On November 6th, during a small volunteer meeting at Place of Hope, I received a phone call from a reporter at EL COMERCIO. This is the largest newspaper in Ecuador and it’s considered an honor to be interviewed for a story they want to publish. A journalist and photographer visited us within an hour. They were so impressed with our service to the poor elderly and those in need that they will do another story. They plan to attend our annual Christmas Party on December 15th to continue sharing our story with the world.
The story was written in Spanish and we have translated it to English for all our friends to share. The link to the original article in the EL COMERCIO is at the bottom of this post.
Please share and forward to your family, friends, business associates and ask them to do the same. Place of Hope is growing with those in need of a hot meal. We are all volunteer expats and need your on-going support to provide these services. We still have some poor elderly folks sleeping in the woods or on park benches because they simply have no other place lay their head and no place to call home.
Hopefully in the future we will be able to provide a small shelter to care for these forgotten people. A warm hug, a meal, being treated with respect and love is how we serve. Cannot even put into words the warm loving response that we receive from these unfortunate people.
This can’t be done without your help.
We hope you’ll open your heart and share a little love by way of a donation or volunteering so these less fortunate folks experience some of the comforts we all take for granted in our busy daily lives.
Thank you for caring to contribute!
– Micky Enright
All donations are applied directly to the project.
No administrative fees or salaries are taken from your contributions, so you are assured your donations reach those in need of help.
José Luis Rosales Editor F-Intercultural Content
Ñuka Mamaku (Mi mamita, in Spanish) – that’s how several beneficiaries of the Soup Kitchen Lugar de Esperanza (which opened its doors in Cotacachi, Imbabura, three years ago) affectionately call American Micky Enright.
The lady, 81 years old, heads a group of 14 foreign volunteers who provide breakfast, medical care and clothing to senior citizens of limited economic resources in this jurisdiction. The majority of the volunteers are retired people, especially from the United States and Canada, and are now residents of Cotacachi.
It is estimated that there are 800 foreign residents in the canton. The beneficiaries, on the other hand, come from Kichwa communities such as Tunibamba, Piava San Pedro, El Cercado, Alambuela, Colimbuela, San José or San Miguel. “We have received people from 12 communities,” explains Fred Hosea, the only volunteer who is fluent in Spanish and who assumes the role of translator.
Currently the Soup Kitchen is located in the San José neighbourhood on the premises of the old Trajano Naranjo school building, which is now in use for the project. In one of the classrooms is the refectory, with capacity for 60 people, and the kitchen where the meals are prepared. The latter is in charge of Francisca Vaca and her daughter, Salomé Alvear, the only local residents who work in this center. Doña Panchita, as she is known by most, says that they propose a varied menu.
For example, on Monday, November 6, 2017, they offered a bowl of oatmeal, boiled egg, a portion of cheese, watermelon, banana and orange. For neighbours like José Bonilla this is the only place where he can meet friends and receive affection. That was precisely what drew attention of the American Kate Linderman-Schutt. “For many this is the only place they have in their lives, maybe that’s why they are very grateful.”
The plot of land located in the back of the building is the garden. Volunteers and beneficiaries, 15 days ago, planted broccoli, cauliflower, purple cabbage, Swiss chard, carrots and sweet potatoes; they will be used to prepare meals.
Every Thursday, hot water baths, health care and change of clothes are available; for indigenous women, the donation of traditional attire may be also included. It is a day in which Linda Eastwood is there.
For the last year, this North American nurse, who among other functions served as a Medical Missionary in Ukraine and Haiti, joined the initiative Lugar de Esperanza. The lady of the thick build and grey hair, provides nursing services, and refers patients to a health facility when necessary.
The Soup Kitchen works with donations from the United States. Micky Enright is in charge of that. She is retired from the real estate business, and came to Cotacachi 14 years ago. For 8 years, she comments with a broad smile, this Andean city is her home. For now, Enright explains that they will continue to provide this kind of help. They are even considering buying a property.
This content has been originally published by Diario EL COMERCIO at the following address:
http://www.elcomercio.com/tendencias/comedor-cotacachi-extranjeros-kichwas-mestizos.html . If you are thinking of using it, please cite the source and link to the original note where you have taken this content from. ElComercio.com
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