University training in Ecuador

In August 2012 political decisions at the highest state level resulted in the loss of our Earthspeak master trainer speech therapist in the regional cleft palate center in Portoviejo, Ecuador. This situation placed the entire program at risk.

An administrative visit was quickly made by Earthspeak U.S., and following discussions with partners and principals, the position was reinstated by the Department of Education.

New site in Ecuador

Ibarra, a city surrounded by snow-capped Andean peaks 2 hours out of Quito, will be the site of Earthspeak's second regional cleft palate center in Ecuador.

In March 2013 the center will begin development through a partnership with Club Rotario of Ibarra and Rostros Felices headed by Dr. Jorge Palacios of Guayaguil. Dr. Palacios and Club Rotario of Ibarra have offered surgery to the children of the area since 1990, but no speech or other cleft palate team care services have been possible until now.

Visit to Portoviejo, Ecuador

EARTHSPEAK's trip to Ecuador on April 26-May 6, 2012, was its 10th and the 7th for Cindy Dobbelsteyn and Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, speech pathologists from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as Edith Schlesinger, translator and cultural interpreter from San Francisco, CA.

Raquel Dueñas, our "Madre Teresa"

This is a tribute to the memory of one of our most dedicated and inspirational EARTHSPEAK local volunteers in the country of Ecuador.

Pedro and Raquel Dueñas were Rotarians for over 35 years. Raquel received the Paul Harris award for her work on behalf of the children of Ecuador. Pedro was nominated for the same award.

Raquel had had a special role in the Rotary. She worked to help organize the surgical missions of Rostros Felices, Interplast, and the speech work of EARTHSPEAK.

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