Ayuda Directa is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2001 by a group of friends all of whom wished to help others in Ecuador. The words "Ayuda Directa" are Spanish for Direct Help, this is a phrase that has been and continues to be one of the guiding principles of the group. Our activities started in earnest in May 2001 and since then we have continued to grow and to reach out to various sectors of Ecuadorian society, the poor, the marginalized and the discriminated against. Our main areas of activity are in the fields of education and health with the overriding aim to improve the basic quality of life of the underprivileged who live in Ecuador.
All of our projects are undertaken in a collaborative spirit, actively involving local people and institutions. We make every effort to utilize local resources and institutions in order to accomplish the goals of every project. Respect for local cultures and traditions is observed and always taken into account in the design and implementation of each and every one of the projects.
Another guiding criteria of the organization is to offer assistance to those in need in a manner that is both effective and educative, respecting the dignity of the individual on one hand while on the other avoiding the perception of being a simple and ready source of aid. We try to offer assistance offered in a just and equitable manner where the recipient understands that it is not a gift but something earned or to be earned.
By the end of 2004, Ayuda Directa has been established not only in Ecuador, but also in Italy and Germany, the latter two providing the majority of funding for the projects run in Ecuador.
In 2005 also Ayuda Directa U.S.A. has been established.