Shelter provides life-saving aid to people fleeing to Ecuador to save their lives
Sandra Patricia* arrived in a border city north of Ecuador, together with her 11-year-old daughter and a couple of suitcases containing clothes, documents, and other objects she deemed useful for them to rebuild their lives in Ecuador. Her heart, however, remained in Colombia, her country of origin.
“I was not able to bring them all with me,” said downcast Sandra while explaining that she decided to temporarily leave her son with Down syndrome back home with her mother, until Sandra regularizes her situation in Ecuador.
Sandra and Valeria*, her daughter, arrived in this shelter less than a week ago. More than 250 people are lodged in it every month. Like Sandra, these people are fleeing from violence and circumstances where they were unable to exercise their rights or have access to basic services. Many of them are Venezuelan refugees and migrants, but others come from Colombia. In fact, the number of Colombians entering Ecuador to seek international protection increased in 2022.
This shelter, whose name in Kichwa means ‘A home for a new life,’ is managed by the Tarabita Foundation with support from UNHCR and financing from the European Union. In this shelter, people like Sandra receive legal advice and temporary assistance.
Through these pictures, Sandra shares the reasons why she fled Colombia with her daughter and how the assistance they have received at the shelter has helped them in starting a new life in Ecuador.
*Names changed for protection