Fundación „Santa Maria de la Esperanza“
The non-profit organization located in the province of Santa Elena in the village of Olón is directed by Isabel Dietrich. She is 62 years old and came to Ecuador about 40 years ago with a Swiss priest. There she has spent 24 years as a district nurse in a parish consisting of 17 villages. Accidentally, she began to care for traumatized children and adolescents. The cause of their mental distress was often abuse and other violent crimes, prostitution of their mothers, poverty and cramped living conditions.
Currently there are 85 children and teenagers living with Isabel in small families, housed within different houses with kitchen, living and dining room and 2 or 3 children share a bedroom. Everything is simple, but very loving. The children and teenagers receive all the necessary care from Isabel and receive psychotherapy and education by special teachers. If possible, they visit a local school nearby. It is a permanent goal of Isabel to integrate the children back to their respective families or to provide a foster family. The foundation "Santa Maria de la Esperanza" is mainly funded by donations from her home town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany and with other donations and government funds. However, the latter only trickles and is very irregular. Overall, this very good facility is chronically underfinanced.
They live there "from hand to mouth" and end up sometimes in seemingly hopeless situations. Isabel lives by her motto “Ora et labora” with the focus on prayers and with success, as she told us. Early 2012 we rewarded her prayers with a U.S. dollars $5.000. Whether, and to what extent we will promote the project in 2013, has not yet been decided.