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 ::   Ecuador  ::  

Fe y Alegria in Ecuador

Historical summary
Lines of action
New challenges

Historical summary

Fe y Alegría en Ecuador (6Kb)After founding Fe y Alegria in Venezuela, Fr Jose Maria Velaz next extended it to Ecuador, where it was founded in 1964 amidst difficulties but with much hope and  the help of groups of professional lay people who formed the first board of directors.

Fe y Alegría en Ecuador (6Kb)The first steps were complex: by 1966 there were 8 schools (in the provinces of Pichincha, Guayas, Manabi, Chimborazo and Azuay) and some 4,200 students.  This was accomplished despite an adverse institutional environment, since private church-related education was viewed with suspicion by the public education authorities.  The work flourished, nonetheless; gradually the Society of Jesus increased its support, and committed laypeople joined the effort.

Today Fe y Alegria Ecuador has a vastly expanded educational undertaking on the coast, in the mountains and in the eastern part of the country.  It maintains 66 schools, it has a radio education operation of international renown, and it runs about a hundred centers which provide a variety of educational programs and other types of assistance to poor communities.  Although an executive decree was signed in 1966, committing the state to financing the operations of Fe y Alegria, and although the constitutional assembly in 1998 ratified the importance of the role of private education and supported the principle of government funding for same, Fe y Alegria still today in Ecuador has not obtained the public financing necessary to sustain itself.  As a result  one of the principal challenges presently is the simple maintenance and survival of the operation, apart from considerations of quality and service.

Lines of action

  1. Formal education for children and young people, from pre-school through secondary.
  2. Education for adults by means of the Radio Institute of Fe y Alegria (IRFEYAL), which offers extension studies.
  3. Education for work through workshops which train in handicrafts and other workplace skills.
  4. Special education for children and young people with disabilities.


  1. The presence of Fe y Alegria in Ecuador has meant a broadening of the national educational outreach for children and young people.  Fe y Alegria has founded and maintained schools in 10 of the country’s 22 provinces, including both rural and urban zones where the state could not reach or could not attend to adequately.  The schools offer not only conventional, but also intercultural, education.
  2. The development of innovative centers of an experimental nature: The Fraternity and Service Center (Tolonta, Pichincha), which has textile, mechanical and carpentry workshops and which seeks to become a productive pedagogical unit; the Special Education Institute (Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Pichincha), which covers the problem areas of language and mental retardation; several boarding schools (Manabi, Pichincha and Esmeraldas), which provide extra-curricular attention for students at regular schools, with an emphasis on nutrition and study aids; Yayulihui (Tungurahua), a rural center with basic training in working leather, and Jahuapamba (Imbabura) with a basic textile workshop.
  3. The development of an extension education system by means of the Radio Institute of Fe y Alegria (IRFEYAL), with well-recognized experience and didactic materials.
  4. The expansion and improvement of the infrastructure of the schools and other centers, especially the founding and maintaining of training and recreation centers for educators.

New challenges

  1. Giving priority to the quality of educational services, promoting teacher-training programs, updating and reactivating programs of institutional development and improving fund-raising activities.
  2. Obtaining financing for the work by insisting that the government fulfill its promises and by investigating other alternatives.
  3. Improving the administration and orientation of our educational services, through consolidation and updating of both general and educational statistics, through greater collaboration with regional directors and school principals, and through suitable training of the administrative personnel of the schools.
  4. Promoting institutional development by carrying out the processes of internal reorganization initiated by the national office and by putting into practice the plans of the International Federation.



Director: Carlos Vargas
Oficina: Calle Asunción OE 238 y Manuel Larrea (esquina)
Sector El Ejido
Apartado 17-08-8623.Quito - Ecuador
Teléfono: (593 2) 321 44 55
Fax: (593) 2223332
Correo-e general:
Correo-e del Director: