Working Boys' Center
Since his ordination as a Jesuit priest, Fr. John Halligan’s focus has been serving the people of Quito, Ecuador. He began a program providing lunch to shoeshine workers, and within weeks, 250 young men joined the group.
Working Boys’ Center evolved into a comprehensive program, empowering entire families to lift themselves out of poverty. Today, Working Boys’ Center serves about 400 families, who are housed, fed and receive healthcare, dental care and access to a variety of social services. Adults receive vocational training, children attend school and each family is required to save toward the purchase of a plot of land, on which other families help them build a home.
In 46 years, Fr. John and his staff have helped more than 6,000 families develop marketable skills as carpenters, welders, auto mechanics, chefs, beauticians and seamstresses. Nearly all graduates are placed in jobs, and many have started their own businesses.