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South American Rhythms

Quito, Ecuador

In Quito, high in the Andes and known for its beautiful historic centre and its delicious chocolate, many children face the harsh reality of poverty, domestic violence, and the effects of drugs in their community. In one of the most notorious districts of Quito, an organisation called Honrar la Vida is keeping children off the streets by providing not only primary and secondary education, but shelter, emotional support and tools to deal with the traumatic experiences many face. Keys of Change USA visited Quito in 2017 and our founder Panos Karan met the children of Honrar la Vida. It is remarkable how children who might have seen some of the worst situations in life, are full of positive energy and want to share beautiful things with others. Keys of Change USA decided that this is an ideal place to provide inspiration through music, and give a chance tot hese children to express themselves with sounds.


During the summer of 2017 Keys of Change USA helped organise a summer music camp, by providing daily music lessons for more than 100 children. Given the hardships many of these children face, trust and collaboration with others is often lacking. The camp more than anything was therefore an opportunity for these children to use music, singing and sounds to work closely with others, and encourage trust and enthusiasm for creating something jointly. At the very least, the camp worked as an important excuse for the children to stay off the streets during the summer holidays.

The tremendous success of the summer music camp led Keys of Change USA to decide to continue offering music and dance classes to the children at Honrar la Vida throughout the academic year, helping them continue building on some of the most important lessons that will follow them throughout their lives: collaboration, trust and hope.

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