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 Carmita Castañeda, the pastor of the Methodist church in Pijal Alto told us about Esmeralda, who has been attending her church for the past couple of years, and loves to help get the church ready for the meetings on Sundays, or the dining room for the children who come once a day for a hot meal.  When Carmita found out the conditions in which Esmeralda lived, she started her campaign to find funds to build her an adequate place to live. 

The Plano First Christian Church of Texas has provided the funds.Esmeralda is a young single mother who has some disability… we´re not sure what it is, whether she is deaf or just never learned to talk, and she also has some problems walking.  She has a young son who lives with her in a very small make-shift room on the roof of her brother´s house.  This room is made from sticks and boards, and has no windows, just some openings covered in plastic.  Pijal Alto, where she lives, is on the side of a mountain overlooking the pristine lake of San Pablo.  On the other side of the lake rises the towering volcano of Imbabura, so the cold Andes winds  are fairly constant, blowing though the green grasses and the all-too-frequent openings in her walls.

We have been negotiating for several months to find a piece of land for Esmeralda on which to build her and André a sturdy house.  We are in the process of buying a little house where another of her brothers lives, and he will move into another house that he has been constructing up the hill.  As soon as we have purchased the house and property, we will have to rebuild some of the walls and put on a new roof for her.  The church has promised to help with this construction. There is enough land to also provide her with a place to raise chickens or cuyes (guinea pigs) to help provide her with some income. 

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