In recent months, we at Hogar de Cristo have experienced feverish activity around this publication that is now in our hands. After many years of work we needed institutional memory to help us look back, recognizing successes and mistakes, and catapult us to new horizons in this challenging but rewarding job of being a “tool in the hands of God” to bring His love and mercy the poor and forgotten of this world. From this ambitious perspective, Herman, our Chilean volunteer, encouraged by Anita, leader of the Institutional Development Process, and strongly supported by Melissa and Gabriela, was given the task of gathering information to present the first draft. Veronica, Jessica, Ruth, Jaime, Italia and Patricia were in charge, together with their teams, to provide the required information.
We needed, then, a collective view on the initial text: Anita, Lucho, Gissella, Eduardo and Bethsaida, together with Germán, did several days of reading, analysis and reflection. And so, responsibilities were distributed to design and shape a final draft that was different from the same rigid scheme of most institutional memories. We wanted something to motivate and encourage you, our readers, and us, the complete staff at Hogar de Cristo, to light this fire of passionate love for Jesus Christ, follow him and recognize him in the faces of the poor, vulnerable and excluded.
Daniel and Adriana were given to the silent work of designing a model, dusting our photographic archives, many of whose pictures are the work of collaborators who are no longer with us, and making charts and graphs. They worked long hours in front of computer screens to give you a book that is fast, fresh and pleasant to look at and read. Alex, a photographer and occasional volunteer from Spain, gave us many photographs of excellent artistic value.
We also wanted to recognize the men and women who make this great group that is Hogar de Cristo. Máximo Baque, Ana Santiago, Rosa Catherine Armijo, Gina Granados and our always smiling and great collaborator Roger Arosemena helped make this book possible with their testimonies.
But we were still just halfway there. An effort of this magnitude demanded enormous financial resources that we did not have available. Marilu, Mariela, Patricia and Elizabeth, members of the Process of National and International Projects, went to work, supported also by our Purchasing and Procurement Process which was lead by Cristhian. Their letters, calls, visits, motivations were successful: Pacificard, Delcorp Berlin Services, Intaco, Maint, El Universo, Cnel, Bolivariano Bank, Eternit, Novopan, Fybeca Pharmacies, Telefonic Foundation, Jiménez-Carbo Law Firm, Torbay, Rodriguez & Associates and Dale Foundation said yes, we support this wonderful effort. Grafipren also welcomed this initiative at a special price, and promised to publish our narrative with excellent quality and presentation.
And for the cover? We agreed we all wanted a suggestive message in line with our principles and values. There is no better way to express what we as an organization strive to be than to give the best of each of us: to be fires that ignite other fires. Arcadio was faced with the challenge of creating images that speak for themselves for the photo shoot had to be repeated to create photographs with the perfect lighting, expressions, frames, etc. José, Julio, Gilda, Alicia, Karla, David, Lucas, and Patricia, Volunteer Coordinator, agreed to participate in the production.
We cannot let even one moment pass without emphasizing the continued support of Anthony, Archbishop of Guayaquil, and Gilberto, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in Ecuador, and the predecessors of both men. It is also good to note the work of José de Ycaza, Board Chairman for 25 years, and José Tamariz, current Chairman for the past 12 years.
I only have left to thank God for this wonderful team at Hogar de Cristo and ask His blessings for each and every one of them and their families.
-Eduardo Vega, Jesuit Priest and General Director