Country Director Spotlight: Raquel Tuston

Raquel was appointed as Country Director of Ecuador since 2015 and she has made strides to leave an impact on everyone she has worked with, she feels at home with CHOICE and says "we are friends, we are a family"

The Local Leadership of CHOICE's Country Directors

For 40 years, CHOICE Humanitarian has helped rural communities build a path out of poverty by unlocking choice, opportunity, and potential. An essential aspect of the collaboration between CHOICE and the communities we work with is our Country Directors.   

Country Directors build local teams who work with rural communities to identify and address devastating poverty within their country. To make a sustainable impact, Country Directors develop programs that specifically support underserved areas within their home countries that offer solutions and provide resources, and opportunities.  


Meet Raquel, CHOICE’s Country Director in Ecuador  

Raquel started her career by earning her master’s degree in nutrition from the Universidad Central del Ecuador and a doctorate in dietetics from the Escuela Superior Politecnica de Chimborazo. She worked in the fields of public health and clinical nutrition for years before she joined CHOICE.   

Raquel began work at the Institute for Self-Reliant Agriculture, which merged with CHOICE Humanitarian in 2015. Since then, Raquel has had the opportunity to connect with people within the communities of Ecuador. Working side by side with them has allowed her to create a tight bond with her work team:   

“My favorite part [about working with CHOICE] has been having the opportunity to connect with people in the communities with the support of a work team that more than being colleagues we are friends, we are a family.  

Raquel has been an integral part of CHOICE and works with determination to help support the communities of Ecuador.  


The Fulfilling Work Raquel Accomplishes through CHOICE  

During Raquel’s time at CHOICE, she has learned that many families in these communities are ready to change their lives and need a helping hand to kickstart that chance. Raquel understands and empathizes that we are here to support these countries when they need it and be encouraging of their journeys. It can’t be done without the support of the CHOICE network and all the hard work of Country Directors like Raquel.  

Because of Raquel’s hard work, she has been able to help CHOICE in supporting local Ecuadorian governments, which has allowed them to focus on projects that have a greater impact socially.   

“CHOICE,” Raquel says, “is an organization in which they see a strategic ally whose purpose is to help and serve the disadvantaged population.”  


How Working with Ecuador has Impacted Raquel’s Life  

Being the Country Director for Ecuador has been a highlight of Raquel’s career at CHOICE. She claims that locals know that when they work with CHOICE, they’re working with an ally. The biggest thing Raquel claims she has learned?   

“That there are many families in the communities who are ready to change their lives and who just need someone to lend them a hand and give them a single chance.”  

Raquel truly embodies the CHOICE Humanitarian vision: the idea that in order to create resilient and self-reliant communities, we need to expand choice for those living in poverty.   

You can learn more about Raquel’s journey in CHOICE and the challenges and triumphs her community faces by registering for our 40th Anniversary Gala today!   


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