The Rostro de Cristo Retreat Program has offered over 3,000 participants from high schools, universities, parishes and seminaries an opportunity to live, work and pray in community in Ecuador for a period of seven days to two weeks.
Groups live in retreat houses designed and built for the program within two neighborhoods on the outskirts of Guayaquil. Emphasis is placed on being with members of the local community rather than doing for them, building relationships and developing a greater understanding of the reality of Ecuadorians, through visits and dialogue.
Rostro de Cristo works with various partners across the cities of Durán and Guayaquil which retreat participants may visit, including: Fundacion Nuevo Mundo, a progressive bilingual school for the disadvantaged of Durán and Guayaquil and Hogar de Cristo, an international Jesuit organization that provides affordable housing and social services to the poor. In addition, Rostro de Cristo has founded and runs after-school programs, which groups visit and participate in.
Retreat participants share activities to maintain living quarters, including trips to the local market, cooking and cleaning. Groups are invited to participate in parish liturgy and make time for daily prayer and reflection.
It is our hope that through these experiences, young people will touch, taste, smell, see and feel how the developing world lives and be forever changed. The retreat program is thus devoted to inspiring life-long commitments to service, faith and social justice.