March Outing to the Beach

A couple weekends ago, thanks to our good friends the Larlhams, the Love & Hope kids enjoyed an overnight outing at the beach! On Friday after school, the kids came home from school excited to pack their things and get on the way. After completing a little homework and loading up the cars, we made our way to Playa Pimental, our favorite beach in El Salvador.

We arrived in time to enjoy the ocean for a bit while there was still daylight. The tide was out, making for shallow water and calm waves – perfect for swimming. Some of the kids were in the pool splashing around before everyone was even out of the car. We stayed in the water and on the beach until the sun went down. The sunset was beautiful. IMG_7331 IMG_7349

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For dinner, we made a campfire on the beach and cooked hot dogs and s’mores. As we ate, we enjoyed talking together and pointing out star constellations in the sky. It was a beautiful night.


A long week of school and an active afternoon at the beach gave everyone reason to sleep early. We brought along tents for some of the older kids; the younger ones slept in the beach house beds. Everyone rested soundly, falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves and a light breeze.

The next morning the kids were up bright and early (some by 6:00am!), ready to play. They were so excited to be at the beach. Because we didn’t have “normal” schedule to follow or chores to complete, some of the older kids enjoyed sleeping later, eating breakfast when they wanted and lying around in the hammocks.

The kids played all day, walking around the beach, collecting shells and sand dollars, burying themselves in the sand and “fighting” against the waves. It was a wonderful, relaxed day.


Thank you, Dan, Candy, Gideon and Judah Larlham, for providing the resources we needed for a great day at the beach. What a blessing!

Welcome, Suzana!

Perhaps this blog is a long time coming, but Love & Hope Children’s Home has to say “Welcome!” to our new friend, Suzana. Suzana joined us in January from Atlanta, Georgia. With two years of experience as a teacher in Israel, a bachelor’s degree in social work, and fluency in Spanish, Suzana is a gem of a volunteer. She will be staying for about a year, helping in the areas of education, social work and child care, lightening the load of several different people in the home and working directly with the children.

Suzana has done an incredible job of jumping into the busy lives we live here at Love & Hope Children’s Home. She says her favorite thing about volunteering here so far is spending time with the kids, doing homework and just getting to know them. We love that she has so easily and effectively been able to do those things! Suzana has been a wonderful blessing from the minute she stepped onto Salvadoran soil.

Welcome, Suzana!

Shayna’s Experience at Love & Hope

Our new friend Shayna spent about a month at Love & Hope Children’s Home in January/February. She visited us all the way from Australia, joining her friend Meike who had already been volunteering at Love & Hope for a couple months. It is always nice to hear a fresh take on our ministry through the eyes of someone who has never been to El Salvador before. Read below for a few excerpts and photos from Shayna’s blog.

“I’ve left my home to travel the world, and now i find myself in El Salvador, volunteering at a children’s home for the next couple of weeks before Meike (my friend from Germany) and I travel down through South America. It’s terrifying leaving everything I love for a whole year as I travel, but I didn’t want my life to continue in an endless routine of comfort and lack of real trust in God. That’s not my only reason for this trip; I’m all for the travel, I want to help out the kids here and the people who have dedicated their whole lives to make the lives of others better, and I want to see and experience new culture. So, why not do it all in one hit?

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“It took a couple of days for my stomach to adjust to the food, to get used to everyone driving on the right side of the road (that’s a joke – they literally drive all over the road), and to remember not to flush toilet paper because the system here isn’t built to deal with that.

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“It’s a weird blend of cultures – expensive shopping centres almost directly opposite little slum communities. Security guards are constantly on patrol, as well as the police and army (today i passed an armed guard reading his Bible in the Burger King drive-thru). It is busy and dirty (the rubbish situation is out of control), but it’s exciting and I love it.

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“As I learn more about how the home started and the backgrounds of the kids, it’s amazing to see how their lives have changed because of the love shown by the people here. They eat three meals a day, have clean clothes, sleep in proper beds in an actual house, and are able to go to school – things which seem so basic but are so much compared to what they would have otherwise – and a good reminder of how blessed and totally spoiled I am back home. The kids are just like a big family, all with such different personalities but also a love (and occasional dislike) of each other, just as siblings would be. The most encouraging thing to see here is how they are being shown God’s grace by the women who run the home, for them to know that even in their circumstances, God made them and knows them personally and has a plan for each one of them.

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“I loved my time there, short as it was, and I’ve learned a lot from these people about what it means to live selflessly for others. It is something I know I’m lacking and want to change about my life as I go on from here. I was also left in awe of how much the kids care about each other (sometimes hard to see when they’re on the ground in a head lock), which i was able to hear about first hand by some of the older girls. It actually made me want to go home and hug all of my siblings.

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“Love & Hope Children’s Home is a big, crazy family. Their focus now after 10 years of running is to see their kids raised up in the best way possible – to get an education and be able to leave the home and grow up knowing that they were loved and cared for by so many people, but ultimately by God who does a far better job of it then we ever could.


“Raising a family isn’t cheap, and supporting a huge family with so many individual needs on donations, sponsorships and volunteers is a mission in itself, so if the only thing I’ve achieved by visiting El Salvador is raising awareness for Love & Hope Children’s Home, then I won’t pass up the opportunity to ask you to check out their website, read more about what they do and support them however you can – in funds, prayer, time (they’re always looking for more volunteers) or however else you think you can help.”

Shayna, we’re so glad that you chose to start your Latin American adventure at Love & Hope Children’s Home. Come visit us again soon!