COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Ecuador

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Ecuador

Last Updated: 10/19/2020

Ecuador has confirmed 144,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 11,700 related deaths, with the epicenter of the virus in Quito. The country’s commerce, industry, tourism, transport and health sectors have been badly affected by the economic slowdown, and experts believe a surge in lost jobs will push many families into extreme poverty. Additionally, Indigenous groups in Ecuador have been hit hard by the virus; many who live in remote areas have little access to testing or hospitals. Curfews are still in place, and masks and social distancing are encouraged. Testing remains extremely limited, however, and death tolls indicate that the number of positive cases is higher than reported.

All Compassion frontline church partners and Compassion centers are closed to group activities. Church staff members continue to provide emotional and spiritual support by making regular phone calls to families. The Compassion Ecuador national office has helped to provide more than 2,500 pastors and more than 2,200 partner church staff with counseling and emotional care. Center workers have been able to deliver 301,388 food packs and 60,114 hygiene kits and have provided medical support to 13,117 individuals since the pandemic began, including helping families access telehealth services. Some partner churches have been able to hold online worship services, prayer meetings and training in child protection.

COVID response in Ecuador

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Ecuador?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Ecuador, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming. Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Ecuador are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 301,388 food packs and 60,114 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in Ecuador

child reading IconStory From the Field

The roar of the approaching tanker truck alerts the excited residents of Canelos, Ecuador, to Pastor Mario's arrival. In this remote Amazonian village, there are no shops, and water is scarce. Many homes have no electricity, and residents know little about what is going on outside of the dense jungle. So, as COVID-19 swept across the globe, they received little information on the virus.

Pastor Mario, whose church partners with Compassion, refuses to let this Indigenous village be ignored. So, every month, he drives a large truck through the jungle to deliver water, hygiene supplies and, most importantly, information. “When I visit children and their families, I try to teach them about how to avoid getting coronavirus,” he says.

One of the families that have been impacted by this service is Angelica's. Her 7-year-old daughter, Alexandra, is part of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program. Since the pandemic began, the pastor and his volunteers have visited her family five times. During these visits, Angelica's family receives food, cleaning supplies and spiritual education. Pastor Mario always asks about the family's needs, taking notes so he can provide what is required during the next visit.

"Every 15 days, the pastor visits me, and I receive disinfectant. Here in my community, there are no places nearby where I can buy all these supplies, but thank God, the people from the church send us this help constantly," says Angelica. "My daughter always listens to the pastor. She listens to all the instructions they give us and puts them into practice at home. Alexandra always tells us that we must constantly wash our hands and properly use the water that the pastor leaves us at home."

Currently, more than 200 families receive hygiene and water supplies from Pastor Mario on behalf of Compassion's church partner. The work to protect the children and their families from COVID-19 does not stop. Each day, pastors and volunteers like Mario work hand in hand with Compassion to protect and serve the most vulnerable.

How can I pray for Ecuador?

Pray that God will keep the Compassion staff, partner church pastors and volunteers healthy, both emotionally and physically, as they continue to help and support the children, families and churches. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Ecuador
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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