Esperanza Y Vida
Esperanza Y Vida is a mission in El Salvador run by Douglas Ruballos and his family. Their mission is to provide, food, shelter and comfort to children who are going through treatment for cancer or HIV. Most of the children live high in the mountains and it takes them hours to travel into town to receive their treatments. Typically they have no money for food or shelter. For lack of a better term, Douglas runs a Ronald McDonald house.
Douglas also hikes, sometimes for hours, up the mountain carrying food baskets that can weigh as much as 40 pounds to ensure that these children have food to eat while they are at home.
We first met Douglas when he came to the United States on a mission trip in 2014. He was hosted by a local family who has visited his mission 3 times and they invited us to come and hear him speak. We were so moved by the work he is doing in Christ’s name, we felt compelled to support him financially.
Here are some pictures Douglas has sent us.
Erika Tatiana's Story
When Dona Rosa opened her home to a 17 years to provide her with shelter, she never imagined that this young girl was a carrier of HIV-AIDS and that she was going to leave a baby girl who was still in her womb and may have never known who the father was due to the lifestyle she had been living on the streets and using drugs.
Erika Tatiana was born in Chalchuapa hospital on 20 September 2004, her mother had been referred to the maternity hospital in San Salvador to try to avoid the child getting infected.
Three days after giving birth, the mother left the house where they had given both of them shelter, leaving her baby girl, Erika, and returned to the path of drugs and the streets.
Dona Rosa felt sorry for the baby and decided to take care of her, along with her other two daughters. At 6 months of age Erika got sick in her stomach and was running a fever. Examinations resulted in a finding that Erika was infected with the HIV-AID virus. Two years later, Dona found out that Erika’s birth mother had died of HIV/AIDS.
This is how Dona Rose selling at the local market and despite their poverty has been responsible for feeding and caring to bring Erika to medical checkups.
Erika did not know either of her biological parents and will turn 11 this year. She studies 3rd grade in a public school in Santa Ana and dreams of becoming a nurse.
When Dona Rosa was asked, “How has your life changed because of the help she has received from Esperanza y Vida?” she said, “You have been a great support in my life and my family to move forward despite Erika Tatiana’s disease. Thanks for all your help!”
Elmer Alexander Guevara
Elmer Alexander Guevara was born September 8 of 2012 into a poor family in Santa Ana State, El Salvador.
At 3 months old he had an emergency surgery on his eyes due to cancer tumors which caused him to be TOTALLY BLIND
It has to be mentioned that Brenda, Elmer’s mom, was only 14 years old when Elmer was born. She is a single mother and in charge of bringing the boy to the unlimited chemotherapy treatments prescribed after the surgery.
They are part of the benefited families that Esperanza y Vida helps.
They receive help of the programs:
-Healthy Breakfasts and
-Basic Food Baskets.
WE ASKED BRENDA, ¿WHAT HAVE YOU FELT YOUR LIFE HAS CHANGED SINCE YOU RECEIVE THE HELP GIVEN BY THE ESPERANZA Y VIDA ASSOCIATION?
You have been an important part of this hard process that I have lived with my baby, I am very grateful with all the support we have received, both material and spiritual.
Deacon Hernan Restrepo is the Mission Committee contact person for this Esperanza Y Vida. If you have any questions, or wish to support this mission in any way, please contact email Deacon Hernan or call 330-329-9396.