Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cuenca Expats Benevolent Association

Along with some friends we recently formed this Foundation and this is our first blog for it.  For future updates of the Foundation you can find it at this link..

This blog is being posted by the Cuenca Expatriate Benevolent Association, CEBA.  This is a recently established not for profit organization formed by North Americans living in Cuenca, Ecuador.  The purpose of the organization is to be a catalyst for identifying worthwhile causes and helping out where we can,  in our newly adopted home city of Cuenca.  Cuenca is a beautiful city in the Andean Mountains of Ecuador.  

In the beautiful mountains outside Cuenca lives a family of 10 who need our help.  This mother and father (father works full time in the construction business) with 8 children live on a small plot of land they own.  Until recently they lived in a small adobe brick house that was many years old.  In a recent rain storm the house collapsed and consequently the family has had to relocate to a neighbors.  They do not want to leave their land since they need to care for their animals which include: 2 cows, sheep, goats, chickens.  They used to have a bull but they sold it to raise money to help with their son Mateo's medical costs.  

Mateo is 7, when he was 4 he was hit by a public bus and his leg was almost severed from his body.  A Cuban doctor here in Cuenca reattached the leg and is seeing Mateo, free of charge every two weeks as he adjusts the metal brace that helps Mateo's crushed leg grow at the same pace as his good leg.  At this time Mateo is not ambulatory.  But, he is working toward that and with our help we hope to be able to report that he will be after some tender loving care.  This TLC is dispensed by his  mother and father and siblings to him daily.  It is a very lovely caring family who are very happy with their life and show it daily. 

As you can see this indigenous family are hard working and have very little compared to the life of Americans and most Ecuadorians.  The Cuenca Expatriate Benevolent Association has decided  that the first project of this newly formed not for profit foundation will be to help Mateo's family get back on 
their feet and hopefully get some rehab and education for Mateo to aid his recovery from this devastating bus accident.

Cuenca Expatriate Benevolent Association has already started raising money to assist this family.  We are also working with a very generous community leader who is part of the local hospital axillary who is helping this family, also.  CEBA is donating the proceeds from our weekly Gringo Bingo game to the family of Mateo, but we are coordinating with the Doctor and the rehab efforts to be sure what is being given is going to the families needs.  

We would ask you to consider a donation on behalf of Mateo and his family.  You can send your donations via PayPal to
our Paypal account

Below are photos of the family and the house that needs attention since the rain/hail storm. 


This is a view of the valley and the house before the house collapsed.

Mateo's family keeps animals to help maintain the family as well as to sell eggs and chickens to make money.

The is the little cat that Mateo was so worried about as the house collapsed.  He did not want to leave until he knew his gato was safe.

Their are a total eight children in the family.  Only four of them live at home.  Mateo is in the red shirt with his right arm raised.  Momma has on the grey hat and her name is Francisca.

This is a close up of Mateo's injured left leg.

This is a close up of Mateo who spends lots of time in bed because he is not yet ambulatory.

This photo was taken just after his accident three years ago.

This is another photo of the family with the big brother and his child, who live elsewhere.  At left is Monica Flores who is liaison for the family with our foundation.  She is a local Cuenca business woman and member of the hospital auxillary that serves Mateo's needs.

Old house on left, new house on right. The family had started building the new house prior to the collapse of the one on the left.  

This shows the old house after it collapsed.  Mateo's father has already begun salvaging materials that can be reused. It is our focus to concentrate our help to finish the new house for the family.  Mateo's father will also finish the remains of the old house into a one story structure that the family can use, also.

Close up of collapsed house, that was a two story structure.
Francisca with youngest child.

Salvaged roof tiles from the old house.

These are Mateo's parents and his youngest sister, in front of the house where they are staying temporarily.

Any donation you can make will be helpful. Over the next few weeks we will be compiling list of Mateo's various needs and will post how much they will cost.  

CEBA is a joint venture of both concerned Expats and Cuencanos.  Our efforts will be focused on fundraising and our Cuencano friends will help getting materials and labor for projects like this one and also help in deciding which projects we will fund.

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