An Update as We Begin the New Year

The beginning of the calendar year coincides with the end of the school year here in Ecuador. Unfortunately, due to rising coronavirus concerns with the omicron variant, the mission school returned to complete virtual learning right before Christmas. Almost everyone we know has been sick in the past few weeks, but gratefully symptoms have been mild and hospitalizations rare. It is extremely discouraging for the students to be back online. The school year ends in February and it is unlikely students will return to the classroom before then. But we are extremely hopeful that the mission school will start the 2022 school year with in-person learning. 

The children at the mission home continue to be fortunate through these years of virtual learning. They have maintained a relatively ‘normal’ routine, attending classes led by tutors every morning, and completing homework followed by group games and activities in the afternoon. The past month brought a few new faces to the mission home, including one-year old twins. We doubt that we have begun to see the long term economic and social effects of the pandemic, but it is obvious that child suffering continues to be rampant by the number of new children at the home each month. We are grateful for the missionary women that welcome and care for them with such love.

Regan trying to play with Diego and his twin sister, Nelly. The twins arrived at the home last month.

In our university program, most of the students are studying virtually. We have enrolled another group of high-school seniors into our university preparation course. They will take the entrance exam to university in March. We look forward to sharing some of their personal stories with you in the coming weeks.

Read more

Choosing a ‘Major’ at the Mission School

When students enter high school in Ecuador, they choose a ‘major’. At the Mission School, students can choose from accounting, hospitality, and life sciences. All students continue to take basic core classes, including English language, mathematics, and history, but their schedules are filled with other classes particular to the major that they have chosen. One of the benefits of this form of education is that students graduate with practical skills. For those that do not pursue college level education, these skills will hopefully help them acquire a job. 

Students in the hospitality major learning how to bake bread.

The most popular major at the Mission School is hospitality. Many students report choosing this major because tourism is such a large part of the economy in our area. In the hospitality major, students take business and management classes, marketing courses, and even cooking classes. Students in their final year of this major have to complete projects to demonstrate their skills. Coupled with our enhanced English language program, we are hopeful that future students graduating with a major in hospitality will have a variety of job opportunities post high school. 

Read more