Judith & Karl Stadler’s Service in Ecuador 1967-1969

Judith and Karl Stadler’s Service in Ecuador

Years of Service: 1967-1969

My husband Karl and I served in Tulcan, Ecuador–a town of 20,000 on the Pan American Highway at the border with Colombia. Karl was a new engineer and he served with a group of engineers and linemen who were assigned to different towns in Ecuador with INECEL, a rural electrification program. I worked with the obstetriz at the local public health department, teaching nutrition, food preparation and sanitation. I also worked with a group of young women artisans who wove macramé bags, belts, hangers, etc. from cabuya, a local cactus fiber.

Once the principal of a local elementary school asked me for recipes for using some of the Food for Peace food products that were donated through the Alliance for Progress program. They received milk powder, bulgur wheat and vegetable oil (which came in 5 gallon square cans. They made great little ovens on top of a gas stove.) But the strangest food they had in their bodega (warehouse) was hundreds of little boxes of Royal pudding mix, in flavors that apparently had been discontinued in the US. The mixes came in bright green and almost turquoise colors. The school kids thought the pudding tasted weird and preferred to stay with the traditional dulce dessert.