In her home, Marlene helps by running errands and cleaning. She lives with her father and her mother. Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home. There are 5 children in the family.
Playing house, playing with dolls and playing ball games are Marlene's favorite activities. In primary school her performance is above average and she also regularly attends church activities.
Because of your sponsorship, Marlene will have new opportunities to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thank you for your concern and prayers.
Marlene lives in the coastal community of Barrio Isla Piedad, home to approximately 2,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of wood or cement floors, wood walls and zinc roofs.
The regional diet consists of beans, bananas, fish, beef, plantains, rice and yucca. Common health problems in this area include malnutrition, parasites, diarrhea, respiratory problems, malaria and typhoid fever. Most adults in Barrio Isla Piedad are unemployed but some work as street vendors or fishermen and earn the equivalent of $150 per month. This community needs educational support, teachers, vocational training, employment opportunities, community organization and alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs.
Your sponsorship allows the staff of Joyas de Cristo Student Center to provide Marlene with Bible teaching, medical checkups, nutritious food, health and hygiene education, special celebrations, recreational activities, educational reinforcement and library access. The center staff will also provide health training and counseling for the parents or guardians of Marlene.
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: Eastern Esmeraldas