Our Homes: NPH Bolivia

Bolivia COVID-19 Updates

On March 22, the Bolivian government imposed a country-wide 14-day quarantine prohibiting people from leaving their homes except to buy groceries or receive medical care. The government hopes to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has reached a total of 40 confirmed cases as of March 26th. With no classes scheduled, our children have new-found free time and it is up to the remaining caregivers and volunteers to devise fun ways to keep them busy and constructively entertained. With a mixture of work, games, and homework, we fill the children’s schedule with a variety of fun and safe things to do. In the morning the children’s schedule can include chores and academic studies, which include cleaning their casita, working with our agronomist Hugo, helping in the clinic, working in the casita of our youngest children, and helping in the library.

Last weekend the older boys and girls worked with Hugo to harvest fish from the fish ponds for the home to eat. The boys used a large net and dredged the pond from one side to the other to catch the fish in their nets. Once collected the older girls helped clean and prep the fish for cooking. On Sunday, we cooked a large lunch for the entire home; each person got half a fish with rice, yucca, salad, and lemonade. “It was a lot of fun being able to go into the pond and fish for our lunch with the older kids,” Renzo explained. “Tío Hugo knows a lot and was teaching us how to clean and prep the fish for grilling.” After lunch the children chose their own activities. They can participate in planned activities or rest and relax. Choices range from table games, drawing, jigsaw puzzles, and writing cards to their godparents to sports like soccer, volleyball, and ping pong, and watching movies together at night.

Bolivia Facts

Area:
682,625 square miles – slightly less than three times the size of Montana

Population:
11,306,341 (July 2018 est.)

Languages:
Spanish, Quechua, Aymara

Issues:
One of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America.

Discover NPH Bolivia

Casa Padre William B. Wasson is the newest NPH home. Located in the lowlands near Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the weather is hot, humid and rainy. All of the children help maintain the garden, which includes native trees, and ornamental and fruit-bearing plants, as well as the sheep which increased from 4 to 24 heads in just four years.

NPH Bolivia Facts

Opened:
April 16, 2005

Children/youth fully supported:
110

Total services provided:
177 (Includes children and youth fully supported, community children, youths and adults who receive support by either attending our onsite schools, receive scholarships, receive in-kind donations and or medical/social services.)

Location:
50 miles north of Santa Cruz, outside the town of Portachuelo

Features:
Dining hall, family-style homes for children, staff and volunteers, primary school, garden and clinic.

Did you know?

  • Bolivia is the second country in South America to have an NPH home.
  • Construction at the permanent site, Casa Padre Wasson, began in November 2006. The children and staff moved to the permanent site on January 15, 2008. The kitchen was upgraded in 2017.
  • Food sustainability was increased in 2017 with a total value of nearly $20,000. Taking into consideration overhead costs and salaries connected to production, overall costs were reduced by $5,000. Production included:
    • Nearly enough yucca and rice for the entire year
    • 50 liters of milk per day
    • Fish once per week
    • Meat from cows and goats on occasion
  • Five houses were renovated in 2018. With durable roofs, windows and walls, they are now more secure, especially during the rainy
    season. The majority of the children now live in new housing.
  • In 2018, the on-campus primary school received an administrative resolution to function as an autonomous and independent school. While continuing to operate under the auspices of the national government, it now has the flexibility to offer specialized tutoring and assistance to children who need extra help in certain areas.

Bolivian law prohibits us from using photos that show the faces of minors.

More Information:

• VIDEO: NPH Bolivia Home Tour
Holiday Celebrations at NPH Bolivia
• Fact Sheet (PDF)
Home Map (PDF)
• Visitor’s Guide (PDF)

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How to Help:

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Learn about the other NPH homes:

Bolivia | Dominican Republic | El Salvador | Guatemala | Haiti | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua | Peru