This Thanksgiving break, a group of seven Vanderbilt students will forego the turkey, stuffing, and football in order to spend a week serving the community of Sangolquí, just outside of Quito, Ecuador.
in 2007, Manna Project International established a permanent site in several communities in the Chillos Valley, to the southeast of Quito. The residents, numbering slightly over 150,000, are a mixture of middle-class professionals who have migrated from the city and rural farmers whose livelihood is threatened by the growing borders of the capital city. As development advances in other parts of the city, many neighborhoods with long ties to the valley are being overlooked and often they are the last to receive basic education, sanitation, and utility coverage. Within this valley, Manna was invited to work with residents in the communities of Tena, Rumiloma, and San Francisco – all primarily agrarian societies.
During our stay in Quito, we will have the opportunity to impact these peoples through a variety of projects. This year, our group is partnering with the permanent Manna workers to renovate the interior and exterior of the local teen community center. In conjunction with this, we will also spending time in various Manna programs including English tutoring, exercise and health classes, and several other educational programs organized for community members. We will get to interact with local members of all ages and backgrounds and are excited about seeing the visible impact of our service.
However, international is not cheap and we are working hard to make this trip as affordable as possible for our participants. If you feel so inclined, please consider making a donation of $5, $10, $1,000,000, or any amount you see fit. Any and all donations are appreciated, and will be distributed evenly among all group participants.
Thank you for your support and we are excited to share our experiences with you once we return from Ecuador.