Born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Myrna Fernelius resides in Bountiful, Utah, a proud mother of 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls, and now she has 2 grandchildren and is expecting the birth of a third one anytime now! Myrna has been a Court Interpreter for the past 13 years. Her husband is Cary who works for America First as a Computer Engineer.
Myrna started this labor of love back in 1999 and has been involved in this project since that time. She has had the great opportunity to meet many wonderful people with big hearts who have helped her to collect many various items to help the children in her home country. She is immensely grateful to these people, as well as everyone else who has contributed in different ways to make this project a reality.
She says "I love children and want to do something for them, especially those in need, such as the ones I see in the rural areas back home, this gives me great satisfaction and a loving and warm feeling in my heart"
Rosa Lozano de Samaniego
Rosa, is the Vice-President of the L.O.V.E. Project, she is married to Angel Samaniego and they have a son (Christian Gabriel) and two grandsons, and they all reside in Ecuador.
Rosa is an aunt to the Villamar-Lozano sisters and has been a second mother to them since after Leonny passed away. She is very caring, loving and compassionate to everyone around her. Rosa has been part of the project for many years, and is an invaluable asset to the project.
Having someone living in Ecuador to help with the project makes the transportation and distribution of donated items immeasurably easier. She takes care of the sorting, selection and packing process, as well as the arranging and purchasing of food from wholesalers, for delivery to some of the poorest areas.
Maritza Villamar D.D.S.
The 4th of the Villamar sisters, Maritza, is a successful dentist. After her childhood in Ecuador, she relocated to NYC, where she received her dental degree from New York University. She currently practices in Manhattan, where she has spent most of her adult life.
Despite Maritza’s achievements, she has not forgotten what her mother taught her about selflessness. Charity is the main motivation for Maritza’s life, and something she practices daily. She is highly committed to the outreach program, exclaiming: “It fills my heart with love and gratitude for the rest of the year!”
Maritza looks forward to every November because it is like a working family reunion, where she gets to enjoy family and friends not regularly seen. According to Maritza, this occasion is a blessed one. She urges others to help continue this labor of love.
Mayra is the youngest of the Villamar-Lozano sisters. Her experiences as a professional language interpreter have only intensified her innate desire to reach out to people who are in need.
She, along with her sisters, is happy to be a part of the L.O.V.E project as this is an activity that helps her keep her parents’ memory alive, as well as it gives her an opportunity to show gratitude for the many blessings in her life. She is grateful to have had generous parents who showed her the meaning of `lending a hand` to those in need.
She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and is looking forward to the growth of this humanitarian effort.
Khealynn Harris D.M.D.
Khealynn lives in Keaau, Hawaii with her husband Danny and three children. Danny and Khealynn have been married for ten years. Her husband is a great supporter of Khealynn and her family with this humanitarian project.
Khealynn graduated from BYU with a degree in Physiology and Developmental Biology. She is also a dental school graduate from Roseman University in Utah. She is so excited to be able to travel to Ecuador annually as a dentist to provide dental work for the underprivileged. Khealynn is the secretary and treasurer of L.O.V.E and has been traveling to Ecuador every year for the past 7 years. 5 years ago Khealynn and her aunt Maritza started the first humanitarian dental project to Ecuador through the LOVE Project. They have been returning annually to provide dental treatment to those in need. She feels so blessed to be part of this humanitarian effort in the beautiful country that her family is from, and looks forward to the future growth of the LOVE project.
Jenny is the oldest of the Villamar Lozano sisters, and is an integral part of the yearly project in Ecuador. She lives in Spring, Texas, and is a mother to 2 daughters and a son. Along with her sister Eli, both retired employees of Continental Airlines, Jenny is responsible for transporting donations from the U.S. to Ecuador throughout the year. These donations are placed in an apartment in their hometown Guayaquil, where they are kept for volunteers to then sort through and prepare packages for the impoverished areas of Ecuador.
She expresses appreciation for the chance to serve in conjunction with the rest of her sisters, daughters, son, and the many volunteers that have helped embrace this project over the last many years. For Jenny, it has always been a blessing and a terrific opportunity to be able to give back to the children of her native country. She is committed to continuing on with this great work and give a little bit of happiness to the ones in great need.
Elizabeth, second to the oldest of the Villamar Lozano sisters, is a retired employee of Continental Airlines. She is currently working with her sister at her dental office in NYC.
Elizabeth exhibits a very caring, compassionate, and loving nature toward others, and will do anything to help those with whom she comes in contact. She acknowledges what an immense privilege it is to be part of L.O.V.E. and to aid thousands of children living in poverty throughout her home country of Ecuador.
She is extremely grateful to her loving parents for setting an example of kindness, compassion, and "to love, care, and help anyone around you."
Shaun graduated from the University of Utah and has always looked forward to the yearly opportunity to focus completely on helping those less fortunate in beautiful Ecuador. Shaun and his wife Sharon recently had their first child. Sharon has also joined the family on the service project to Ecuador and we look forward to having Sharon become a big part of the LOVE project.
"From the first year we started this project and I was blessed to hand away an old toy of mine and give it to a child who needed it more, I've always look forward to returning. It feels amazing to provide something that can make another human being smile. When I get back to the United States when our time is through in Ecuador, I see how much I have and feel so blessed to live where I do."