Ecuador – Odalys Aguilar: "Volunteering is a unique and unforgettable experience"

29 April 2021
Odalys Aguilar (first row, second from right to left), together with the young people of the "Heart of Jesus" group

(ANS - Quito) - A few weeks ago, Odalys Aguilar, an 18-year-old girl from Machala, concluded her volunteer experience in the Simiatug community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA). She was part of the first virtual sending made in June 2020, the result of the mobility restrictions generated by Covid-19.

Even though there was the looming fear of getting infected, her desire to help and share her gifts with those who needed them most was stronger. At first her parents were against it, but then she received their support in her volunteering. Before leaving for the mission destination, she entrusted herself to God, she told Him: “Your will be done, always accompany me on this journey”.

During the Sending Mass she was assigned to the work of "Luis Variara" of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts (HHSSCC) in Playas and then she was transferred to Simiatug to accompany the indigenous population. After a year of experiences, learning and even some difficulties, she describes volunteering as a unique and unforgettable stage in her life. "It taught me to always have the joyful Salesian charism and to cultivate patience and loving-kindness."

With all the necessary care and attention, she collaborated in the animation of children on Saturdays and participated in the activities of the oratory and catechesis on Sundays. In this path she took the initiative to found a youth group, born with 12 young people, for which she chose the name: "Heart of Jesus". With a smile on her face, Odalys says, "That's a nice sign I leave here."

Fr Rubinsky Sanchez was one of her main mentors in all of this, as he inspired, supported her and helped her and other young people through the training necessary to develop oneself in their place of mission, transmitting the hope of being great volunteers to them.

Other lessons that she will always carry with her come from community life with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Through their testimony and their accompaniment, Odalys has learned to have more confidence in herself, to realize that she is able to do many things and today ensures that she has plans for her future clear in mind.

“I want to go back to my parish and continue to support youth groups. My aim is to continue along the path of the Lord and to prepare myself to enter university, where I would like to study social communication,” she says.

She left a message to her comrades who replaced her as volunteers: "Be courageous and don't give up. Don Bosco said: 'Holiness consists in always being cheerful'; always keep this in mind and give your all, even in the midst of this pandemic.”

The project of the Salesian Family Missionary Youth Volunteer Service did not stop in Ecuador, not even for Covid-19, precisely thanks to the missionary spirit of young people like Odalys, who have decided to be life and hope in difficult times.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".