100% of your donation goes to feeding & supporting the forgotten Elders in Cotacachi, Ecuador
A Nourishing Meal for Everyone
Resuming Onsite Breakfast Services!
Place of Hope is happy to announce the resumption of our takeout breakfast service in Barrio San Jose as the central part of our efforts to address food scarcity for Cotacachi’s elders and needy families. With the arrival of the pandemic, we were forced to suspend Place of Hope’s regular sit-down breakfast program, but we’ve been working hard to re-orient the program to work within the new constraints of finance, health safety, growing community needs, and logistics.
Our normal sit-down breakfast program was suspended in March 2020, by both Municipal limitations on social gatherings, and on a legal directive from the local community and Barrio San Jose presidents, who were concerned about the possible health risks to our indigenous elders. In April 2020, we were stricken with the loss of our Founding President, Micky Enright. This required some serious re-thinking of our program, to preserve Micky’s vision under drastically different conditions. Our normal breakfast group consisted of people from 15 different communities, so we needed to consider how we might continue to meet food needs in a de-centralized fashion.
Despite the difficulties, we have nevertheless kept the program going, and have laid the groundwork for both centralized take-out breakfasts for our elderly neighbors plus a decentralized program that has reached more needy families in the surrounding rural communities, through both emergency food donations and through community-based pilot projects.
We hope this outreach will create greater food self-reliance and economic renewal for poor families, thus decreasing their reliance on a centralized food-service program that depends on highly variable, foreign donations.
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Micky Enright founded Place of Hope in Cotacachi, Ecuador to address the nutritional and health needs of the city’s poor and neglected indigenous elders. Since its founding, the program has provided over 75,000 meals and become an integral part of life for hundreds of local residents who, in many cases, have little or no other source of food or medical attention.
Since August 2019, we have all undergone great challenges to the program and to our personal connections with the program. The health crisis and passing in April 2020 of our dear Founder, Micky Enright, created an emotional and practical vacuum that has been difficult to fill. It has taken many months for the Board to discover and re-assign the many duties that Micky herself managed over the years. The arrival of the global pandemic in 2020 has created additional challenges about whom to serve, and how, and with what resources.
By providing over 15,000 meals a year, our program has become well-known in Cotacachi for its respectful and affectionate attention to the elders, and is highly appreciated by local organizations, communities and barrios.
Our traditional model of sit-down breakfast had to be suspended in March 2020, in compliance with local municipal prohibitions of social gatherings and under a legal mandate from the Presidents of the local community and Barrio San Jose, out of shared concern that the gatherings would increase risk of viral contagion for the vulnerable elders.
As in most other countries, COVID cases have continued to expand steadily in Ecuador, despite recommended precautions; so for the foreseeable future, we will have to invent new ways of helping our many neighbors who are suffering from simultaneous shortages of jobs, money, and food. With the official ending of the national state of emergency in Ecuador on September 15th, we are now able to resume providing some food assistance at our kitchen site, but on a reduced scale, owing to declines in donations.
How We Have Served the Community
As well as providing nutritious breakfasts Monday through Friday, year-round, Place of Hope has also provided:
These services will resume once pandemic conditions improve and donations permit.
Photo Courtesy of David Sasaki
We farm a half-acre plot of land year-round, to grow corn, beans and vegetables that are used to supplement the foods we buy at the local market. The elders enjoy doing all the associated work of organic recycling, soil preparation, sowing, weeding, and harvesting.
We operate a Thrift Shop that collects donations of clothing, books, home appliances etc. for sale to the general public. All proceeds go directly to support food purchases and operating expenses of the program.
We organize an annual Pancake Breakfast and Christmas/Kapak Raymi holiday party, to inform and involve the local community in the program and generate income for the program.
We receive valuable corporate support from Jet Blue airlines, which donates round-trip airline tickets from Ecuador to anywhere in the United States they fly.
Tickets are raffled as an important additional source of contributions. The airport Staff from Quito also drive to Cotacachi periodically with a van full of other donations (blankets, canes, walkers, etc.) that can be sold or used by our indigenous neighbors. Bravo, Jet Blue!
We receive donations from individual fundraisers organized by our local volunteers and musical ensembles.
Please help us with your Continuing Donations...
Your generosity is vital to our continued success. Please consider making a donation today, knowing all proceeds go directly into the operation of the program with NO administration fees.