At Faro de Esperanza (FE) we want to welcome all churches and ministries that want to join any of our ministries here in Ecuador. Most churches and ministries join our Bible Camp Ministry that take places at Faro de Esperanza Camp, in the Pacific Coast of the country.
Every year during vacation time from school (February, March or April), we have up to 5 weeks of camp for 75-100 campers each. The campers come from our partner churches, ministries and communities in Ecuador.
Many people who come as part of the teams find they are challenged to live a more conscious life and experience God’s love in a powerful way after spending a week with our campers and a night with a family from one of our communities.
Partnering churches and ministries have traditionally provided full financial sponsorship for the week of camp they attend. This enables our campers to attend at little or no cost to their families.
Here is a guide for the churches or ministries that want to join us in our camp activities.
Expectations for teams
- Teams should come with the purpose of spending time with the children and youth we work with; knowing, in advance, that these children and youths come from vulnerable communities, broken homes and need love, more than anything.
- When arriving to the camp facilities, they will be divided into teams and into cabins with Ecuadorians leaders (counselors, junior counselors and/or counselors in training and campers).
- Teams should be aware that they are in a position of leadership and are looked at as role-models. Thus, they should behave and make decisions accordingly.
- They should fully participate in the activities and games planned for the week.
- They must respect the decisions of the authorities: host person(s), cabin leader, camp week/activity leader, ministry director and coordinator, administrator, presidente, etc.
- They are expected to join the staff devo every morning at the chapel along with the staff.
- They will spend one night, before or after the camp week, with a family from one of the communities we work with (optional).
- They should listen carefully to the advice and plans that the official host has to say.
- The team should not be bigger than 15 people, including the leaders.
- People should bring their own bug spray, bug net, towels, sunscreen, hats, sheets and clothes for camp. Temperatures will be from 26 to 40 degrees.
- Leaders should also prepare, in advance, to have daily devo time with their team alone. Usually the team will have this time during campers chapel time.
- The team should get together to know each other and have some training on the language, Ecuadorian culture and the mission trip’s purpose before coming. (For new teams join our camp activities, the Ministries Director will provide the contact of a trusted and experienced person to provide guidance and support on the issues to address on trainings, cultural awareness, etc., before coming.)
- Team members should communicate to the hosting person(s) about allergies or any kind of health problem or challenge any person on the team has.
- Ecuadorian staff, volunteers, and campers are asked to limit the use of cellphones (or whatever the expectation is). In light of this we ask our partnering teams to do the same. Some visiting teams have found it helpful, in staying focused on the ministry, to give their phones to a team leader who will keep them in a safe place and return them at the end of the week.
- Team members joining us in our activities should not give money in cash to any of the kids, youth or hosting families. If they see a need they would like to do something about, they should talk first to the hosting person(s) and/or with the Ministries Director.
- We ask that female team members wear shirt and shorts while being with kids and youths at the beach, during our camp week program. We wish to respect Ecuadorian culture where bathing suits (especially bikini’s) are inappropriate for camp unless worn with a shirt and shorts.
- Shorts, t-shirts and sleeveless tops are fine but please consider modesty. ‘Bootie’ shorts or low tops are considered inappropriate.
- Team members joining us in our activities should not, under any circumstance, drink any kind of alcohol, smoke or use any kind of illegal drug while they are in the country.
- Spending time with the children and youth, getting to know them and genuinely care for their safety in all aspects.
- Prepare activities, workshops and/or crafts to fill one hour a day for 4 days during the camp week. The team should come with the workshops, crafts or activities planned and ready in advance.
- Prepare one meal: breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, for all of the camp. This is an optional activity and only happens once during the week.
- Bring a play or a special song to perform during the week (this is also optional).
The Ministries Director of Faro de Esperanza will provide a host person(s) to look after the team for the whole time they will be in Ecuador. This person(s) will be in charge of:
- Communicating with the leaders of the team and the Ministries Director in Ecuador to settle a date for the team to come.
- Communicating with the leaders of the team and the Ministries Director to plan all details involving their visit to the country.
- Planning, along with the team leaders, and provide a schedule with all the activities the team will do during their time in Ecuador. This include hotel booking and transportation, touring, food, etc.
- Planning, along with the Ministries Director, and providing a schedule with the responsibilities the team will have during their time at camp. This includes materials, times and activities the team will participate in as part of the camp program.
- Providing contact information: names, phone and address of the hosting person(s) for every person on the team to have before coming to Ecuador.
- Meeting the team at the airport and being present as their guide, translator, and liaison until they leave.
Suggested Packing List
- Carry on luggage. (It is important to pack this well in case your luggage is delayed).
- Bible, journal, book, English-Spanish dictionary.
- Camera (optional).
- International Health Insurance information and contacts form, Health card, Passport.
- Medications (if applicable).
- One pair shorts, one t-shirt, underwear, pair of socks, bathing suit, hat.
- Depending on the airline there might be meals on the plane and food will be available at the airport during the layover.
- Soap, toothbrush, deodorant, etc (any liquid must be less then 3oz. or else must be packed in checked luggage).
- Spending money in bills of $20 or less. $50 bills or higher are normally not accepted, except at banks. (Ecuador uses American dollars).
- Checked luggage
- 1 bath towel.
- 1 beach towel.
- Bedding (light sheets and pillow case).
- 1 rain jacket or umbrella.
- 1 or 2 sets of nicer clothing for outings or church.*
- Hand sanitizer.
- Mosquito net with string to tie it up (single square type that ties up in each corner).
- Strong mosquito repellent.
- Personal hygiene needs i.e. toothbrush, deodorant, soap and shampoo.
- Pictures of family, friends, snow (even extras to leave with host family is good).
- Refillable water bottle.
- Sunblock (SPF 35 or above).
- Tank tops (modest).
- Photocopy of passport.
- Latin American Spanish phrasebook/dictionary.
- When packing, consider the things you will need and the things you won’t need in the context of camp and the context of the people you will be working with.
This is a guide provided for teams from churches or ministries join our camp activities. However, Faro de Esperanza, through its Ministries Director, will also consider letting a single person join any of our ministries and will provide a similar guide, if someone has the desire to do so.
If you have any other question, please, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*When considering clothes for church attire, Ecuadorians do not generally wear shorts to church as it is not considered formal. Jeans and a nice top, or dresses and skirts are what most people wear to church. However, the Bastion church understands that foreigners sometimes have to dress differently to deal with the heat.