Visiting our Center's Family of Families
Our Family of Families has a number of short term volunteer/visit options for university, high school, youth group, church groups, and community groups. Groups can participate in volunteer immersion experiences, mini mingas or spiritual journeys. Brief descriptions are available below. If you are interested in more information on visiting the Center, please contact Madre Miguel.
General Trip Considerations
- For 2014, we charge $30 per day per person to stay in our secure, modern, dorm-style volunteer house while visiting the Center. A hearty dinner Monday through Saturday evening is included in this charge. An invoice for this charge can be sent to you by Patricia Jessup.
- Due to the popularity of our short term volunteer/visitor program, trips should be planned up to a year in advance. All travel dates must be cleared with Madre Miguel due to the limitations of our facility.
- Based on the requirements of our programs, our minimum age for short term volunteer/visitors is someone who has completed their junior year of high school.
- The ideal group size would include two chaperones and up to ten students.
- Chaperones are expected to remain with their students and participate in all activities alongside their students during their Center experience.
- It is not a requirement that short term volunteer/visitors speak Spanish. However, the ability to speak Spanish is a definite advantage and will greatly increase the impact of one's experience.
- The staff at the Center will craft a schedule of service opportunities and sight seeing activities for your group based on numerous factors. Over the past 30 years of receiving short term volunteer/visitors, we have created a wonderful template that provides a variety of experiences for groups. Your group will then follow this schedule with the assistance and guidance of the Center staff. Your schedule will also include down time.
A Spiritual Journey Digs Deep
Carlene D'Amato did not know when she accepted an invitation to participate in a Spiritual Journey that she would be changed in countless ways. Here is her reflection in her own words...
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step!
The spiritual journey for me, as was promised, was a life-changer and continues to influence my days. Aren't we all ready for a little change? The great impact of my spiritual journey to the WBC is inscribed deep into my heart and is evident in my daily walk with Our Lord.
The spiritual atmosphere there truly emanates joy and peace with genuine love for the work of Christ. In the midst of this Christ-living community, I was humbly brought to my knees asking, "Lord, what do I do with my seemingly small sufferings, compared to what I witness here in Quito?"
Since then, with much prayer with Our Blessed Mother to Jesus, many doors have opened for me. I finally feel I began to surrender to the love and plans God has for me. He has surrounded me with Holy people, allowed me to witness poverty turned to humble love, adorable children, the gift of daily Mass, the witness of long hours and years, pride in accomplishments of saving and building a home, that at once was only a dream. Seeing this at the Center seems easier to recognize.
They live out the holy faith that Christ begs us to live. I began to realize that to live a life not only for Christ, but, to live and feel his sacred presence, you must walk on His path, and acquire Divine courage and infinite trust, because that is what developed the Center into what it is today.
Trust, was beginning, but courage I did not feel until I went to the Center. The witnessing of courage amongst the members to walk a new path, and to trust in God's love was a personal grace for me. The devotion to love and care for everyone, as a family, is felt as divine providence.
While on my own spiritual journey with these beautiful Christ-centered people at the WBC, I experienced genuine caring, genuine love, genuine humility through humble giving of time, love and resources. The caring love that has brought over 450 families from severely unimaginable living conditions to be nurtured spiritually is a grace to be amongst. It shows with devout love, hope never fails. The love shared there for every human life is a divine aura that stays with you. It is a place I return to often in my thoughts and heart, to keep me on track with the Lord's plan for me.
Visiting this loving community has brought me closer to a better understanding of my own personal ideal - to live a life given by Christ, and in Christ. This spirit is not just an opportunity for the people of disparity in Quito, but to each person who enters this holy place called the Center.
Padre Halligan accepted the original "spiritual journey" 48 years ago. He was to bring the children off the streets and feed them. All he had to begin this great journey was the love of Jesus Christ, grace from Our Blessed Mother and the knowing courageous trust of St Joseph - Padre's tools for success. The second person to accept this "spiritual journey" was Madre Miguel. They have drawn many to participate in and help sustain the WBC. You are needed to continue to support the great needs of those at the Center and those yet to come.
Once there, you have been spiritually inducted into this Family of Families. I believe we cannot set our minds fully on a path to living the life that Christ leads us to, unless we catch the spirit. the spirit i caught was Divine Courage, Trust, and God's own intimate love for each of us.
Won't you catch some divine courage, take your own spiritual journey and become a part of a new spirit in your own life with this Family of Families? In gracious love to all those at the Center,
This trip offers travelers the natural beauty of the Andes mountains, the large capital city of Quito, the quaint small towns and their colorful markets and, on the flip side, the poverty one finds in this breathtaking third world country. This opportunity to see how the poor live is an experience one does not get with a travel agency tour. Only a missionary can share this glimpse of reality with you. More importantly, you get insight into the Center's programs which offer those poor, who are willing to work for it, the hope and opportunity to escape their poverty and begin productive and satisfying lives.
Reflective guidance among friends, in comfortable Center surroundings, lets the group discuss what they've seen and experienced as they wind down after each busy day.
With accommodations at the WBC modern volunteer house, you'll travel each day in one of the Center's buses to various locations arranged to give you a real picture of the beauty of Ecuador and the well-established family development mission that began in 1964. It's an experience you won't forget!
The next Spiritual Journey is scheduled for March 19-25, 2014 Contact Patricia Jessup for more information.
University, High School or Youth Group Volunteer Immersion Experience
Group volunteer experiences can range from one to two weeks long and provide participants with a glimpse into the volunteer missionary experience. Students will participate in an orientation program, tour all Center locations, visit member's home, participate in a "minga" or community work gang project, tour popular tourism sites in and around Quito, shadow a volunteer for a day, work on a special project in our technical education shops, and spend a day shopping at the markets of Otavalo. All students stay at our modern volunteer house at the location of Center Number One. Students gain valuable insight into volunteer life and develop personal relationships with families served by our Family of Families. Special service projects can be developed for groups spending two weeks at the Center.
If your high school, university or youth group is interested in participating in this volunteer experience, please contact Madre Miguel for additional information on available dates, program timeline and arranging a trip.
Minga House Building Experience
Join other adults for a 10-day service trip to the Center in Quito. Your group will focus its energy on the service project of helping a family build their home, a.k.a. Minga. Minga is an indigenous word for a community work group and members help construct homes for fellow Center members every weekend through mingas. In addition, the group will have ample time to tour all three locations, visit member homes and see key Quito tourism attractions.
The next minga in March 2014 is already full but contact Patricia Jessup for more information or if you are interested in participating in a future year.
Adult and university groups can participate in a hands-on service project while visiting the Center. While all groups will have ample time to tour all three locations, visit member homes and see key Quito tourism attractions, groups will focus their energies on a service project helping the Center and its families. Minga is an indigenous word for a community work group and members help construct homes for fellow Center members every weekend through mingas. Groups can participate in home construction minga or in-house minga. In-house minga options include making teaching materials for the English program, helping with daycare field trips, sorting clothing donations, aiding with the preparation of meals for hundreds of Center members, working in the library or painting classrooms at the Center.
If you are interested in arranging a mini minga trip to the Center, please contact Madre Miguel for additional information.