Passion, education, and talent are a recipe for success

Not everyone finds their passion for what they want to do in life as a teenager. However, 15-year-old Elvis Rolando Marcillo Pinsag has already discovered his love of working in restaurants. In the following, Elvis explains how a scholarship from The Tandana Foundation is helping him continue his high school studies and work towards his dream of one day being a chef. Continue reading “Passion, education, and talent are a recipe for success”

‘One of the best trips I’ve ever had’

A student group from Bellbrook High School in Bellbrook, Ohio, traveled to Ecuador for a volunteer trip organized by The Tandana Foundation earlier this summer. During the trip, the students were able to participate in many cultural learning opportunities, including those based in indigenous Kichwa traditions and clothing, along with fun excursions to natural wonders around the highland region. In addition, they completed work on a service project at a local school in Tangali, where they also played in friendly soccer matches with local students. Below, one Bellbrook student, Hanna Bridges, reflects upon her time in Ecuador and why she hopes to return one day. Continue reading “‘One of the best trips I’ve ever had’”

An ambitious approach to the future

It’s always nice to hear from the students that receive scholarships thanks to the support of donors to the Tandana Foundation. In the following, Maria Belen Cachimuel Anrango, a university student from Ecuador, shares what she has been doing in school this year, what she’s learned, and her plans for the future. Continue reading “An ambitious approach to the future”

Looking at life in a new way

Thirteen students, including two team leaders, and a university representative from Northeastern University joined the Tandana Foundation in highland Ecuador for a week-long service project earlier this year. To earn a spot on the trip, the NU students, who were all first-year students involved in a year-long service project in Boston, had to complete a competitive application process. While in Ecuador with Tandana, the passionate student group worked with community members to dig out a new water catchment system. The trip was highly successful, as much progress was made on the water system, but also on the relationships built between the NU group and  local residents. Below, one student, Emily Laliberty, reflects on how the trip impacted her after returning to daily life in the United States. Continue reading “Looking at life in a new way”

Motilón Chupa, the newest addition to the Tandana family

The Tandana family has been growing larger every year, and the foundation currently works with about 20 different communities in highland Ecuador. One year ago, a new community named Motilón Chupa joined our family. Motilón Chupa is a small community of less than 250 people that is located near Padre Chupa. Continue reading “Motilón Chupa, the newest addition to the Tandana family”

Tandana’s global team

While the Tandana Foundation’s official headquarters is near Dayton, Ohio, its members are located around the world. From the mountains of Colorado to the highlands of Ecuador, across the Atlantic Ocean to rural plateaus of Mali, Tandana truly has a global team. Despite being separated by geography, the team is connected by a sense of purpose and commitment to carry out the foundation’s mission. Aided by Whatsapp chats, Zoom meetings, and countless email exchanges, the operations team successfully works together to support the communities it partners with in Ecuador and Mali. Read about some of its members below, including how they got involved with Tandana and what they like most about working for the organization. Continue reading “Tandana’s global team”

Tandana’s collaboration in Padre Chupa

The Tandana Foundation has been working with the community of Padre Chupa, Ecuador, for many years. Starting in 2013, the community began requesting support on various projects, and since then they have collaborated on numerous projects from donating seeds and a gas stove to painting the ceilings of the school. Read on to learn about all the projects Tandana has worked on in Padre Chupa. Continue reading “Tandana’s collaboration in Padre Chupa”

A new opportunity for life

Below, Virginia Sánchez, Patient Follow-up Coordinator for the Tandana Foundation, shares the story of Richard and how generous Tandana donors were able to assist him to hear.

In November of 2015, we (Tandana) had the opportunity to learn about Richard, a young man from the community of Panecillo, in the parish of Quichinche, Ecuador, who, through his mother, desperately sought support from a non-governmental organization to obtain a left foot prosthesis, but first let me tell you his whole story. Continue reading “A new opportunity for life”

‘We will forever remember you, Agualongo!’

 

Sixteen teenage girls from the Traveling School (TTS) recently participated in a cultural learning experience in highland Ecuador, put on by the Tandana Foundation. During their weeklong stay at the end of February, the group of high school students lived and volunteered in the community Agualongo and continued their studies as part of a semester of travel to Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Continue reading “‘We will forever remember you, Agualongo!’”

It’s all about the relationships

Volunteer trips can take many forms. Sometimes volunteers make lasting connections with local people, and other times they leave without building a lasting relationship. As Karen Graves explains below, the volunteer trips organized by the Tandana Foundation fall into the first category.  In the following blog, Graves shares her experience volunteering in Ecuador with Tandana, where she developed many friendships working alongside community members, as part of the Ohio Master Gardener trip this year. 

Continue reading “It’s all about the relationships”

Setting a good example, moving her family forward

An education promises a myriad of opportunities. However, affording to go to school is not always easy for many families around the world. In Ecuador, the Tandana Foundation assists families in sending their children through secondary school and to universities thanks to the generous support of its donors. In the following, one scholarship student, Blanca Zulema Espinoza Pillajo, shares her story on how the financial assistance has impacted her life, allowing her to complete her studies, set a good example for her younger siblings, and the chance to help move her family forward. Continue reading “Setting a good example, moving her family forward”

What I saw working with Tandana in Ecuador

Hi, my name is Maria Cristina Silva. I am from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Through my life, I have worked with several non-profits in the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C., India, and Ecuador. I was invited by Anna and Hope Taft to share with you my insights about my experience with the Tandana Foundation, as an Ecuadorian that worked with them. I think it is important for you to get a good idea of what it means to support Tandana in any way you can, so I will start by sharing a personal story. Then, I will tell you about Ecuador, then wrap up sharing what I saw Tandana does in the mountains of my country. Continue reading “What I saw working with Tandana in Ecuador”

Inside the community of La Banda

The communities the Tandana Foundation works with are as diverse and unique as the projects we partner with them on. In this blog post, Antonio Andrango, president of La Banda, provides a look into his community today and insight into its history and origins. Continue reading “Inside the community of La Banda”

Eyes opened through hearing

Maria Rosa Castañeda is one of many patients who have benefited from the Tandana Foundation‘s Patient Follow Up Program in rural communities of Ecuador. After seeing a doctor during a Tandana mobile clinic, she was referred to a specialist for her hearing impairment and ended up having surgery that changed her life. In the video, Maria describes her struggles stemming from not being able to hear before receiving the surgery, and the emotional moment when she woke up from the surgery being able to hear. Watch the video to see the incredible emotions Maria shows, and read a transcript of what she said in the blog post below. Continue reading “Eyes opened through hearing”

A journey of health care and fun in the mountains of Ecuador

The Tandana Foundation has a health care program called the Healthcare Volunteer Venture (HCVV)- a program in which the foundation brings  groups of volunteers (both skilled and unskilled in the medical field) from the United States and Canada to provide a phenomenal mobile clinic in some of the indigenous communities of Highland Ecuador. The program happens twice a year, and the foundation held its 23rd and 24th mobile health care clinics in April and September of 2018.

Continue reading “A journey of health care and fun in the mountains of Ecuador”

A health care volunteer’s experience, told in poetic verse

Visiting the picturesque highlands of Ecuador enriched by the local culture, and inspired by living and working with community members is sure to cultivate creativity. Such was the case for a participant of a recent Health Care Volunteer Venture trip organized by the Tandana Foundation. While sharing her medical skills as part of a team providing medical care to local residents, Dr. Swati Biswas crafted a poem about her experience as a HCVV volunteer, which she presented to the group on the last day of the trip. In the beautiful lines of poetic verse below, Swati creates a unique picture of life in Ecuador, as she reflects on all that she has seen and done, and the people she met along the way. Continue reading “A health care volunteer’s experience, told in poetic verse”

We began at zero

As a fun project, students enrolled in the Tandana Foundation’s summer school created a video sharing their classroom experiences. The video showcases the students’ personalities, along with what they learned in the English classes, as they switch back and forth from Spanish to English. In the following blog post, Hank Fincken, who led the students in the making of the video, provides behind-the-scenes insight into its creation. Continue reading “We began at zero”

More motivation to reach my dreams

 

Students who receive scholarships from the Tandana Foundation each have their own story on how this financial aid is impacting their lives today and for years to come. One of these students, Alex Francisco Quilumbango Perugachi, shares his story of how scholarships have motivated him and his siblings to try harder in school and gain knowledge to be successful in their future careers.  Continue reading “More motivation to reach my dreams”

Making my own story in Otavalo

Participating in volunteer trips to different countries enables live encounters with diverse cultures and communities. During one of the Tandana Foundation’s recent Health Care Volunteer Ventures trips, a young participant learned first hand how these personal experiences can broaden a person’s understanding of the world beyond what they may be used to. She shares her unique story of volunteering in Otavalo, Ecuador, in the following blog post. Continue reading “Making my own story in Otavalo”

Tandana is unity

The Tandana Foundation is a network of diverse people and communities across the world. It is the strength of this network working together that allows Tandana and its partners to achieve community goals, while fostering caring intercultural relationships based on mutual respect and responsibility. On the last day of a recent Gardening Volunteer Venture trip to Padre Chupa, Ecuador, Teresa Marrinan reflected upon her understanding of who Tandana is. In the following blog post, Teresa describes all the people whom she encountered and learned from as a gardening volunteer with Tandana, including its founder Anna Taft, and how she now feels forever a part of this extended network and Tandana itself. Continue reading “Tandana is unity”

A scholarship student looking forward to being a health volunteer

Scholarships enable students to go to school to learn skills in order to obtain jobs, but also to help others in their community. Below, Tandana scholarship recipient Joselyn Gabriela Almeida Bravo describes what she is learning in pursuit of a nursing degree and how she aspires to one day use this education to give back as a participant in Tandana’s Health Care Volunteer Venture program. Continue reading “A scholarship student looking forward to being a health volunteer”

Easing the financial burden of education

Through the generous support of its donors, providing scholarships is one important way the Tandana Foundation assists promising students in pursuing their educational aspirations. Each student’s story is unique, along with their future career goals. In the following, Sisa Pacari Fuerez López recounts her family’s struggles to pay for the children’s schooling, and shares how Tandana’s scholarship has helped ease their financial burden and enabled Sisa and her siblings to continue advancing in their education. Continue reading “Easing the financial burden of education”

Going beyond medical support

In the rural communities of the Quichinche parish, getting access to medical care is not always easy. Residents often wait long amounts of time to receive support and assistance through Ecuador’s public health system. Twice each year, the Tandana Foundation‘s Health Care Volunteer Venture teams and staff from the public health centers visit these rural communities to provide primary care to the local residents. Tandana’s Patient Follow Up Coordinator then works with the patients who are referred for additional care, advocating for them in the public health system. It is our goal that, through this process, patients learn how to use the system on their own. In the following videos and translations of their transcripts, three of these patients explain in their own words how the HCVV visits helped them receive needed medical support and more. 
Continue reading “Going beyond medical support”

Language barriers and Tandana

My name is Joseph White and I’m a student going into my fourth year at the University of Cincinnati. I’m majoring in Psychology and minoring in Africana Studies and Sociology. I’m the first in my family to attend college, so a lot of my time at the university has been spent building a network of people that are already doing the things that I want to do. My success begins on a small scale. A college education is not the standard in my family. Continue reading “Language barriers and Tandana”

Learning while working alongside nature’s caretaker

Matias on the left and Hope on the right.

Many of the Tandana Foundation volunteers, who have come to Ecuador on Gardening Volunteer Ventures since 2013 as well as other programs, have worked alongside Matias Perugachi and learned how to grow plants, raise crops and nurture trees in our joint efforts to make the area more productive and sustainable. We have planted trees on hillsides to break the wind and along community streets to add greenery and purify the air. We have planted gardens at the community’s health center and schools to improve nutrition, and we have worked in the fields to plant and tend crops to provide food. Continue reading “Learning while working alongside nature’s caretaker”

Dreams become possible through education

Gladys (derecha) después de graduarse con otros estudiantes

My name is Gladys Estefania Torres Imba. I am 20 years old and I live with my parents and my three brothers, 3 kilometers from the city of Otavalo, in the community of Panecillo. I am the only daughter in my family . My father is a bricklayer and my mother is a housewife. She did not have the opportunity to go to school, and my father only went to school until third grade, which is why he works in that profession. However, they have worked hard so that my brothers and I can receive an education. All my brothers are studying at school. One of my brothers receives a scholarship from the Tandana Foundation, just like me. Being the only daughter, I am the first in the family that is going forward with university studies.

Continue reading “Dreams become possible through education”

Assisting a health center in providing services to the community

Through its health program in Ecuador, The Tandana Foundation works with the Quichinche Subcentro, a rural health center in Ecuador, to support its work caring for the people of the parish. Tandana collaborates with its staff to visit the more distant communities, to follow up with patients identified during these visits who need additional care, and also to support the staff’s health education work. The following is the story written about a recent collaboration by the director of the Subcentro. Continue reading “Assisting a health center in providing services to the community”

Motilón Chupa: a diverse community based on collaboration

Members of the Tandana Foundation, along with volunteers from the Ohio Master Gardener program and from several U.S. universities have recently traveled to Motilón Chupa, Ecuador, to collaborate with community members on several projects. These projects included installing a water tank to improve the community’s irrigation system and planting a garden near the school. The following is a story written by Motilón Chupa’s president about the history of the community, its diverse people, and how Tandana’s staff and volunteer support helps them achieve the residents’ long-term goals. Continue reading “Motilón Chupa: a diverse community based on collaboration”

Working at the weather station

The following is a story by Galo José Perugachi Suarez about his life and work at a weather station in Ecuador. The Tandana Foundation has collaborated with Galo on the creation of a self-guided eco-trail and on planting trees and flowers at the weather station. In turn, Galo often educates the foundation’s volunteers about his observations at the station and the work that he does.
Continue reading “Working at the weather station”

Fixing the roof of Padre Chupa’s community school

For many years, the Tandana Foundation has partnered with the members of the community of Padre Chupa to carry out community projects, such as the roof repair that Segundo writes about.

In a very remote area, approximately 25 kilometers from the city of Otavalo, a small community called Padre Chupa is located, which is home to more than 40 families.

Continue reading “Fixing the roof of Padre Chupa’s community school”

Planting seeds, growing friendships

You won’t find Motilón Chupa on Google Maps. This indigenous Kichwa community high in the Andes in the far reaches of Imbabura Province of Ecuador is literally and figuratively at the end of the road. The community is a tight-knit group of people, living in isolated small houses on steep hillsides with no public buildings other than the elementary school. Continue reading “Planting seeds, growing friendships”

Many thanks from a University graduate

 

Dear godparents and Tandana Foundation members,

My name is David Cachimuel and I was a Tandana scholarship student. This scholarship has supported me since I started at the university, and now thanks to the support, I’ve finished my university studies. I’m the youngest child of a family with five siblings, and the first one to obtain a university degree, which represents a lot of pride for my family because finally someone in the family has a university degree.
Continue reading “Many thanks from a University graduate”

Becoming family in Ecuador

I quickly grew attached to my host family while living in Ecuador as a volunteer for the Tandana Foundation. My host sister, who is eight years old, was a very easy first connection to make. She loves to play games and is extremely bright, and within a few hours of my arrival we were already “muy amigas.” Continue reading “Becoming family in Ecuador”

Paving a safer pathway outside Muenala’s community center

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In the remote areas of Ecuador, approximately 35 kilometers from the center of San Jose Parish in Quichinche, a small community called Muenala is located. There are more than 30 families living here and we also have a community council. My name is Martha Lanchimba and I am the president of the community. Continue reading “Paving a safer pathway outside Muenala’s community center”

Meet Mario: A Scholarship Student Excelling in His Studies

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Mario con su madre y hermana

Por Mario Esteban Perugachi Perugachi

Soy Mario Esteban Perugachi Perugachi, tengo 29 años. Mi familia está conformada por mi esposa, mi hija y yo. Actualmente vivimos en la ciudad de Quito por motivos de trabajo, pero nosotros pertenecemos a la comunidad de Agualongo, lo que queda aproximadamente a 5 kilómetros de la ciudad de Otavalo. Para la mantención de mi hogar y mis estudios, trabajo haciendo mantenimiento de jardín. Aunque requiere mucho esfuerza y por el momento soy el único en la familia que sigue los estudios, estoy orgullosamente estudiando con el apoyo de Tandana y la motivación de la familia. Continue reading “Meet Mario: A Scholarship Student Excelling in His Studies”