Posted by Paul Dusseault on May 24, 2017

Operation Esperanza Expanded

It is amazing the friendships that has been built spanning thousands of kilometers from Edmonton, Canada to Cuenca, Ecuador as we work with the Tomebamba Rotary Club. A couple of years ago we met with the local orphanage, Hogar Miguel Leon, that the Tomebamba Club was helping to see how else we can support their work.
Photos speak a thousand words to the work that was done in Cuenca, Equador (coinciding with Operation Esperanza).
Operation Esperanza team members at the Hogar Miguel Leon with donations of clothes and toys for the orphans.
With all of this goodwill there was still more to do. Riverview Rotary Club members saw that the children were playing on was in total disrepair.
Planning for Playground
-Contact Tomebamba Club – President Romulo Monsalve (15/16)
-Yes, they would support us
-Rotarian to be our contact person: Ariolfo Vazquez (Tito)
-Cost Estimate:
-From the  Noheri catalogue – figured about $10,000 USD
-Many unknowns (removal, site prep, install, exchange rate)
-Assumed total cost ~15,000 USD
-Funding Sources:
-Crowd Funding (GoFundMe)
-District Grant
-Riverview International Committee (Restricted Casino Funds)
The Tomebamba Club helped by prepping the area for the new playground.
We made a lot of children happy.
And some adults had fun too.
There was a celebration of thanks from the children and the orphanage. The gift was also displayed in the local news.
Playground installed, end of story? Not likely. We had $2,455 left from our fundraising to help a little more.
20 Plastic Stacking Chairs
25 Backpacks
40 Litre Pressure Cooker ("olla de presion" in Spanish)
A Set of Soccer Nets ("arcos de futbol" in Spanish)
And a Projector for the Orphanage.
Now the money was all spent .... end of story? Again, working with the Tomebamba Club, they refurbished the old playground set to be reused.
Who knows what the future projects will be. Regardless, it feels good!
Thank you to everyone who made this possible!