You might remember that Aaron and I spent July in Ecuador. We wandered through the lovely streets and plazas of Quito, and made a 3-day jaunt to the Andean town of Cuenca as well.
But the main reason we visited was to volunteer with Casa Victoria. We helped run their summer program for kids in the San Roque neighborhood, and spent time taking photographs, sharing stories and falling in love with their ministry.
Casa Victoria is an inspiration in the world of poverty alleviation. They not only offer a free meal everyday to the children who join their after school program, but they also focus on developing long-term relationships with families and community leaders to bring opportunity to San Roque.
Aaron and I loved spending time at Casa Victoria, and especially soaking up the kindness and generous spirits of Dan and Alicia. The couple are two of the most giving people I know; and they are committed to serve this little neighborhood for years and years to come.
They’re building a cafe!
That’s right– Alicia has a vision to turn their spacious basement into a hip cafe! This cafe will serve pizza, coffee and other goodies, and it will provide a source of income for Casa Victoria. In addition, it will offer job opportunities for graduates of Casa Victoria’s program, offering them a stepping stone to the working world.
Why is a cafe a good idea? This neighborhood is entering a period of revival. More and more tourists are venturing out into the historic district of Quito to enjoy its magnificent colonial architecture and museums. In several years, it wouldn’t be surprising that more visitors will come to San Roque for its markets, museums, and beautiful views.
It’s perfect timing, then, for Casa Victoria to start renovating their basement and building a cafe. In a few short years, the cafe would be in the perfect spot for visitors looking for a quaint place to recharge and get a bite to eat.
Here’s how to support this project.
Ready to partner in the founding of a cafe? (How cool is this opportunity for all of us, by the way?) They just launched an Indiegogo campaign explaining their vision and breaking down expenses. Partner with them and see this cafe grow!
Because I am SO psyched for Casa Victoria, I’m giving away Noonday jewelry for those of you who choose to follow their journey. Ultimately, I would be thrilled if you chose to give to this campaign (every gift matters!), but giving is not necessary for entering this giveaway.
In the spirit of supporting a non-profit in Ecuador, I’m offering this Tagua Gem Necklace to one lucky winner! This necklace is made by artisans in Ecuador out of natural, sustainable materials. And it’s beautiful!