Jardín de Esperanza or “Garden of Hope” Project

The Beginning Stages of Hope

The Jardín de Esperanza or “Garden of Hope,” is just that. It is an orphanage that gives hopes to children that have been affected by HIV or AIDS. Not all of the children have been affected by the virus, but their families have. Those who do not have AIDS have lost their parents or their family can no longer care for them. Currently the orphanage is home to 11 children from the ages of 3 to 15 years old.

The Jardín de Esperanza is located just outside of Asunción, Paraguay in a suburb called Villa Elisa. The orphanage was opened in 1995, but has changed administration since then. In 2016, Reinaldo Mongelos and his family became the main caretakers for the children. They are working to create a place of love and solidarity for the children and make the community come around them to give them the support that they need, not only financially, but with supplies and just the gift of time. They work under the principle beliefs of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As followers of Christ, they know the gift of life and do what they can to support an environment based on love and social responsibility. They fight to defend the children’s rights of equality and justice, by creating awareness and combating the preconceived notions and discrimination of the HIV/AIDS virus.

That is where our project comes in. While we may not all be able to go to the orphanage and spend time with the kids, we can in fact be apart of the community that supports them! The directors have a strong social media presence to present to their community the physical needs of the children, such as donations of food, clothes, and even more recently, mattresses! On top of this, they also ask for financial help for the children’s medications. The government pays for the HIV testing and the direct HIV medications, but they do not pay for any other type of care. As humans though, we know that physical needs are not always enough.

How to Continue the Hope

We all need food and shelter in our lives, but we crave love and knowledge. All of this plays into our overall health.The promotion of a healthy and responsible lifestyle prepares children for their life after they leave the walls of the orphanage. Our projects objective is to provide six computers, a computer teacher, and various tutors to come during the week, while establishing a religious foundation. The tutors will be for the various age groups and subjects. Having a full, complete education will greatly enhance the lives of these children. All of this will be done through local partners in hopes to advance the community ties.

Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones de Paraguay, or what we know in America as Lutheran Hour of Paraguay is helping us attain these goals by offering bible study weekly for the children.

Therefore, we have created a team from the congregation of Cristo Rey in Asunción and myself to partner with the administration to care for the education of the children to help them advance in their future endeavors. First and foremost, we are concentrating on the education of the children, as well as continuing to walk alongside the administration to make sure that physical necessities and medicine are provided when needed.

Knowing Their Stories

For the protection and privacy of the children we do not use their names or post photos. But that doesn’t mean you cannot have some insight into their lives. Here is some information about the children that call the Jardin de Esperanza home! Here is a little bit about a few of the children.

  • A 13-year-old boy, who has called the orphanage home since he was 3. Besides suffering from HIV, he has cerebral palsy that has him wheelchair bound. However, in the last year with much attention, he has began to recover many of his motor skills! Thanks be to God!
    He communicates through gestures in place of words, but while watching him with his “family,” you wouldn’t know the difference. He plays with the others, paints, listens to music, and gives the best high fives. His smile lights up any room.
    To continue his recovery he has to work with neurologists and physiotherapists. Soon, he will have surgery to correct the alignment of his hips. While this will not allow him to walk, it will enhance his quality of life. For this the orphanage need to generate resources or volunteers to work with him during his recovery and physical therapy.
  • A 6 year old boy who came to the orphanage back in August 20, 2012. He is infected with the HIV virus, but this does not stop him from being a cheerful, smiling, and affectionate child. Just like any other 6 year old, he loves to play and show off with his tree climbing skills.
  • A group of three siblings, two girls and a boy, came into their new home back in 2003. One of the sisters is infected with HIV. It was passed along to her from her mother. The siblings were placed in the orphanage since their parents had AIDS and could not care for them. Sadly, we know that their parents have since passed on. She is currently 13 years old and in eighth grade. She is a sweet girl. She is very cooperative, shy, but in school is very dedicated and eager to excel.
    The boy is in what we would call Jr. high. He is very gregarious, witty, caring, and a lot of fun.
    The oldest is a 15-year-old is in ninth grade. She has good grades and helps care and watch out for her siblings.
  • Another family of four: an 8 year old boy with his three sisters: 3, 6, and 14 years olds. Their mother was affected by AIDS who left, while their father is in his last stages of AIDS.


For the privacy and safety of the children, we do not post their photos. Thank you for your understanding!

To help financially with this project, click the GIVE button on the right and select “Jardín de Esperanza- Paraguay.”
To visit their website click here or visit https://hogarjardindeesperanza.org/. Also check out the news article written about them by the local newspaper in Asuncion. Read it by clicking here! The website is in Spanish, but offers an English option or most computers allow for a translation option.
“Like” the Jardín de Esperanza on Facebook to follow their story by clicking here.

Please feel free to contact Sarah Burr  with any questions!