After a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck coastal Ecuador in April 2016, Mariana López experienced a momentary loss of hope. The beloved Faith & Hope School building that was providing vital help to the kids in Pedernales was in ruins. The thought struck her that the school might never rise again. What would happen to these vulnerable children?

It’s been three years since the earthquake devastated the Faith & Hope School. Not only has the school risen from the dust and relaunched with the help of ER donors and work teams, but Mariana said the kids are rebounding.

“The lives of the children who attend the reading, writing and math classes in our school are being blessed. The parents are very grateful for the teaching and the love their kids receive.

Giving Hope to One Child at a Time

“Jose is 12 years old. He has four siblings and lives with his mother and father. Last November, he joined a group of kids who attend the school. The teachers were worried because Jose was violent. He used to argue with his classmates and teachers and threatened his teachers if they didn’t pay immediate attention to him.

“Once, while I was visiting, Jose threw stones to the school’s roof because he wanted attention. We spoke with his mother and she said she didn’t know what to do. In January, Jose started to change in response to the staff’s love and compassion. Now he treats his teachers respectfully, asks permission when he has to leave, and respects his classmates and helps them with their homework.”

Mariana shared four more examples of how the school is changing the futures of kids and moms:

*Mateo, 8, also has struggled with anger, but it has subsided because he realizes he is love.

*Marta, 13, couldn’t read or do math a few months ago. Today she is reading and her math has greatly improved.

*Shirley was about to fail grade 5. Today she is reading and writing much better.

*Many moms recently learned to hand-make crafts to sell to provide finances for their families at the school.

Mariana shared her appreciation for the help they have received and invited readers to  visit the school in Pedernales to spend time with the children and parents in the community.

Thank you for your investment in these kids’ futures. You can help turn more bleak futures into futures filled with hope and opportunity. Interested in serving overseas as part of a short-term team? Email us at mobilization@extremeresponse.org.

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Cobblestones Become Soccer Playground

By Mariana López, Alfalite Foundation

(Oct. 23, 2018)

The construction of the Faith & Hope School in Pedernales, Ecuador is almost complete.

One day after the earthquake, I thought the reconstruction of the school in Pedernales would not take place. But I was soon filled with hope and was convinced God would rebuild the school even better.

In these photos, you’ll see some pictures taken a week ago. The kids now have a cobblestone floor patio where they can play – where there was only dust before. This provision has exceeded our expectations.

Scroll below to read more about the rebuilding of the Faith & Hope School, plus other earthquake response work ER has facilitated in Ecuador. A huge thank you to supporters!

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We Haven’t Forgotten Faith & Hope School

(Sept. 18, 2018)

It was 29 months ago that the Faith & Hope School in Pedernales was destroyed by the massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake that left hundreds dead and thousands homeless. With the generous support of donors, ER was able to help rebuild several homes plus take on rebuilding the school.

While there have been many obstacles, including engineering, earth stabilization, construction teams, materials and more. But thanks to our Quito staff and the Alfalite Foundation that operates the school, it’s finally nearing completion.

ER’s Pete Emery just returned from the coast where he participated in the latest construction work. He shares this:

“Here is an update on the school ER has been helping rebuild after the earthquake. We are close, but not quite there yet.

Per custom, the people here will start using the school now. Windows, tile and paint are all luxuries.  The need to use the building now takes priority.

“So it is rare to see a school like this ever get finished. People who have donated move on and lose the vision. So the funding never comes. Hope this doesn’t end this way and that the school can be completed as it should be.”

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Ecuador Quake: Faith & Hope School Rises!

(June 27, 2017 Update)

In April 2016 a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake leveled hundreds of buildings in coastal Ecuador. One of those buildings was the Faith & Hope School. ER donors and volunteers responded (scroll below to learn how).

Today we want to share this video provided by ER’s Pete Emery showing the tremendous progress on rebuilding the Faith & Hope School. From demolition to soil testing to engineering and architecture to permitting to construction. The school plans to start using the first floor shortly!

We still need volunteer teams to come to Ecuador to finish the second floor and more at the school. Teams usually consist of 5-20 volunteers. While no construction experience is required to join this team, it’s helpful if a couple people on the team have at least some construction knowledge.

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(May 24, 2017 Update)

Last year the Faith & Hope School in Pedernales was wrecked by the massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked coastal Ecuador. Today, following months of soil testing, engineering and permitting, the school now has a new foundation and first floor.

A team of volunteers from Calvary Church of Souderton, PA, poured the cement. More importantly, they poured into the community by showering the kids and families with love and compassion.

The Calvary team was involved with the original build of the school in 2011. When the quake caused so much damage, the church immediately sent $10,000 for relief work. Then, when they heard what happened to the school, they stepped up to help the rebuilding effort.

As ER’s Pete Emery began working with Fundacion Alfalite, the organization that operates the school, he rekindled the relationship between Calvary and the school. Two men, Ed White and Mike Awkland, were part of the original Calvary team in 2011 and helped lead the second rebuild.

The team prepped the ground for the foundation and poured the first floor. They also helped weld and place the columns and beams for what eventually will be a two-story building.

The team worked in very hot and humid conditions, which made work difficult. Despite working extremely hard, they did an amazing job of playing with kids and building relationships with local workers.

The team also partnered with Hands in Service, an organization that provides clothing, shoes, diapers and other items from manufactures and donates these items to people in need. Ed Tornetta heads that up and brought a ton of jeans and shoes to donate.

The team went into a very poor neighborhood to hand out the clothes and invite the kids and adults to attend the school and adult education program once the school opens.

Watch this blog for future updates on the rebuilding of the Faith & Hope School. Scroll below to see past posts on ER’s Ecuador earthquake response.

In April 2016 a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake leveled hundreds of buildings in coastal Ecuador. One of those buildings was the Faith & Hope School. ER donors and volunteers responded (scroll below to learn how).

From demolition to soil testing to engineering and architecture to permitting to construction. The school plans to start using the first floor shortly!

We need volunteer teams to come to Ecuador to finish the second floor and more at the school. Want to send a team? Click here to learn about short-term volunteer teams. Or email us at moiblization@extremerepsonse.org.

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(April 16, 2017 Update)

One Year Update On ER’s Ecuador Earthquake Relief

On April 16, 2016, coastal Ecuador suffered a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake the killed nearly 700 people, injured more than 16,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless. ER staff, partners and supporters responded quickly by sending relief teams, emergency supplies and other resources. In this slideshow, we show where our five earthquake-induced construction projects stand today.

Thank you to everyone who supports ER’s relief work. We’ll provide additional updates this summer as the reconstruction of the Faith and Hope School proceeds.

ER News

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