AVSI arrived in Ecuador in 2001 working in close collaboration with the Vicariate of Education and focusing on the rural communities surrounding Portoviejo, a small coastal city in the province of Manabi. Activities implemented principally revolved around infant and child development and education, using an innovative development program with Spanish origins called PelCa (Preescolar en la casa - home school preschool). The aim of PelCa is to give parents, specifically mothers, the tools they need to assume the responsibility of their child’s upbringing and education. The PelCa method favors the protagonism of each family in the education of their child encourages the natural right to choose the most adequate form of education for their child given their circumstances. Furthermore the long distances between rural towns and the heavy work load of the population in these rural communities, who dedicate themselves in large part to agriculture, make a traditional preschool education nearly impossible. Using the PelCa method, it is the teacher who travels from house to house, visiting the families once every two weeks to distribute materials, monitor the children’s development and discuss educational themes with the mothers enabling them in turn to educate their children. As the program participants grew older, the program grew to meet their evolving needs. An itinerant academic reinforcement program was implemented for the elementary age child and three afterschool centers were established, a program for adolescents was created along with income generating activities and professional training activities for the older youth and the children’s mothers. Today in Portoviejo over 1000 children, youth and their parents participate in AVSI’s educational programs.
November 3, 2011 IlSussidiario.net: A new kind of homeschooling in Quito
June 27, 2011 Ecuador Center Models Risk of Education