A Mission of Hope, A Mission of Success

During the week of February 22nd through March 1st, Esperança was able to embark on one of the largest supporter mission trips completed to date. The total number of people that traveled with Esperança was 26! This included long-time surgical volunteer Dr. Retson and his team who have succesfully completed 40 surgical missions since 1990. Travelers didn’t know what to expect, but anticipation was high and was increased with the ability to meet and transform the lives of families in Nicaragua.

Many lives were touched that fateful week, and one of those lives was Hervin, age 3. He first met Dr. Retson in 2013, traveling with his grandmother from a great distance that brought them from the Honduran border. This was not the first attempt from Hervin’s loving family to try to find a solution to his medical complications. His mother had attempted reaching out to local surgeons but was continually turned away because of the severity of his condition. But when Hervin and his family first came through the doors of our clinic they knew that hope was there. With such a severe cleft there was the need for more practiced hands and Dr. Retson was there for Hervin and his family because of your support. After three procedures, Hervin’s cleft was corrected. The photos of Hervin truly show the transformation that took place, and the travelers on the Mission of Hope were able to see this miracle first hand.

The Mission of Hope was one of the first trips with Esperança for many of the supporters, and it was also the first opportunity for our new Program Director, Karen Resseguie, to see our work in Nicaragua. With Esperança’s close relationship with the volunteers of the community she learned plenty about our projects; but when it comes to transforming lives, nothing is like being able to speak directly with a family that has walked for days to have a glimpse of hope to see a doctor, or turn on a functioning water system that brings clean water to thousands.

Karen finished the trip with the following comments: “It was such a pleasure to see a surgical mission in progress as well as being able to sort and organize medical supplies. We also got to see Esperança projects such as the gravity-based aqueduct system, life-changing latrines, cooperatives supporting cacao producers and egg-laying farms.Everywhere we went, we were greeted by enthusiasm, appreciation and hand-cooked meals by project beneficiaries. I can say with great confidence that the people of Nicaragua have been touched by people like you who care enough to help improve lives of those who need it.”

With the Mission of Hope complete, those on the mission are left with stories of hope and transformation. As an organization we are touched everyday with these stories, and we are excited to share them with you.

If you are interested in joining us on the next Mission of Hope please contact Jared Leslie, Development Director at (602)252-7772 ext 101 or by email

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Medical Supply Driver











Each year, Esperança is able to send a 40-foot container packed full of donated medical supplies to the developing world.  These donations are used by local health professionals, as well as by our own volunteer surgical teams to change the lives of poor through operations and medical services. All of the medical supplies are donated from business and individuals in the Phoenix metropolitan area and other states in the continental U.S.

Volunteers are needed to deliver boxes of medical supplies to our partner located in Tempe, Az. Volunteers will load boxes from our Esperanca office into our partner’s provided vehicle, deliver the boxes to the partner’s office and unload them. Volunteers will need their own transportation to pick-up the partner’s provided vehicle but not to transport the medical supplies.

Location: Volunteers will drive between Esperança’s office located at 1911 W. Earll Drive, Phoenix, Arizona 85015 and our partner’s office located in southwest Tempe.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Pick up/drop off medical supplies
  • Carry, load and unload boxes


  • At least 18 years of age
  • Driver’s license required with clean driving record and vehicle insurance
  • Reliable transportation
  • Dependable and friendly
  • Flexibility with scheduling -  times are between 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday through Friday
  • Be in good physical condition; able to move boxes weighing at least 25lbs

Time Commitment: Once a week for 4 hours; flexible schedules.

Contact: If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact Anna Ortiz, Surgical Program Coordinator via email or 602-252-7772 x114


Esperança Names New Phoenix Program Coordinator

Esperança is pleased to announce Ryan Tapscott has joined the nonprofit as Phoenix program coordinator. In this role, he’ll be responsible for developing and managing the oral health, chronic illness and anti-obesity program in low income areas in Phoenix.

“We’re excited to have Ryan as a team member,” said Tom Egan, president & CEO of Esperança.  “He has tremendous experience with social work, outreach and multi-cultural programs.  He’s traveled the world and worked with a diverse group of clients.”

Tapscott brings eight years of outreach, volunteer recruitment, employment counseling and Peace Corps experience to Esperança.  Most recently, he was an employment specialist with Refugee Focus in Phoenix.  Prior to that, he was an intern with Columbia University and the Education for Employment Foundation in New York City, as well as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan.

Ryan has advanced conversational ability in Arabic and French and holds a bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Arizona State University, as well as a Masters of Arts in International Education Development from Columbia University.




Updates from the Two Dollar Challenge

Today marks the beginning of the $2 Challenge! The $2 Challenge is a challenge taken by students to put themselves into the shoes of the nearly 50% of people worldwide who live off of less than two dollars per day. Come to the front of the Student Union at the ASU Polytechnic campus and join us in raising awareness of global poverty!

-       Michelle Marco, ASU Student



Esperanca in the News: ASU Two Dollar Challenge


On AZ Gives Day, Give on the 10′s

Esperança is one of the expected nonprofit organizations to participate in in Arizona Gives Day, an online fundraising initiative, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 9th. Arizona Gives Day is a 24-hour online fundraiser aimed at bringing together communities across the state, to raise awareness and financial support for a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Arizona. Arizonans are encouraged to help make a difference by investing in the nonprofit of their choice.

“AZ Gives Day is a great opportunity for us to share the mission of Esperança and the hope that we give to so many.” Said Tom Egan President and CEO of Esperança.

Your Arizona Gives Day donation helps us to achieve our mission of improving health and providing hope for families in the poorest communities of the world through sustainable disease prevention, education and treatment. Your support for Esperanҫa in the hours of 10:00 am to 11:00 am could help us win a $1,000!

Please be sure your donation is scheduled time to make a donation on Arizona Gives Day (04/09/20140).  We are asking supporters to take time on April 9th from 10:00 am to 11:00 am to make a donation to Esperanҫa at http://azgives.razoo.com/story/Esperanca . By doing so you will help us win a prize of $1,000!





Mission of Hope Wrap up: Tom’s Thoughts for 2015

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I am so honored that 10 of our Esperança supporters choose to travel with us to Jinotega, Nicaragua to see our work in action.  Our donors had the opportunity to put on scrubs and go into the operating room and observe our volunteer plastic surgeon bringing hope to the women and children there. They also helped build latrines for families that will provide healthier living conditions. They witnessed the opening of a women’s co-op that is selling eggs to a local bakery to provide jobs and income to 28 rural women that will transform their community.

As we completed this years mission we began thinking of our 2015 trip, while nothing is official at this point, we are considering a trip to our newest program site, Cuzco, Peru. The city of Cuzco is well-known for its famous attraction, Machu Picchu, and thousands of tourists pass through this city on an annual basis. What many don’t know is that just beyond the city and in the Peruvian highlands lies hundreds of small rural villages with families who live in conditions of extreme poverty on a daily basis. The people have expressed concern for malnourished children, unclean drinking water, and the poor housing conditions that families are living in.

Our plans for bringing health to the Peruvian people include:

  • Building ecological homes that are safe, environmentally-friendly and decrease risk for disease
  • Training local farmers on using indigenous potato varieties for improved agricultural production
  • Educating families on the prevention of diseases like diarrhea, respiratory infection and other health illnesses that affect local villages
  • Providing clean water sources through water filters and chlorine for each home

-Tom Egan, President and CEO of Espernaca

If you would like to join us or have questions about the 2015 Mission of Hope, please contact Jared Leslie at 602-252-7772 ext. 101 or by email



Day five the Mission of Hope: Community and Hope

The San Rafael Clinic is where we got our start with the surgical missions in Jinotega, Nicaragua and on day five of the Mission of Hope we went to where it all started!  With a tour from the director we were able to see the interworking’s of the clinic with our supporters. Currently we still have our general surgical missions utilizing the space in the clinic but the majority of our specialties are now operating at the Hospital directly in Jinotega. The tour of the clinic was touching to think of all of the lives that the countless numbers of doctors have saved and transformed.













Once we left the San Rafael Clinic, the surrounding communities were ready to share their home and hearts with us. We started with a visit to a local women’s co-op that was starting to create a pig farm. The women spoke of how they mobilized as volunteers and how this was the beginning of the change to come to the community. Second we were invited to a community meeting that was upwards or 40 community members that had created one of the largest co-ops we are involved with to date.  We witnessed the passing of the gift to a new member of the co-op.

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And just as the Mission of Hope had started, we ended the visit with a chance to see and learn how the work of Dr. Retson and his team had gone.

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Day four the Mission of Hope: Latrines saving lives!

Latrines were the sight of the day! It is amazing to learn how a latrine is truly the cornerstone for a community’s health. On day four of the Mission of Hope we were in the community of Santa Amalia learning how a latrine is constructed and how the community rallies to be the driving force for their own transformation. The first home we visited had a partially completed latrine and we had the treat of listening to an informational demonstration from Herman the local AVODEC staff that is helping to educate Santa Amalia residents on how to construct a Latrine. The second Home we visited was a Latrine that was just starting and members of the Mission of Hope jumped right in to help dig the trench for this life saving structure.

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Day three Mission of Hope: Las Lomas, New Beginnings and Organization

Day three of the Mission of Hope, had a little later start that allowed the travelers with the group the chance to catch up on sleep. But once we were up we hit the road with the same passion that we had the day before. On this outing we saw Las Lomas one of the larger water systems that AVODEC and Esperanҫa have put in operation within Nicaragua. What a treat this was for our travelers, Las Lomas supports 5 different communities and has allowed thousands of people to have access to clean drinkable water. An interesting fact that was learned on this visit was that all five communities use less water than a single family home in the US! As we followed the systems infrastructure we were able to visit some of the homes that were beneficiaries of the water, we were welcomed with open arms to visit and see how they are using the water.


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Once our visit to Las Lomas was complete we were invited to be a part of the ribbon cutting for the new offices for our in-country partner AVODEC. This was a complete surprise to those on the trip and was an amazing sight to see. The community of Jinotega gathered to bless and celebrate this new building that would be the center for hope and transformation for the community.














The evening concluded with the sorting of medical supplies that are used by our volunteer surgical program. The supplies had arrived in such a hurry that they were in need of cataloging and organization and that is where the Mission of Hope Volunteers came in! We worked for over 2 hours and revamped the entire storage, allowing all of the contents to be accessible. We did pause to celebrate the completion of the organizing with a group photo.

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Esperança is a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible in accordance with IRS rules and regulations.