Maggie and Mike have spent much of the past 12 years working in Quito. But now their parent and grandparent roles ask more of them. Their grandson Julian is four years old, and their daughter Rachel will be having a second grandson at the end of the year. Their services are regularly called for. So, the Foundation needed help with education, mentoring, and community-building in Quito.
David’s Fund has had the good fortune to find just the help it needs from two Ecuadorean professionals, Holger Ortega and Gladys Rivadeneira. We met Holger first; he is a professor of computer science at the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana (UPS), a very good private university in Quito that a number of our students have attended (Gaby Lima, Veronica Guamba, Lorena Chin, and Richard Macas). Holger became interested in our group as a result of having taught calculus to Richard Macas. Richard kept reporting to Mike that he had a very good math professor, who could tell them interesting things about the history of the subject. Richard also talked to Holger about David’s Fund and how it operated, and Holger was quite enthusiastic about it. Subsequently, Mike and Holger met for coffee, and a friendship and partnership began to form.
This past summer, when we were in Quito, we had lunch with Holger and Gladys at one of our favorite local restaurants. Gladys is news reporter and is working to complete her Masters in Communication at the Universidad Andina. Both are impressed by the quality of our students, the way the Fund functions, and the kind of education-centered community that the Fund is creating. They have begun helping us in many, many ways. Like us, they work gratis. Holger says that he has long wanted to be involved in a project like this one, bur had no idea where he might find one.
Gladys and Holger have been our leaders in two Foundation “paseos”, events for community-building. In September, they took a group of students to the park at the Equator, about 10 miles north of Quito. Only one of our students had ever had a chance to go to this park with its monuments and museums. Then in early December, they were our leaders at a cook-out for our students and their families at the Parque la Armenia on a wooded hill overlooking Quito. More than 50 people attended, and the reports on it from the students have been glowing.
Holger has taught both university math and physics; and he has been willing to offer tutoring sessions to various students. Gladys has met with students to see how they are doing. Holger studied in English and speaks fluently. He is developing an approach to teaching English, and currently two of our students, Lorena Cañar and Richard Macas, are studying English with Holger.
THE FOUNDATION IS VERY LUCKY TO HAVE FOUND SUCH GOOD ALLIES! THANKS TO GLADYS AND HOLGER.