top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvia Metzler

Where are Ecuador's children?

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

This month it is now a full year that Ecuador’s children are at home. The public schools have been closed since March 2020 and no longer open.


  • There are 16,000 schools in Ecuador with a total of 4,400,000 students

  • only three schools in Quito received pilot permission as early as October 2020 and were open for most of the school months.

  • At the beginning of 2021, 77 schools - mostly private schools - were allowed to open temporarily or in shifts in the pilot project

  • About 50 schools had to be closed due to the financial problems of the crisis,

  • 44,000 children is the number of children in Quito who have had no contact with the school or teacher since the school closed.


We're trying to find out where the kids have been for a year now. Ecuador is a country where the average monthly salary is officially stated at $ 400. And the cost of living is considerable here, namely the same as in Austria . Both parents of a family are required to support their family. How does it work when the children are not looked after and not taught?


I had conversations with parents, with families who support Pan de Vida, with market women, Uber drivers and volunteers. Where are your children, what do they do, how are they taught? This is an insight into the answers (translated into English for you 😉)

“The state provides radio lessons” “How does it work?” “Learning content is transmitted via radio broadcasts for different age groups and the children can listen to it” “How does it work for your children?” “We don't use it, I don't know anyone who uses it "
"My older daughter looks after my little daughter while my husband and I work". The older daughter is doing her online studies and is therefore at home. "My son gets the school assignments online." "Does he have a computer?" But he doesn't actually do it. He needs a teacher to explain it to him. I tell him do your chores, but he's not getting on well. Children need teachers, I think. "
My wife and I spend the whole week in the place where we work away from home. Our seven children are at home alone during this time. The big children look to the younger ones. But they don't do it that well. Sometimes during the week I drive the moped to our apartment to see the children for two hours and watch our little daughter. I talk to the older children that they have to take good care of the little ones…. They are already good children ... they are not out on the streets like others. That's what I told them, I don't want them to be out on the street doing mischief or doing things. They are good children, they stay at home. ”“ How is school going? ”“ The school is closed, there is no school ”“ They have no radio lessons or online lessons ”“ but the older children study online!
"I work in a restaurant. We don't have many guests, but I'm there all day from 8 am to 6 pm. ”“ What are you doing with your baby and your 8-year-old daughter? ”“ I asked my boss if I could at least take the baby with me . But it doesn't work "" Who looks at your children when you work? "" .. Sometimes my husband, sometimes my mother ... it doesn't always work "(... I didn't ask any further ... it was oppressive ... it was clear that the children often stay at home alone)


For me, the insights into the situation of families are depressing. The Ecuadorians always answer friendly. People are used to a lot of poverty, they don't complain. But the burden on families is very noticeable. The children are not looked after for many hours or even days. Older siblings have to take on a lot of responsibility. There is hardly any targeted education at home. And for me the big question is how can it go on, what is the future for these children?

We pray for clever ideas on how we as an aid organization can support families. We pray for the school opening in Ecuador for access to education and care for all children! We pray that families will receive support as a safe and essential environment for the children, that they will be strengthened and preserved!


We are Daniel Metzler, Sylvia Metzler, Jakob Metzler, Olivia Metzler, Hannes Metzler.

Learn more about mustard seed | The Metzler family at Pan de Vida in Ecuador


Recent Posts

See All

Blog post

bottom of page