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Since 2002, six Forjando Liderazgo events have been conducted in Ecuador, impacting an estimated 693 participants and their communities. In Ecuador Forjando Liderazgo seminars were conducted in several cities including Quito, Guayaquil, Manta and Bahia de Carraquez. Initially, success was achieved in Ecuador working with strong partners - the Education Ministry led by DPNA member Paquita Moncayo and the NGO Semillas de Amor in Guayaquil led by Maria de Lourdes Portaluppi. After this initial success in Ecuador, a new phase began when through the work of Forjando Liderazgo, the city of Manta was formally declared the “First Preventive City of Ecuador.” This astounding achievement came about because of the leadership of DPNA Advisory Board member Olga Velez Mendoza, the Dean of the Social Service School of the Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabi. Twelve other cities of the State of Manabi, including Bahia de Carraquez and 24 de Mayo have followed Manta’s example, and their Mayors are now actively involved in the success of their cities as Preventive Cities. The expansion of these efforts was also made possible by the work of Ricardo Loor Solorzano whose diverse governmental roles have proven invaluable.
Also of note, a formal agreement has been signed between the city of Manta and the Federation of Neighborhoods to work in 22 cantones or provinces in the state of Manabi to utilize the concept of Preventive Cities.
The City of 24 de Mayo is now called “24 de Mayo Preventive City and Model City of Ecuador”. What is tremendous is that many of the participants of the Forjando Liderazgo seminars in Ecuador have taken the concepts presented at the seminars and internalized them in such a significant way that many have become leaders in their own neighborhoods. This is evident in several cities of Ecuador where the belief prevails that a life free from drug use is better for the citizens. Institutions such as Camino a la Felicidad and the Asociaciòn por un Mundo Libre de Drogas have joined the coordinated work for drug demand reduction. As previously stated, the best examples for Preventive Cities’ achievements stem from Argentina and from Ecuador where local leaders have pushed forward with grassroots community-based efforts.
• A Forjando Liderazgo event was held for approximately 50 participants in Quito, Ecuador on September 4-5, 2003.
• A Forjando Liderazgo event was held for approximately 60 participants in Guayaquil, Ecuador on June 14-15, 2005. Local partner was Fundacion Semillas de Amor. The Guayaquil Declaration was signed by 53 organizations pledging to incorporate drug prevention into their educational and social programs, working as a coalition.
• A Forjando Liderazgo event was held for approximately 110 participants in Manta, Ecuador on June 21-23, 2006. Manta was declared the first Preventive City of Ecuador as a direct result of this event. Local partners were CONSEP and the Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro of Manabi.
• A Forjando Liderazgo event was held for approximately 70 participants in Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador January 9-11, 2008.
• A Forjando Liderazgo event was held for approximately 60 participants in Portoviejo, Ecuador on May 20-22, 2008.
• A Forjando Liderazgo event was held for approximately 343 participants in Guayaquil, Ecuador on June 13-15, 2008. This event was supported by the International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy and in conjunction with a Task Force meeting.