An important part of our annual mission trip is our support of the Virgen de La Esperanza Orphanage in La Paz. Unfortunately we are unable to visit the orphanage during every mission, however, when our mission site is located within reasonable travel of La Paz, we make it a point to visit the orphanage. Regardless of whether our not we are able to visit the orphanage, we always send supplies and money to the Sisters who run the orphanage. Rafael and Christine, however, travel to the orphanage annually.
Virgen de La Esperanza - Virgin of Hope
Please click this image to view more pictures of the orphanage.
The orphanage was founded by Sister Maria José Juarez after she and her fellow Sister decided to sell their only vechicle and purchase a plot of land in the Alto Plano in La Paz. The children whom the sisters care for are often abandoned by their Mother and Father. The children are found in trash dumps, dumpsters and on the street. When the children are brought into the orphanage, they are given the love and care they deserve. The sisters have teamed up with an international organization to ensure that the children get adopted to good homes in North America and Europe.
Rafael and Christine became involved with the orphanage after being introduced to the sisters via a mutual contact. Initially, Friends of Bolivia focused on helping one specific child, Olevia Portillo. Olevia was in drastic need of facial reconstructive surgery. She traveled to Oklahoma City, OK on four separate occasions to receive the treatment that she desperately needed.
Since 1995, Rafael, Christine and Friends of Bolivia have made it a point to help out this wonderful sanctuary for children who are abandoned. The money that allows us to provide supplies and financial assistance to the orphanage come from our annual fundraiser and the school children at St. Eugene’s Catholic School. Every year the school children raise money and gather donations for us to deliver to the Sisters at the orphanage. We, and the orphanage are so grateful for their generous help.