Dear Friends of Global Giving,
we are carrying on with our commitment to guarantee a respectable home to the poorest families of Cotopaxi region, in Ecuador, and the results we are achieving remind us how much we could still do for these people.
This time we are in the Parroquia Rural de Angamarca, 5 hours north from the capital Quito.
We left the asphalt a couple of hours ago already, now it's the turn of the pure carretera, dirt road in the mountains, a lot of bends and no safety.
Angamarca is a small pueblo in the Ecuadorean sierra andina, populated by approximately 800-1000 people. Nevertheless, its territory extends far beyond the village and includes caserios (small groups of houses) that you can only reach on foot, after long walks.
Chistilan is one of them: we leave in the early morning, at 8 o'clock, and we reached our destination at 12. Of course, the way could have lasted much less with well-trained legs and lungs used to this altitude... but we do with what we've got!
Elvia, a 14-years-old young girl with all the features of an experienced woman, lives in the páramo (a moor in the highest mountain ridge) with her mother and four brothers. Not a trace of a father figure, as frequent in the Ecuadorean society.
Although there is still a strong bond in these communities - even the smallest one democratically elects its delegates, representing the community before the neighbouring ones and the institutions -, this family lives isolated from the nearest community, Chistilan. To get there, we still have to walk for an hour and reach an altitude of around 4000 metres.
Elvia, her mum and her four little brothers have always lived in a choza, the typical home of these areas, made of mud walls and a thatched roof that has to be rebuilt every year, at the end of the rainy season.
But things will change soon for the family: a new home is waiting for them. It is built using adobes (typical bricks of the Andean areas, made of mud and straw, that keep the heat in the house surprisingly well), divided into two rooms (so that they can sleep in one of the spaces and light the fire and cook in the other one), and with a real roof, created with beams and laminates.
The new house is almost finished and this goal could not have been achieved without the precious help of the whole Chistilan community, that, according to the tradition, has solidarily participated in the construction, engaging in some days of collective work, called minga. When we went to see them, only the last wooden boards were missing: they had to be carried from Chistilan to the house by a tired donkey that will probably retire after this hard labour.
During the way back, with the calves aching because of the steep slope, we met at least four families asking for help, and their houses proved that they need it...
Elvia and her family thank you very much for your great support, but what about the others? How much you can still do?
Saludos desde Angamarca!
La choza + la nuova casa
Vista di Chistilan dalla casa.