Around 1000 families living in extreme poverty in the Ecuadorian highlands need our help.  
The Salesian Mission of Simiatug, a parish in the province of Bolivar in Ecuador, develops various projects aimed at supporting children, young people and the elderly in the Andean highlands in conditions of extreme poverty.  
Its activities are aimed at the development of the 38 communities of this parish, although at Christmas time, it extends its range of action to the provinces of Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and Bolivar, bringing the solidarity of several people to more than 4600 children.    ​​​​​​​
The person in charge of this mission is the well-known Salesian priest Pío Baschirotto.  Padre Pio, Italian by birth, has given more than 48 years of his life to the indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian Sierra, offering them not only the message of God, but also real work and action that is perfectly documented. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Padre Pio's work covers different aspects and focuses mainly on the most disadvantaged, the kids and the elderly who have been left alone in the countryside because their children, due to the lack of opportunities, have abandoned them.
Currently, Padre Pio's actions are oriented towards helping with the basic nutrition of the poorest in the communities, taking food rations on a regular basis to the most needy.  In the same vein, three years ago he also set up a community canteen where he serves 55 elderly people. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
The Padre Pio team also works closely with the Simiatug health sub-centre to facilitate the transport of doctors to the most distant communities and to offer a basic health service to these people. 
Another of the current projects in this community is the Training Centre for young people who cannot go to university, where people with limited resources learn a trade that helps them to progress on a personal level. 
The work of Padre Pio and his collaborators is extensive and you can find several references to it on the internet, here are some of them: 
How can we help? 
This year I am leading a personal initiative to raise funds in Europe and the United States to support these activities and bring some peace of mind to these families so affected by the never-ending economic crises in Ecuador and the COVID pandemic.
For this reason, I have created a couple of photographic products that can be purchased in my online shop. 
All profits generated by these products until 01.01.2024 will be donated in full to the Salesian Mission of Simiatug in the name of the person in charge, Padre Pio.  
At the moment we can only send these products within Europe and the United States, but if you want to collaborate from South America, please do so with a deposit to the following bank account:
Beneficiary: Voluntariado Social - Pío Baschirotto 
Swift Code: PRODECEQ (Produbanco - Ecuador)
Account: 00000113468
Misión Salesiana Zumbahua - 
Telephone: (593)032-672 101
Finally, I want to make it clear that I do not belong to any religion or congregation, indeed, I consider myself an atheist.  
Unfortunately, poverty and need do not know such a thing and I am sure, with all due respect, that the word of God, on a full stomach, is more effective.  
Personally, I believe more in people's actions than in their word and I can guarantee that Padre Pio's work is real as I have witnessed it since I have known him and had the good fortune to work alongside him for eight years in the Casa Campesina Cayambe.  
This institution, one of his first initiatives in Ecuador, is still functioning today and has improved the lives of a large number of indigenous people in the province of Pichincha.  

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