At Free The Children, we’re proud to admit that one of our favourite challenges is just keeping up with the progress of the go-getting youth in our Adopt a Village communities, and the girls of San Miguel surprise us every time we check in!
Our girls’ club in San Miguel has been busy breeding guinea pigs as a source of alternative income. Recently, the young entrepreneurs expanded their operations and elected a treasurer, Carmen, to lead the group in tracking sales and profits of not just their animal-rearing enterprise, but also the woven cintas (ancestral hair ribbons) and fajas (traditional sashes) that they sell to groups visiting on ME to WE trips. The girls have decided to invest their earnings in buying medicine as well as supplies for their guinea pigs.
And the girls have been sharing their enthusiasm with other communities too! Not long ago, the young women of San Miguel served as role models to the newer groups in Gulahuayco and Totoras, working to encourage the other girls to speak in public and participate in discussions about courage and leadership. They even prepared a “thank you” speech for Free The Children!
In fact, the girls are doing do so well that the boys are getting jealous! The community is currently working with Free The Children to implement boys’ programs in the community. Initially founded to counter higher drop-out rates amongst female students, the girls’ club has inspired 12 prospective members to start a second club.
Even outside of the clubs, the girls of San Miguel are earning a reputation for giving their all. After requesting a trophy from Free The Children, the girls have decided to hold their own soccer tournament with balls donated by Free The Children staff. To the victor go the spoils!
To learn more about Free The Children’s work in Ecuador, visit www.freethechildren.com/ecuador