How Covid-19 is affecting Ecuador- An interview with Alicia

Monday, May 4

Whenever we travel, Kevin and I make it a point to meet up with locals, either that we know personally or that mutual friends connect us to. As we prepared to head to Ecuador, we were given a contact for an incredible woman named Alicia, and let me tell was one of the sweetest connections ever:)

Alicia's dad was actually the president of Ecuador years ago, so if anyone knew the country, it was her! Not only that, but she continues to serve her country. She and her husband bought a crumbling mansion in the historic district of Quito and have fixed it up to serve as a community center for families in the area. Kevin and I were privileged to stay there for a few days on our trip and volunteer at her center. Alicia's heart inspired me in such great ways! (You can read about our time at Casa Victoria here) 

{Kevin and I with Alicia} 

I interviewed her about how covid-19 is affecting Ecuador right now and she was so gracious to share her experience. 

1) Where do you currently live and what brought you there?
I am from Quito, Ecuador. My husband and I live in Casa Victoria, a Foundation which has been serving the community of San Roque, in inner city, Old Town, Quito. I founded this organization 19 years ago and, together with many volunteers, have been caring for average of 40 children ages 5 to 12 from very poor families in this part of town.

2) What do you love most about where you live?
I love that is right in the middle of the Historic Center, lovely Colonial houses, churches, plazas. I love the city-neighborhood idea, where everything you need is right here. I love that the people know us and care for us, as we care for their children. And what I love the most is that our Casa Victoria is a gorgeous 100-year-old restored house, and we get to live in it and share it daily with joyful children and their families.

3) How has your city and country been affected by Covid-19?
The worst part about it is that the children have not been able to come to CV for 13 days now! We miss them terribly! But I must say, it has been a wonderful time of rest, of organizing, deep cleaning, thinking, praying, doing our gym in a room we adapted a year ago for that purpose.

The city has been on strict lockdown since March 12: first, NO schools, no events at all, no church services, no pubic transportation. EVERYTHING is closed, except for grocery places, pharmacies, neighborhood tiendas (little convenience stores) BUT ONLY UNTIL 2PM, time in which, first Quito, now, the whole country is on strict CURFEW from 2PM until 5AM the following day. Fines are steep for those out and about...
During the mornings, there is controlled private vehicle circulation, depending on the last digit of your license plate number. And you can leave your home ONLY to get groceries, bank, pharmacy, and ONLY until 12:30 midday.

The amount of confirmed COVID 19 people in Quito, to this day, March 29, 2020, is 181. In Guayaquil where they did not observe such strict preventive measures, especially at the beginning-two weeks ago--the number is 1400 with COVID 19

4) How have you personally be affected?
Healthwise, thank God, not affected. None in my family here. My husband, his 35 year old son, and I, are far....

5) How have you seen God work in the midst of this time?
I think the biggest and most beautiful result of this "putting on the brakes" in a radical way, has been to see and feel the pureness of the AIR! No contamination, no trash, no peeing on the corners outside CV, no noise, no honking, no soot from the´s been heaven!! Our garden and middle patio have beautiful, brightly colored flowers. There are so many visiting humming birds...! The planet surely needed a REST from humans and our toys!!
There is also more meaningful communication with family, friends, and even acquaintances, the chats, zoom, face time...we are truly much more connected than before! I even have a little nightly prayer group via zoom...!

6) Any last things you want to share?
I pray we ALL learn important lessons from this Quarantine. It has all been shared and said already: closer families, more creativity, more appreciation of TIME, family, space, clean air. We NEED to do things to KEEP them going...

Thanks so much for sharing Alicia!

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