Get to Know Johanna in Ecuador

If you are a fan of Extreme Response, mission trips and outreach to vulnerable people, you need to get to know our staff around the world. One of those people is Johanna Hildago in Quito, Ecuador. Johanna is celebrating five years with ER and was recently appointed as our Regional Administrator for the Americas. Perhaps more exciting, she got married to Luis Miguel.

Johanna is a second-generation staff member. Her father Xavier is a fixture in Quito, helping with short-term teams, maintenance and transportation. Her mother Sonia is now retired, but served for many years as our Quito office manager.

Johanna has been very active in helping train the vulnerable women of the Quito Recycling Community in the areas of Life Skills and Livelihood. She has led workshops on business management, entrepreneurship, and chocolate-making (her side-business).

So what motivates Johanna?

“I love to serve people and share the love of God with others,” she says. My hope is ER will continue to grow so we can impact more people who are in need. I have witnesses the change that people have when they know the word of God.”


Life Skills: Quito Women Lead Bible Studies

Life skills trainingThe women from the Quito recycling community who participate in ER programs have come such a long way. In the early years of our work in the Quito Dump, most of the women recyclers had dropped out of school and had little education. They focused on gleaning  recyclable items from the trash so they could feed their families.

But this month ER’s Jen Emery and our Quito staff celebrated a breakthrough. One of the ladies who attends our women’s program led a Bible study (currently meeting via Zoom in light of COVID) for the other women. It was the first time a woman from the recycling community had led a study.

Life Skills Are Growing in Quito

The women are planning to take turns leading the study for the next few weeks. This may seem like a small step, but the ability to read, analyze content, prepare and present a lesson is a true milestone in the lives of these women. They are demonstrating high levels of comprehension, discernment and leadership.

These skills transfer to their roles as wives, mothers, employees and community builders. We’re excited and proud of their progress!

There remains much to be done to help these families truly escape generational poverty. We pour into these women with workshops on topics like health, nutrition, exercise, hygiene, parenting, livelihood skills and more. We also are working on improving our computer lab so they and their families will have better access to government medical programs, education and employment.

Learn more about ER’s Life Skills Training programs here.


Yogurt Builds Relationships

life skills trainingRelationship building is important for the women in the Quito Recycling Community. When they participate in livelihood training, relationships are a major factor in how they bond and gain trust.

ER’s Teresa Jimenez has led workshops in health, nutrition, life and livelihood skills, and faith In the last several years. As many as 60 women have participated in these skill-building opportunities at ER’s Quito Family Resource Center. This year, Teresa had to switch things up because of COVID and began teaching online.

One of the women, Liliana, used a skill she learned through a Zoom training session – how to make yogurt – to provide help income for her family. She’s also generously sharing yogurt and encouraging women whose families are struggling. This is a wonderful sign of personal growth, faith and maturity.

Teresa explains:

“Liliana attends our workshops regularly and she is sharing her knowledge with other women. She helps younger women learn skills and older women who cannot read and are not able to work. She invites them to her home to attend online workshops and participate in worship. It is incredible how Liliana shows love the other ladies and helps them. She is sharing the love of God.”

Learn more about ER’s Life Skills Training programs here.

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