Project DCR-How you can help while exploring Ecuador

I´ve previously written about Project DCR for this blog but wanted to break down what they do, what they need in terms of support, and explain the ways that people traveling to Ecuador can help.

Project DCR is a legal, well-organized foundation that was created a year ago by two volunteers who took over it´s operation from the parent foundation that created it.  They raised money to go through the process of getting it legally recognized in Ecuador on their own and started a school to aid the street children that the foundation supports.

After this lengthy gauntlet, their focus shifted to the needs of the children.  These children are street kids.  They are outside of the Ecuadorian school system as they normally accompany their parents to the markets where they work, sell candy and cigarettes on the street for their families, or literally beg for money on the streets.

Project DCR started the school in the north of Quito for these children and has developed a curriculum, provides the materials, and tries to create a nurturing environment for the children to learn and adept to a school system.

This involves more than an average school provides.  The children need support, have problems not found in traditional schools, and are challenging to teachers but are eager to learn.

The school is being organized to recognize these special needs and Project DCR has hired one of the best teachers they could find to work on the structure and materials covered in it´s ciriculum.

This week they are remodeling  the school to add needed classrooms and spaces as they have been teaching out of one classroom until this point.

The foundation raises money to support it´s efforts in two ways. 

 The first is through a weekly pub quiz at a travellers bar called Finn McCool´s. 

The Quiz is held every Tuesday and each participant contributes two dollars to play that goes directly to the foundation.

The second is through a recycling program. 

The volunteers of the foundation go to local bars and businesses and collects glass and plastic bottles.  These materials are stored at the Foundations office, which at the moment is located in one of the founders houses, until they have collected enough for a truck to come and pick them up.

Both efforts are grassroots and are done by the volunteers and founders without the benefit of a lot of outside support.  For example, the recycling is collected by public transportation as Project DCR doesn´t have the funds for a truck!

This point sheads light on the needs of the foundation itself.  A truck would make collecting recycling more efficient and allow this aspect of the foundation to grow and in turn help the school to keep up with the needs of it´s pupils.

Project DCR´s wish list for the present includes:

Help with the remodeling of the school. 

Volunteers, materials, and expertise are welcome and would make the process of converting the one room space into functional classrooms quicker.  If you are interested contact me for details.

Materials for the school. 

Books, school materials, and resources for teachers are needed.  The foundations aim is to make the school an example of education and therefore is looking for people who have great teaching materials and resources for teachers.

A truck to help with the recycling. 

This is a tall order as vehicles are expensive but having a means to go and collect recycling materials would help greatly and help expand the program.  Just finding someone who could lend a hand with their own truck a few times a week would be a great start.

Volunteers

The school and the Projects efforts are driven by the two founders and volunteers who participate in the fundraising efforts and at the school itself.  A commitment of three months is required as the schools pupils need consistency and teachers who are passionate about their needs.

If you are interested in helping in any of the above ways, contact me and I can get you directly in touch with the founders within a day.

Other ways you can help if you are travelling to Ecuador.

Travel to the Galapagos through Galapagoslastminutes.com.

I have arranged for a percentage of commission from people booking trips through this tour agency to be go toward the Projects needs.  The agency is owned by a friend of mine who owns two very good hostels in the Andes.  Katrien has worked for years in the travel industry and is an expert on the islands, the boats, and different options available to travellers, offers real discounts on cruises by keeping her overhead down as the business is operated online and out of the hostels, and has another school where she places volunteers in a small community near one of her hostels.  If you are interested in this way to support Project DCR, contact me directly and I will refer you directly to the agencies owners so they will know that your interest came from me personally.

Get in touch if you are coming to Ecuador

If you are coming to Ecuador and are willing to bring books and materials with you, Project DCR always needs people to help with transporting them.  Import taxes here are high and it´s a common practice for local businesses that rely on imports to have their friends and people coming here to bring in materials and products that otherwise would be taxed as much as forty percent.

Help get the word out!

As much of the traffic to this blog comes from travel forums and subsequently those who are travelling in South America, it would help a lot if those of you reading this would help by spreading the word about Project DCR, it´s needs, and the option of booking through Galapagoslastminutes.com to support them. 

In Ecuador there are a lot of foundations, last-minute tour operators, and competition for volunteers.  I cannot stress enough the worth of Project DCR´s efforts and the quality of the people who support them.  Word of mouth is the most effective way to find support, teachers, volunteers, and help the Foundation achieve it´s goals.

An example of this is when I found experts in the field of conservation who were travelling in South America for another volunteer/travel project in the Galapagos that I´m currently working on getting involved with Project DCR through contributing a percentage of commission as well. Just telling five people about this blog and the Project at your hostel tonight makes a difference!

For additional information about any of the above including how you can help, contacts for booking trips to the Galapagos, and bringing materials when you come to Ecuador, contact me, Jon, through savvytravellerecuador@gmail.com.

https://savvyroundtheworld.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/project-dcr/

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Comments
9 Responses to “Project DCR-How you can help while exploring Ecuador”
  1. great site bro…thanks

  2. Taigh Smyth says:

    Very cool Jon,
    I was looking up info on Ecuador and your blog came up! I plan to travel over there at some point… just not sure when.
    All the best,
    Taigh

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