SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND VOLUNTEERING
The Center for Applied Social Development, CEDESA, is responsible for the subject of Social Development and Volunteering, which is a Free Elective and has a schedule of 3 hours per week. ESPOL students can sign up during semester registrations through the ESPOL Academic System. At the end, all groups must present a report and create a video to show and justify their experience as part of a university volunteer project.
ESPOL students work with the charitable organization Crecer, a non-profit organization, whose work focuses on the family inclusion of children and adolescent who work in the streets of the city of Guayaquil.
ESPOL students participate in school remedial teaching and recreational activities of children so that they can return to school and resume the activities that are appropriate for their age.
Since 2012, ESPOL students have been helping the Hogar del Perpetuo Socorro orphanage and the charitable organization Fundación Salesiana Sor Dominga Bocca, organizations that take in children who are orphaned or have been victims of intra-family violence.
Our students make daily visits to the children and help them with their remedial schoolwork. They have also created the project “Soy Emprendedora” (I am an Entrepreneur) which in conjunction with the US Embassy has carried out a mini business plan.
Since 2007 the ESPOL community has supported initiatives of the elderly to raise funds for their home, and there is a sponsorship program aimed at offering help to elderly persons who do not have family members to care for them.
The Fundación Clemencia cares for elderly adults in the Sofia Ratinoff rest home and in the Hogar Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, having contributed the design and creation of a market garden for the institution.
Manglaralto Regional Water Committee
ESPOL students offer training to inhabitants of the settlement of Río Chico in Manglaralto, in the province of Santa Elena, on the correct usage of water. They prepare educational programs, as part of the Coastal Waterways Project run by Cipat - ESPOL and the International Organization for Atomic Energy of the United Nations.
Center for Library Information (CIB-ESPOL)
The center, which forms part of the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, is responsible for many projects, some of them in coordination with Cedesa; they include the project “My hands are my eyes” and training in entrepreneurship and leadership for young people in the state schools of Guayaquil.
S.E.R.L.I. is a pioneering autonomous non-profit institution in the field of physical rehabilitation. This NGO was created with the aim of serving communities, especially persons affected by some kind of disability.
ESPOL students have participated with a plan for creating a market garden for the institution, which contributes to the self-sufficiency of the institution and provides those pupils of the center who participate in looking after this space with an extra task which helps them to overcome their afflictions and occupy their minds.
This is an organization with a presence in Latin America and the Caribbean that seeks to overcome the situation of poverty experienced by thousands of people in the settlements, through the joint action of residents and young volunteers.
ESPOL students have taken part since 2010 in the construction of many houses, aiding 60 families with meager financial resources.
The presentation is carried out, subject to availability, in the auditorium of the Library of Campus Gustavo Galindo Velasco. It consists of talks in which visitors to the Prosperina Woodland Belt are taught why it is important to conserve this green area, which is considered as "the lungs of Guayaquil".
People who visit this area receive information about how the land area surrounding ESPOL was part of the Palobamba y Mapasingue estates, and how a decision of Inefan allowed them to be declared protected areas.
The walk along the path takes half an hour and students can use it to observe the native flora of the dry tropical woodland of Prosperina, as far as the lookout point from which there is a view of Guayaquil surrounded by the river and the tributaries of the tidelands.
The path covers an area of approximately 4.6 hectares including tropical hillsides and woodland. Visitors to this natural space can birdwatch, and some prefer to use the path for cycling.
This Organic Garden is designed in such a way that it serves as a system for cultivating green vegetables, fruit and root vegetables, and it is worked in accordance with natural principles, i.e. without affecting the surrounding natural environment and without recourse to pesticides.
ESPOL students also train a group of communes of the Coastal region in the preparation of organic pesticides, the implementation of techniques of cultivating vegetables and fruit, as well as the preparation of compost, so that they can maintain organic market gardens in their own localities.
Included in the environmental practices incorporated into ESPOL is management of organic waste products from the various food bars across campus. This material is sorted at source and taken to the nursery area, situated at the start of the Palo Santo walkway, in the woods of Prosperina.
Here, the compost (organic fertiliser) is created manually, to be subsequently used in the areas of gardening and the organic kitchen garden of the university.
ESPOL has an agreement with Empresas Lácteas Toni to perform various paper recycling processes, with the aim of encouraging households in Guayaquil to launch initiatives of this kind, including those involving everyday waste paper.
The aim of this project is for citizens to understand how harmful to the environment a failure to recycle is.
As part of the campaign undertaken by ESPOL’s Eco-Club to protect the Prosperina Woodland Belt, the university has a photo gallery showing images of 20 different species of flora and fauna living in this area.
The exhibition shows the species that are most vulnerable to trafficking and those that are in danger of extinction. The aim of this gallery is to raise consciousness in the community to prevent these species from being bought in the black market.
The university volunteering initiative encourages the creation of these clubs, offering support, supplying material and tracking progress to guarantee sustainability, with projects and specific activities related to the environment, to the direct issues faced by the community and its surroundings.
This methodology is conceived as something that can be generalised across the entire process, beginning with consciousness raising among teaching staff by means of a workshop or talk. The plan involves teachers from invited schools participating in a process of Sustainable Schools.