People used to attend classes sitting in the sand of any Ecuadorian beach or any other place that simply provided comfort to help discovering skills in art were part of the experiences of these courses. “Our students invested $ 3 or $ 4 dollars in the purchase of raw material and then sold their products at a higher price to their neighbors, at Bahía, and so on. They just had to bring wire, crochet hook and time to learn,” said teacher Mercedes Banchón, volunteer tutor for these courses.
Banchón remembers with particular gratitude that “what I received from my students as payment of my work was lunch, coffee.”
The initiative of these courses was born from Crusade for a New Humanity Foundation (FCNH), with funding provided by businessman Alvaro Noboa, as another way to support the Ecuadorian society. Banchón and FCNH worked along on the lesson plans as they saw that people from all over the country began to ask for microcredit offered by the Foundation.
People “are going to come here to ask for credit. They will waste the money, they won’t invest it … I knew the art I had on my hands so I decided to start training people,” recalls Banchón.
But the task was not easy at all and a story remains in the mind of this teacher:
“The first work day we arrived with some other FCNH members to a neighborhood called Trinitaria (Guayaquil). There people was waiting for us with machetes and broom sticks in their hands that day. They were in the middle of a neighborhood fight. Amid fear and violence of the crowd I stepped on a bench near me and said: Why do you treat us like this? We come here to train and help people. Let’s practice what Crusade for a New Humanity says (Love, togetherness and overcoming).”
The residents of that neighborhood put their trust in the words of the teacher. That same day Banchon found her guidance experience to continue her later years as a volunteer. (FL)