Maria lives with her father and her mother. She is responsible for running errands. Her father is employed as a farmer and her mother is employed as a laborer. There are 5 children in the family.
Playing with dolls is Maria's favorite activity. In primary school her performance is average and she also regularly attends church activities.
Because of your sponsorship, Maria will have new opportunities to learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Thank you for your concern and prayers.
Maria lives in the coastal community of Palestina-San Lorenzo, home to approximately 42,500 residents. Typical houses are constructed of cement or wood floors; wood or brick walls; and wood or cement roofs.
The regional diet consists of chicken, fish, beef, plantains and rice. Common health problems in this area include malnutrition, anemia, the flu, colds and skin diseases. Most adults work as day laborers, street vendors, subsistence farmers, fishermen or on plantations and earn the equivalent of $200 per month. This community needs access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation, vocational training and literacy programs.
Your sponsorship allows the staff of Palestina-San Lorenzo Student Center to provide Maria with a Christian education, health care, tutoring, mentoring and microenterprise training. The center staff will also provide evangelism, spiritual retreats and parenting education for the parents or guardians of Maria.
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: Northeast of San Lorenzo