Category Archives: Quito Dump

Team Omaha: Building Homes, Changing The Lives Of Dump Families

2016 Robles Guachi

 By John Toney, Team Omaha

Arriving late in Quito, Ecuador on July the 19, 2016, a team from Omaha, NE of 23 people arose early the next morning to join the ER team, Ricardo Vaca Maila and Luis Anibal Maila Vaca. Our purpose was to contruct a new house for Pedro and Martha Robles Guachi, and their three children, Mario, Estefanía and Stalin.

It was a great experience to undertake this project that had been planned for nearly a year for the family that had never owned their own home. We could see and sense their excitement knowing that in just a few days they would have a new place to live.

The work of constructing external and internal walls, tiling and setting the windows and door began in earnest. Great progress was made the first couple of days with the family working right alongside the team. To complete the project, an additional 500 concrete blocks were off-loaded by the family and team members.

Team Omaha 2016Seeing that the house was well ahead of schedule it was decided to begin building an addition for Pedro and Martha’s daughter, son-in-law and baby girl. This required an additional 1,000 concrete blocks. While the addition was not completed by the time our team departed, the family, working with Ricardo and Luis, were able to finish it one week later.

House and Addition

Then came move-in day. The family was sent away while everything was readied for the homecoming celebration. Furniture purchased for the project was put in place, beds were made, curtains were hung and the kitchen stocked with food and water. Clothing for each family member also was placed in the chest-of-drawers in each room.

Team OmahaEven though the family worked alongside the team in construction, they were completely surprised to see all the other things that were in their new house. For a family with so little who work in the Zambiza dump to eke out a meager living, their new home was like a gift from heaven. Their gratitude, expressed in spoken word, many tears of joy and praise could not be contained. The lives of the Robles Guachi family have been forever changed, as well as many others who witnessed the building project.

For Team Omaha, it was also a life-changing event as we were able to tangibly give to a family something so basic as a place to live and to call their own. We, too, shed many tears of joy as we celebrated with them.

DSC05026For some of the team members, it was the first experience in building a house and providing for people in desperate need, while for other ‘veterans’ it was a labor of love that began some nine years ago when Team Omaha built its first house.

For everyone it was richly fulfilling to work until we ached and then to see this wonderful family’s gratitude and joy of for their new home. Team Omaha is forever grateful for the opportunity to be associated with Extreme Response and Paul and Susan Fernane serving needy families in Quito, Ecuador.

Extreme Response has built 14 homes (view video here) for families in the Quito Dump Community. Interested in sending a volunteer team to build, repair, instruct, provide healthcare, sports camps, etc.? Click here to learn more.

Let’s Celebrate! 20 Ways To Engage With ER This Year

ER Save the Date 20 Year Postcard

Having grown up in Ecuador and experiencing ER’s outreach to the poorest of the poor first-hand, Rheanna Cline created the following list to encourage everyone to celebrate 20 years of ER Christmas parties in the Quito Dump.

By Rheanna Lea Cline

Through the work of Extreme Response, thousands of people living in extreme situations are experiencing significant life change. With programs and partners in nine countries, ER provides many opportunities to get involved in our life-changing work with at-risk people. Here are a few of those opportunities:

  1. Tell your friends, coworkers, and family members about us.
  2. Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter and learn more about what we’re doing around the world at www.extremeresponse.org/newsletter-signup.
  3. Like us on Facebook.
  4. Join one of our Christmas Outreach Teams to bring hope to the hopeless during the holidays.
  5. Bring a few of your friends together to donate $100/month to Safe180 and help a girl rescued from human trafficking stay in a safe home.
  6. Check out our Changing Lives Blog to read more about the people impacted by our work.
  7. Become a coach in our Leadership Community to help encourage and inspire developing leaders.
  8. Donate to our Extreme Women initiative to help us provide education, counseling, intervention, nourishment, medical support, and job training for at-risk women.
  9. Gather a few friends from your church, school, or business to go on an Extreme Team volunteer trip.
  10. Consider joining our team as a Career Worker to use your skills and talents for one year or more to help the poor and vulnerable of the world.
  11. Give $20/month to provide for all of one boy’s needs for a year in our Manila Children’s Home.
  12. Host your own fundraising event, such as a car wash or bake sale, and send the funds through ER to ensure that those most in need benefit from your efforts.
  13. Follow us on Instagram.
  14. Host an informational event at your home with one of our leaders there to speak to your group.
  15. Shop through AmazonSmile and select ER as your designated charity to have 0.5% of all purchases automatically donated to us.
  16. Donate a few dollars a month to the Extreme Kids Scholarship Fund to cover the costs for a South African kid to attend and stay in school.
  17. Send your disaster relief donations to ER and directly impact people affected by the disaster.
  18. Donate $20/month to provide a Quito Dump Kid with lunch for a full month.
  19. Collect hygiene items and toys for our Christmas Parties around the world.
  20. Intern with us for a summer at one of our locations in South America, Africa or Asia.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please visit our website at www.extremeresponse.org or contact us by email at info@extremeresponse.org.

Caro’s Story: Growing Up in the Dump Community

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Written By Dawn Carnill

Caro.11.2006Caro was born just days after our daycare center opened in the Quito garbage dump. Her mother had been working there since she was a child herself– gleaning things she could use and mining for recyclables to sell. Caro’s two older sisters spent their toddler and preschool years with their mother in the trash.

Less than a year before Caro’s birth, the Ecuadorian government restructured the dump, assigning an environmental foundation to oversee the workers, and to prohibit any children from being on the site with their parents. It was a good regulation. It was a much-needed regulation. But it was a very difficult one for these families. They were earning only dollars a day. How could they pay someone to watch their children?

Caro.12.2006Extreme Response had been hoping to start a daycare center for the dump community for quite awhile. When we approached those that were in charge of the facility, we were told it wasn’t necessary.

But then, just like that, it was.

The new foundation came to us, at the request of their workers, to ask if we would open a daycare center for their children. That center (now known as the Quito Child Development Center or CDC) DSC_0051.JPGofficially started on April 17, 2006. That very first day, only one mom was brave enough to leave her child with us. Her name was Veronica and she was about 18 months old. Just a month or so later, baby Caro and her two older sisters (ages 4 & 3) started coming after their mother realized how this new daycare could benefit her kids.

Caro and all 5 of her sisters attended our daycare center and preschool until they aged out. They also attended the annual Christmas party in the dump. Although the girls aren’t yet enrolled in 18.jpgour after school program at the Quito Family Resource Center, the younger ones are on a waiting list to attend. Teresa Jimenez, co-director of the QFRC has built a relationship with their mother over the years.

As with so many other children whose parents work recycling the trash there in Quito, Caro and her sisters have grown up in our Quito Dump Program. We’ve watched them grow from infants to school aged children – some are even in high school now. We are thankful for those of you that have given to make Caro’s life, and so many others, a better one.

See how the Quito CDC looks today here. Learn more about our Quito Kids Program here.

Calling All ER Friends and ‘Alumni’   

ER Save the Date 20 Year Postcard

ER is celebrating 20 years of Christmas parties by gathering in 11 locations in the U.S. and Canada this fall. If you’ve volunteered or supported ER’s work any any time during the last 20 years, we invite you to attend one of these gatherings:

  • Atlanta/Lawrenceville, GA (Sept. 22)
  • Simcoe, Canada (Oct. 1)
  • Detroit/Lake Angeles/Rochester Hills, MI (Oct. 8 and 9)
  • Rensselear, IN (Oct. 11)
  • Indianapolis/Fishers, IN (Oct. 13)
  • Dallas, TX (Oct. 20)
  • Santa Maria, CA (Nov. 5)
  • Lancaster, CA (Nov. 6)
  • Glendora, CA (Nov. 10)
  • Orange County, CA (Nov. 12)

Come hear some incredible highlights, heartwarming stories and new opportunities. For more information, please email Rheanna Lea Cline at rlcline@extremeresponse.org.

Volunteers Pour Into Families, Build Classrooms For Kids

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By Paul Fernane

ER’s Paul Fernane directs short-term teams in the Americas, with a majority of those trips taking place in Ecuador where he is stationed. Below, Paul shares the recent impact created by a team from Washington state.

13432242_10209580415128723_2131413342038100721_nThe team from Kennewick Baptist Church did an awesome job of strengthening their relationship with our partner Buen Pastor, an organization that serves impoverished people in Pifo, Ecuador. The team worked alongside ER staff and spent some special moments with them throughout their stay. The staff opened their homes, shared meals, challenged the team and created memories.

IMG_20160624_155146603_HDR - CopyER’s Jose and Teresa Jimenez, who also pastor a church in nearby San Carlos, hosted the team at their home and enjoyed having the team help with their Community Kids Clubs.

The team spent time in three different communities and brought joy to the kids there. It is fun to see how spending time with kids and playing simple games like Duck, Duck, Goose, providing a craft and Beanie Baby can brighten up a kid’s face.

Kennewick 2016One of the most impactful time was when the team visited three families that earn their living recycling items from the Quito garbage. The first visit was hard. Margarita, the wife and mother of the first family, was physically and emotionally abused the night before we met. We had to meet her at the Quito Family Resource Center because she had to leave her home. The team had brought food, clothes, hygiene items and a soccer ball for her children.

IMG_20160629_092111909_HDR - CopyHowever,  the team demonstrated warmth to her that morning and that meant so much more than the gifts. The team visited two more families that day and delivered the items and demonstrated heartfelt love to them too.

The classroom construction took shape during 10 days. Pastor Ramiro said no group had tried to do three classrooms before and complimented the team for giving such great effort. The classrooms will be a huge blessing 13502008_10209580404768464_8992857601217032962_nto the high school when classes resume after the summer break.

The team is already brainstorming about what to do in 2017.

Want to bring a team of volunteers and impact the lives of at-risk families in one of the 10 countries where ER serves? Our short-term teams typically spend 7-10 days doing educational support, sports camps, home/school construction, light maintenance and health screenings. Click here to learn more.

Fast Track: Sebastian Learns To Read

Erica Recalde helps Sebastion learn to read
Erica Recalde helps Sebastian learn to read.

ER’s Robbie Murdock shares this story about how one boy’s life will be changed forever because of the work that takes in the After-School Program at the Quito Family Resource Center.

DSC_0779Sebastian has been part of our after school program since September of 2014 when he started first grade. This year we started to notice that he was behind. While the other kids in his grade were reading and writing by themselves, Sebastian couldn’t recognize even the letters that made up the words he was trying to read. Writing was not even an option. The result of being behind meant he was constantly frustrated during homework time. He was regularly acting out and causing problems. It was also nearly impossible for him to do his homework without one of our teachers sitting down next to him and writing out his answers for him to copy.
When we got his grades from school we realized that the problem was worse than we thought. His teacher was ignoring how behind he was and giving him passing grades in every course. For Sebastian to finish this year and go on to the third grade without the ability to read and write would spell disaster, so we decided to take action.
We began a lesson plan to work on his letter recognition and his reading skills immediately. Our teacher Erika would spend about a half hour before our program working hard with Sebastian, and it was amazing how quickly the results came. Within a month of working with him one-on-one, Sebastian was able to write words that we said to him.
He still has a long way to go. He struggles with reading comprehension and still needs to work at spelling independently, but we are confident that he is going to move on to the third grade and succeed.
Click here to learn more about the kids of Dump families, and how we are providing them with help and hope.

7 Reasons to Join an Extreme Response Christmas Team

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ER’s Lindsey FIsher dances joyfully during an ER Christmas party in South Africa

IMG_0261By Tim Fausch, ER Communications

So you’ve survived winter and are looking for something exciting to do this year. You’ve thought about planning a vacation, but the idea of another beach trip leaves you empty. Fortunately for you, we’ve got the perfect solution: Join an Extreme Response Christmas team and help change lives!

The Quito Christmas teams impacted more than 4,400 people last year!
Last year’s Quito Christmas team impacted 4,350 people!

Join an ER Christmas team? Why would you want to do that?

We’re glad you asked. Here are seven reasons why you would be crazy not to join a team.

1.  Why settle for celebrating Christmas once when you can celebrate it seven-plus times? ER Christmas teams go where few others go in order to connect with people living in extreme conditions. Our Christmas teams typically host at least one party each day for a week, with each party taking place in a unique setting.

2.  You dislike “touristy” trips. We feel your pain. Nothing screams “snoozer” like a visit to some man-made theme park or shopping district. As part of an ER Christmas team, you’ll meet real people living on the edge of society and you’ll play a central role in providing them with hope!

_MG_0317
Dawn Carnill reconnects with a family attending the Quito Dump Christmas Celebration.

3.  Your passport needs a stamp from Ecuador, the Philippines or South Africa.  How can you say you’ve seen the world without visiting one or all of these incredible countries?

4.  You want more friends. Christmas teams are a great way to meet people who share your passions. You’ll enjoy meeting people from different places and learning about their lives.

5.  You still have a couple megabytes of space left on your digital camera.  Get ready, because you’ll meet some of the cutest kids on the planet. You’ll be physically unable to resist snapping pics of them _MG_0309having the time of their life. For most kids, it will be their only chance to celebrate Christmas.

6. Your heart needs warming. Exhausting jobs, household chores and busy schedules can suck the life out of us. It’s easy to misplace our compassion. We’ll help you find it! Every day will be filled with opportunities to help “the least of these”.

7.  You’ve always wanted to join “an assembly line of love”. Our teams IMG_0267participate in something we like to call “organized chaos”. This is when we gather as a team to assemble gift bags for the children. It’s actually a bit of slap-happy fun and a great way to bond with your team.

But seriously…

So we’ve shared some fun and funky reasons to join a Christmas team, but the real reason is that you’ll be investing into the lives of people who are often forgotten by society…families who live in squatter communities, people who glean their living picking through the trash for recyclables, children who are sick, abandoned or orphaned, and the 12279062_10153032967721920_7145267726201177551_nvictims of human trafficking. These are the people we reach and we’d love to have you join us.

If you’ve never been on an ER Christmas team, perhaps this is the year. We’re celebrating 20 years of Christmas parties, starting with the very first one (see a video of that party) in the Quito Dump in 1997. In the years since, we’ve become more organized and efficient as  you can see in these more recent video. But one thing hasn’t changed. We continue to share the story – and joy – of Christmas to those who eagerly want to receive it.

ER-logo-20th-Anniversary-Full-Color-Portrait (1)This year we have three Christmas Teams planned in late November and early December: Quito, EcuadorManila, the Philippines and Cape Town, South Africa. You can learn more about our Christmas teams by visiting our Christmas Celebrations page.

If you are unable to join a team in person, we would still highly value your participation as a volunteer or donor.  For general information, email Christmas@extremeresponse.org.

 

 

ER Has Moved Out of the Dump; We Need Your Help!

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By Jerry Carnill, ER President and CEO

IMG_0699Today I am sharing an urgent message. ER is facing one of our biggest challenges ever. It’s always been a bit turbulent serving families who glean their living picking through trash at the Quito Dump, but the agencies that oversee children’s services and health clinics recently told us we needed to leave Dump. They feel it is not a suitable location for childcare. After serving here for 19 years, we initially were surprised, but ultimately embraced the request.

JostinSo we’ve relocated the Child Development Center to a temporary space for the next six months. I am so proud of our ER team, which dropped everything to renovate the new space quickly and move the CDC. Our medical and dental clinics are closed for now.

And there’s more. The government announced the dump would close at the end of the year, leaving 250+ families without a means of support. As you can imagine the families are scared, confused and wondering what to do. They not only face losing their livelihood, community and identity, but their relationship with ER. For years, we’ve cared for them when no one else did. In the face of theses challenges our commitment to help these families has not wavered.

IMG_3301As we’ve seen before, these crises are opportunities to increase our impact and help the families break out of poverty. For example, when the dump bulldozed the homes of those living there, ER and volunteers opened the CDC and started building simple block homes (13 so far) for families.

  • *The new CDC is problematic for many recyclers because it is several miles from the dump.
  • IMAG1512*We’re spending unplanned funds on renovations, utilities and rent (the dump was rent-free).
  • *We’re facing logistical issues with meals, equipment and Ecuadorian staff.
  • *We’re urgently planning how to provide services to help families become self-sustainable.

 

IMAG1526Please join us as we navigate through this disruption and prepare for the future.

We covet your support. We need short-term teams, volunteers, interns and career staff who are interested in pouring into the dump community.

Would you also give to help us cover the extra costs of the new facility and possibly a permanent new location? We need at least $37,000 to meet immediate and future needs. You can also donate online here.

Later this year we will hold the 20th Christmas celebration at the Quito Dump. We would love to have you join us. Please help us as we respond to changing needs. IMG_6835 (2)Thank you for your encouragement!

Jerry Carnill, President and CEO

P.S. – Take a look at this short video of our transition to the CDC!

Jerry Carnill, Extreme ResponseIf you would like to speak with me about this personally, call 404-713-5168 or email me at jcarnill@extremeresponse.org.