miraflores, from Sinincay, they walk the long distance and end up at our door. The elderly, single mothers carrying babies, the disabled being pushed in wheelchairs, all come seeking support during their greatest time of need. At Hogar de Esperanza, we provide them with food, medicines, and other basic items to get them through this crisis. We do not do anything by ourselves, but all through the generosity of our donors. You go the distance supporting us, so that we can go the distance helping those most in need. We are grateful for your outpouring of generosity since the beginning of this crisis, and more importantly, the ultimate recipients of your kindness – those most in need – are so, so grateful.

The need continues to grow day by day, and will not be ceasing any time soon. Our financial resources are already stretched thin meeting these needs, and donations have been down this week. We worry that we will be forced to turn away those who need our help the most. This is one of the most difficult responsibilities we must shoulder – the decision as to which desperate family will receive food and which one will not. We are encouraged knowing that we are doing all we can, together, to help whomever we possibly can in getting through this crisis.

To help us help those who need it most right now, you can donate online at: If you prefer to make a donation through bank transfer, please contact us for the account information. We are also happy to schedule pick-ups of cash donations and in-kind donations of items. Thank you so much – we could not do any of this without you.

Garry Vatcher: 099 094 7611. Call after: 6 AM.

City: Cuenca