October 2021: Final Phase of Construction in Aida Leon

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version.

Written by Sarah Corson, SIFAT Co-founder

The long-awaited dream of having a safe place for the children of Aida Leon is about to become a reality. When SIFAT could no longer travel to Ecuador in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID pandemic, Esperanza Eterna’s Pastor Wilson realized that the church community center our SIFAT teams had been building for two years would be put on hold and not completed when the children of Aida Leon needed it the most. SIFAT donors  did not allow that to happen!

In the best of times, Aida Leon is one of the poorest communities in Quito. As in most marginalized barrios, the children suffer the most when the parents have no work, the schools are closed and even two meals a day is often a luxury. During this time of shutdown, many have been displaced from their homes, and child abuse increases drastically. The promise of a day care center for children, where they could be safe and have a hot meal, seemed a long way in the future.

The final phase of construction in Aida Leon has included pouring the roof, adding stairs, laying the exterior walls on the second floor and building the interior walls. This photo shows the progress as of September 2021.

When we found out we could complete the building for $45,000, a SIFAT team leader jumped in to start the effort by creating a $10,000 matching fund, and our SIFAT supporters gave what they could to help. Not only would this fund finish the center, but it would also provide employment to local people and give the church members in Aida Leon a sense of ownership, knowing they had helped to provide a safe shelter for their children. When funds were low, they held a minga, a workday where the entire church came out to do whatever they could to make sure work on the project did not stall. It brought people together who had almost lost hope. Because you gave, a community came together, when just a few weeks before, they had been thinking only of trying to provide for themselves. There could be no doubt that God touched Aida Leon in a profound way because you cared.


The church came together for a minga, a community work day.


The main project during the minga was pouring the roof!


By the end of the day, it was finished.


The money was raised, and the building is almost finished! Because Edwin Contreras, our SIFAT engineer, knew funds were hard to come by, he tightened his budget to have enough left after construction for windows and doors and to furnish the much-needed kitchen, so the hard-working ladies of the church could prepare meals for the children.

As you see in these photographs, after more than 10 years of the church praying for this center, it should be completed by the end of the year. This would not have happened without your love and concern for others—whom many of you do not even know. SIFAT thanks you, and the children in Aida Leon thank you. This was a blessing the people there could not imagine actually happening, especially during this pandemic.


Deliveries of cement, dirt and blocks are all unloaded by hand.


Soon, these classrooms will be filled with children in the after-school program.


We hope some of you will join one of our SIFAT teams to Ecuador in 2022. Although teams will be working in another part of Quito, we will visit Aida Leon to see how hope was given to so many.

We appreciate and thank each of you for supporting SIFAT this month!


SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto (left), engineer Edwin (center) and Pastor Wilson (right) meet to discuss plans as we begin the final phase.


Edwin checks the blueprints, as construction starts behind him.


By moving ahead with this project without team members’ labor, we were able to hire local community members who were jobless because of the effects of the pandemic.


Of course, our maestro (foreman) Miguel was there, leading the way.


Beginning work on the exterior stairs in late July 2021.


July 2021


Interior walls started going up in August.


August 2021


Engineer Edwin gives SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto and his wife, Monica, a tour of the latest progress on the new facility.