Refuge of Life Orphanage, Pucallpa, Peru (24 + Children)

Refuge of Life Church & Orphanage

Meet Director Pastora Lilly

Pastora Lilly San Martin Cardenas, a former attorney and judge, has discipled and fed her community’s orphans for the past ten years.  The children were scattered throughout the community, some with families living in extreme poverty, some huddled together, sheltering in dilapidated shacks. Many had no protection from prey or the elements.

For many years, Pastora Lilly’s vision—to build a refuge for the abandoned children in Pucallpa, specifically in La Florida where they would receive an excellent Christian education, good nutrition and love was just that—a vision until this year. Finally, her mission to teach them skills to live successful independent adult lives is becoming a reality.

Refuge of Life Orphanage

Moving Refuge of Life down the path of helping orphans to ultimately thrive and realize their dreams is a heartwarming illustration of how Haven of Hope International (HOHI) bridges the gap between a church community’s mission work and the needs of orphanage homes throughout the world.

In 2019, HOHI presented the project at an Men and Women of Action Rally and a team from Indiana chose to partner with Pastora Lilly to make her dream come true of providing a safe and loving home for the children of Pucallpa, Peru.  The first phase of her site plan was to build 3 family style homes and construction began.  However, Covid interrupted the progresss

Children from our partner home in Peru, Refuge of Life

Soon after the dedication Refuge of Life’s doors opened, and they began receiving children.  Twelve young girls now call Refuge of Life home. Their plan of care will address the trauma the children have experienced. They will have access to a quality education, receive psycho/social support along with medical care. Pastora Lilly's family has always supported her outreach at the church she founded over a decade ago and are continuing to support her vision at these homes.  Her sister Toti is assisting with the daily operations and her daughter in law, Graciela,  is heading up the Psychology department.

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In August of 2021, travel resumed when a Fort Myers man visited the home with Alice Sweet.  His dedication to providing safety for the children enabled the home to construct a much needed wall that includes security cameras.  In May of 2022, representatives from CMR visited the campus and made a commitment to assist with the funding to complete the three homes and the bakery/kitchen. Truly an inspiring group effort from multiple people seeing the need and doing their part to help children that otherwise would have no hope for their future.   Thanks to their determination and support, the three homes were completed in 2023.

The homes are on the campus land located in a rural area outside of Pucallpa. Each home houses up to eight children in a family environment supervised by a live-in Christian couple. Each home is comprised of four bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and two bathrooms, have recently been constructed. In addition, a kitchen, cafeteria, and office have also been constructed and are now functioning. The dedication of the buildings took place in July 2023.

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Refuge of Life is wasting no time in moving towards a thriving home.  Programs already implemented at Refugio de Esperanza are now being shared with Refuge of Life. Among the latest highlights:

Training Continues

They continue to receive HOHI's Director Training program as they build a team of support to meet the children's complex needs.  They are eager to continue the steps to develop a thriving campus. Caregiver training has also begun weekly to equip the staff with practical tools to handle the challenging behavior that comes with children from trauma. Trauma Training will be coming in 2024.

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The Chicken Sustainability Program has been a Huge Success

Over 30 chickens are producing eggs, providing a valuable source of income for the home and nutrition for the community. A bakery sustainability program is being planned, which holds immense sustainability potential to help cover the ongoing expenses of the home.


Our Blogs About Peru

A Safe Haven for Girls in Pucallpa, Peru: Bringing Healing from Trauma

February 28, 2024

Haven of Hope International is thrilled to share the incredible progress at our new partner home, Refuge of Life, in Pucallpa, Peru. Opened in July 2024, this safe haven for girls provides a nurturing environment for 12 young ladies, offering them a sanctuary from a world where options for orphans are severely limited. The transformative…

A New Beginning for Three Siblings at Refugio de Vida

February 14, 2024

At Haven of Hope International, we believe every child deserves a loving and supportive environment. The story of three resilient siblings at our partner home, Refuge of Life in Pucallpa, Peru, epitomizes the transformative power of our mission. The journey of these children-nine-year-old twins and their eleven-year-old sister-began with heartache. Their mother tragically passed away…

Building Hope and Transforming Lives: The New Hope Center at Refuge of Life

January 15, 2024

Just six months ago, in the heart of Pucallpa, Peru the Refuge of Life Children’s Home (ROL) became a sanctuary for young girls in need, offering them a safe haven and a chance at a brighter future. Today sixteen children have been rescued by Pastora Lilly and her amazing team. Even before the first residents…

Building Hope: Update on the Peru Hope Center and How You Can Make a Difference

October 30, 2023

Excitement is in the air! The Hope Center in Peru is progressing steadily, with a significant milestone achieved—the roof is up! Each step taken brings us closer to creating a space where lives can be transformed, futures can be redefined, and destinies can be fulfilled. But the journey isn’t over yet; the next phase calls…

From Surviving to Thriving – A Progress Report on Refuge of Life, Pucallpa, Peru

February 20, 2023

REFUGE OF LIFE – Pucallpa, Peru Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic over the last few years, Haven of Hope International (HOHI) and its partner homes have made significant strides towards creating a sustainable future for the children we serve. Progress in its mission to empower communities and support those in need has…

Learn More About Children In Peru

Learn More About Children in Peru

April 2, 2020

The rights of the child in Peru are fulfilled to a varying degree. On one hand, the country has made real material progress in improving the lives of young Peruvians. On the other hand, only some children can take advantage of these advances, and many others are left behind, with no guarantee that their rights…

A building is going up in Peru!

October 11, 2019

You just glanced over the latest images from South America. Pucallpa, Peru to be exact! What you see now is a result of lots of prayer and a relentless desire to change the destiny of orphans around the world.  Haven of Hope International saw the extreme need in Pucallpa, Peru first hand during a trip in…

Updates from Pucallpa, Peru

October 2, 2019

Michael Alton is leading a group of men and women in Pucallpa, Peru to build a dorm for 8 children.

HOHI is breaking ground in Peru

September 25, 2019

Work has begun on a $50,000 project to build and sustain an orphanage in Pucallpa, Peru. This site will serve as a haven of hope for children that have been abused, neglected, and forgotten.

About the Republic of Peru

The Republic of Peru is a country in western South America bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the south and west by the Pacific Ocean. It is the 19th largest country in the world and third largest in South America. 

Peru is diverse in habitat—arid plains, the Andes mountains, the Amazon Basin and River.  With approximately 31 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous country in South America with approximately 80% living in urban areas. Pucallpa is a city on the Ucayali River in the Amazonian rainforest section of eastern Peru. The economy of Pucallpa is based on trade, the timber industry and tourism.

Education is important in Peru, with a literacy rate estimated at 92.9%. Primary and secondary education are compulsory and free in public schools.

In Peru, it is estimated that 550,000 children grow up without parental care. They are either orphans or come from dysfunctional families who neglected or abused them at an early age. Many children in Peruvian orphanage homes are considered “social orphans”. Unlike orphans whose parents are both deceased, they have been given up by families who are either unable or unwilling to care for them.