December was a very exciting month.
Our Christmas Party was on December 14, and we celebrated with a fantastic hot lunch for our elderly poor at noon. Our mother and daughter cooks along with our volunteers had a very busy morning preparing the meal. They served chicken, rice, potatoes, and a special Ecuadorian salad to 125 people. Volunteers brought desserts that everyone enjoyed.
This was the first year that we had an open house for expats. Around 40 people arrived to meet our people and see the facility. We had snacks and coffee.
Yachak Mama Juana (Shaman) blessed our buildings with a special ceremony the day before the Christmas Party. She did a beautiful ceremony at our party and blessed many people. They always create a scene on the ground honoring Mother Earth and our beautiful mountains and volcanoes.
Enjoy the photos.
Our elderly enjoyed entertainment with an Indigenous band and most were up dancing to the music of their culture. Kichwa was spoken, the native language of the Indigenous, however, slowly disappearing with the young. It was wonderful to see the joy with our people being able to understand and reply in Kichwa.
A special treat was Santa Claus bringing gifts of traditional cookies with a little candy. The people were so excited with Santa that many crowded around him joyfully. Our elf, the son of our cook Salome helped to distribute 140 prepared bags. JetBlue airline staff provided the bags. Many of their staff attended, and they have been wonderful in helping us by providing many items – from clothing to medical supplies.
A professional video was taken, but it is not ready to distribute for this mailing. It will be attached to the next newsletters
NOTE: JetBlue airlines has donated two round-trip tickets from Quito to Ft. Lauderdale and return. You can purchase our airline raffle tickets starting on February 1st for $10 a ticket. Since there are two tickets, each winner receives a ticket that covers two people to travel. The drawing will be on February 28th.
All funds go to Place of Hope and used toward our expenses in operating this program. We are all volunteers and there are no administrative fees.
On January 15th an International filming crew is doing a documentary on Place of Hope. The film crew is from Texas, Quito, and Colombia for this documentary. An update will be in the next newsletter.
Our garden has been planted and growing. Our people, who are able, give it tender care. The vegetables are added to the breakfast scrambled eggs.
Again, thank you for your support over the years and we are grateful for your continued donations. We have a few more expenses to meet this month and had several in December.
Belated Happy New Year and wishing you the best for 2019.
Micky, Founder of Ecuador Project Hope
and from our wonderful volunteers