Divine Word Missionaries began in Ecuador at the end of the 19th century when the Founder (Arnold Janssen) himself sent two missionaries to Ecuador to take charge of a diocesan seminary run by a German bishop in the coastal city of Portoviejo.  The political situation of the time and the premature death of one of the missionaries caused the Society to suspend its mission there, and the Founder sent the surviving member of the team to Argentina. We returned to Ecuador in 1962 and began working in a secondary school in the city of Guaranda. In subsequent years we accepted work in some parishes. Even though in the beginning our activities responded to the immediate needs of the moment – without much planning – it was always clear that we work among the poor and the needy. This led us to choose work in parishes in the poorer urban and rural areas.