Melany lives with her mother. She is responsible for making beds, helping in the kitchen and cleaning. Her mother is sometimes employed as a seller in the market. There are 2 children in the family.
As part of Compassion's ministry, Melany participates in Bible class and Vacation Bible School. She is also in high school where her performance is above average. Singing, telling stories and listening to music are her favorite activities.
Because of your sponsorship, Melany will have new opportunities to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thank you for your concern and prayers.
Melany lives in the mountainous community of Otavalo, home to approximately 65,900 residents. Typical houses are constructed of cement floors, brick walls and tile roofs. The most commonly spoken language is Kichwa.
The regional diet consists of maize, beans, chicken, bread, bananas, rice and potatoes. Common health problems in this area include intestinal infections, respiratory illnesses and dermatitis. Most adults in Otavalo work as day laborers, street vendors or small businessmen and earn the equivalent of $150 per month. This community needs job opportunities, technical training and school materials.
Your sponsorship allows the staff of Otavalo Student Center to provide Melany with Bible teaching, medical checkups, nutritious food, special celebrations, sports, educational reinforcement and homework help. The center staff will also provide health and parenting education for the parents or guardians of Melany.
Straddling the equator, Ecuador has two Andes mountain ranges that split it into three zones: the western coastal lowlands, the central Andean highlands and the eastern jungles of the Amazon basin. The lowlands and islands are hot and humid and the highlands are temperate.
The Ecuadorian population is about 25 percent Amerindian and 65 percent mestizo (Amerindian and Caucasian). The remainder is of Spanish or African descent. Most people live in urban settings. Spanish is the official language but many Indians speak Quechua, the language of the Incas, and practice traditional religions. Ninety-five percent of Ecuadorians are Catholic. Compassion works throughout central and western Ecuador.
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro invaded Ecuador, home of the Inca Empire, in 1532 and controlled it within two years. In 1822, Ecuador gained freedom as part of a federation known as Gran Colombia. In 1830, it gained independence as Ecuador.
In recent decades, Ecuador's economy has relied heavily on oil export revenue, so fluctuations in world market prices have a significant economic impact. A drop in world oil prices combined with natural disasters in the late 1990s to drive Ecuador's economy into poverty. In 2000, Congress enacted reforms and adopted the U.S. dollar as legal tender, which helped stabilize the economy. In recent years, however, economic reforms have been reversed, making Ecuador again vulnerable to oil price swings and financial crises. And though Ecuador marked 25 years of civilian governance in 2004, it has been troubled by political instability, including the ouster of the last three democratically elected presidents. Rafael Correa is the current president.
Map of Ecuador
Child's Location: South of Ibarra