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. Most of the churches represented currently work with Compassion International or are on a waiting list to begin Compassion projects at their church. Compassion projects serve communities through the local church by sponsoring 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 approved for the Compassion program must provide a facility connected to a church where the children can attend the afterschool 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 most of the following teams for 2019. Any weeks not already reserved for late February – November are available for new teams.
Dates are now being reserved for 2019 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.
|February 9 – February 17||Auburn University McWhorter School of Building Science|
|March 9 – March 17||Auburn University School of Nursing – medical|
|March 15 – March 25||University of West Georgia Communication Sciences & Professional Counseling|
|May 12 – May 20||Clear Lake UMC|
|June 2 – June 9||St. Luke UMC (Tupelo, Miss.)|
|June 2 – June 9||St. Luke UMC (Pensacola, Fla.) – medical|
|June 9 – June 16||Faith UMC (Pinson, Ala.)|
|June 15 – June 23||Guntersville FUMC – medical|
|June 16 – June 23||Aldersgate UMC (Montgomery, Ala.)|
|June 23 – June 30||St. Luke’s Episcopal (Birmingham, Ala.)|
|June 30 – July 7||Eufaula FUMC|
|July 7 – July 15||Montgomery FUMC – medical|
|July 14 – July 21||Alex City Methodist Church|
|July 21 – July 28||Open – Team Needed!|
|July 28 – August 4||Fairview UMC (Centre, Ala.)|
|October 4 – October 13||Auburn University McWhorter School of Building Science – Fall Team|
|October 13 – October 20||Bonifay FUMC (Bonifay, Fla.) – medical|
|October 27 – November 2||Centerpointe Church – medical|
|March 8 – March 16||Auburn University McWhorter School of Building Science|
|March 8 – March 16||Auburn University School of Nursing – medical|
|March 14 – March 23||University of West Georgia Professional Counseling and Communication Sciences|
|May 4 – May 11||South Carolina UMVIM|
|June 1 – June 8||Tallassee FUMC|
|June 8 – June 16||St. Luke UMC (Pensacola, Fla.) – medical|
|June 8 – June 16||Duncan Memorial UMC|
|June 15 – June 22||Clear Lake UMC|
|June 21 – June 30||Guntersville FUMC – medical|
|June 29 – July 6||Team Needed!|
|July 6 – July 13||Alex City Methodist Church|
|July 13 – July 20||Team Needed!|
|July 20 – July 27||Gulf Shores UMC|
|October 4 – October 12||Auburn University McWhorter School of Building Science|
|TBD (October)||Centerpointe Church|
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.
2019 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: $1,210 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
2014-2017 Project – Calderon
Address: Calle Carapungo y Eliseo Pintado esquina – IGLESIA “JESUS ES EL CAMINO”
400 children, working with SIFAT alumnus Raul Flores
SIFAT short-term mission teams served in Calderon for three years. Calderon is a poor community located on the outskirts of Quito. Teams worked with SIFAT graduate Pastor Raul on the project known as Jesus es el Camino (Jesus is the Way). Besides providing engaging VBS activities, construction teams built a three-story addition that includes bathrooms, a multipurpose/youth room, classrooms for the afterschool program, a cafeteria and a kitchen.
Through the efforts of Pastor Raul’s church, Iglesia del Nazareno, and its partnership with Compassion International, these children will be tutored in their school subjects, encouraged in their spiritual development, fed a hot lunch, and, most importantly, have a place to be safe and off the streets while their parents work, usually far away from home.
2011-2013 Project – Puengasí
Address: Obrero Independiente Calle O Lote 182 y Desquina – IGLESIA PUENGASI
From 2011 through 2018, teams worked with SIFAT graduate Pastor Oswaldo Buitron in Puengasi, a poor neighborhood outside of Quito. Construction teams built the first and second floors of a multi-purpose building adjacent to Iglasia Evangelico of Puengasi. This building will house a kitchen, dining hall, library and classrooms for 300 at-risk children in the Compoassion sponsored Ninos de Esperanza (Children of Hope). These children will be tutored in their school subjects, encouraged in their spiritual development, be fed a hot lunch and, most importantly, have a place to be safe and off the streets while their parents work, usually far away from home. Teams also brought VBS components to teach these very poor children about the love of Christ.
2009-2010, 2014 Project – Villaflora
Address: Galte S 9-29 y Av. Rodrigo de Chavez – IGLESIA ABREO E LIMA
From 2009 through 2011, SIFAT mission teams served at a construction project with SIFAT alumna Anita Flores, her husband Pastor Rafael and their family in the Villaflora neighborhood. Their church sponsors Dulce Refugio (Sweet Refuge), an afterschool program that partners with Compassion International to provide lunch, tutoring and Bible classes for very poor public school students, ages 6-17.
In 2009, Dulce Refugio’s small, inadequate facilities managed to host about 250 students in this urban community. With the help of many SIFAT mission teams in 2009 and 2010, a new facility was built. By 2012, Dulce Refugio was able to accept 314 children into their program. The members of the church continue to work on this project to finish the third floor and multipurpose room.
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 build.
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 over 10,000 people. While a team from the Southeast District of the North Alabama Conference was there, Agua de Vida officially opened with a special service led by the visiting pastors and Rev. Ramiro Balseca, pastor of the Methodist Church in downtown Quito. Pastor Balseca now preaches at Agua de Vida each Sunday at 3 p.m., and the Balseca family has begun outreach into the community through Bible studies, microenterprise classes for women and activities for children and youth. Through their work and the foundation laid by SIFAT teams, the church is growing and becoming an integral part of this community. All SIFAT mission teams to Ecuador will have the opportunity to worship at Aqua de Vida.