Each summer 12–15 volunteers travel to the edges of Guayaquil, Ecuador to serve with Rostro de Cristo (RdC). They do so in response to God’s call to love our neighbors and to share in the joys and struggles with those who live on the margins. Volunteers spend a year together intentionally living our pillars: spirituality, service, community, simplicity, and hospitality.
Each RdC volunteer works with a local organization that responds to the daily challenges our neighbors face. They engage in a range of service opportunities: supporting staff in community health centers; educating in local schools and afterschool programs; working in pastoral ministry and social services; and more.
In addition to serving at local organizations, RdC volunteers cultivate authentic relationships with their neighbors, the kind that can only be developed by entering into daily life with them – shopping at the local tiendas, visiting neighbors in their homes, singing in the parish choir, and joining impromptu soccer games. Every day is an opportunity to encounter, learn, listen and pray together – to be a friend, neighbor, brother or sister.
Rostro de Cristo volunteers live simply in intentional community – sharing meals, gathering for prayer and reﬂection, and supporting and encouraging one another. Volunteers also guide groups of US high school and college students who visit for a week-long immersion experience. They are profoundly impacted by the witness of our neighbors, partners and the RdC volunteers.
The life of a Rostro de Cristo volunteer is living the gospel: full of unconditional acceptance, patience, sacrifice, resilience, and most of all, love.
All Rostro de Cristo volunteers receive:
•Stipend for food, transportation and basic personal needs
•Health insurance for health care in Ecuador
•Cross-cultural training and spiritual formation, including an orientation, five retreats, and ongoing programmatic support
Each volunteer is expected to support fundraising efforts toward an individual and community goal. (Reaching the goal is not a condition for serving.)
The experience of a Rostro de Cristo volunteer extends beyond their year in Ecuador. Returned Volunteers are part of la familia Rostro – our network of alumni volunteers, supporters, and friends. These connections, along with the skills and abilities gained during their volunteer year, support our volunteers as they live out their call to serve upon return. Six in ten alumni speak Spanish on a regular basis in their work and/or communities. Two-thirds of volunteers pursue additional education after their year of service and pursue a variety of careers, including law, education, social services, healthcare, pastoral ministry, and diplomacy.
In July, a new group of Rostro de Cristo volunteers will begin their year of service in Guayaquil’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Could one of these volunteers be YOU? To explore your opportunity with Rostro de Cristo further click here to learn more about the application process.