El Salvador – Hogar Escuela Adventista

A group of children surrounded a little girl who was crying on the roadway just outside the playground. One of the staff members from Hogar Escuela Adventista children’s village was passing by and decided to investigate. With a closer look he saw the little girl. Blood was oozing from a wound on her head. He leaned down and asked her, “Que pasa? What happened?

When she saw she was safe, she tried to tell her story. She was hungry as well as hurting from her injuries. Evidently, her mother had a drinking problem. In a drunken rage she had dragged her by the hair, kicked and beat her and then thrown her into a thorn bush and left her there. When she got loose from the thorns she ran and ran, afraid that her mother would follow her. She didn’t know where she was running, but she finally came to the playground where she saw children.

Flavia* was 11 when she escaped from her abusive mother. When she ended up at the playground that day she was taken to the Hogar Escuela Adventista office. Papers were filled out after it was determined who she was. Though she initially had to go back home, Flavia was eventually able to find a permanent, loving home at Hogar Escuela Adventista children’s village.

Flavia adapted well to her new surroundings. She especially loved to care for and work with the younger children. During her years in the children’s village, she was a willing worker, helping in the kitchen or wherever she was needed. She also worked tutoring some of the younger children in their studies. Her mother visited, but Flavia could never forget the trauma she had received in her mother’s drunken rages. At times the broken relationship with her mother troubled her, but she had bonded with her new caretakers and felt that the children’s village was her real home.

Flavia finished her secondary school education, and kind sponsors were found to help her attend university where she chose to study education. Today she is a qualified teacher in an elementary school in another one of the Central American countries.

In spite of her traumatic childhood, and even though she doesn’t have a close relationship with her mother, she knows her mother’s life is hard and struggles to find money for food. Flavia wants to be able to help her some each month out of her salary.

Flavia has this to say about her time at the Hogar Escuela Adventista children’s village:

“My life is a miracle. I am alive and well because of what God has done for me. He brought me here where I found love and security, and where I learned to know and love Him. No matter where I go to work, I will always feel that this place is my real home.”

Flavia’s story is typical of ICC children as they grow up and find their place in life. They love to go back when it is possible and they want to always feel that they can call that children’s village their home.

Hogar Escuela Adventista was established for the benefit of children just like Flavia. Here is how it came to be. In 1993, during a trip to El Salvador, a group of North American businessmen came across a small orphanage called Hogar Escuela Adventista. The orphanage housed only 12 children despite the country’s influx of orphans in the aftermath of the 12-year civil war (1980-1992), which took an estimated 75,000 lives.

Inspired by the need, some of those who participated in that trip began to discuss the possibility of building a home-school campus in El Salvador that would be capable of sheltering at least 100 children. After securing financial support through the generosity of several donors, Maranatha Volunteers International began construction immediately. In 1995, the children’s village officially opened to 13 children. The number steadily grew and in just a few years, the facility was taking care of 120 children.

After several years of operating the children’s village, Maranatha determined that it was not ideally suited as an organization to manage this project. Because ICC does specialize in developing and managing children’s villages, Maranatha approached ICC on a few occasions to see if ICC would be interested in assuming responsibility for the care and supervision of this project for orphaned children. Finally, in September of 2005, ICC added the Hogar Escuela Adventista children’s village to its worldwide family of projects.

The children’s village is located on a beautiful piece of property and is adjacent to an Adventist Christian elementary and secondary school. The campus consists of children’s homes, staff and volunteer residences, a gymnasium that serves as a multi-purpose building, administration building, a shop and greenhouses. The campus farm produces various crops that supplement the food requirements of the children and staff. Over the years many children have grown up at Hogar Escuela Adventista, and like Flavia, they also have gone on to live successful lives.

More information about the Hogar Escuela Adventista children’s village is available by contacting ICC at (800) 422-7729.

Click here to read the most recent blog postings about this project.

* Name has been changed to protect the child’s privacy