Stories from change-makers in Ecuador

Laurita Yadira Gladys & Francisco
Girl in Ecuador Standing Up For Gender Equality
Laurita is from an Indigenous community high up in the Andean mountains.
She’s part of a new generation of girls who are rejecting early marriage and focusing instead on their education and careers.

Laurita has always been determined to learn. She’d walk over 6 miles to school every day after finishing her morning chores on their farm. One day, Laurita saw a female Plan employee, and inspiration struck.

“I saw a young Indigenous woman driving one of Plan’s cars,” explains Laurita. “I was very surprised, because in our community there are no women like that. I told myself in that moment that when I grow up I want to be like her.”

Laurita immediately got to work. She joined Plan’s programs and got involved in all the activities she could. She loved learning more about girls’ rights and equality. And she stood out from the group, quickly becoming a leader and a youth representative for her town.

Laurita is now in college and wants to become a lawyer so she can help people in need. She’s still facing hurdles though — since COVID-19 moved her classes online, Laurita she has to work in the field with her mother to be able to afford internet access. And she has to walk up to the top of a hill early in the morning just to catch enough signal to attend class.

But Laurita is still determined. And she’s still helping young people in her community.

“I look for spaces where I can share my experiences with other people and help them achieve their life projects,” she says. “Leadership is the ability to transform a vision to reality.”
Learn more about our youth advocacy work
Sponsor child in Ecuador
Yadira is broadcasting gender equality awareness from her remote community in the Ecuadorian Andes.
Her father is a Plan volunteer, and from a young age Yadira helped him carry out program activities in their community. She now participates in Plan’s Youth Girls’ Movement, a group that promotes gender equality.

“For me, the movement is like a home,” says Yadira. “All of us are a united family, ready to fight against gender equality issues, not only for those of us who make up the group but for the whole of society.”

Now Yadira is helping the group raise their voices even louder. She helps produce a radio segment called “Girls’ Letters,” where they read real letters written by girls.

“When I am speaking on the radio, I am proud not only of myself, but also of those who listen,” Yadira said. “I know that I represent all the girls and women who are being silenced, rejected by society. Speaking helps me lose my fears.”

Yadira encourages both girls and boys to know they’re not alone and that they should never be silent.

“We are all one voice and one heart with thousands of thoughts and dreams ahead of us,” she said. “Let’s not let ourselves be defeated by problems. We are stronger than any problem. Let’s set our goals and move forward with courage.”
Learn more about our Gender & Youth Equality work
Plan volunteers in Ecuador
Gladys and Francisco are setting a positive example for other fathers and daughters in their community.
In the Indigenous area where they live, teenage pregnancy is extremely common. Many parents find it difficult to talk about sex with their children, who also don’t receive much information from their schools. So they’re left making decisions on their own.

But Francisco and Gladys are different. They’re both participating in Plan’s Teenage Pregnancy Free Zone and showing how important open dialogue is between parents and adolescents. Gladys also participates in club where she learns about sexual health and her reproductive rights.

“We need to study and finish school so that we can go to college and have professional careers,” Gladys says. She would like to have a family one day, but not until she’s achieved her dream of becoming a doctor.

When Gladys and girls like her are provided with the knowledge and resources they need, they’re better able to make decisions over their own bodies and build the futures they want. And hopefully, they have supportive parents by their side.
Read more about our work in adolescent health

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Ecuador since 1963.

Our work in Ecuador

Ecuador Country Facts
Office & operations

Plan International Ecuador’s country office is in Quito, with programs in Chimborazo Bolivar, Cotopaxi, Guayas Los Rios, Lojo, Manabi and Santa Elena Ventanas.

Technical areas

Education, skills and work, health, early childhood development, disaster response and risk management, protection

Number of sponsored children

As of June 2022, people like you sponsor 34,648 children in Ecuador through Plan International.

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

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But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

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Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor