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Greetings from Cochabamba,

In the month that followed Easter, Bolivia celebrated Children’s Day, we celebrated the growth of the boys and girls of Niños con Valor, and our new coordinator of Sendero de Esperanza celebrated her start in this new and important job.

In both the special events and in everyday life, we try to focus on the many faces of our boys and girls, and on the perspectives of our tias and volunteers who spend many hours each week with them. We hope that this month’s update will open a window so you can look through and see the many dimensions of what goes into caring for God’s children.

Peace and Love,



Sendero de Esperanza

Marcela Image 1     Marcela Image 2

Above: Tía Marcela, alone, and with her little friend Victoria.

Niños con Valor is delighted to have Marcela Aramayo moving into the role of Coordinator with our new Sendero de Esperanza (SDE) program, beginning officially on May 1st. Marcela brings a beautiful personality and huge heart to this role, as well as excellent academic and professional preparation. She has a degree from the University of San Simon in Education, specializing in special needs populations. Before coming to NCV, she worked in other homes, including with the elderly and children with disabilities. Always seeking to continue in her education, she has participated in workshops focusing on leadership development, occupational therapy, sexual aggression, nonverbal communication, and alternative education. In her free time, Marcela is active in her church, and sings and plays electric guitar. She also loves many sports, including swimming, wallyball and basketball.

Marcela likes the atmosphere at Corazón de Pastor, where she feels the children are treated as individuals, and the atmosphere is very much like that of a family. In her experience working in other homes she has found this to be lacking. She emphasized that she loves that the girls have so many extracurricular activities here, and that their individual talents are valued and developed. She also understands how the histories of our girls can make studying and applying themselves to study difficult for them. Observing her working with the girls, it is clear that she is patient, kind and very affirming of each child.

From her personal experience Marcela has developed a heart for this work. Her father lived in the United States for 12 years as she was growing up, and she knows what it is like for these girls to miss their biological parents. She also knows that these children have suffered in their lives, and wants to help them to dream of a future full of hope for themselves. She understands that it is difficult for young people to dream when they are healing from so much brokenness. Helping the older girls develop a concrete vision of their own lives and possibilities represents one of the biggest hopes of SDE.

Marcela brings much patience and love to her role with us. She considers this work her vocation, and is deeply grounded in her own spirituality. Knowing that no person is perfect, she strives to work with the girls as individuals and to understand their stories. She echoed St. Paul as she told us that her first principle is love. Humility and patience help in this work, but love is the most fundamental.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Cor. 13:7)

We are indeed fortunate to have hired this woman of faith—faith in herself, faith in the girls, and faith in the resilience of the human spirit.

Marcela Image 3

Above: Tía Marcela helping the girls with homework in the afternoon

Childrens Day Banner

April 12th is "Children's Day" in Bolivia, an annual celebration like Mother's Day or Father's Day. This year, we planned three fun days for our children.

On Thursday, the 11th, we received an invitation to participate in an event which was organized by a Special Forces military unit, including games, parachuting and other activities. On Friday, all of the children attended a breakfast (organized by a local television station) held in a prestigious hotel. Finally, on Saturday members of the Bolivian Board of Directors got to spend time with the boys and girls in their home environments.

All these activities offered an opportunity for enrichment and the chance for the children to recognize how much they are valued in the eyes of God, and in the eyes of those around them. Here is a photo review of these events, with some shots of the celebrations at the schools the kids attend that helped make Children’s Day very special for our boys and girls this year.

Children's Day Photo Gallery

Children's Day Image 1     Children's Day Image 2

Above Left: Evelyn carrying a sign in a school parade.
Above Right: Paty up close and personal.

Children's Day Image 3     Children's Day Image 4

Above Left: Bryssa in the march.
Above Right: Abigail with friends at school.

Children's Day Image 5     Children's Day Image 6

Above Left: Adriana with a school chum.
Above Right: Meeting up with Valeria, who recently moved in with her older sister, and her nephew.

Children's Day Image 7     Children's Day Image 8

Above Left: At the boys' school. The sign reads: "Happy Children's Day -- Costume Talent Show".
Above Right: Zaquiel (l.) and Diego (c.) in costume at school.

Children's Day Image 9     Children's Day Image 10

Above Left: Manolo is in the big hat on the left.
Above Right: Marcos (c.) with a shy Osana (who recently returned to our daycare after over a year away) at his side.

Children's Day Image 11     Children's Day Image 12

Above Left: Marcos and Manolo with a teacher at the school costume party.
Above Right: Eneas sings for the whole group.

Children's Day Image 13     Children's Day Image 14

Above Left: Karina with the military band.
Above Right: Our group gathers for the Thursday event of Children's Day.

Children's Day Image 15     Children's Day Image 16

Above Left: Some of the boys and girls at the Thursday event sponsored for Children's Day.
Above Right: Some of the girls are served rolls at the CITA event.

Children's Day Image 17     Children's Day Image 18

Above Left: Everyone Celebrates Children's Day!
Above Right: Two of the Tias (Laura and Andrea) attempt the strenuous work on the rope slide while Paty waits her turn.

Children's Day Image 19     Children's Day Image 20

Above Left: Two of the boys attack one of the toys.
Above Right: Bryssa amidst the toys.

Children's Day Image 21     Children's Day Image 22

Above Left: Paty glides over the ropes course.
Above Right: Our group makes friends with a soldier.

Children's Day Image 23     Children's Day Image 24

Above Left: Fun! Fun! Fun!
Above Right: A quiet moment in all the excitement.

Children's Day Image 25     Children's Day Image 26

Above Left: Manolo and Tia Andrea.
Above Right: Mariela in front of the flag of Bolivia.

Children's Day Image 27     Children's Day Image 28

Above Left: Cynthia and Paty at the Children’s Day breakfast, hosted by ATB.
Above Right: Adriana and Eneas enjoy the special time away from homes.

Children's Day Image 29     Children's Day Image 30

Above Left: One of the several performing groups taking a break on stage.
Above Right: Paty and Mariela pose with a celebrity.

Children's Day Image 31     Children's Day Image 32

Above Left: Some of the kids posing with one of the music groups.
Above Right: Diego and Zaquiel with Mariana Dupleich of ATB - a local TV station.

PDC banner

We are constantly working on and for the growth of the boys: physically, socially, academically and spiritually. It is a delight to hear them echo prayers before meals after carefully folding their hands. Their physical needs take up a lot of time — just imagine thirteen daily baths! — but, for these playful kids, there is a lot of time for play and creative use of their imaginations.

Each school day, the ritual of changing gears, dressing for school, and being sure that the materials each needs for school takes a massive effort on the part of the whole staff. The "parade" up the street to the school feels a little like a celebration, but the moments of leave taking are touched with a sadness as the boys transition from one life to another—a part of growing up and learning to be self-sufficient. Here are some glimpses of everyday life at Pedacito de Cielo.

Pedacito de Cielo Photo Gallery

PDC Image 1     PDC Image 2

Above Left: Lucas or Lawrence of Arabia?
Above Right: Part of the group on their way to school.

PDC Image 3     PDC Image 4

Above Left: Lawrence of Arabia on his way to school.
Above Right: Zaquiel appears to be ready for anything.

PDC Image 5     PDC Image 6

Above Left: Is that a camera? (Marcos and Tío Memo)
Above Right: Cedro! We are all Champions!

PDC Image 7     PDC Image 8

Above Left: Need a taxi driver? Manolo is in training...
Above Right: The contemplative Diego is caught (for a fraction of a second).

PDC Image 9     PDC Image 10

Above Left: It’s a lonely moment – one always transitions to school alone.
Above Right: Alejo with a book (not reading).

PDC Image 11     PDC Image 12

Above Left: Abran contemplates his next step.
Above Right: Alvaro, posing for his new sponsorship photo.

CDP banner

Many girls are going in different directions at CDP. The twenty-two kids and adolescents attend six different schools, and upon return there is a sacred time for homework, which is often interrupted by the need for play. It has been said, "the proper work of children is play," and our girls are hard workers.

Each afternoon, while some are in school, others are brushing teeth, washing clothes, doing chores, and accomplishing their homework. The adolescents particularly carry a big load because of the large number of subjects they carry. So the breaks are necessary, life giving, and offer the girls’ personalities a chance to grow in addition to their minds. Here are some snapshots of the fast moving life at CDP.

Corazón del Pastor Photo Gallery

CDP Image 1     CDP Image 2

Above Left: Kattia and Zamora take a juice break.
Above Right: Nohemi is serious about her juice.

CDP Image 3     CDP Image 4

Above Left: Karina!
Above Right: Johana takes "flight" from the swings.

CDP Image 5     CDP Image 6

Above Left: One of Raeka's slowest recorded moments.
Above Right: Victoria shows us some of her acrobatic skills.

CDP Image 7     CDP Image 8

Above Left: Karina shows Zamora how one washes her own clothes.
Above Right: Alandra sweeps the floor after lunch.

CDP Image 9     CDP Image 10

Above Left: Everyone present is trying on shoes!
Above Right: Raeka tries on her new shoes.

CDP Image 11     CDP Image 12

Above Left: Sofia picks out some boots.
Above Right: Victoria in front of a wall of shoes.

CDP Image 13     CDP Image 14

Above Left: Everyone of the 36 pairs had to fit!
Above Right: Olivia and Lourdes pose with Tia Kathy.

CDP Image 15     CDP Image 16

Above Left: Present at the shoe shopping party.
Above Right: Stopping for ice cream after shopping for shoes.

ONE banner

This last week of April we were scheduled to present on violence and children’s rights in Mizque. However, some organizational issues have meant that this event for teachers and community leaders has been postponed, hopefully for next month. This event has the potential to have a significant impact in the schools throughout the province of Mizque.

Also this month, our Director of Programs, Jackie, and Social Worker, Sonia, were in Tarija to present to their City Council the model of integrative and holistic care that we use at Niños con Valor. They were very happy with our presentation, and appear to be excited to replicate the model in their context. We hope that this spirit does not falter and that the children of Tarija can rely on residential homes there to develop a system of care similar to ours. Many concrete steps must be taken to make it so, and as you can tell from the report above, concrete steps often present a challenge in a country that moves ahead slowly.

One Child at a Time Photo Gallery

Oat Image 1     Oat Image 2

Above Left: Donating clothes to donate to flooded areas of Chapare.
Above Right: Abigail is always one of our biggest helpers when we do outreach.

Oat Image 3     Oat Image 4

Above Left: Jackie presenting NCV's model of care in Tarija.

Volunteer banner

NCV benefits enormously from those who give their time and talents to assist the tias in both the boys' and the girls' homes. Volunteers are present for both short and long periods of time, depending on their availability. This month we wanted to profile one volunteer, a Maryknoll sister who has been at PDC for more than a year. She has committed mornings six days a week to assist with the routines at the boys' home.

Since February of 2012, Sister Gloria Agnes has been volunteering at Pedacito, beginning when she was a student at the Maryknoll Language Institute. She tells us that her work at Pedacito makes God’s love visible to her, in line with the mission of the Maryknoll sisters: "Making God’s Love Visible." At PDC, she reports that she has come to understand so much, both from the children and from the tias, and has experienced the beauty of life as a missioner. She says "To work here requires a lot of patience and understanding, and I am learning so much from the stories of the children. I experience the unconditional love and mercy of God in these kids."

Gloria grew up in the Philippines, as the 9th of 10 children. After her mother died when she was 13, she learned from her father by watching him be faithful to her mother's memory, and continuing to love her mother and tell stories of her faith and her goodness, so that all the children knew that, as the scriptures say, "Love is stronger than death." Gloria and her siblings felt loved by their mother even when she was not able to care for them, even when she was physically absent. These experiences have given Gloria a huge heart to care for the children of Niños con Valor at a time when their parents are not present.

Gloria Image 1     Gloria Image 2

Above Left: Tia Gloria hangs out with Alejo and Abran.
Above Right: Gloria cuts Eneas' nails

Gloria likes the creative relationships with the children and with the tias. "These babies have touched my heart. I work a lot with Alejo, but the life of Alvaro has really touched my life. He is seriously sick with multiple physical challenges. Watching him struggle to hold on to life has made me question where God is in all of this as he has so many illnesses at an early age. I can see, however, how Alvaro is transforming lives. Tia Laura, who does quite a bit of care for him, is for me an example of patience and God's love in the way she selflessly gives her care. In addition, I have been here twice when Alvaro's mother visited. When she is here, he becomes smiling and talkative, and I witness the strong connection between mother and child. Watching the staff members work with Alvaro gives me a glimpse of Jesus in the gospels, particularly the story of the 100 sheep and the one that got lost. He receives so much care and love from the tias. Even though they fear that this baby will not survive, they are doing their best to take care of him."

"For me," she says, "Alvaro is Emmanuel, God with us. God is very present in him and in those who minister to him. You need a lot of faith to do this work. Life can feel disconnected, but faith unites us." Sister Gloria feels that she has absorbed a lot from the wisdom of the tias at NCV. She sees their work as a vocation, with the children as their beautiful ministry. The tias think about the children and miss them even when they are not at the homes. To sum up her experience as a volunteer, she says: "God is making himself & herself visible through the people I come in contact with, at Niños con Valor, as well as through my Maryknoll sisters and the larger Maryknoll family."

Thank you, Sister Gloria, for making God's love visible to all who have the opportunity to be inspired by your love and your faith.

Sometimes, we are asked how, outside of regular monthly sponsorship, someone can priovide practical support for our children. We are going to start posting a short section at the end of each newsletter, with some ideas of how you can help. If you think you could help us with any of the following one-time costs, please let us know by sending us an email ( Thanks!

The first need we have is for computers. We are trying to "tech up" our operations, thus improving the overall care we are able to provide our children. One of the suggestions given by our Bolivian Board of Directors was setting up an electronic control system for staff. We have a lot of volunteers coming in and out, and this will help us have better control over who enters our home. The cost of a new computer with the specifications needed to run this system is $600. We are also hoping to purchase some laptops for our teens. We have a couple, but could really use a few more as, more and more, they are being asked to use the internet for research projects. We can purchase laptops for around $500-$600.

We are also looking to purchase a bed-wetting alarm for one of our younger teen girls who has struggled with enuresis due to past traumas. These cannot be purchased in Bolivia, so we are looking to order one in the next month or so and have it bought down with a team that will be visiting us in July. They cost around $60.

Fall is coming on here in Cochabamba, with beautiful clear skies, a lot of sun during the day, and cool temperatures at night. The first week of school exams finish off April. With God's abundant love, we continue to grow and hope that it is as God wants for us. There are times when we all tire of the endless work, but one child's smile is a leaven that makes us rise to the task every day when and where we can do the work in the day that God has made for us. Every day with our kids brings joy, encouragement, and another glimpse of God's love for us all.

Peace and Love From the Children, the Staff, and the Volunteers of Niños con Valor.

pencil  Check out our Blog!

Keep up to date with what is happening in NCV on our blog. You can also catch up on previous newsletters here. Enjoy!

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If you are in the US, you can either send a check made out to "Ninos con Valor" to the address below, or use our Groundspring online donation page.

Niños con Valor
c/o Laurel Fortin
23515 NE Novelty Hill Rd SteB221-#301
Redmond WA 98053

For instructions on donating outside of the US, please visit our donations page.

pray  Pray!

We know that God loves kids too, so please keep us in your prayers, using these updates as a bit of a guide on what is happening, or by writing us here. We send out weekly prayer requests to those who join our prayermail list. We really appreciate the support!


  Learn More about our Projects

All of our programs seek to provide holistic care, as well as integrate children and families living with various physical and mental health issues, including HIV/AIDS.


Our home that currently provides care for 22 girls who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.


Our home that currently provides care for 13 boys who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.


Our program working with families and communities to strengthen community care of children and to prevent family disintegration.

NCV Newsletter

23515 NE Novelty Hill Rd SteB221-#301
Redmond, WA   98053
Questions? +1 425-891-6237

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