Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
Guara, Bella María and Chaquizhca communities were affected in the province due to the presence of insects within the households. Speedy social, clinic, economic, political and ecological test under an environmental impact analysis framework enabled us to learn about the context in which the intervention would be initiated. In brief, the life conditions within the area are linked to poverty traps which hinder the construction of healthy environments: lack of employment, weak family economies, limited access to basic services (drinkable water, sanitation, healthcare providers etc.). Main community strengths include a favorable environment to agriculture production, the biodiversity of the area, indigenous practices and traditional farming, networks of local regional and national organizations that work in the development of the area and an active communication network (schools, local radio and mobile phone). On the other hand, the challenges that the community will have to face are mainly the lack of social cohesion, the weakness of the local response to the needs of the community and the urgent challenges regarding the areas’ infrastructure (roads, water supply and sewerage). The communities have actively worked as the managers of the initiative.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Mario J. Grijalva studied biology in Ecuador 1992 and obtained a doctorate degree in United States in 1997. As from 2000 he works as Director in the Infectious diseases Research Center of the Ecuador’s’ Catholic University as well as professor in the Faculty of Medicine of the Ohio University USA. As from 1992 Mario has done research on the Chagas disease in Ecuador and has published 27 scientific studies at international level. As from 1999 he has been working in the development of the research capacity in Ecuador through the creation of infrastructure and education of professionals at local level. Although broad scientific information has been generated, the conditions of the population in the areas affected by Chagas disease has been slightly modified during the last decade. The Healthy Living initiative is developed due to the need of creating a long-term demonstrative control model on ECh in Ecuador, which based on the application of scientific knowledge and the participation of the communities, manages to be replicable and sustainable. By means of the hard work and the dedication devoted by a team of young Ecuadorian scientist, Mario achieved that government and non government organizations within the area support his initiative. His trajectory is acknowledged at national and international level and this guarantees the projects.