Caemba donated masks and notebooks to the UPC of Nueva Esperanza

On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Caemba delivered 300 masks and 70 notebooks to the children of the Nueva Esperanza neighborhood in Atacames who attend the Community Police Unit (UPC) in the area. There, the coordinator of this UPC, Luis De La Cruz, has been helping at least 18 children to carry out their school activities in an improvised classroom.

Caemba congratulates De La Cruz.

The Raíz Ecuador Foundation and our Caemba project, which has worked intensively in this neighborhood through the construction of 90 bamboo houses; the Women’s Entrepreneurship House (adjacent to the UPC); a Bamboo Child Welfare Center (CIBV), and a beauty salon, are delighted and congratulate this member of the National Police for this initiative.

This story gained national attention as El Universo published on May 7th that Officer De La Cruz adapted the meeting room of this UPC so that 18 children from low-income backgrounds can engage in reading, homework, and other school activities. This initiative arose in early 2021 when one of the children would come to the UPC and greet De La Cruz.

«He would come almost every day to the UPC, around 10:00, greet me, and sometimes accompany me in an improvised office I have,» De La Cruz told El Universo. He recounted that one morning he had the child do some preschool activities and realized that the child couldn’t read or write. That day he gave the child a notebook and a pencil, said the officer.

According to El Universo, this motivated him to take on the role of teacher, and the next day three more children arrived for classes. At present, he is in charge of 18 children (boys and girls), and with the police personnel on duty, they divide the work as teachers to boost the self-esteem of the children, as some of them do not receive classes due to the pandemic and lack of internet access.

«School tasks are for two hours from 10:00, time that I dedicate to teaching,» he said. In the afternoon, he works with around 60 children in recreational activities such as ancestral games, sports, among others.

When he is off-duty or has to travel for official or family matters, he must suspend learning for the children.

«Everything is voluntary, it has no cost, and the parents of the children are very happy,» he said, adding that this gives him strength to continue with this activity, always complying with biosecurity measures for Covid-19, he pointed out.

The Municipal Council of Atacames awarded Police Officer Luis De La Cruz a recognition for his contribution to education. He is 46 years old and has been in the police institution for nearly 20 years. He is distinguished in the sports discipline of karate, according to information gathered by El Universo.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement

Fundación Raíz is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), working with indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian, Montubio, and Mestizo groups across Ecuador.

Our projects support various communities: Sionas, Siekopai, Kofan, Chachi, Kechwa, Waorani and Shuar, covering six linguistic families.

Our CAEMBA housing initiative focuses on the Afro-Ecuadorian and Montubio populations in Esmeraldas, addressing challenges of poverty and high crime rates. We commit to equitable treatment, opportunities for all, and the elimination of barriers to participation.

By valuing every voice and fostering community resilience, we aim to create a more inclusive, equitable society.

Our leadership is committed to DEI principles, ensuring our efforts reflect the diversity of the communities we serve and contribute to sustainable development and social justice.


Fundación Raíz está dedicada a la diversidad, equidad e inclusión (DEI), trabajando con grupos indígenas, afroecuatorianos, montubios y mestizos en todo Ecuador.

Nuestros proyectos apoyan a varias comunidades, Sionas, Siekopai, Kofan, Chachi, Kechwa, Waorani y Shuar, cubriendo seis familias lingüísticas. Nuestra iniciativa de vivienda CAEMBA se centra en las poblaciones afroecuatorianas y montubias en Esmeraldas, abordando desafíos de pobreza y altas tasas de criminalidad.

Nos comprometemos a un trato equitativo, oportunidades para todos y la eliminación de barreras para la participación. Valorando cada voz y fomentando la resiliencia comunitaria, aspiramos a crear una sociedad más inclusiva y equitativa.

Nuestro liderazgo está comprometido con los principios de DEI, asegurando que nuestros esfuerzos reflejen la diversidad de las comunidades que servimos y contribuyan al desarrollo sostenible y la justicia social.