Kathy Stutland: Making Art in Ecuador

I went on a travel grant from PoA to Ecuador in November, 2008.to share my expertise in teaching art at workshops, art schools, high schools, and universities in Quito, Baños, and Ambato. I met with project directors for several Culture projects listed inour 2008 annual plan, including Proyecto Oveja Negra, Educacion Con Mensajes Ingles-Espanol, and Rommel Jumbo’s exciting music teacher proposition. I also met with the United States Ambassador to Ecuador, Heather Hodges, in the new US embassy building in Quito. We talked about Partners’ 40+ years of activity in Ecuador.

I spent five days in Banos. I held workshops at Fundacion Oscar Efren Reyes, an after school program. I taught 120 children how to make puppets and how entertain with them At the Colegio Technico, a high school for gifted students in the arts, I interviewed the students and we worked on glazing clay, collage making, working with Sculpey . I held classes of batik and candle making at Artemundo for about 40 adults during my time in Banos, too.

Next I traveled to Ambato where I reconnected with Rommel Jumbo, the talented flutist who came to Kentucky on the Cultural Exchange Program last fall. I worked with him and the theatrical group Cedemusica for 3 days. Then Rommel drove me to Quito. In Quito, at the Instituto De Paralisis Cerebral I taught a seminario “El Titeres En La Intervencion Terapeutica”. I held a 2 day puppet making workshop with one group of college students studying child psychology. Then I showed them how to interact and encourage with their puppets and the children at the center.

The trip was very successful. I worked with 5 different organizations and schools teaching them new skills. The attendance surpassed our expectations and the participants were enthusiastic.,. educated people about Partners: what we do and how we work together. They were happily amazed that there was such an organization. The people who attended my workshops want to continue making things and they want access to products and supplies. All the participants are empowered with many new, different and various craft skills. This knowledge will come in handy in their day-to-day lives. They have all learned another way to communicate with others. Whether they are friends, children, adults, patients or audiences each of them have learned how to be an ego-less individual by way of his hand made puppet. Puppets give courage, as they make the puppeteer search in their own minds for creativity. For many, the puppets open up a whole new world! A world of problem solving with delicate humor and love. You don’t need a lot of words to do art. It is its own language, like music or dance.

The Education and Culture Program Workshop held in Washington DC beforehand was essential and crucial for the success of my trip to Ecuador. What I learned in the training changed my life. As an educator myself it was wonderful to be part of two days of professional, interesting and empowering learning.

In Ecuador, the partners involved coordinated my time professionally. All my needs were met. Our communication beforehand was brilliantly handled by Kay Roberts, which facilitated the smoothness of my trip and my work. I was there on a mission to teach. Not to tour or vacation. And that was fine with m

Making a Difference: In Clark County, Kentucky and Ecuador By Ruthi and Rankin Skinner

We continue to push forward with our Ecuador Dental Health Initiative. We have another 5,000 toothbrushes ready to ship and are collecting sealant material and fluoride varnish for our program. The EDHI will expand into three new communities this year. Frank Hutchins will take fluoride varnish and toothbrushes with his college group and will initiate a new dental program in the Cotacachi area and other areas where they work in Imbabura. Joe Molinaro and Kay Roberts will initiate a similar program in Molino. If we get the solar panels up and running, we also plan to send sealant material and a new curing light. I am going to train Joe and Kay to place sealants. They will in turn train someone there to do the same. Joe Molinaro has a dream of improving the dental health of all the Oriente children, one village at a time. Joe, we all share that dream!

Magdalena Herdoiza-Estevez and Isabel Estevez will start their new dental initiative at the San Gerardo Community Project in March. I am providing them will fluoride varnish and toothbrushes. If we could add new volunteers into new communities each year, our dream of better dental health for Ecuador’s children could be achieved. Let’s look for NEW volunteers who would be willing to support a community project with visits and materials and/or financial support.

The Clark County Dental Health Initiative is now fully funded by the Clark County Community Foundation and well under way. Over 6,000 toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste has been delivered to every child in the school system. On November 6, 2008, all the Clark County dentists and their staffs and other volunteers went to each of the individual grade schools and placed the new fluoride varnish with ACP. All 3,000 children from Head Start through the 5th grade received the treatment. We will return in April for the second application. We are doing a decayed, missing, filled study on the 6th graders. We will repeat the study each year to measure our success .

If you would like to adopt a community in Ecuador and provide them with fluoride varnish, sealant material/curing light and toothbrushes, please become a Kentucky/Ecuador Partner’s volunteer. The rewards are beyond measure. Please contact for more info: Ms. Kay Roberts

La Palabra spring 2009

Juan Pablo Espinosa, Intern, Office of the Attorney General-Ecuador

In the summer of 2008, I was accepted to do an internship in the International Litigation Department at the Office of The Attorney General-Ecuador. This department takes care of the most important litigation cases for the Republic of Ecuador. The lawyers and staff at this department are in charge of organizing the defense of Ecuador at the international arbitration courts. When I was an intern, there were about 12 international litigation processes. One of the most famous are the lawsuits against Texaco Oil Company and Occidental Oil company. Occidental Oil, for example, is suing Ecuador for about 3 billion dollars.

My duties as an intern included translating memorandums, e-mails, press releases, etc. from Spanish to English and vice versa. I was also in charge of doing academic research for international litigation that could be useful for the lawyers and staff of the office. Having the opportunity to be an intern at the Office of The Attorney General was a terrific experience and very valuable for my future educational goals. I was able to expand my knowledge about international law and gained a hands on experience.