Pictor QuiÃƒÂ±onez was born and raised in Santo Domingo de Onzole. He is the proud father of three teenagers and husband to Laysi. Pictor is the principal of the elementary school as well as a teacher to Year 10 students. He is also a farmer, local veterinarian and politician. Pictor remembers being a young boy when the elementary school was first built in his community; it was a novel concept at the time to take education into such rural areas of the country. Now he stands proud administrating and teaching in the very same school he had graduated from many years ago. He is passionate about mentoring teenagers through hard-work and skill training on the farm. Pictor’s unsung efforts have played key roles in the development of not only his community, but other communities along the river. Over the years Pictor has taken the lead in advocating for electricity, running water and government subsidized education. Below are some of his thoughts regarding his community:
Santo Domingo de Onzole is a community of African decedents. It is located in the northern province of Esmeraldas in the region of Eloy Alfaro. Our community has experienced and suffered through many hardships; social problems like our school being closed for more then a decade, health issues, discrimination and lack of basic services like electricity and running water. Thanks to God and some committed people, we have fought for the development of this African corner in the world. Thank you to all the willing men and women who have invested in our community with servant hearts. There are so many names running through my head of people I would like to thank that it would be impossible to list them all. However, it is through all of this collective support that our community has changed for the better. We now have electricity, ten school classrooms, a sewing and carpentry workshop, a computer lab and library for our kids and adults. We are currently working on building a water system that will give people access to running water right in their homes.
Even through these problems, we the people of Santo Domingo de Onzole remain happy. We are grateful to have been born in this corner of the world from descendants of Africa. We are proud to work the land producing rich cocoa pods, plantain and tagua nut while raising our herds of cattle. Though we are not big competitors on the economic market due to the remoteness of where we live, we continue forward. We delight in what God has blessed us with so far and we believe we will eventually live in a country where we will all enjoy the same basic human rights regardless of colour, wealth, social class or accomplishments. Please keep us in your prayers.