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Yulisa Vanessa Franco Mera  

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  • Age: 18
  • Birthday: May 6, 1996
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Ecuador
  • Center: Buen Samaritano Student Center
  • Child ID: EC5120015
Vanessa lives with her father and her mother. She is responsible for washing clothes, making beds and helping in the kitchen. Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home.

Basketball, playing ball games and listening to music are Vanessa's favorite activities. In high school her performance is above average and she also regularly attends church activities, Bible class and camp.

Because of your sponsorship, Vanessa will have new opportunities to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thank you for your concern and prayers.
Vanessa lives coastal community of San Mateo, home to approximately 12,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt or cement floors, brick walls and tile roofs. The spoken language is Spanish.

The regional diet consists of fish. Common health problems in this area include parasitic diseases, malnutrition, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, malaria, yellow fever, dengue and dermatitis. Most adults in San Mateo work as fishermen and earn the equivalent of $100 per month. This community needs stable employment opportunities, vocational training workshops, parks and public safety.

Your sponsorship allows the staff of Buen Samaritano Student Center to provide Vanessa with Christian education, medical screenings, health education, birthday celebrations, homework assistance and language and math programs. The center staff will also provide health and parenting education for the parents or guardians of Vanessa.
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: West of Manta

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Start Sponsoring a Child Today!

Your tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month connects a child living in poverty with a loving, church-based Child Sponsorship Program.

Your support provides:

  • Food and clean water
  • Medical care
  • Educational opportunities
  • Important life-skills training
  • Most important of all, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.

When you sponsor a child, you'll receive your child's photo, personal story and a child sponsorship packet by mail in approximately 10 days.

When children find out they've been sponsored, the joy they feel is indescribable. Just knowing that someone across the globe cares means more than you can imagine. Sponsoring a child in need will profoundly change the future for your child, and will change your own life as well.