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Home / News / Interview with Karina Chiluiza, Vice Rector of the 'SSCC Unidad Educativa', La Concordia (Ecuador)

Interview with Karina Chiluiza, Vice Rector of the 'SSCC Unidad Educativa', La Concordia (Ecuador)

"The joint work between the laity committed to the work and the Congregation makes it possible
for the project to be strengthened in all aspects”
Irma Karina Chiluiza Chora has been the Vice Rector of the SSCC Unidad Educativa Private School in Concordia (Ecuador), since March 2020. She has worked as a teacher since 2005.
Karina, tell us about this particular SSCC School.
The school is located in the district of La Concordia and is currently directed by Father Hilvar Loyaga, Rector and Superior of the Andina Province. Our school system follows the Costa timetable: we have morning and full day education with educational levels ranging from: Initial Education, Preparatory, Basic (General Education) and Baccalaureate, specialising in General Sciences.
Our institution serves a total of 325 students. We currently employ 23 people, including administrative and teaching staff. In terms of infrastructure, we have a reading room, chemistry laboratory, audiovisual room, events room, recreational areas and chapel.
Our motto is: "We educate with respect, love and discipline".
One of the extracurricular projects which has generated active participation of students is the Gala Band, which for several years, has represented us in various civic parades, district competitions and institutional events.
Another of the extracurricular projects, which encourages us to continue with the mission, is "Visiting a grandparent”. This project is intended for students in the third year of their baccalaureate, who are motivated to accompany and share with former student moments full of the life experiences that have marked their educational path and their formation as sscc students with congregational characteristics.
Can you tell us about the congregational features that we can appreciate in your educational community.
The characteristics of the Congregation are reflected in the management carried out by our director, Father Hilvar Loyaga. We are motivated by his conviction to "serve the most needy", and this guides the course of our educational programme, whether as administrative staff, service workers, teachers, students or parents. It is for this reason that in the classrooms the educators develop transversal axes that fall under the basic principle of our congregation. Teacher training focuses on how to evangelise through education. The educational and pastoral project intended for students is based on developing an inclusive education. We believe it is urgent to learn to live together, without hurting each other, to talk, to be receptive, to respect and value each other.
The projects of family ministry -an essential dimension of evangelisation- and accompanying families in the formative-educational process of their sons and daughters, maintaining a dialogue that is always open, constructive and of mutual understanding also reflects the charism of the Congregation.
Other congregational features can be seen in the students we take in. We do not seek to form "brilliant minds", but rather to form in children in need a deeper and more human sense of mission to help them overcome their social reality, as they come from dysfunctional families, with scarce economic resources, domestic violence and alcohol and drug consumption.
Finally our Sacred Hearts spirituality makes us more empathetic (a human gesture, a breath of faith and hope) for those children and adolescents who face catastrophic illnesses.
Our work is a shared mission between lay people and SSCC religious.
Our work is a mission of the Gospel in service of those most in need.
In our institution we work under the direction of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts. As lay people we are immersed in the educational project of the Congregation. That is why our educational service goes beyond our vocational professionalism, but rather is a mysticism that is born of our faith, that comes from the great teacher called Jesus. The joint work between the laity committed to the work and the congregation makes it possible for the project to be strengthened in all aspects, such as: financial, administrative, pedagogical and above all pastoral. This undoubtedly shapes the identity of our institution and, at the same time, pushes us to continue innovating, with the aim of offering an authentic integral development, fundamentally marked by our charism: "To contemplate, live and announce the love of God, manifested in Jesus".
It must have been complicated, in a rural environment, to face the challenges of confinement for your educational community.
The challenges that arose were complex in various fields: administrative, pedagogical, financial and socio-emotional. Having to go in a different direction than we were accustomed to marked us in many aspects, but the most valuable thing was to be able to help the educational community at all times and to see how they responded positively to a new project. In our planning we especially valued the families, seeing them as a fundamental pillar of our institution. This made us consider our efforts as worthwhile. That is why we managed to keep going despite the emerging crisis.
The 39th General Chapter of the Congregation asks: "That the pastoral and missionary conversion in SSCC education places the person (students, teachers, families...) at the centre of their processes and accompanies them in the academic, pastoral and personal/social development.” How do you try to make this a reality in your school.
Maintaining pastoral care is one of the advantages that private Catholic educational institutions can have, hence our projects involve the educational community in an active and proactive way. Among the projects we have are:
  • Social aid to the families of students with low economic resources. Through various activities we promote fraternity.
  • Implementation of catechesis for children and adolescents with a view to educating them in the faith.
  • Through parish work, students from elementary school to high school carry out missions in the neighbourhoods and surrounding communities of low-income families.
  • Family Day, a project that is born out of the reality of several students whose homes are dysfunctional. We seek a space in order to revalue the role of the family and the importance in the emotional, physical and affective development, which is vital for their self-esteem and confidence in personal growth.
  • Consecration to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, for children from 0 to 3 years old and from 4 to 5 years old, that is to say, for those who begin their educational path, as well as for teachers who become part of our family. 
  • Visit to a grandparent.
  • School for parents, the aim of which is to generate meetings centred on daily life, promoting the exchange of experiences as a mechanism for resolving personal, family and social conflicts.
In a natural environment as wonderful as yours, these words of Pope Francis are sure to resonate especially: "Education commits us to love our mother earth, to avoid the waste of food and resources, and to share more generously the goods that God has given us for the life of everyone”.
It is important that from a very young age we learn about God's creation, as a way to value the "common home", the earth we inhabit, and to understand that it is our duty to care for and protect what was given to us, because today more than ever we must be aware of our relationship with nature, which cries out for its survival. It is therefore necessary to direct our educational projects towards the pedagogy of environmental care, that is, a pedagogy of gentleness, tenderness, affection, in short, an education of the heart that involves a healthy and peaceful coexistence, an education that challenges us to awaken from the individualistic dream, to open a future of community hope, improving intra-personal and inter-personal relationships, inside and outside the classroom.
Do you maintain relationships with other schools in the Congregation?
At present, we work in a network with the following educational institutions:
  • Private school, Corazón de María, in the city of Guayaquil
  • Private schools in Lima (Peru) and Bogotá (Colombia), namely, the Sacred Hearts Recoleta and San Damián. We also network with other schools outside the Congregation.