Richard, Amy and Melissa, owners of the Black Olive Bistro, did a wonderful job of decorating the restaurant and provided over 12 varieties of mouth watering hot and cold appetizers that were thoroughly enjoyed by all!

The co founders and board of directors sponsored and paid for this event to show our appreciation for all the supporters who attended last year’s fundraiser event at the home of Bob and Cathy Dammeyer. Thanks, Bob and Cathy!

Due to the generosity of all who attended, 33 children received the life enhancing surgeries and other medical treatment they so desperately needed.

We had 2 surprise VIP guests in attendance.
Cielo, a 9 month old girl, had her severe cleft lip repaired by Dr Pablo Salamea.
Jose, a 7 year old boy was born with a malformed jaw which prevents him from chewing properly. He has received 1 surgery and will require 2 or three more to fix his jaw.

Both parents wanted to meet and thank all the people for helping their kids. There was a lot of love and appreciation shared between parents, kids and all the people in attendance. It was a special night!!

There are no words to describe how grateful all of us at HKIE are to all of our supporters and donors for making all of the medical treatments possible for these wonderful kids and their grateful families!

Doug Gould, Will and Peggy Sanders

Doug Gould, Will and Peggy Sanders

MaryFreeman & Dr Pablo Salamea

MaryFreeman & Dr Pablo Salamea

Black Olive Bistro Co owners: Richard & Amy

Black Olive Bistro Co owners: Richard & Amy

Jose and mom...VIP appearance

Jose and mom…VIP appearance

Johanna (Cielo's mom),  Dr Pablo, Mary and Cielo

Johanna (Cielo’s mom),
Dr Pablo, Mary and Cielo

Co owner Melissa

Co owner Melissa




Maholy is an 8 year old from Paute. When she was three years old a car ran over her hand.

Our friends from church, Gary and Katy Rovetto, told us about the situation last Sunday. She is unable to use her hand and it is beginning to cause her pain. Dr Pablo Salamea examined her yesterday. Next week she will return to Hospital del Rio and Dr Pablo will do reconstructive surgery on her hand. When Maholy heard she was going to be seen by a doctor to repair her hand, her first reaction was “but Papi, what about the money?”

Maholy and her father are thrilled that thanks to our donors, after a five year wait, her hand and fingers will be repaired.

Maholy, her fatehr, Wilson, and Dr Pablo

Maholy, her fatehr, Wilson, and Dr Pablo

Dr Pablo examining her hand

Dr Pablo examining her hand

Maholy's hand

Maholy’s hand


This is Franny, a young 8 year old child who is in the hospital for one to two weeks for a severe leg/bone infection. Her infection has gone on for almost two years and she now needs an antibiotic drip and four or five surgeries to scrape the bone to remove the infection. The doctors are guarded in their prognosis as this infection is so severe. She has serious bone loss due to this prolonged infection. There is a possibility of amputation to save her life if the treatment is not effective. So, your thoughts and prayers are definitely needed and appreciated.

Franny and her new friend

Franny and her new friend

We Welcome Peace Corps Volunteer Rachel Katzman

We are pleased to announce that the United States Peace Corps has assigned one of their volunteers, Rachel Katzman, to work full time for HKIE. Rachel is from San Antonio, Texas and a graduate of Texas A&M. Both of Rachel’s parents were Peace Corps volunteers in their younger days. She will help us attract donations from a much larger audience through prudent use of the internet. ¬†Additionally she will the contact the hundreds of local clinics throughout Ecuador to make them aware of HKIE and ways we can help children in their areas. She has already contacted the 110 other Peace Corps volunteers in Ecuador and asked them to be on the lookout for children in their areas who might benefit from our services. To reach Rachel you may phone her at 0999291635 or email her at


We would now like to update you on what has been happening in Cuenca both before and after the July 2014 fundraiser. That fundraiser alone has helped over thirty children. Thirty children whose lives have been dramatically improved and in some cases, their lives have been saved.


In November 2013, we received an urgent request to find a specialist for a young boy who had been given just months to live. Daniel was born with a heart defect and had a life expectancy of 5 years. Amazingly he made it to 11, by which time he could only be described as a “blue boy” because he was receiving so little oxygen. His mother was told to get the family together before Christmas as the end was near…..Daniel himself expressed sadness that he felt he would not live to make his first communion the following Spring. Thanks to the coordination of Clinica Latino in Cuenca and Fundacion Metropolitano in Quito and the very speedy and generous online donations we received, Daniel had his heart operation. He now runs, plays soccer and now, thoroughly, enjoys life! He is, by far, our most dramatic case.

* April 4, 2014: Ishmael – 13 years old…..nasal reconstructive surgery. After his surgery it was discovered that not only could he not breathe well, but he had never smelled anything! He is now a handsome, well adjusted young man….and is enjoying “smelling the roses”!

* May 2, 2014: Billie- 8 years old…..She had had a less than successful leg surgery on the coast following an accident. Her mother was told she would never have full use of her leg. After surgery and PT at Clinica Latino, she has no limp and is even taking ballet.

The children listed above were helped by online and private donations from Cuenca and Salinas.

The following children were helped through the generosity of those who attended our first Cuenca fundraiser in July 2014.

* August 2014: Angelica – 12 years old….she has cerebral palsy and scoliosis….curvature of the spine. Through 5 months of intensive physical therapy, she now not only stands upright, she plays soccer! She was saved from painful back surgery, and now her confidence and positive attitude are wonderful to see!

* October 15, 2014: Valentine – 5 years old….Valentine had such severe Strabismus (one eye pointing in a different direction than the other) that he could not read and had severe depth perception problems. Left untreated there was a possibility of blindness. After the surgery he now has normal vision.

* October 28, 2014: Carla – is a young 19 year old mother who had a severe pancreatic infection. The infection was so severe that her family was told she would not likely survive. Thanks to the coordination through HKIE with the public hospital, Hospital del Rio and Clinica Latino, she received her life saving surgery at Clinica Latino and has completely recovered.

* December 2. 2014: Andrea – 12 years old…..had successful surgery to correct her tongue from being attached to the floor of her mouth.

* December 12, 2014: Angel – 12 years old….a handsome young man with a severe growth problem. One would have thought he was about 5 years old from his size and appearance. Through special lab work it was discovered he had very little growth hormones. Thanks to Dr Pablo Salamea and the government of Ecuador he will soon be receiving special weekly injections to correct this problem.

* January 12, 2015: Camilla – 12 years old….surgery to detach her tongue from the roof of her mouth…she now no longer has problems speaking or eating properly.

* January 12, 2015: Dayana – 17 years old….successful removal of precancerous mole.

* January 24, 2015: Jose – 6 years old….Adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy….Also successful surgery.

* January 31, 2015: Pedro – 7 years old….a cerebral palsy patient who received a desperately needed a bath chair.

* February 21, 2015: Amanda – 12 years old….Amanda had surgery for a cleft palate and cleft lip as a baby, but did not have the required follow up. She received surgery to completely repair the hole in her palate. After surgery and speech therapy she now speaks quite clearly.

* February 25, 2105: Jasson – 7 years old…..removal of precancerous mole…successful.

* March 1, 2015: Eric – 6 years….Eric was having severe and constant nosebleeds. He is now fine after his adenoids and tonsils were removed.

* March 10, 2015: Brigitte – 7 years old….Brigitte had a severe infection in her leg when she was 4 years old, which affected her bone. She required surgery to remove part of the bone and muscle. It left her leg so severely shortened she could only crawl or be carried. HKIE purchased crutches for her while other possible medical treatments are being reviewed.

* March 10, 2015: Pablo- 2 years old….Successful surgery to repair hernia.

* March 10, 2015: Brady – 10 years old….had successful surgery to detach his tongue from the roof of his mouth…successful.

* March 19, 2015: Cielo – 6 months old….Had surgery for a severe cleft lip. She now has a beautiful smile.

* March 20, 2015: Sophie- 4 years old….Sophie was having constant tonsillitis. Following her tonsillectomy, she is doing well. Her parents felt it was a miracle that HKIE had her seen on a Monday and that she was in for surgery on that Wednesday!

* March 30, 2015: Esteban – 10 years old….circumcision.

* March 30, 2015: Mateo – 7 years old….circumcision, hernia repair and repair for undescended testicles.

* April 13, 2015: Alberto – 4 years old… for undescended testicles.

* April 13, 2015: Christopher – 5 years old….Hernia repair.

* April 13, 2015: Alexander – 6 years old…Hernia repair and surgery for undescended testicle.

* April 20, 2015: Amanda – 12 years old…Second surgery for Amanda to repair her scarred lip.

* May 12, 2015: Amanda – 12 years old….Amanda’s eyesight was so poor she was unable to cope in school. Following an exam and some darling pink “miss kitty” glasses, she is blossoming in school and in sports.

* June 12, 2015: Yandri – 9 years old….surgery to repair a severely burned foot. She had skin and tissue resectioned.

* June 12, 2015: Luis – 7 years old….Cleft palate surgery. His parents are thrilled he had his surgery!

* June 13, 2015: Lisette – 13 years old….removal of extra bones from her foot and part of a toe that was preventing her from walking properly.

* June 13, 2015: Sophia – 4 months….removal of extra toe.

* June 17, 2015: Josue – 5 years old….Surgery for adenoids, tonsils and ear drains. He no longer has headaches and earaches. He is currently being treated for digestive ailments.

* July 2, 2015: Amanda, our 12 year old….received corrective dental plate from University of Azuay dental school.

* July 16, 2015: Jose – 5 years old….second corrective surgery to fix a malformed jaw. Jose has trouble opening his mouth, so his diet consists of foods he can suck on to soften and swallow. There will be at least one more surgery in about 6 months, but he is on his way.

To all the supporters of HKIE: on behalf of all the children and families you have helped: THANK YOU!!!


To all our friends and supporters of Helping Kids in Ecuador (HKIE):

As Helping Kids in Ecuador nears its 65th child helped with surgeries and other medical procedures, we’d like you to take a few minutes to read some case histories of the kids helped so far. Thanks to YOU and your generous donations throughout the years, children in Ecuador have received life enhancing and life saving surgeries that have not only dramatically impacted the lives of these children, but also changed the dynamics of entire families.

Parents, who believed their children might not live, or walk, or talk, or hear or see, and who could not afford these surgeries on their own, now have children whose lives have been saved or enriched in ways we may never know.

All of these parents and their children are eternally grateful to the kindness of strangers. The compassion of foreigners who’ve extended help in small and big ways cannot be put into words.

The HKIE volunteers wish all of you could have visited the hospitals and experienced first hand how happy the families are to know their hopes, dreams and prayers were about to be answered. Even more, we wish you could have seen the look in the parent’s eyes when they saw their dream come true.

By reading these case histories you will understand how each of you contributed to the birth of HKIE in Salinas and now the whole of Ecuador!

Here are the children who were helped ( from May 2011 to August 2013 ).

Carolina: She was HKIE’s first patient.
Carolina was born without an anal tract and had a colostomy bag attached at birth. Her first surgery at 2 1/2 years created an anal tract. She had a successful second surgery to attach her colon to her anal tract and the colostomy bag was removed. ….Carolina will now be able to grow up and live her life without having to deal with a messy colostomy bag!

* Fidela – 4 years old……had a painful tumor over her eye successfully removed.

* Abraham – 7 years old…..cataract surgery and glasses. He is doing well

* Edwin – 11 years old…..cataract surgery and glasses. He too, is doing well.

* Angela – 12 years old… her 2 brothers she had congenital cataracts and it was doubtful surgery could correct her eyes. Yet after surgery and with glasses she is doing great! Angela’s eyesight previously was so bad she did not go to school. Shortly after surgery she returned to school and after a few months she not only caught up with the students in her class, but she is now one of the top students!

* Suheidy – 4 years old……Hospitalized and treated for heart ailments. She is fine now.

* Leyda – 11 months old….Hydrocephalus surgery (water on the brain). A neurosurgeon put shunts in her brain to drain off the fluids that had built up. She is doing very well and has no brain damage.

* Venus – 4 months old…..Hydrocephalus surgery. Similar to Leyda, A neurosurgeon put shunts in her brain and she is doing well.

* Diego – 15 years old…….Hospitalized for kidney and urinary infection. His treatment was successful.

* Melanie – 2 months old. Hydrocephalus. She too had surgery to implant shunts to drain off the fluid She has no brain damage and should live a normal, healthy life.

* Miller – 4 years old…..Leg braces an PT for cerebral palsy. With braces and PT he can, for the first time, walk with the aid of a walker.

* Wilfred – 2 years old….Hydrocephalus surgery…..He had a successful surgery, with no brain damage.

* Yulissa – 1 year old….Severe malnutrition. After several months of treatment to improve her digestive system, she can eat and digest food properly. She has put on much needed weight and is growing normally.

* Javier – 1 1/2 years old…..Anal cyst surgery…he is doing fine.

* Alejandro – 5 years old…..Hydrocephalus. He had successful surgery with no brain damage.

* Roberto – 4 months…..Corrective surgery to remove his colostomy bag. He will not have to go through life with that bag!

* Jhon – 4 years old…..Hernia surgery successfully performed.

* Isaac – 2 months old…..procedure to remove multiple cysts. Successful outcome.

* Marcos – 2 years old…..Treatment for diabetes and cataracts. He is doing well and seeing the world in a whole different light!

* Juleth – 3 years old….treatment for diabetes and cataracts. She, too, is doing fine.

* Stalin – 9 years old…His tongue was attached to the bottom of his mouth and he could not speak. After surgery some of the teachers jokingly asked if the surgery could be reversed as he does nothing but talk. LOL!

* Domingo – 3 days old….Hospitalized and treated for Febrile Syndrome (acute and sudden fever). He is doing well.

* Britany – 2 years old…. Cataract surgery…another successful procedure.

* Edwin – 6 months old…..Successful eye surgery.

* Narcissa – 8 months old….Hydrocephalus surgery. She had 2 brain surgeries and has some permanent brain damage, but her family is very happy they didn’t lose her at such a young age.

* Mikey – 7 years old…..Braces for cerebral palsy. For the first time he is able to get out of his wheelchair!

* Kevin – 7 years old…Surgery for undescended testicles. Kevin recovered nicely.

* Luis – 15 years old… with spinal tumors causing paralysis.

* Pila – 8 years old….aided family to get replacement pacemaker installed in Miami.

* Betina – 3 years old….precancerous tumor over her eye removed. She is no longer crying due to constant pain.

In addition, since our July 2014 Cuenca fundraiser we have helped more than 30 children….BUT that’s for the next update.

This could never have happened without the help of all our supporters. On behalf of all of the kids and their families:



HKIE was privileged to be invited to participate in Fundacion Rostros Felices’ medical mission to Bahia de Caraquez, on the northern coast of Ecuador.

Dr Jorge Palacios, founder of Fundacion Rostros Felices.

Dr Jorge Palacios, founder of Fundacion Rostros Felices.

Dr Jorge Palacios, Dr Pablo Salamea from Hospital del Rio in Cuenca, and a group of volunteer doctors and nurses, completed over 30 surgeries in a 2 day period.

Dr Pablo Salamea and crew performing surgery

Dr Pablo Salamea and crew performing surgery

It was an amazing experience to actually be in the operating room, watching the prep and surgeries!

Dr Pablo and HKIE...ready!!!

Dr Pablo and HKIE…ready!!!



Through Cinterandes and HKIE, 5 more children have received necessary surgeries.

AMANDA is now sporting some cool pink “miss kitty” glasses.

Young 5 year old KAREN, from Yunguilla, has had severe abdominal pain and problems absorbing nutrients. She has been seen by pediatric surgeon Heydi Vasquez and the doctors are hopeful with the correct diagnosis that she can be helped through diet rather than surgery.

Finally, Jose, who has suffered from a malformed jaw is up for another exam. His previous jaw surgery has healed but he still has an inability to open his mouth and chew. Dr Pablo Salamea from Hospital del Rio, is coordinating with a maxiliofacial surgeon to correct this problem.

More to follow……


Two more children helped by Helping Kids in Ecuador (HKIE).

Esteban a 10 year old boy, recieved a much needed circumcision.

Mateo, a seven year old, had two procedures…to repair both a hernia and an undescended testicle. Both boys are doing well after their surgeries.

Esteban’s and Mateo’s surgeries were performed by the wonderful surgeons and staff from the Cinterandes Foundation.

As always, we want to thank all our suporters whose generous donations make all these surgeries/medical procedures possible for the less fortunate kids throughout Ecuador.


Two more children have had surgeries through the joint efforts of Fundacion Cinterandes and HKIE.

The Cinterandes Mobile Surgical Unit went to the outskirts of Cuenca last week. In addition to other surgeries, they performed surgeries on 2 young children.

Brady, 10 years of age, had a sublingual frenelum…his tongue was attached to the bottom of his mouth, preventing him from speaking correctly and causing difficulties in eating.

Pablo (better known as Steven), 1 year 11 months, had a hernia, which as we all know can be very painful.

Funds for these surgeries provided through HKIE’s July 2014 Cuenca fundraiser.
Thanks to our new partnership and our followers and contributors, two more children here in Ecuador may lead normal, healthy lives.