The Project Cerleco




= Center of speech-language communication support and rehabilitation.

The Center

CERLECO is a center for support and rehabilitation of children with disabilities that live under extreme poverty conditions in marginal areas of Ecuador at the coast of Santa Elenas. The main focus is on speech and communication disorders. The project was founded in March 2002 and nowadays, works rooted and independent in the region.

Community-based participatory cooperation

CERLECO is characterized by close cooperation of local, trained therapists, a parent's council, the local community, and other institutions. CERLECO has an extensive and sustainable influence on the development of the region due to the involvement of different institutions and the high amount of self-organization of the municipality. CERLECO can only achieve a sustainable change in the community, if all participants decide for themselves and vote together, to what extent and pace changes should occur. The constancy of further development changes the understanding of disabilities and achieves less discrimination and more participation of children in the community. CERLECO strives to get more respect for people with disabilities and to constantly improve their living conditions through an intense examination with specific disability topics, the establishment of a network, and the cooperation with parents, the local community, and other institutions. 


The support and interventions for children and adolescents with special educational needs include measures in individual and group intervention. These include support measures of basal stimulation, sensory integration, psychometrics,  speech and communication support, alternative communication, ...


The evaluation of the project takes place on different levels. The work with the individual children and their families is based on the general standards of rehabilitation science: diagnosis, indicators, intervention, and evaluation. A high-quality work of the therapists gets ensured through established team meetings with a detailed reflection of their own work. Furthermore, continuous internal and external supervisions take place. As extern supervision count employees of the University of Erfurt. The scientific support enables a continuous evaluation of the project in terms of evidence-based standards. Moreover, the work and small project studies from interns on-site complement this approach. All organizational and financial frameworks get discussed and activities get planned and reflected by holding regular meetings with the parent's council, the municipality, and the local community.


The local therapists got and still get trained and work independently in the frame of the project, whereby they get an apprenticeship with a regular income. 

Parents got mobilized and join actively the individual areas of the work of CERLECO. 
Also, the local community engages with the maintenance and further development of CERLECO, so one can speak of community-based rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, other institutions of San Pedro and surroundings join (e.g. daycare center and schools)

Through scientific cooperation with the University of Erfurt, new knowledge can be gained, which is supposed to concretize diagnosis-, support-, and intervention measures for children and adolescence.

The cooperation with an Ecuadorian university for the apprenticeship of qualified personnel is planned.

How to find us

Barrio Unión y Progreso, frante a “Futro Valdivia”,

Comuna de San Pedro,
Parroquia de Manglaralto
Península de Santa Elena, – Ecuador.