Hogar de Cristo in Ecuador is the embodiment of that great social call created in the early 40’s to encourage people to recognize Christ in the poor sufferer, in that soul abused and neglected by an exclusive society.
This institution developed by Alberto Hurtado in Chile, product of careful contemplation of the Gospel and lived social reality, was taken up later by the bishops at the Third General Conference of Latin American Bishops in Puebla de los Ángeles in 1979.
And so, the Jesuit Alberto Hurtado, sanctified in 2005 by his life devoted to the love of Jesus Christ incarnated in the poor, created in 1944 the first Hogar de Cristo in Chile, an institution that served as inspiration for many other social projects in the region that were founded in later years.
The great Jesuit Apostles like Josse van der Rest from Chile, and Francisco García Jiménez from Ecuador realized years later that the lack of adequate housing was one of the most serious problems in the marginalized sectors of the greater Guayaquil area which, due to rural-urban migration, have become crowded urban neighborhoods. These men dreamed of contributing to the search for solutions.
This dream materialized in Ecuador in 1971 with the creation of the Housing Corporation of Hogar de Cristo, a challenge that was taken on by the Spanish Jesuit priest Francisco García, affectionately known as “Uncle Paco.” This was made possible with Josse van der Rest’s collaboration, founder the Latin American, African and Asian People’s Housing Service (SELAVIP). From that date onwards, Hogar de Cristo began to be seen a place of reference to the poor, who find in it an opportunity to gain access to housing and other services.
We invite you to join us in this journey through these 39 years of institutional history. Here we can clearly identify two phases or key moments, led by two Jesuits who have stamped their mark in our history. Now there is a third stage of institutional change emerging under the leadership of another Jesuit, Eduardo Vega Lozano. The phrase, “Something new is being born at Hogar de Cristo” never tires of being repeated, with a strong Spanish accent when said by Brother Roberto Costa Prats.