In 1994, Victor and Violet Groth Vaca created FEDICE to fight the systemic poverty and social injustice faced by Ecuador's indigenous communities. Victor served as Executive Director from 1994-2006 and again from 2011-2013, leveraging more than 30 years of experience in international development and missionary work to uplift the people of his home country. Violet tirelessly forged and maintained relationships in FEDICE's partner communities and in the United States. Though both Victor and Violet have now passed away, FEDICE (in Spanish, "faith says") continues to pursue the Vacas' life work and vision for a more equitable and peaceful Ecuador.
Blanca Puma Martínez
Blanca is a native Quiteña and brings with her more than 13 years of experience at FEDICE, first as Project Coordinator and now as Executive Director. As the fearless leader of FEDICE's staff and volunteers, Blanca heads up community relations, donor relations, communications, program development,volunteer activities and staff management — applying a healthy dose of creativity and determination to every task she takes on. Blanca has a degree in Medical Technology & Environmental Sanitation from the Central University of Ecuador.
Marco Garzón Villafuerte
Technical Specialist - Agriculture
Marco is FEDICE's resident expert in all things involving agriculture and animal husbandry, and has been with the organization since 2000. He spends his time working side-by-side with FEDICE participants, helping them plan and execute productive projects, problem solve along the way, and learn new skills and sustainable techniques for increased yields. Marco is a trained Zootechnical Engineer with a degree from National Polytechnical University.
Grace Zurita Villacis
Grace is the administrator and accountant of the FEDICE office. Her task includes managing the economic resources of the foundation. Grace started working at FEDICE since 2007 and is a Certified Accountant.
She has a degree as a Financial Engineer from the Central University of Ecuador. Since January 2018 her contract was changed for part-time service provision due to the economic situation of the Foundation.
Wilma Ulcuango Cuichán
Project Technician - Social Programs
In 2014, Wilma began working with FEDICE in the social area and recovering the spiritual sense of the communities. Her work includes training women and children from our communities on different topics such as personal hygiene, preparation of cooking recipes rescuing the nutritional value of the products of each community at a very low production cost.
Wilma, was born in Quito.She has degrees in Economics at the Central University of Ecuador and in Theology of the Alianza Biblical Seminary in Quito. Since January 2018, her contract was changed to provide services due to the economic situation of the Foundation.
Hugo Pacheco Maygua
Hugo manages a wide array of projects for FEDICE — ranging from raising chickens to growing onions and construction — with great dedication to the continual improvement of FEDICE's work and the success of projects for partner communities. An economist by profession, Hugo helps keep projects on budget and provides training for participants in economics and accounting, in addition to social and cultural topics. He is a native Quiteño and holds a degree in Economics from the Central University of Ecuador.
Marilyn Cooper comes from Austin, Texas, USA. Marilyn first came to work at FEDICE with a Missionary group from her church in Austin Texas, later she returned with her husband Glenn Hebert to stay initially for a year but now they have been living in Otavalo (two hours north of Quito) for almost 9 years.In FEDICE we have the blessing of her work, her help and experience.
Marilyn is the anchor of "FEDICE Norte" based in Otavalo. Her main activity is to teach English in the pre-school of the region, also when we have the visit of missionary groups in the area of FEDICE north, she is an excellent hostess, and right now very knowledgeable of the area and its tourist attractions. Marilyn holds a PhD in Philosophy in Physical Education Adapted by the University of Texas.
Janice Younger comes from Tyler, Texas. The first time she visited Ecuador and worked with FEDICE was in June of 2017 with a missionary group from her church.
Jan was very impressed by the activities of FEDICE and therefore decided to return to continue working in different areas such as: Support with the missionary groups that come to work with FEDICE, training for children and adults to overcome psychological traumas that they have suffered and workshops oriented to raise self-esteem, to promote self-improvement, parenting techniques , and child good behavior.
Jan holds degrees in psychology, with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in Texas, USA.
Luis Jara Roman
Luis was born in Cuenca, Ecuador, but spent nearly 20 years in the United States and speaks fluent English and Spanish. He regularly contributes at FEDICE by translating for and hosting missionary groups, executing logistics and assisting on communications projects. He graduated from New York University with a degree in Computer Science and Civil Engineering.
Robert Arnold is a new volunteer for FEDICE and plans to spend 6 months in Ecuador. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Robert has known FEDICE and its activities for over 10 years. Robert first visited Ecuador with his family in 2013 and visited many of the communities that FEDICE serves. He is 23 and a recent graduate of Texas A&M University where he received a degree in Political Science. Robert is passionate about international exposure and felt called to spend time working abroad after college. He plans to assist FEDICE with education projects as well as teach English.
From left: Ing. Grace Zurita - Accountant/Administrator, Eco. Wilma Ulcuango - Technical of Social Programs, Blanca Viracocha - Member of Board, Sebastián Caiza - Vice-president, Ps.Carmen Castañeda - Member of Board, Lic.Digna Chacha - President, Luis Chicaiza - Member of Board, Encarnacion Chicaiza - Member of Board, Tlg.Blanca Puma - Executive Director, Washington Guarderas - Member of Board, Martha de Guarderas, Ing.Marco Garzón - Technical specialist in agriculture, Eco. Hugo Pacheco - Project Coordinator, Ps Agustin Espinoza - Member of Board, Rosa Fonte - Member of Board, Ing. Luis Jara – Volunteer, Jan Younger – Volunteer, Marilyn Cooper – Volunteer, Ing. Cosme Yepez - secretary