It began with the vision of a single nun, Sister Lucia, and her dream of providing a safety net for the most vulnerable members of society: the children. In response to the needs of orphaned and abandoned children, La Chia, as she was commonly referred to by the children, established an orphanage in the tiny pueblo of Mindo, Ecuador. La Chia and two other sisters of the Divine Providence began to welcome children who had nowhere else to go.
The need to provide the children with an education became a priority and a school was born: La Unidad Educativa Fiscomisional Tecnico Ecuador, UEFTE. From day one, the financial resources of the school were stretched to the limit.
Always on the lookout for help, La Chia had a chance encounter with an American businessman that led to an affiliation with two schools from Miami, FL. Touched by the loving environment that they encountered at UEFTE, and inspired by the sister’s mission to educate the children, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and LaSalle High School were moved to offer assistance. In 1998, an organization called the Miracle of Mindo was formed to help raise funds to support the work of La Chia.
As time passed it became apparent that there was more to be done. Amanda Gaetan, who first visited Mindo at the young age of 15 with La Salle High School during a summer mission, formed and founded Mindo Futures at the very young age of 19 years old. What began as a young lady’s vision to keep La Chia’s legacy and dream alive has today become a non-profit organization that works and strives year round to sustain and continually improve and grow three different programs under the umbrella of Mindo Futures.
The Miracles Program strives to continue the work of the Miracle of Mindo. Throughout the years Mindo Futures has continued to offer assistance to UEFTE. 2015 was a groundbreaking year! A new building was constructed that houses a computer lab, a science lab, classrooms and administrative offices. Additionally, the library was renovated and enhanced, and a new reading program was initiated in an effort to improve the overall education.
The Bridge Program began with 8 UEFTE graduates who moved to Quito to begin their university studies. All have successfully earned their degrees, thereby paving the way for additional students to follow in their footsteps. Each year, the most academically qualified UEFTE students apply in hope of being accepted into the program.
The Health program commenced in 2008 and through the annual medical mission we do each summer, this mission provides free medical care and medicine to the people of Mindo, and the surrounding areas throughout the province of Pichincha.
The Miracle of Mindo Mission started in 2014 and focuses intensely on providing school supplies, clothing, basic hygiene supplies and other basic needs to the children at UEFTE. It also works on improving different infrastructure projects.
Mindo Futures, Inc. was incorporated in the state of Florida in January 2009 and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity in August 2009.IRS Letter of Incorporation
Amanda Gaetan Chin.
At the young age of 15, Amanda went to Mindo on a summer mission trip with her high school. After that very first experience she already knew, albeit at such a young age, that she had arrived at the place where she whole-heartedly knew she needed to be at. Moving there at the age of 18, and establishing the bridge program, was a monumental step in the direction of the foundation. Many years later, the vision of this young lady remains alive through our three different programs.
Dolores is a licensed social worker in Quito, Ecuador and has been in the position of housemother of the Mindo Futures Bridge Program since 2009.
She lives with our students, in the girls’ house, and oversees the day to day operation of the program.