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

Products of Hope!

September 19, 2018

Part of Haven of Hope’s mission is to provide age appropriate teens, vocational training, giving them hope for a brighter future. Our sustainability program, Products of Hope, created by our board member Judy Cutler-Teeven, teaches both the orphanage and children about financial sustainability. These programs have a dramatic impact on not only lives of orphans, but…

Sustainability Programs that make sense

April 3, 2018

How do we provide an environment for children to thrive in orphanages?  Through a well-designed sustainability program in which children are discover their natural gifts and talents and learn about business, while the orphanage is getting connected to the community and creating an income to support the programs that go beyond three meals and a…

Vulnerable populations advocate dedicates her career to orphans worldwide

May 20, 2017

Alice Skaff, a long-time advocate for vulnerable populations as an elder care professional in Southwest Florida, founded Haven of Hope International after a mission trip to an orphanage in Bolivia 13 years ago.

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.