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About the Home

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  • Santa Maria is technically not an orphanage but rather a privately run home for abused and neglected children.  The vast majority are not orphans, so adoptions are rare. This process is not managed by the home but rather by the Ecuadorian government.

  • The population varies from 75 to almost 100 kids are all ages from babies to 18 ( or whenever they finish school.)

  • Founded over 40 ago by a Swiss priest and nurse Isabel Dietrich, who is the current Director. On staff are about a dozen “mamitas” similar to nuns who dedicate their lives full time to caring for these children.  There are also social workers and psychologists who work with the kids and staff. FOSMO is NOT involved in the day to day management or any strategic planning for the home.

  • Ecuador pays some support for the kids but it far from covers all the cost for housing, food, clothing, medical care, etc. 

  • The home does not receive funds from the Catholic Church although the kids and staff attend church at the Sanctuary.

  • Most of the children go to the private school across the street from the home; however, some children stay at the home and use new classrooms at the home where they work with special tutors. Many kids arrive at the home already several grades behind their peers or perhaps they have emotional problems that need some special attention.

  • The home is located on the cliff above Olon and tours can be arranged on specific days and times so as not to interrupt routines. Groups of no more than 4 are best. Contact us for more information.

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