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Article Index

AVSI in Ecuador

Current and Recent Projects

Additional Information


AVSI in Ecuador


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.


In 2004 AVSI’s work expanded to Quito specifically to Pisulli, a marginalized urban neighborhood to the northwest of the country’s capital. In collaboration with Fundación Sembrar, a local nonprofit organization, and the local parish, AVSI opened a community development center and began to implement a modified version of PelCa. The program quickly expanded to include afterschool programs, a youth and adolescent program and small business development and professional training program which today involve over 700 children, youth and their families.


Current and Recent Projects



“Acción Educativa Integrada” (AEDI)

Location: Quito, Portoviejo

Duration: 2005-Present

Description: Starting from the evidence that the family is the subject of the education of the child and with the objective of guaranteeing healthy and integral development of the children, the program intervenes in three fundamental areas of the child’s growth: education, health and nutrition, implementing the following activities: Parent education and formation, provision of recreational and educational spaces, including a library, support for existing nursery schools, through donations of didactic materials, training of educators, scholastic support centers, creation and support of family gardens for food security, and medical visits on a regular basis for the children during their participation in the program. Local staff numbers more than 50, and beneficiaries over 2000 children, youth and adolescents and their families.

Donor Partners: CEI (Italian Bishop Conference Charity), MAE (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) (2009-2011), CAM (Comunidad de Madrid ) (2009-2012), Private donors

Partners: Fundación Sembrar, Cesal, CUET, the Vicarage of Education, local parishes


Distance Support Program

Location: Quito, Province of Manabi

Duration: 2001-Present

Description: Long-term support to over 1700 vulnerable children, improving the conditions for psychosocial and academic progress, while strengthening the capacity of the children’s families, caretakers and local organizations to respond to their needs. Fulfillment of school requirements (uniforms, books, fees etc), organization of after school recreation and educational activities, and creating of programs designed to improve the economic status of the child’s family through training and support to parents.

Donor Partners: Private donors


Additional Information

Curriculum for Preescolar Program in Spanish (2010)


Video: Visit AVSI in Ecuador, including the neighborhoods of Pisulli outside Quito, and the Ojos de Cielo preschool :


November 3, 2011 A new kind of homeschooling in Quito 

June 27, 2011  Ecuador Center Models Risk of Education