Wearing fine Panama hats, Los Três Amigos took the stage and projector and described the purpose and highlights of their trip to Ecuador at the end of July. Ken Hiller, Rick Ness and Dan Keyport travelled to Cuenca after arrival in the mountainous city of Quito. They met with the local Rotarians of the Tomebamba club and discussed a potential partnership project in support of the Ecuadorian Children’s Cancer Foundation. Maria Ochoa, a Chaska High School teacher, noted the vast difference in available treatment options when both her father in Ecuador and her child in Minnesota both needed medical attention for cancer. Four years ago she started the foundation in Cuenca to provide living accommodations for families as their children receive treatment – similar to the Ronald McDonald House efforts here in the USA. The Hogar Emaus house is a converted single family home, and isn’t equipped to support 4 or more families at a time. Dan presented us with a goal to raise $7,000 for upgrades and appliances. We are looking for another MN club to partner with us so that grant applications can be submitted and matching funds can be aligned with this project.

Ken, Dan and Rick stayed with Rotarians during their trip and sampled enough local culture to whet our appetites to participate in the project. They ended with photos of Ecuadorian images you don’t see in Minnesota: volcanoes, guinea pigs on the BBQ, balancing eggs, and the Quiport airport, undoubtedly named after Dan’s distant relatives. Marta Christianson was the lucky raffle winner who now can wear a hat like the Amigos!

3 + 1 Amigos