Hope House is a safe shelter for boys who have come from tainted backgrounds but are learning to overcome their past and live more normal lives. They are located in Ixtlahucan de los Mebrillos in Chapala Mexico.
Here is a recent article from Hope House that was published in a local magazine, Ojo del Lago. It outlines the daily life at Hope House:
“There are some terrific guys living at Hope House. Kids who have come from tainted backgrounds but are learning to overcome their past and live more normal lives. I am not saying that they are without flaw, but they are headed in a good direction and it is exciting to watch them grow!
As they grow these boys are learning all kinds of things. In the carpentry shop, they learn valuable life skills, like mathematics and how to pay attention. In their horticulture class, not only do they learn how to plant and harvest, but they also learn important farming facts. For instance, plants should remain in the soil in order to grow. (A few little rascals have been uprooting the potatoes to check their progress.) They have also learned the hard way that for the safety of the fish, the water pump must remain running in the Aguaponics system.
Imagine how attentive the workers must be! Why, they must always be on their toes!
Just today one of the little boys was swinging like Tarzan on the gate over the entry stairs. Another one of those crafty kids was caught practicing his fireman skills sliding down the post which sustains the staircase. A partition was quickly built to keep out “firemen in training”.
No doubt they are always getting into something! Just last week they learned a very practical skill. How to unstop a toilet! (Guess the toilet is not the best swimming pool for Spider-Man.) Spider-Man had caused such a disturbance that the older boys actually learned how to remove and replace a toilet in order to retrieve him. (Unfortunately, Spider-Man is not the first action figure to navigate those septic lines.)
These kids are hard workers too, a trait that my grandmother considered next to godliness! Each boy has daily responsibilities such as: making his bed, picking up after himself, and learning to keep the house clean. After lunch, each boy already knows his daily chore. It is not something difficult, but rather something basic: wipe down the tables, sweep, mop or take out the trash.
Some of the boys are even completing odd jobs to earn a little spending money. One boy works alongside the laundry lady Cecilia and helps her fold clothes, another helps the maintenance man, Sergio, learning to complete basic household repairs. On a regular basis, a few guys can be found out front of the house washing someone’s car. (If you live around here, you know washing cars is a life skill which can be valuable for them.)
Just last week a few guys volunteered to wash the big 15-passenger van. They did such a thorough job! They washed every nook and cranny. They got on top and cleaned the roof, washed the windows and tires. And in the short time that the childcare worker stepped into the house, they even cleaned the inside of the van with a water hose! Unfortunately, it appears that the circuit board didn’t like water very much.
And since the van no longer runs, this week they have been doing a lot of walking. When I asked them what they learned from their experience they told me, “Cleaning the inside of the van with the water hose is a bad idea!” And I figure that is a pretty valuable life lesson too.”