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

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.

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.


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.


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

Our Blogs About Bolivia

Trauma Care Update

Trauma Care Update

September 11, 2021

Haven of Hope International launches a one-year trauma-informed certification program to set a new standard of care for the orphaned children they serve. Congratulations to the first students participating in this game-changing trauma care program at our flagship orphan care home, Refugio de Esperanza in Bolivia. Upon successful completion of this program, each staff member…

Technology brings education

Technology Brings Education, Medical and Trauma-Informed Care to Orphanages

September 10, 2020

Today, providing technology packages to the orphanages that we partner with so their children can participate in online learning is one of our most important initiatives at Haven of Hope.

Trauma Care

Innovative Trauma Care Helps To Restore And Equip Our Children

July 30, 2020

Haven of Hope Innovative Trauma Care Helps To Restore And Equip Our Children. The programs focus on restoring the children we serve—from a points reward system to play therapy and celebrating birthdays—to equipping the older children with specific Youth Development and GPS Life Journey programs.

Virtual School in Haven of Hope Bolivia

Virtual School in Bolivia

June 5, 2020

Here in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, we are still doing school virtually because the total quarantine has been extended another two weeks, beginning of June 2020.

Here’s what kids eat once they arrive at our flagship orphanage

April 3, 2020

When a child arrives at our flagship orphanage one of the very first things the staff does is feeds the child a home cooked meal. It’s usually whatever the meal of the day is. However, if they know a child will be coming in to the orphanage, they try their best to make majadito (pronounced…

Local dentist helps orphans in Santa Cruz

March 26, 2020

Meet Dr. Regina At Haven of Hope Boliva, there is a local dentist, Dr. Regina, that visits the home twice a year. She is able to give children most treatments at a lower cost than any dentist in the area. Orphanage directors tell us Dr. Regina does an amazing job at a very low price.…

Teens Learning Marketing and Art Techniques

March 11, 2020

The teens at Refugio de Esperanza have been busy this month! Jose Luis has been teaching the girls specific art techniques he learned during his internship in the states. He spent two weeks under the direction of product-designer, Judy Teeven. The beautiful, large, and round discs you see in these pictures are charger plates. Each…

Trauma informed care is helping restore orphaned children in Santa Cruz

March 11, 2020

Haven of Hope International’s Founder, Alice Skaff, is joined by Bolivia’s Director of Youth Development. They share how our trauma informed care specialist is making a difference at our flagship orphanage in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Learn more about our internship launch

Products of Hope Sustainability Update

January 6, 2020

Jose is the very first Bolivian youth to become a Haven of Hope International intern in the United States. Jose spent 3 weeks in Fort Myers, Florida (November 2019) with Sustainability Committee head, Judy Cutler-Teeven. He learend learn new design and manufacturing techniques for our sustainability program in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Products of Hope was…

Riverside Church Youth goes to Bolivia

July 25, 2019

This summer Riverside Church took a team of high school students to Haven of Hope International’s flagship orphanage in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. “This week truly made an impact on my heart that cannot accurately be explained by words. I got to see TRUE joy and insane love that Jesus has for us through loving these…

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.