Easter 2021 Newsletter


Welcome to this Easter Newsletter, which keeps you up to date with everything that has been going on lately in the Martin Chambers Ecuador Trust Charity. COVID-19 has marked all our lives in the past year: job fears; financial worries; concerns about our health. If it has been traumatic for us here in Scotland, imagine what life has been like in the poorer areas of Ecuador, where these fears are made worse through the grinding poverty.

As we celebrate the Feast of Easter – a time of new hope – let us pray that our friends in Ecuador will feel hope rising in their hearts as we reach out to them.

In this Newsletter:

  • Bienvenidos

  • 2021 Gifts for Ecuador

  • COVID in Ecuador

  • Sagrada Familia School

  • Sagrada Familia Pupil

  • Soup Kitchen

  • New School Project for the Trust

  • Letter from a Parent

  • And Finally…

Covid in Ecuador

It’s not every day that Ecuador makes the front page of UK newspapers, but that was the case last April as stories started to emerge of how COVID was affecting the poorest people in the shanty towns of Guayaquil. At the outbreak of the pandemic, pictures emerged of coffins piled up in the streets with hospitals and morgues at full capacity. As in other countries, the Ecuadorian government has declared a closure of workplaces and schools, but it
seemed to affect the poorest people in a very stark way.

Firstly, there is no national health system, so any medicines or hospital treatment costs money, which the poor people do not have. Often if they have to choose between buying medicine or buying food for the family, they will choose to feed their children; they can worry about their health at a later stage.

Secondly, the conditions in the shanty towns only worsen during the pandemic; many houses are made of bamboo-slatted walls where the air-borne COVID can easily spread.

Thirdly, when people were dying of COVID in the shanty towns, neither the police, nor the doctors, nor the funeral directors felt safe to go into such a dangerous area. The poor of Nueva Prosperina and similar shanty towns were therefore left in an endless cycle of health problems.

It seemed like the government didn’t care but, when the news of this dreadful situation hit the world TV screens, the Ecuadorian government had to act. After an international outcry, police, doctors and health care workers made their way into the worst affected areas. Families were eventually able to bury their dead and to access doctor surgeries. There ben to emerge, at least, some hope for the future.

As in other places, education in Ecuador moved online. This however caused further problems as families couldn’t afford the necessary laptops or even pay for the internet connections. All of this on top of the great unemployment in the area, which has forced families to sell their own furniture to feed their children. They will have debts for years to come.

At the same time, though, there has been an incredible sense of resilience and hope: communities come together to help the poorest in their midst. Families who do not have a lot to their name stretch out the hand of love to those nearest to them who are in greater need. Once again, it is the poorest people in our world who are teaching the wealthier nations what values are truly necessary for living: dignity, solidarity and service.

Sagrada Familia Pupil

“My name is Jesus Alvarado and this year I started 4th year at Sagrada Familia. Of course it didn’t begin as I expected, because the pandemic attacked our world and changed the rhythm of all our lives.

At the start, I had to get used to watching the computer screen instead of looking at the teacher in front of the class. It also took me time to get used to studying in the same cramped house where I live with my brothers and sisters. We had to learn quickly how to get on with one another in a new way. However, we could all see how keen the teachers were to continue teaching us; it was their enthusiasm that spurred me on.

Eventually I got used to the new way of working and even got used to doing exams online. I passed! The worst thing about this COVID year is that I haven’t been able to see my friends and enjoy their love and laughter. I am longing for the day when we can get back together again. Of course, we keep in touch by messaging one another. With God’s help we will all get through this.

I want to say thanks to the Ecuador Trust for paying my school fees for the past few years. My family does not have a lot of money, my parents do not have regular jobs (it’s worse now due to lockdown) but your donations have helped me get on with my education. You have given me hope for my future. Muchas Gracias!

Read the full Easter 2021 Newsletter here:

Easter Newsletter 2021