The Children’s Basic Needs Center in San Ramón, Ecuador, was officially opened on November 5th, 2011. The center is 30’ x 50’ with indoor and outdoor learning/play areas, a kitchen, bathrooms, and sleeping quarters. Constructed from concrete, reinforced steel, and brick with an aluminum metal roof, the new “El Arca de Noé” (“Noah’s Arc”), replaces the old school and children’s center which had splintering floors, walls with holes in them, and a leaky thatched roof which bred scorpions. The old building was disassembled and the parts were used to repair and reinforce other children’s needs centers in other communities. This could not have been possible without the dedication of the communities in the area of San Ramón. From the grandparents to the young children, everyone participated in making this center a reality. Funded by donations and contributions from incredibly beautiful and generous souls from music, yoga, and arts & craft festivals throughout the United States, the center now provides daily for up to sixty children under the age of five. Here, they can find clean water for drinking and bathing, nutritious food and a safe, loving and inspiring home.
With a foundation build up above sea level, this center also functions as a community refuge point during natural disasters such as the record Spring flood of 2012. NGO’s, NPO’s, and government agencies used the Basic Needs Center as a focal point for distributing aid to surround communities throughout the flood. Families who had their home completely inundated with flood waters were able to use the center as a refuge until the floodwaters subsided.
The Basic Needs Center is used as well as a vocational training center and the hub for direct-trade programs within the communities. Our support programs offer empowerment, skill training and opportunity for people within the community and beyond. With a special focus on skills that give women a prominent role in the local economy and the revival of cultural arts and crafts, the Needs Center will create a lasting impact and bonds throughout the surrounding communities.