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Machala, the economic driving force of southern Ecuador, gained its international reputation thanks to its banana production, which creates high profits. Capital of the province of El Oro, the city has about 217,000 inhabitants.

The two other main sources of income for the province of El Oro are shrimps and cocoa. Nevertheless, most of the population of Machala is far from being well-off. 

In 1981, the 'International Year of Disabled People' the local government of El Oro helped to open a school for children with disabilities. This school provides services to children aged 5 to 16. A year after the new school was established, the "Special Education Association of the Province of El Oro" (ADESPORO) was formed.

In 1991, the members of this NGO expressed the need to become independent from the government and also focus on adding professional services aimed at disabled adults. The NGO changed its status and became the "Foundation for the Assistance to Disabled People", although it kept the same name (ADESPORO).

In 1995, the organization added a vocational training program that included self-development and occupational therapy. The first sessions were focused on sewing and carpentry. These two activities have helped to support the program thanks to the profits made from the sale of manufactured goods. There is no registration fee, but parents of registered children are encouraged to participate in the organization of charity events. 

Although their vocational training is in good hands, their social inclusion relies on the good will of company managers in the private sector. When it comes to professional inclusion, values such as discipline, team work, respect, dedication and eagerness are more valuable than professional skills themselves.

Since the training program has been initiated, 25 out of 100 individuals have been able to find a job.


Organises professional training workshops, which include personal development and occupational therapy, for young people with a disability, with a view to assist their integration into society.

Coast / El Oro
Health Education Social and economic development
Adolescents Young adults Adults


Two months of holiday for ADESPORO’s youth and adults with disabilities

February, Friday 27 2015

On Friday 27 February, the youth and adults that participate in ADESPORO’s sewing and carpentry workshops celebrated the end of the school year. A party was thrown on this occasion, where one could listen to music, talk to one another in an informal setting or just simply enjoy the friendly atmosphere with the youth and adults that take part in the workshops, the trainers and the NGO’administration staff. The event was brought to a close with a shared meal.


The workshops will resume on the 4th of May. Until then we wish you happy holidays!

New activities at ADESPORO!

December, Thursday 18 2014

For the last few weeks, the individuals with disabilities attending ADESPORO’s productive workshops have been able to enjoy a sports class twice per week, thanks to the voluntary support of Pablo Fleitas, a physical education teacher at the Sports Federation of Machala.

Last Thursday, training began with a warm up before returning to ball throwing practice which they had learned the previous week, and some stretches to finish.

Following this training time, an agronomist from the local council arrived with some tomato and cucumber plants for the beneficiaries of ADESPORO to sew close to the site, to replace the cabbage plants which had recently been harvested. 

With these new activities, these individuals affected by disabilities are developing new knowledge and skills, and most of all, are improving their wellbeing.  Congratulations on these new activities, ADESPORO!

Translated by Amy Porter

A lovely memorial evening in Machala with the ADESPRO foundation

October, Saturday 25 2014

Last Saturday 25th October, the ADESPRO foundation put on their annual memorial celebration in support of their work to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace and society more widely. Held at the Luz Ribera de Mora art and cuture centre, the event began with a performance by the foundation choir, followed by a sketch, a moving monologue from Fabricio Gonzalez and a variety of musical performances from, amongst others, Mechita Rodas, Gina Patricia Mosquera, Lenín Romero, Danny Macías, Javier Ayala, Jean Carlos, Pepe Cabrera and Jorge Román.

The event also provided an opportunity to thank Sergio Mocoso Molina, who has acted as master of ceremonias at this event from the very beginning right up to last year. Over 350 people attended and all those who participated did so on a voluntary basis to support ADESPRO in the work they have been doing for the last 29 years. Congratulations, and we hope to see this annual tradition continue long into the future!

Translated by Elizabeth Brook

The 22nd “Festival Mini Reinas” is a great success.

September, Monday 30 2013

The 18 contestants of “Reina Mundial del Banano 2013” were present at the “Festival Mini Reinas”, organised by ADESPORO. The aim of the event was to raise funds for the association’s projects.

It was in an atmosphere of high emotion that the young girls appeared on the stage of the Municipal Cultural Centre Luz Victoria Ribera de Mora.

This festival, in its 22nd year, provided the contestants of the “Reina Mundial del Banano” with some light entertainment. However, it was an event with an important goal: that of raising funds for ADESPORO so that it can provide its services to young people with disabilities as efficiently as possible. ADESPORO offers sewing and woodworking workshops to its clients, to promote their integration into the working world.

The young girls taking part in the contest wore costumes which had been carefully created especially for the event by the top designers of the province of Oro.

This is the translation of an article about the “Festival Mini Reinas” organised by ADESPORO, which appeared in the Equadorian daily paper "Opinion". 


Translated by Alison Kapor

Machala celebrates Banana

October, Wenesday 24 2012

The parade of mini-queens dressed in traditional Ecuadorian attire took place on September 16 behind the Luz Victoria de Mora Civic Center of Art and Culture. The parade is held during the International Banana Festival which has taken place in Machala since 1985. The parade ended with the introduction of persons with disabilities who are participating in the sewing and carpentry workshops offered by ADESPORO. The entire group danced to a traditional Ecuadorian song and was accompanied by applause and encouragement from the audience.

Profits made from ticket sales during the event go to the organization.

Since 1977, ADESPORO has fought for the professional integration of disabled persons through sewing and carpentry education. However, their educational activities are often limited by a lack of resources, due to the costs the organization must absorb.

By organizing these types of events, ADESPORO is able to continue offering educational workshops for persons with disabilities in Machala.

ADESPORO celebrates the grand “Valeda del Recuerdo” in Machala

September, Monday 3 2012

Around 500 people assisted with this grand event, which took place in the Municipal Arts and Culture Centre "Luz Victoria Ribera de Mora".

Throughout the night the public enjoyed various dance, singing and theatre performances; especially enjoying the participation of celebrities from the town of Machala such as professional TV actor Giovanni Dávila.

The funds raised by this event will contribute to the development of ADESPORO’s activities. Through workshops in sewing and carpentry this foundation helps to prepare and integrate young adults with disabilities into the job market.

How you can help

March, Monday 2 2015

Activity Leader for Youth & Adults with Disabilities

Besoins humains

Activity Leader for Youth & Adults with Disabilities

Besoins humains

- Location:
Av. de las Palmeras/ Décima Norte, Machala, El Oro, Ecuador

•  Context in which this request for a volunteer has been issued:
ADESPORO is an NGO that works towards the social and economic inclusion of youth and adults with disabilities (mostly intellectual disabilities) by offering them special-needs sewing and carpentry workshops, which are run by two instructors and can cater for a group of 15 people each. In addition to providing them with this professional training, the aim is to help them acquire the skills that will help them integrate the workforce.
In order to reinforce its work in favour of the advancement and integration of people with disabilities, ADESPORO would like to offer additional activities for its beneficiaries such as games, cultural and artistic activities, sports, etc.

•  Volunteer Position Objective:
To develop new activities for the youth and adults that attend the training workshops with the objective of improving their physical and psychological well-being.

•  Description of the mission:
To examine the possibilities for developing new activities for the beneficiaries.
To propose and undertake new activities for the youth and adults involved.
To share his/her knowledge with the two instructors in charge.

•  Sustainability added value with regards to the volunteer position:
The aim is for the staff or the other volunteers of the NGO to maintain (some of) the new activities developed by the volunteer to be continued after his/her departure.

•  Is the need for a volunteer resource punctual or permanent?
0 Permanent need
 Mission start date: May 2015

•  Length of the mission: Minimum 3 months

•  Work hours:
Monday-Friday 8AM-12PM & 2PM-5PM

•  Describe a typical day for the volunteer:
8-10AM: roll-out of one of the activities proposed by the volunteer with the beneficiaries.
10-10:30AM: break with the beneficiaries and the instructors.
10:30AM-12PM: preparation of the afternoon’s activities.
12-2PM: break with the instructors.
2-3PM: roll-out of another one of the activities proposed by the volunteer with the beneficiaries.
3-5PM: preparation of the activities for the next day.

•  Particular conditions pertaining to this mission (optional) :
The volunteer will need to reflect on what activities could be undertaken prior to his/her arrival in order to plan with the NGO for the type of equipment and/or infrastructure that may be needed.

- Prior experience:
Activity leader with youth and adults with disabilities requested.

•  Academic training:
Diploma in activity leadership or equivalent.

•  Level of Spanish:
A good level of comprehension and oral expression.

•  Skills and Qualities Required:
Interpersonal skills

- Expenses paid for by the NGO:
Accommodation, food (a food allowance of 5 USD per day), work-related transportation expenses.

•  Local amenities (housing, food…):
The volunteer will be lodged in the house of one of the senior managers of ADESPORO or else in a hostel in an autonomous housing unit.

•  Expenses covered by the volunteer:
Return flight to Ecuador, insurance, vaccines and personal expenses during the mission.

- How do you get to the organization from the nearest airport? What is the approximate duration of the trip?
From Guayaquil airport, the volunteer will need to taxe a taxi (2 USD) or local bus (0.25 USD) to the central coach station and from there take a coach heading for Machala (price of a ticket: from 3.50 to 6 USD according to class). Upon arrival in Machala, someone from the NGO will be there to welcome the volunteer.

What type of transportation is locally available? (local car…):
Public transport, taxis and rentals cars.

Please send resume and cover letter in Spanish.

March, Monday 2 2015
January, Thursday 1 2015

Social worker

Besoins humains

Social worker

Besoins humains

- Volunteer context:
ADESPORO is a non-profit organization that works towards the socioeconomic integration of people with disabilities. To this purpose, ADESPORO proposes sewing and carpentry workshops for them. Each workshop is run by two teachers and can cater to about 15 people with disabilities. In addition to helping people with disabilities to learn a trade, these workshops aim to strengthen their knowledge of the social codes in the professional world. ADESPORO, in order to strengthen support for its beneficiaries, would like to get the assistance of a volunteer professional social worker to follow-up upon the beneficiaries in their personal and professional environments.

•  Objectives:
To reinforce the action of the ADESPORO foundation in favour of the socioprofessional integration of people with disabilities through its workshops.

•  Key Responsibilities:
• to establish long-term links with the social environment of each beneficiary (family, workplace...) through regular visits;
• to accompany the beneficiaries in their first days at work on public transport from their homes to the workplace and back;
• to develop new partnerships with employers, particularly to assist with the professional integration of young people;
• to provide training sessions for the parents and legal guardians of the beneficiaries, to guide them on the socioprofessional integration process;
• to develop awareness and interest amongst beneficiaries into the region’s cultural program in order to help them with their sociocultural integration.

The volunteer will report to and be guided by Nancy Romero, the director of the organization, and herself a trained professional, to fulfill his/her missions.

•  Location:
Av. de las Palmeras/ Décima Norte, Machala, El Oro, Ecuador

- Prior work experience:
Experience in social work, experience working with people with disabilities.

•  Education:
Social Work

•  Level of Spanish :

•  Demonstrated skills and values :

- Expenses paid for by the association/
Housing, food (5 dollars per day), job-related transport costs

•  To be paid for by the volunteer:
Trip to Ecuador and back, insurance, vaccines, and any other costs not provided for by the foundation.

Start date : april or may

•  Mission Length:
6 months minimum

•  Work hours :
Monday-Friday 8AM-12PM and 2PM-5PM

•  Particular conditions of the mission (Optional):
The volunteer would spend half of his/her time in the organization’s offices and the other half outside, in order to support the social integration of young people and to develop contacts with new companies. The volunteer will organize his/her schedule according to his/her needs.
The volunteer will need to have the volunteering visa 12-VII. The ADEPORO foundation and Une Option de Plus can assist him/her to obtain it.

•  How to arrive to the workplace from the nearest airport? What is the approximate duration of this trip?
Upon arrival at Guayaquil airport, one must take a taxi (1 USD) to the central Guayaquil bus station and then take a bus to Machala (price from 3.50 to 6 USD depending on class).

The volunteer needs to check-in with Nancy Romero by telephone upon arrival.

-What types of transport are locally available?
Public transport, taxis and rental cars.

Statement of purpose and CV in Spanish

January, Thursday 1 2015
January, Thursday 1 2015

Sales Development Representative

Besoins humains

Sales Development Representative

Besoins humains

After many years the ADESPORO association proposed carpentry and sewing workshops for the disabled youngsters in the city of Machala. The objective of the workshops is to teach a trade, and also discipline and how to behave appropriately when working in a business.
The association benefits from these two workshop’s production to increase its capital from 100% self-financing. Sewing will engage in the production of clothing, napkins, tablecloths… and the carpentry workshop living room furniture such as armoires, shelving and custom orders.
The association recently obtained a showroom located in the center of Machala and has the potential to increase the sales of the products sewn by its beneficiaries. The team doesn’t have a person in charge of ensuring the development of this commercial activity, so the ADESPORO team requests a volunteer.

•  Mission Description :
The volunteer will have to support the development of the association’s commercial activity, especially in the following areas:

•  Marketing :
=» Conduct a market study of potential clients to define what items should be produced by the sewing and carpentry workshops. This study should also allow the definition of sales prices; currently they don’t reflect the client’s purchase power.
=> Provide an element to differentiate the products from the competition, possibly highlighting the social aspect of their production.
=> Develop a catalog of all finished products that can be produced by the association to promote production orders given that the showroom isn’t that big.

•  Commerce :
=> Prospecting new potential clients as well as outlets, for example, for sewn products: uniforms for schools, uniforms for hospitals or large companies, externalization to textile factories, clothing designers for children’s toys, etc.
=» Looking for new distribution channels to reach new clients. For example, business-to-business sales, online sales, furniture shows…
=» Update the tools used by the sewing and carpentry workshops (replacing machinery now obsolete). For this, the volunteer will count on many partners and contacts obtained by the association (Machala Chamber of Commerce, business partners…), as well as with financial support.

•  External Communication: give visibility to new spaces, that their location be known, window displays, signage… and promotion through various communication media.

•  Mission Objective:
Establish the basic sustainable self-financing concepts for the association thanks to the sewing and carpentry workshops’ production.

•  Contributions to the foundation’s mission:
The association’s finances depend 100% on their self-financing activities. The sustainable marketing of these products would ensure a regular income for ADESPORO so we can carry out some of the projects previously ignored such as the construction of new, improved and expanded facilities.

- Prior Experience:
The volunteer should have a business background and at least one successful experience. A specialization in Marketing is desired.

•  Education:
Master’s degree in Marketing/ Business/ Non Profit Management

•  Spanish Language Proficiency:
The volunteer must have excellent Spanish. Must be able to speak and write easily.

•  Qualifications and Required Skills:
Independent and dynamic, the candidate must have initiative and adaptability. Interpersonal skills are essential.

- Expenses covered by the association: None

•  Expenses covered by the volunteer:
The volunteer will be responsible for their round-trip airfare, visa and insurance.

•  Type of Housing (home, meals, etc.) :
The association may find a housing option, but the volunteer will be responsible for the cost of their meals.

- Mission Length: 6 months minimum

•  Hours per day and days per week:
Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

•  Description of a typical day:
The volunteer will work independently. The two teachers work all day long and the rest of the team is comprised of volunteers creating an activities program. However, it is always feasible to seek assistance from the team members within the context of the mission.

CV et letter

January, Thursday 1 2015


Non profit organisation established in 1981 – ministerial contract renewed in 1995. MIES – Ministry for Social and Economic Inclusion in Ecuador.

As the economic capital of southern Ecuador, Machala is known internationally as “The Banana Capital of the World” banana production ensures a steady revenue for the city, but the profits do not trickle down to the whole population.

The producers of this “green gold” are valued partners in the foundation because several former foundation students were able to find work in one of the exportation companies.

The foundation is located in an outlying area of Machala.

In 1981, which was declared International Year of Disabled Persons, the provincial government of El Oro supported the creation of a specialized school for disabled children from ages 5 to 16 years old : the “Association for Special Education in the Province of El Oro” ADESPORO, was established one year later.

Since it’s creation, the school has been under the guardianship of FASINARM, the “ Fundación de Asistencia al Retardo Mental ,” the first Ecuadorian organization to address special education needs, which was created in 1962 in Guayaquil.

In 1991, six years after the school’s founding, the association’s members wished to become autonomous from the FASINARM.

In addition to the special education center, they created a project that specifically addressed the professional integration of the severely disabled.

In 1995, the association changed its status to become a “foundation for outreach to the disabled,” but kept the same acronym for recognition.

It has put in place youth professional development workshops with scholastic curriculums at the special education center : a sewing workshop and a woodworking workshop.

In 2008, the sewing workshop was able to reopen its doors after having closed a few years prior, due to a budget that was insufficient to cover the payment of salaries and the purchase of materials essential to the workshop.

Av de las Palmeras/ Décima Norte


Nancy Romero, coordinatrice : +593 (0)9 94 46 30 37

Fondation : + 593 (0) 72 93 30 31

The association’s office is a group of twenty-two friends between the ages of 60 and 80.
Most of the women participated in founding the organization and each contributes to the association by bringing to the table her skills and/or personal resources. Social workers, therapists, salespeople, entrepreneurs and housewives, these women enrich the organization through their diversity.

Nancy Romero is the principal spokesperson for the foundation’s partners as she is the association’s coordinator. Sixty-two years old, and a social worker by profession, she coordinates the organization’s missions on a volunteer basis and serves as a social worker in critical situations. Nancy is dynamic and efficient, and wishes to see changes at the heart of the association that will help it to better institute its projects.

To promote the social inclusion of people aged 16 and over with a serious disability through professional training and integration.

-SO1: Boost the individual skills of the youths, in order to help them achieve their potential.

-SO2: Support young adults with a disability as well as their families as they move towards financial and technical independence.

-SO3: Make society aware of issues surrounding the integration of people with disabilities.

Activities related to Aim No. 1: Boost the individual skills of the youths, in order to help them achieve their potential
Learning centre: a sewing workshop and a carpentry workshop.
The sewing apprentices principally design clothing and household textiles (e.g. tablecloths, curtains and napkins) while those in the carpentry workshop make small furnishing objects. They work to order, particularly for schools, but also carry out a certain amount of work on spontaneous projects, which are sold at two annual charity sales.

Activities related to aim No. 2: young adults with a disability as well as their families as they move towards financial and technical independence.
-Support during the apprenticeship: whilst the young adults do not receive any formal training they are trained in the workshops by teachers who guide them through the manufacturing process. Individuals or groups may be disciplined in the case of non-respect of procedures or of their initial commitments.
-Support following the apprenticeship: the teachers meet the young people in their socio-professional environment.
-Sale of objects from the workshops.

Activities related to aim No. 3: Make society aware of issues surrounding the integration of people with disabilities.
-Organisation of events designed to bring people together: three annual meetings:
An event for families is organised at the beginning of each academic year. At said event, the aims and operation of the organisation are presented to families new who are new to the service, any operational changes are explained to families who have used the service before, administrative documents are completed and families are given the opportunity to interact with the teachers in charge of the workshops.
-The Festival of the Latin Queens takes place each September. The event, subsidised by the Provincial Council, brings the various “Miss’” of all the Latin American countries to the organisation. This event forms part of the “Feria Mundial de la Banana” and aims to attract several hundred spectators. It allows the association to communicate its aims to a wide audience, and to hold its largest charity sale of the year.
-The Christmas programme, organised at the association by the children at the educational centre, provides another opportunity for the apprentices to sell their work.

In order to be admitted into the workshops, candidates must fulfill several criteria :
-Be at least 16 years old (there is no age limit ; the oldest is currently 40 years old)
-Have a mental, physical, or hearing disability
-Be without severe behavioral problems
-Exhibit a minimum level of functional autonomy

There are currently 20 beneficiaries with a disability undertaking an apprenticeship in ADESPORO, aged between 22 and 38: 12 in the sewing workshop, and 8 in carpentry. The number of attendees varies from day to day depending on the availability of transport and medical needs.
According to the coordinator, 90% of the apprentices are from an economically disadvantaged background. All of them have a serious intellectual disability, one of them has Down’s syndrome; none of them have a physical disability.