SIFAT’s office in Quito, Ecuador, is directed by Dr. Roberto and Monica Contreras. Since 2000, SIFAT has helped with the spiritual, social and economic development in 67 of the poorest urban-marginal and poor rural communities in Ecuador. SIFAT has trained pastors and community leaders in Ecuador, and our mission teams have helped by builting daycare centers and by supporting local church projects in the communities. During this time, SIFAT Ecuador has seen the hand of the Lord providing the finances for every approved medical, discipleship and evangelism project. The communities have embraced these projects as an answer from the Lord to their continuous prayers.
Current Projects from 2008 SIFAT Ecuador Graduates
For several years, SIFAT teams worked in Atucucho, an impoverished community on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador. In 2008, teams completed Mama Yoli’s daycare center and a new Methodist church, Agua de Vida. As this project was being completed, our SIFAT Ecuador staff was already making plans for the next projects selected from proposals submitted by our recent SIFAT Ecuador practicum graduates.
In 2008, 12 community leaders and pastors finished a practicum taught by the SIFAT Ecuador staff. During this three-year training, students met quarterly. Upon completion, they submitted project proposals that were reviewed and accepted based on need and sustainability. These churches have after-school programs that include a hot meal, tutoring and Bible lessons for children whom would otherwise be on the streets when not in school.
SIFAT is empowering these graduates by our mission teams helping to support their projects. Each church needs a facility connected to the church where the children can attend the after-school classes. These are extremely poor churches and to build these facilities would be almost impossible without the partnership of SIFAT and our short term mission teams. SIFAT commits to build the foundation and first floor of each addition. Sometimes, such as in Villa Flora and Puengasi, we are able to help with the second floor as well. The church agrees to finish the rest of the building, and many church members work alongside our teams as they are able or lend a hand on the weekends when they are not working.
It may be possible to join our scheduled teams below. Any weeks not already reserved for late February – November are available for new teams.
Dates are now being reserved for 2021 medical and construction teams to Ecuador. We will schedule teams to Ecuador every week during the year except late December, January and February during Ecuador’s rainy season. Reserved dates will be added to our website as soon as scheduled. Twenty construction/VBS teams and six medical teams are needed for each year!
If you are an individual or small group, we can usually add you to an existing team if you wish to serve in Ecuador. There is often a need for medical/dental missioners on our medical teams and always a need on all teams for those who speak Spanish.
Because of COVID-19, our 2020 teams have been canceled.
SIFAT Ecuador welcomes Spanish speaking interns to help in the summer with our short-term mission teams. You must raise your own support for this internship, and the cost is about $65 per day, plus airfare, insurance and tourist activities. If you are interested in serving with SIFAT as an intern, please contact our international team coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 Trip Details
Project Location: Aida Leon, in southern Quito at an altitude of about 9,500 feet
Length of Trip: 8 days (Saturday to Saturday) Additional full days are available at $100 per day. For flights leaving Quito after 5 p.m., the hotel will charge an additional $50. For more information about additional day charges, please talk to our international team coordinator.
Lodging: In Quito, Hotel Tambo Real – downtown Quito near many interesting sites, Amazonas Street, Quito indigenous market and fast food restaurants. Double or triple rooms with private baths with hot water, linens and towels provided, free internet service. Single rooms are available for an additional cost. Other lodging outside of Quito is site dependent.
Food: Breakfast and dinner at hotel. Lunch at project site. Bottled water is provided.
Transportation: Travel by 22–35 passenger buses.
Cost per person: $1,270 in-country expenses for 8 days/7 nights, $25 per person for Love Baskets and home visit coordinator, plus $850-$1200 approximate round-trip airfare depending on the airline and time of travel.
Construction Team Project Costs: $2500 team construction funds or $100 per person, whichever is greater.
Medical Team: $125 per person, for additional translators and medical health care training fund. Medical teams provide medications and medical supplies at their own expense.
Tourist day activities are not included in in-country or team costs. A list of available activities and their costs are available from the International Team Coordinator. Costs are approximately an additional $50-$100 per person.
• Price includes in-country meals, lodging, water, emergency evacuation and supplemental medical insurance, in-country transportation, cross-cultural manual and team leader orientation.
* VBS materials and supplies must be provided by the team.
* Prices are subject to change. Please confirm prices with the international team coordinator when reserving your team’s dates.
2018 – 2020 Aida Leon
Address: Transversal H Area Comunal #2 y Guasuntos – IGLESIA ESPERANZA ETERNA
90 children, serving with SIFAT alumnus Wilson Bastidas
Click on the projects below for information about each community where SIFAT teams served on major construction projects and continue to provide medical care each year.
Other Ecuador Projects
Medical teams and the VBS component of some of our construction teams will also serve in the following communities—all at the invitation of SIFAT Ecuador alumni from churches in these areas.
Address: Albornoz Lote 61 Y Gross esquina – IGLESIA ASAMBLEA DE DIOS ANTIOQUIA
200 children, serving with SIFAT alumnus Mario Mosquera
Project name: Forjadores del Bien (Good Workers)
Atucucho (including Little Seeds of God and Mama Yoli’s)
In 2001, after seeing the desperate need to provide a safer environment for preschool children, SIFAT made a commitment to work in Atucucho, one of the poorest areas in Quito. During the day, when their mainly single mothers would have to work, most of these children were tied up outside or locked inside humble homes for their own safety. They were horribly malnourished and would have been forever trapped in this cycle of poverty as there was no opportunity to prepare the children to attend public school when they were older.
Working with a few community mothers who wanted a better life for their children, SIFAT brought in teams to repair a few rooms in seventeen small homes that these mothers were willing to give up for use as day care centers. These mothers were trained by SIFAT volunteers to work with the children, teaching them the basic curriculum developed by SIFAT for early childhood development.
After the first year, SIFAT and our short term mission teams realized more was needed to affect permanent change in the lives of the children of Atucucho, and team members from Gulf Shores UMC in Alabama pledged to raise money to build a three story day care center for 150 children in that poorest of the poor area. It was named Semillitos de Dios…Little Seeds of God. Teams from 26 churches worked for three years to build Little Seeds. The community mothers were better trained by SIFAT to equip these children to attend public school after they graduated. They were taught not only to read and write, but also in the area of spiritual formation, and a protein project was started to help alliviate malnutrition in these few students. It was a beginning to later reach the entire community but one day care was not enough.
In 2004, Woodbine UMC in Pace, Florida, committed to raise the funds to build another, even larger daycare center on the other side of Atacucho. They named it Mama Yoli’s House, in memory of Yolanda Cassidy, a Woodbine member who had served on several SIFAT teams and had fallen in love with the children with whom she had worked in Ecuador. For the next 4 years, many SIFAT mission teams worked on the construction of Mama Yoli’s and when it was officially opened for 250 children in 2005, even the Ecuadorian government declared it a state of the art daycare and an example for what curriculum should be taught in other centers in Quito.
All of the children graduating from Little Seeds of God and Mama Yoli’s passed their exams and were qualified to enter public school in Ecuador. However, SIFAT soon realized they were not financially able to do so and were falling through the cracks in that incredibly poor community.
To give these children the opportunity to continue in school, SIFAT decided to partner with Compassion International and provide a facility in which they would provide an afterschool program in a local church for Compassion sponsored children. Because of this need, Agua de Vida was built.
Agua de Vida Methodist Church
In 2007, SIFAT short-term mission teams began building Agua de Vida Methodist Church, which is attached to Mama Yoli’s day care center in Atucucho. Agua de Vida is the first Protestant church in this very poor community of more than 10,000 people. While a team from the Southeast District of the North Alabama Conference was there, Agua de Vida officially opened on June 8, 2008, with a special service led by the visiting pastors and Rev. Ramiro Balseca, pastor of the Methodist Church in downtown Quito. Outreach into the community through Bible studies, microenterprise classes for women and activities for children and youth is being led by the UMC of Ecuador. Through this work and the foundation laid by SIFAT teams, the church is growing and becoming an integral part of this community.