I want to say that after visiting Haven of Hope Bolivia I am even more impressed with this organization. I know people who have returned from mission trips with orphanages and felt so sad that they could not rescue all the children and bring them back to the US with them. Leaving Refugio de Esperanza, I did not feel that way at all!  I felt like these children are in the best possible place for them where they are well loved and have all their needs—physical, emotional, and spiritual—addressed every day by loving and dedicated Tias, Tios and staff members.  And the passion Gladys and Marco have after all these years still burns bright.  They truly love these children as their own.

-Laura Gates, 2023 Mission Trip Traveler

Refugio de Esperanza, Santa Cruz, Bolivia (35-40 Children) 

Gladys and Marco Aldana

Meet Directors Gladys and Marco Aldana

Meeting directors Gladys and Marco Aldana is like encountering a whirlwind of passion and dedication. They've devoted themselves to nurturing over 400 children at Refugio de Esperanza, fondly known as Haven of Hope Bolivia, assuming the roles of both "mom and dad" to these deserving youngsters.

Gladys, armed with a degree in childhood education and pastor accreditation, is a prominent leader in the Church of God Southern Cone of South America. Her involvement in orphan care, feeding kitchens, and community abuse shelters has left an indelible mark. She's known for introducing innovative programs that have transformed countless lives.

About Refugio de Esperanza

Refugio de Esperanza isn't just an orphanage; it's a testament to the power of action, collaboration, and the unwavering belief in the potential of every child. It stands as Haven of Hope International’s flagship home, a transformative model-of-care. From day one, the pursuit of excellence has driven every decision and action taken by its directors. 

In 2003, a mission team from Covenant Community Ministries in Fort Myers, Florida accepted a Men & Women of Action Project to construct a dormitory in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, answering the prayers of local pastors. In January 2004, the doors of a former orphanage, dormant for over a decade due to lack of funding, swung open to embrace its destiny as Refugio de Esperanza.

From the outset, local church members have actively participated, helping to establish a rock-solid Christian foundation for each child. They've become surrogate families and mentors. Local businesses have also offered mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities, further underscoring the community's commitment to these children's futures.

The beauty of Refugio de Esperanza isn’t confined to its picturesque campus, but also through its progressive approach in caring for the children. Its multi-disciplinary strategy addresses the complex needs of its children.

girls dorms

2023 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Refugio de Esperanza is not content with the status quo. It thrives on unique programs designed to empower the children they serve. Among the latest highlights:

Trauma Informed Care Training/Certification

From caregivers and bookkeepers to social workers, psychologists, tutors, and loving "aunts and uncles," the team ensures a nurturing environment. Every staff member has successfully graduated from HOHI's One year TBRI Trauma Care Certification Program, ensuring the children's well-being remains paramount.

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Internship Center & Program Launch

2023 ushered in the dedication of Emma’s Echo Internship Center and the launch of the innovative Internship program.  This fully accredited program gives college students the opportunity to see a quality family model of orphan care.  To learn more about this program click here.   

emmas echo internship center

Boy’s Dorm & Vocational Program Dedication

This multiple-year project was dedicated in July 2023.  There is a second-floor family-style boys’ dorm and a first-floor vocational center for training that will empower numerous young adults who may not qualify for university or other diploma programs to acquire valuable skills for a brighter future. 

Boys dorm Rhonda Jarvis Dream Center October 2023

Officially launched in 2023, this program provides a step towards independence for older girls (18+) who have lived at Haven of Hope Bolivia’s main campus. This program provides ongoing support so they can pursue their vocational aspirations. This semi-independent living arrangement is empowering these young ladies to pursue their dreams.  To support this program click here.

emmas echo
child of hope child image
Sisters Norma and Claudia were reunited with their younger brother at another home.
Siblings Miguel, Fiorella, Ruth Sol and Cristiano were reunited with their mother.

How You Can Help

Your support enables HOHI to provide essential educational materials, trauma care training, assistance with medical expenses, and funding for university studies or vocational training.

Our Blogs About Bolivia

Crafting Dreams into Reality: The New Woodworking Workshop at Haven of Hope Bolivia

January 25, 2024

Nestled within the bustling activities of the Haven of Hope Bolivia (HOHB), a new chapter is unfolding – one that promises to shape futures and build skills. We are thrilled to announce the development of a Woodworking Workshop in our Vocational Training Center. This initiative is turning heads and hearts toward the boundless potential of…

Transforming Lives Beyond the Orphanage—The Age Out Challenge

October 16, 2023

In a world that is home to 153 million orphans, it’s vital to recognize that for 99% of them, their orphanage becomes their lifelong sanctuary. The enormity of this number is staggering, but the true crisis lies not in the sheer quantity of orphans, but rather in what happens to them when they age out…

Clean Water Sustainability at Refugio de Esperanza

September 20, 2023

The new Rhonda Jarvis Boys’ Dream Center on the Joe Morici Boys’ Campus in Bolivia uses a new water filter that connects to the original well. This is already saving the home thousands of dollars a year, by not having to use the city’s water at all their buildings. We sincerely appreciate the idea from…

New Director Training Internship Program Launched in Bolivia

September 12, 2023

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our inaugural year for the Director Training Internship program at Refugio de Esperanza in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and the introduction of our very first Director Training Intern, Samwell. HOH Bolivia Director, Marco (pictured above on left) greeted Samwell (pictured above on right) at the airport this past…

Bolivia Interns Arrive at Refugio de Esperanza!

August 24, 2023

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of the two college graduates participating in this year’s Internship Program at our flagship home, Refugio de Esperanza (Haven of Hope Bolivia)! The graduates, Olivia  and Naomi , arrived in Santa Cruz on August 21st. They were greeted with a warm welcome by the directors, Marco & Gladys,…

The Exciting Futures of our Haven of Hope Bolivia Future of Hope Young Ladies

July 28, 2023

Our current Future of Hope young ladies are a group of diverse individuals, each with their own unique interests, aspirations, and areas of study including education, technology, design, business, and more. Luz Marina – Information Engineering and the Love for Music: Luz Marina, a third-year university student studying Information Engineering, combines her passion for technology…

New Bolivia Boys’ Dorm Aerial Tour!

May 30, 2023

Take A Tour with Us of the Boys’ Dream Center in Bolivia. We are overjoyed to share this aerial view of the final stages of construction of the of the Rhonda Jarvis Boys’ Dream Center on the Joe Morici Boys’ Campus at Refugio de Esperanza Hogar in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Dream Center and Campus…

From Surviving to Thriving – A Progress Report on Refugio de Esperanza (Haven of Hope Bolivia), Santa Cruz, Bolivia

March 4, 2023

REFUGIO DE ESPERANZA (HAVEN OF HOPE BOLIVIA) – Santa Cruz, Bolivia Haven of Hope International (HOHI) is proud to announce the completion of several projects aimed at improving the living conditions and futures of the children at our flagship orphanage, Haven of Hope Bolivia (HOHB). Our dedicated team of volunteers, donors, and staff have worked…

From Surviving to Thriving – Trauma Care: The Healing Begins Here

March 1, 2023

TRAUMA CARE: The Healing Begins Here At Haven of Hope International (HOHI) we understand the impact trauma has on brain development. Since 2015 our staff has been continually trained to deliver knowledgeable, attuned, and consistent care to the children we rescue from severely traumatizing life situations such as physical and sexual abuse, extreme poverty, and…

Honoring Emma Bullock

October 6, 2021

I don’t think I can write about Emma’s experience in Bolivia without backing up to the few weeks before she left for Bolivia, and then moving forward to how mission trips like Bolivia ultimately framed her. It would be easiest to say that she was simply a great kid who loved Jesus and people, went to Bolivia, served with joy, was transformed…and then leave it at that. Nice and tidy and easy to fit onto one page. And whereas all of that is true, I don’t think it does justice to her, the beautiful kids in Bolivia, or her God. Most of us are a little bit messier than that. And so was Emma.

About the Country of Bolivia

Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru with a varied landscape that includes lakes, mountains, deserts and rainforests. By area it is the fifth largest country in South American and by population is it the eighth largest country with approximately 11.6 million people. Santa Cruz, with an estimated 2.3 million people, is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and is considthe financial and economic hub of Bolivia.

Bolivia is the second poorest country in South America. Approximately 59% of the population live in conditions of poverty with 24.4% living in extreme poverty. The conditions of poverty have a direct impact on children being abandoned and orphaned. It is estimated that there are 13,000 orphaned, abandoned Bolivian children.

The living conditions of abandoned children are harsh, making them more vulnerable to other problems—abuse, trauma, drugs, violence, crime, sex trafficking and health issues. They experience forced child labor and lack of access to education.