Esperanza Reaching the At-Risk Youth in Bolivia
El Alto, Bolivia – Esperanza Chuquimia is currently the Director of the Children’s Program at Bright Hope’s partner church, Bethesda. Her name, Esperanza, means “Hope” in Spanish, which fits her perfectly as she is truly a beacon of Hope for the at-risk children of El Alto.
Esperanza grew up in a broken family, and watched her alcoholic father abandon the family when she was very young. Her mother, a tailor, was left to care for Esperanza and her six siblings. Trying to do what was best for her children, her mother brought them to an after school program much like Bethesda’s.
In time, Esperanza began attending Bethesda Church, and gave her life to Christ. After graduating high school, she was baptized and heard God’s calling for her to dedicate her life to serving children. Esperanza began teaching Sunday School and earned her college degree in accounting.
When the opportunity arose to work in a children’s program, she followed God’s calling for her life. Now, Esperanza dedicates her life to the children, families and community of El Alto every day. She said, “Often I’m able to understand the needs of the kids here because I was in the same situation when I was growing up. I went through the same challenges. So I have this opportunity, this blessing, to be able to understand where they are coming from and help them.”
Esperanza has many responsibilities with Bethesda. Primarily, she manages all administrative and accounting needs for the program. She oversees all job creation projects that help provide funds for the program, including the bakery, chocolate project and internet cafe. She also runs the rapidly-growing microloan program for 170 people, allowing parents of children in the program to take out loans for small businesses and help them become financially independent.
Among all her responsibilities, Esperanza’s true passion is the children. She makes time in her busy schedule to spend it with them. She helps with tutoring, leads small group Bible studies and devotionals, and plays soccer or shares lunch with the kids as often as she can. She also helps with teaching in the program and is involved in the church’s Sunday School.