6/26/2013: Ecuador, which has recently been in debate with the U.S. over the asylum of Edward Snowden, is a country constantly beset by human rights offenses, economic struggles, and political clashes with its Latin American neighbors.
As a result, Ecuador’s GDP remains relatively low in comparison to other developed countries, at only 125 million USD per year. Ecuador’s middle class has all but vanished, leaving an astonishing gap between the rich and poor, and creating little room for upward mobility. Fortunately, SOS Children’s Villages is ensuring that children, regardless of their economic start to life, have every opportunity available.
From Abandoned Child to Board President
Carlos Basantes was only two years old when he was brought to SOS Quito. His biological family was unable provide even the most basic care for Carlos and, as a result, he was abandoned and left to live on the streets. Fortunately, the wife of then-president José María Velasco Ibarra found him and his brothers and arranged for them to live in the SOS Village.
For Carlos, the most shocking part about moving to SOS Quito was the loving care that he received from his SOS Mother. According to Carlos, "though they were not our biological mothers, they took care of and looked on after us as if we were their own children.” His own SOS Mother, a woman he lovingly refers to as Mother Vicky, is the godmother to his daughter, and has played an immensely important role in the life of his family.
Carlos left the Village to study engineering at a local university, before moving on to work for a prominent car manufacturer. There, he met his wife Blanca and soon the two opened up their own paper manufacturing company before having two daughters of their own. Because of his rapid rise to prominence in Quito, Carlos was invited to sit on the board of SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador.
A map of SOS Children's Villages Ecuador. Click to enlarge.
“I've had so much support from my family and friends to stay involved with SOS. Their love, and the love from SOS Quito, has kept me on the board of SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador for eighteen years. Being able to give back to the organization that raised me has been incredible.” In fact, Carlos hasn’t just sat on the board - he has also acted as the National Director of SOS Ecuador during times of transition and change.
Carlos’ story is just one of many successes that SOS Ecuador has produced. For nearly fifty years SOS Children’s Villages has been hard at work in Ecuador, helping children and families achieve their dreams.
Support the SOS programs in Ecuador and around the world by donating today!