Protesis Imbabura needs to relocate to improved quarters. Collaborating with Fundación Jen Lee, we are building a center for rehabilitation services and learning in Ibarra, Ecuador.
The Kiwanis Club of Ibarra generously welcomed us to their building one and a half years ago, and we have outgrown the space. Our new quarters will have ample room for our workshops, a large meeting room for our many teaching activities, and space for adding on in the future. We are in the process of buying the land and are currently fund-raising for the cost of the building. We will break ground in July of 2018.
After ten years of service in prosthetics, orthotics, and adaptive equipment, the team is now ready to have its own quarters that are adequate, that include space for teaching and community groups, and that allow for additional rehab services, such as wheelchair fitting.
We are working with Engineers Without Borders and local designers to design a building with accessibility, solar energy, and earthquake resistance, made with local materials at low cost. We are excited to envision a space designed specifically for our work and to include more of the activities that the community has requested.
Luckily, building costs are very low in Ecuador and we can build a 1200 square foot building for $50,000. Our current rental workshop is in poor repair, has only a month by month lease, and does not have the capacity for all of the things we do. We have already raised funds and loans in Ecuador in the amount of $35,000 to purchase land.
We are soliciting help from local politicians, international NGOs, and you, our loyal supporters. We plan to start in the summer of 2018. As you know, there are no administrative costs; all funds go directly to the building project.
Why is this Important?
Many of you are aware first-hand of the impact that these scarce services have on children and adults who strive to participate in everyday life and to secure their basic human rights. For the cost of one high-end prosthetic leg in the US, we provide for 300-400 patients per year. The teaching activities that we engage in for professionals, students, international students, parents and families have a long-term effect on the community. Services that have been available for decades in our country are now a possibility for individuals in Ecuador, provided by Ecuadorians.