Damien House is located in Guayaquil, Ecuador and is a residential hospital for patients with Hansen’s disease (Leprosy). Their goal is to provide a home for people who have been secluded from society and to educate their communities about the symptoms and treatments for Hansen’s. The team at The Damien House are advocates for education around the disease and provide constant loving medical care to those in need and form a warm and inviting community around love and kindness.
The residents and patients of The Damien House rely on their caregivers to help them beat the disease and maintain a chance at a “normal life” once-again. However, for some the disabilities from lack of treatment are too much to return to their families or they have been stigmatized by the disease and are unable to return home. These residents have become advocates for education and use their ability connect with volunteers and visitors to share their stories. They are brave, happy, and purposeful people.
Each resident creates something different and beautiful. Carlos makes the crosses, he is the youngest resident of the Damien House. Esther makes stunning friendship bracelets and bedazzled owls. Lenor makes peace birds strung with bells and brightly colored beads. Each resident sells to volunteers and student groups who come through to the Damien House in Ecuador. This is their first venture into a wider market and they are hopeful to create more for the future. Each purchase creates a ripple effect of good and hope which inspires the 30 + residents and 100 outpatients to meet each day with positivity and purpose.
Advocacy through Art
Patients at the hospital give back to volunteers with their generous hospitality on a weekly basis. They sell their arts and crafts not only as a means of income but to show the world they are still able to create beautiful items despite the disease. They are true missionaries with a cause to share their stories in order to shed light on Hansen’s disease and the human spirit.
“Our ministries have been intertwined through our passion in accompanying the poor and marginalized.”
More than a House
The Damien House is a home and a community that reaches out!
The work of Damien House extends far beyond the hospital’s walls. The staff make regular visits within Guayaquil and into the remote villages. Their mission includes public education about the cause and curability of Hansen’s Disease and spreading optimism for its eventual elimination.